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What’s Causing Yellow Green Vaginal Discharge and How to Address It?

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

As unpleasant and bothersome as it might be, vaginal discharge is an important part of the vagina’s self-cleaning mechanism. The vaginal mucus helps flush out bacteria and maintain a healthy balance of the vaginal flora, preventing infections and ensuring that the vaginal environment is always clean.

But instead of expelling white discharge with a consistency similar to egg whites, many women experience yellow green discharge that is thick and smelly. What does it mean when your vaginal mucus is yellow or green? Find out the answer below.

Yellow Greenish Vaginal Discharge: A Common Symptom of STD

There are not many factors that can change the color of your vaginal discharge. While variations of color are normal before and after period, as well as during pregnancy, yellow or green vaginal discharge is abnormal – especially when accompanied by other symptoms, such as itchiness, soreness or redness or the vulva.

Green discharge coming from vagina may be a common symptom of sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and Chlamydia. If the discharge is only slightly yellow but has no odor, and its consistency is similar to cottage cheese, then you may be suffering from yeast infection (or thrush) instead. Keep in mind that, if a STD is what’s causing the discharge to be yellow or green, then you should also notice an increase in the amount that’s expelled by your vagina.

Yellow Green Discharge During Pregnancy May Lead to Miscarriage

If you experience yellow green vaginal mucus while pregnant, then you should consult your doctor immediately. Sudden changes in the color, consistency or smell of your discharge may be caused by vaginitis or bacterial vaginosis. If not treated immediately, the risk of miscarriage and premature birth increases dramatically, leading to a host of undesired results.

How to Prevent Green Vaginal Mucus?

Smart self-care is critical to ensuring that your entire body is healthy. Once treated, you can help prevent yellow vaginal discharge in the future by making a few changes to your lifestyle. Some of these changes include:

  • never using scented soaps or other “feminine hygiene products” for cleaning your intimate parts;
  • using only non-biological detergent to wash your underwear. You may want to add an extra rinsing cycle at the end of the wash if the detergent is particularly irritating to your skin;
  • wearing only 100% cotton underpants;
  • avoiding the use of panty liners and tampons when you’re not on your period;
  • wiping from front to back after using the toilet;
  • washing your hands thoroughly before and after touching your intimate parts;
  • never having unprotected intercourse, and never with more than one partner;
  • quitting smoking (several studies suggest that smoking makes women more prone to bacterial vaginosis).

Be Diligent About Your Personal Hygiene

Proper personal hygiene is of utmost importance to preventing yellow greenish vaginal discharge. Use only mild soaps to clean your intimate parts, and avoid scented soaps or other products that may cause imbalances in your vaginal flora. Also, avoid douches, and try utilizing wet wipes instead of regular toilet paper, as they also have disinfectant properties that help clean your genitals clean.