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Vaginal Discharge: Colour and Meaning

Vaginal Discharge Colour and Meaning


Vaginal discharge is usually a type of liquid that is released by tiny glands present in the cervix and vagina. It is one of the ways the vaginal system keeps clean and healthy by removing old cells and debris every day. By keeping vaginal tissue healthy, lubricating it, and preventing infection, vaginal discharge helps prevent discomfort and infection. You may experience any combination of white and sticky discharge, clear water, or a mixture of both depending on where you are in your reproductive (menstrual) cycle.


What is Normal Vaginal Discharge?


A vaginal discharge color that ranges from white to yellow is considered to be normal. The consistency may be similar to that of an egg white. Since the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, it's also the first discharge a healthy body produces to balance itself. Other reasons for vaginal discharges include:

  • At the time of ovulation typically around at 14th day of your cycle, you may observe this kind of discharge that consists of mucus
  • Hormone changes during pregnancy might also increase the amount of discharge you experience.
  • Sexual excitement can cause the vaginal blood vessels to widen and fluid to flow through, resulting in an increase in clear, watery discharge. 


Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: The Color Guide


  1. Blood red to dark brown: Brown or red bloody discharge in menstruation is normal. Colors might range from cherry-red to rusty brown at the start of your menstruation. However, if you see red throughout the month, it might indicate an underlying health problem, such as an infection. Additionally, it may be simply due to irregular periods or spotting due to their birth control method or hormonal changes.
  2. Creamy and milky white: Discharge in a range of white colors, from eggshell to cream, is common. Don't be concerned until your discharge is accompanied by specific textures or odors. Many of the same factors as clear discharge can cause white discharge. It's just a natural lubricant, which helps to keep your vaginal tissue healthy and reduces friction during sex.
  3. Pale yellow to bright green: It's more frequent than you may expect to have a very mild yellow discharge. The color is sometimes daffodil yellow. Other times, it's a brighter green. This coloration is normally a symptom of illness, but it this kind of coloration is just a one-time event it may be due to something you ate and can be taken as normal. Some people claim that this hue shift happens when they start taking new vitamins or trying new diets.
  4. Shades of pink: Pink discharge, which can range from a light shade to the dark pink of a rose, is simply the start of your period. However, it can also be an indication of a significant health concern. Light bleeding can occur following penetration with fingers, a sex toy, or a penis in certain persons with vaginas, resulting in pink discharge.
  5. Deep blue-gray: Consult a doctor or other healthcare expert if the type of vaginal discharge you are experiencing ranges from whitish-grey to greys. It will resemble the color of storm clouds or exhaust. It might be an indication of bacterial vaginosis (BV), a frequent bacterial overgrowth in vaginal tissue. Antibacterial ointments or antibiotics will most likely be prescribed by your doctor.


What Causes Abnormal Discharge?


Any change in the vaginal bacteria balance might impact the odor, color, or consistency of the discharge. Some of the common reasons that may lead to abnormal vaginal discharge are:

  • Use of antibiotics or steroid
  • Bacterial vaginosis - It is a type of infection caused by bacteria commonly seen in pregnant women 
  • Consumptions of Pills for birth control
  • Cervical cancer 
  • Sexually transmitted illnesses such as chlamydia or gonorrhea (STDs)
  • Diabetes
  • Several surgeries may develop a pelvic infections
  • Inflammation of the pelvis 
  • Trichomoniasis – It is a parasite illness spread through unprotected sexual contact.
  • Vaginal Atrophy - The weakening and drying out of the vaginal walls after menopause is known as vaginal atrophy.
  • Vaginitis - Any inflammation of the vaginal area.
  • Infections with yeast


Management of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge


Your physician will do a thorough check-up to determine the actual reason for your abnormal vaginal discharge. Depending on the nature of your problem, you will receive the appropriate treatment. A common treatment for yeast infections is to put antifungal creams and gels directly into the vaginal canal. To treat bacterial vaginosis, antibiotic tablets or lotions are used. Trichomoniasis infection is commonly treated with metronidazole. Some of the ways to avoid abnormal vaginal discharge include

  • On the outer surface wash with moderate, mild soap and warm water to keep the vagina clean. 
  • Avoid direct application of soap to the vaginal area.
  • Do not use scented soaps or feminine hygiene products.
  • Avoid female sprays
  • Always wipe and clean your private area after using the restroom to avoid germs from entering the vaginal canal and creating an infection.
  • Wear 100 percent cotton underwear and avoid wearing apparel that is too tight.



Although you may not always consider it this way, vaginal discharge is rather important. Healthy discharge is important for keeping the vaginal area clean, preventing infections, and providing lubrication. The vaginal discharge might also indicate your general wellness. Consult your physician if discharge suddenly alters in color, consistency, quantity, or smell or if it is accompanied by an itching sensation or pain in the pelvis.


Dr. Neelam Vinay
Gynaecology, Gynaeoncology & Obstetrics
Meet The Doctor
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