Primary Care Physician
Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
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Vaginal Discharge 101
Posted in Bipolar Disorde... by Dr. Sharon Orrange on May 27, 2008

"Is it normal to have . . .?" It's a question I often hear in the office. Vagina talk starts with this question: has the quantity or quality (color, odor, and amount) of your vaginal discharge changed? If so, here is a breakdown of some of the causes of vaginal discharge and what it will look like. Here we go ladies:




  • Bacterial vaginosis: This is the most common cause of vaginal discharge in premenopausal women and can give you a thin, grayish-white or off-white discharge that is "fishy smelling" and more noticeable after intercourse. This is not sexually transmitted and easily treated with 5 nights of a prescription vaginal antibacterial cream.

  • Vaginal Candidiasis "Yeast Infection": This will give you a thick, white, "cottage cheese-like" discharge usually accompanied by vaginal itching. This is also not sexually transmitted and easily treated. Over-the-counter antifungal vaginal cream preparations are available for treatment. There is a single dose pill for treatment (Diflucan) which requires a prescription from your physician.

  • Trichomoniasis: Classically associated with a greenish-yellow, smelly, purulent discharge and you should notice vaginal burning, burning during urination and even mild bleeding after intercourse. This is sexually transmitted and is easily treated with an oral antibiotic.

  • Normal Discharge "Physiological leucorrhea": This can be thick white or yellowish vaginal discharge that does not smell and is not accompanied by other symptoms (itching, burning, pain or irritation). Physiological leukorrhea is usually due to estrogen induced changes in cervicovaginal secretions. Treatment is unnecessary. This is normal vaginal discharge.

  • "Fertile mucus" or Ovulation mucus: This occurs mid-cycle and is thin, stretchy, clear, jelly-like discharge also described as being like egg whites. This is normal.

  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: Both of these STDs cause a red inflamed cervix that you won't see and 50% of women have no symptoms. If you do, greenish/yellowish discharge, burning with urination and during sex, and abdominal pain is what you will notice. These are sexually transmitted and easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

  • Atrophic vaginitis: This is dryness or inflammation of the vagina in postmenopausal women caused by lack of estrogen. If you have symptoms from atrophic vaginitis you will have dryness, itching and you may have yellow malodorous (smelly) discharge and a feeling of pressure. This is also easily remedied with hormones (vaginal or oral preparations).

  • Spotting between periods "Breakthrough bleeding": This is usually brownish/reddish discharge that can look like dried blood and occurs between periods. If you are on oral contraceptives this is known as "breakthrough bleeding" and you should mention it to your doctor because it may mean you need a higher dose estrogen pill.


Visti your doctor for an exam if you have any hesitation about what's normal and what's not.


Dr O.

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10
the passed couple days iv been having orange discharge i dont have any other symptoms im not pregnant but i did just have a baby a month and a half ago. i read that it could just be that my period is coming or it could be an infection. what do you think of this?
By tollybuzzard  Mar 20, 2012
9
I HAD EX 3 TIME AND I DIDNT USE A CONDOM.
ANDA DAY OR SO LATTER I WOKE UP AND I FELT
A LI WET BUT I FIGURED IT OUT ABOUT WHAT IT
WAS AND I WAS HAVING A DISCHARGE AND WHEN
I PISS IT BURNS BUT AFTERA FEW SECONDS IT STOPS
WHILE IM STILL PISSING AND THE DISCHARGES WONT STOP
WHAT CAN I DOO TO STOP THE DISCHARG AND THE BURNING
WHEN I TAKE A PISSS
By mikeaaron  Sep 24, 2008
8
Everyone always thinks it is yeast but mine was BV now I'm better
By Stefunny  Aug 26, 2008
7
Hey Butterflyxlife
If I had a dollar for every question I get here on DS about vag discharge Id be seriously loaded.
Dr O.
By DrOrrange  Jun 09, 2008
6
I need to print this off and just start handing it out to people. LOL It's like.. basics 101 of vaginal discharge, EXCELLENT! And easy to understand-- Great!
By butterflyxlife  Jun 09, 2008
5
Dakotatears: if you are homogenous for Factor V Leiden most would say no to oral estrogens but vaginal estrogen cream not a problem
Dr O.
By DrOrrange  Jun 03, 2008
4
thanks for the infomation.
By hazel86  Jun 01, 2008
3
Yup...that is exactly what I have..uff'da. Vaginosis. And my periods have been getting less and less. My problem is I have Factor V Leiden mutation and not sure if I should go on any form of estrogen...What is your opinion? Going to see an Gyn. here soon. Hugs. DT
PS. I should also say I have low white counts so the bad bacteria seems go grow faster.
By dakotatears  May 31, 2008
2
Hi Juice
2 of the members in that community sent me questions in the last 2 weeks. Thats why depression-teen is one of the communities I included. Try not to look at it if it bugs you. Remember the whole point of this and I think the reason people are sheepish about bringing it up with their doctor is that this issue is NOT always a sexual issue...and often occurs in those who arent sexually active. Sorry if it causes you GI distress
Dr O.
By DrOrrange  May 29, 2008
1
I've got to say it: I'm not sure the front page of the depression community is the right place for this topic. If I have a sexual health prob, I'll join the sexual health community. Any chance this could disappear soon? It's making me feel a tad sick eevry time I log on.
By Juice  May 29, 2008
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