Foul-Smelling Vaginal Discharge
Free Symptom Checker
with Physician-supervised AI

Reviewed By:

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care)

Current Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow with Dual board certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Critical Care Medicine. | 5+ years experience managing a general Ob/Gyn practice and working in the Intensive Care Unit. | Previously Physician Lead of a large single specialty practice with 8 Physicians and 10+ Advanced practitioners. | Member of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine Patient education committee. | Frequent Medscape Consult contributor.

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN))

Dr. Kanazawa graduated from the Niigata University Faculty of Medicine and received his Ph.D. from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. He is working on the front line of the General Perinatal Center, including the Tokyo Tama General Medical Center and the National Center for Research in Fertility Medicine, where he provides maternal and fetal care and undertakes clinical research. At Ubie, Dr. Kanazawa has been designing the Ubie AI Symptom Checker and has taken on the role of general obstetrics and gynecology consultation at FMC Tokyo Clinic by providing fetal ultrasound and prenatal consultation.

From our team of 50+ doctors

Content updated on Oct 10, 2023

Following the Medical Content Editorial Policy

Please choose the symptom you are most concerned about.

It will help us optimize further questions for you.

By starting the symptom checker, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Find another symptom

How Ubie can help you

With an easy 3-min questionnaire, Ubie's AI-powered system will generate a free report on possible causes.

  • Trained and reviewed by 50+ doctors, our AI Symptom Checker utilizes data from 1,500+ medical centers

  • Questions are customized to your situation and symptoms

Your symptoms

Input your symptoms

Our AI

Our AI checks your symptoms

Your report

You get your personalized report

Your personal report will tell you

✔︎  When to see a doctor

✔︎  What causes your symptoms

✔︎  Treatment information etc.

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

  • Large amount of vaginal discharge with bad smell

  • Unusual smelling vaginal discharge

  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

About the Symptom

Normal vaginal discharge should be clear or white without significant odor and not cause any irritation. Discharge that is foul smelling with an unpleasant odor should be investigated for infection.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Intermenstrual bleeding

  • Increase in vaginal discharge

Possible causes

Generally, Foul-smelling vaginal discharge can be related to:

  • 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.

  • Bacterial vaginosis

    A healthy human vagina contains various types of bacteria. When the balance of bacteria is disrupted, some types can overgrow and cause symptoms. Common triggers include vaginal washing, sexual intercourse, or use of an Intrauterine Device.

  • Pyometra

    Pyometra is extremely rare in humans. It occurs when there is a blockage of the opening of the uterus (cervix) and an infection occurs in the cavity, and it can fill with purulent material (pus). This occurs mostly in older, post-menopausal women when the cervix (outlet of the womb) is narrowed by tumors or previous surgeries.

  • Candida vulvovaginitis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Threatened abortion
  • Atrophic vaginitis

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Foul-smelling vaginal discharge may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Chorioamnionitis

    Chorioamnionitis is a pregnancy condition where the tissues and fluid around the fetus (unborn baby) become infected. This typically occurs in labor after the water bag (amniotic sac) is broken, but can occur before this as well. This is a serious condition that requires delivery of the fetus to protect both the mother and the baby.

  • Premature rupture of membranes

  • Threatened preterm labor

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Has the vaginal discharge odor worsened recently?

  • Are you mentally stressed or physically exhausted?

  • Have you experienced vaginal bleeding or discharge outside of your periods or after menopause?

  • Have you had more vaginal discharge lately?

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

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Hildebrand JP, Kansagor AT. Vaginitis. [Updated 2022 Nov 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470302/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470302/

  • Spence D, Melville C. Vaginal discharge. BMJ. 2007 Dec 1;335(7630):1147-51. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39378.633287.80. PMID: 18048541; PMCID: PMC2099568.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2099568/

  • ACOG Patient FAQ

    https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/vulvovaginal-health?utm_source=redirect&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=otn

Reviewed By:

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care)

Current Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow with Dual board certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Critical Care Medicine. | 5+ years experience managing a general Ob/Gyn practice and working in the Intensive Care Unit. | Previously Physician Lead of a large single specialty practice with 8 Physicians and 10+ Advanced practitioners. | Member of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine Patient education committee. | Frequent Medscape Consult contributor.

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN))

Dr. Kanazawa graduated from the Niigata University Faculty of Medicine and received his Ph.D. from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. He is working on the front line of the General Perinatal Center, including the Tokyo Tama General Medical Center and the National Center for Research in Fertility Medicine, where he provides maternal and fetal care and undertakes clinical research. At Ubie, Dr. Kanazawa has been designing the Ubie AI Symptom Checker and has taken on the role of general obstetrics and gynecology consultation at FMC Tokyo Clinic by providing fetal ultrasound and prenatal consultation.

From our team of 50+ doctors

User testimonials

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Emergency department

Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha Wisconsin, USA

Caroline M. Doan, DO

Caroline M. Doan, DO

Internal medicine

Signify Health

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Neurology

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Psychiatry

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dale Mueller, MD

Dale Mueller, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular surgery

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Associates

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care

Penn State Health

View our medical experts