Yellow discharge does not necessarily indicate a health problem, especially if the discharge is a light-yellow color. This type of discharge can be common in women who inherently have thicker discharge, especially during ovulation.
However, if there is also foul smell or other symptoms such as itchiness in the genital area or pain when urinating, the yellow discharge may be a sign of infection.
If you are concerned about yellow discharge, you should see your doctor for assessment to evaluate whether there is any underlying cause and to start treatment as necessary.
Yellow discharge with no odor? when to worry
Remember that most likely a yellowish discharge no odor means nothing wrong and you don’t have to be scared.
Nevertheless, you should see your doctor if you are experiencing
- Persistent lower abdominal pain
- Severe vaginal pain
- Heavy menstrual period
- Painful urination
- Occasional greenish discharge
- Lower back pain for weeks now
- Symptoms that suggest you are pregnant
- Pain during sexual intercourse
What causes yellow discharge with odor?
Chlamydia is a common infection women catch after unprotected sexual intercourse. So, if you notice a yellow-colored discharge with itching, it’s possible it could be chlamydia.
If you do not use condoms or totally abstain from sexual intercourse, you can get chlamydia. Chlamydia infections affect about 4.2% of women worldwide.
Commonly, a lot of women will have chlamydia without knowing, and this is because symptoms may be absent for a long time.
However, if you become symptomatic, chlamydia symptoms begin to show up after three weeks of exposure to the bacteria.
Apart from yellow discharge with itching and odor, other symptoms are
- Difficulty in conceiving
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Vaginal spotting between periods
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Frequent urge to pee
- Smelly vaginal discharge
Sexually active women that are between the ages of 15 and 25 years are prone to catch sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Both infections can make you have a yellow discharge with itching, and if not quickly treated may cause an unpleasant smell down there with possible complications.
Apart from a yellow discharge, you may also experience fever, low abdomen pain, back pain, pain during sexual intercourse, burning sensation while urinating, and body weakness.
The truth is, just like chlamydia, a lot of women will have gonorrhea without any symptoms at all. If you discharge smell, see your doctor for evaluation.
READ ALSO: ABDOMINAL PAIN: CAUSES AND TYPES
Preventing Yellow Discharge
While clear discharge that turns yellow in underwear is nothing to worry about, there are ways to prevent yellow discharge that stems from infections or irritations.
Using protection (barrier methods such as condoms during sex) prevents the risks of both STIs and pregnancy. Condoms can work to prevent both STIs and pregnancy, but they must be worn correctly in order to be effective.
Also, condoms cannot offer complete protection against syphilis, herpes, or human papillomavirus (HPV, which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer).
Know Sexual Partners
If you are having sex, it is important to be honest with your partner about your own sexual history, as well as asking questions about their past sexual history.
Before having sex:
Talk about when you were both last tested for STIs, then plan to get tested together.
Ask if your partner has any STIs and disclose if you have any STIs.
Discuss if you will be having sex only with each other.
Make an agreement to use condoms during sex for the entire sex act. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Douching is rinsing the vagina by forcing water or other solutions into it. The vagina is naturally self-cleaning, and douching is not necessary.
The chemicals found in douches can be irritating to the vagina and can disrupt the normal balance of bacteria found in the vagina. Douching can cause infections to spread to the uterus and, in turn, increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
The smells you notice in your genital area typically come from outside the vagina, in the vulva. You can keep the vulva clean by washing with water and a gentle soap.
Fragrances found in some products can be irritating to the vagina and can also change the levels of healthy bacteria in the vagina.
It is best to avoid fragrances found in:
Feminine hygiene sprays
Yellow discharge can be normal and simply a sign of regular clear discharge changing color upon contact with the air. But it may also be a sign of infections, including STIs and pelvic inflammatory disease. Yellow discharge may also be noted in early pregnancy. If you are concerned about your discharge or your health, speak with your healthcare professional.