Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
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Reviewed By:

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC (Ear, nose, throat (ENT))

Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Northwell Health and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He holds a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) in Medical Education with a special focus on educational technology, educational research, and game-based learning from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He has a special interest in faculty development and has been a speaker or faculty at hundreds of local, national, and international courses and conferences. He is also an active blogger and podcaster for several organizations, including the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI), Harvard Medical School CME Online, and BackTable Innovations. He has been featured in the news and print for media outlets such as USA Today, Businesswire, The Washington Post, Nature Medicine, Fox News, and KevinMD. He was also the Vice President, Medical Director of a medical video game company, Level Ex from 2018 to 2023 that utilized game technology and psychology to create interactive experiences for healthcare professionals. | He is recognized as an expert on the implementation of educational technologies and gaming with a foundation in educational theory for health professions education. He was honored to be inducted as an Associate Member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators and as an Associate Fellow of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Milky vaginal discharge (change from usual)

  • There is a large amount of vaginal discharge with bad smell

  • There is an increase in vaginal discharge

  • Vaginal discharge has slightly increased

  • A bubble-shaped yellow vaginal discharge

  • My vaginal discharge looks strange

  • Having less vaginal discharge

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

About the symptom

Normal vaginal discharge is clear or milky and thin. Abnormal discharge may be yellow or green, chunky in consistency, or foul smelling.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Fever

  • Lower abdominal pain

  • Abdominal pain

  • Intermenstrual bleeding

  • Urinary frequency

  • Increase in vaginal discharge

Possible causes

  • Vaginitis

    Vaginitis refers to infection or inflammation of the vagina. This includes the external vagina such as the opening and vaginal lips (vulva), or the inside of the vagina. Patients typically note vaginal irritation, itching or dryness. They may also note vaginal discharge, which may have a foul odor (smell). This condition is caused by infection or changes in the balance of healthy vaginal bacteria. It can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, but can also be caused without sexual activity. Normal aging can also be a cause with patients after menopause at an increased risk for vaginal dryness and irritation.

  • Atrophic vaginitis

    A condition in which the vaginal surface becomes dry and thin, commonly seen after menopause due to decreased female hormone levels. Symptoms include itching and painful intercourse.

  • Candida vulvovaginitis

    This is a fungal infection by Candida that affects the vaginal area. Candida normally exists on skin and vaginal linings without issues. An infection occurs when the skin or vaginal lining changes in character, promoting Candida overgrowth. People with weakened immune systems or on birth control pills may be at increased risk.

  • Chlamydia infection
  • Gonorrhea
  • Descent of uterus / uterine prolapse
  • Pollakiuria
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cystitis

Related serious diseases

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

    Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a serious condition where there is infection and inflammation of the female pelvic organs such as the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. It can present with abdominal pain, fever and foul vaginal discharge, and requires medical treatment. Some cases but not all are related to sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). It is possible to get PID without an STD. Delayed treatment can lead to infertility due to damage to the fallopian tube.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Have you noticed any changes in your vaginal discharge?

  • Have you had more vaginal discharge lately?

  • Do you have a thick white discharge like cottage cheese or yogurt?

  • Has the vaginal discharge odor worsened recently?

  • Is your vaginal discharge gray?

Other Related Symptoms

Symptoms from similar body parts

Reviewed By:

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC (Ear, nose, throat (ENT))

Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Northwell Health and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He holds a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) in Medical Education with a special focus on educational technology, educational research, and game-based learning from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He has a special interest in faculty development and has been a speaker or faculty at hundreds of local, national, and international courses and conferences. He is also an active blogger and podcaster for several organizations, including the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI), Harvard Medical School CME Online, and BackTable Innovations. He has been featured in the news and print for media outlets such as USA Today, Businesswire, The Washington Post, Nature Medicine, Fox News, and KevinMD. He was also the Vice President, Medical Director of a medical video game company, Level Ex from 2018 to 2023 that utilized game technology and psychology to create interactive experiences for healthcare professionals. | He is recognized as an expert on the implementation of educational technologies and gaming with a foundation in educational theory for health professions education. He was honored to be inducted as an Associate Member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators and as an Associate Fellow of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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