Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

What is Vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is the fluid that is secreted from the glands of the vagina.
Normal vaginal discharge helps in the cleaning and moistening of the vagina. It also helps to prevent and fight infections.


A normal vaginal discharge is characterized by somewhat thin, sticky, and elastic fluid. The vaginal fluid may be clear, off-white, or white in color.
The consistency, color, and amount of discharges vary at different days during the monthly menstrual cycle. Although vaginal discharge is a healthy bodily function, there is also abnormal vaginal discharge.

Abnormal vaginal discharge may be characterized by their color/texture;

  1. Cloudy or yellow discharge may indicate Gonorrhea; the symptoms may include bleeding between periods, urinary incontinence, and pelvic pain.
  2. Bloody or brown discharge most often indicates irregular menstrual cycles, and in rare cases Cervical Cancer. It can be accompanied by other symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  3. Foamy, yellowish, or greenish discharge with a foul odor may indicate trichomoniasis. You may experience pain and itching while urinating.
  4. Thick, white, cheesy discharge most times indicates yeast infections. Other noticeable signs may include swelling, and pain around the vulva, itching, and painful sexual intercourse.
  5. White, Grey, or yellow discharge with fishy odor most times signifies bacterial vaginosis; you may also experience itching or burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina.
  6. Pink discharge usually indicates shedding of the lining of the uterine after childbirth.

Signs of abnormal vaginal discharge

• Foul odor
• Change in color; greenish, dark yellow, greyish or a pus-like color
• Thick or clumpy discharge
• Vaginal bleeding or spotting that is not menstrual fluid.
• Vaginal redness, itching, swelling, or a burning sensation.

What causes abnormal vaginal discharge?

Abnormal vaginal discharge is most commonly caused by infections which include:
• Yeast infections
• Bacterial infections
• Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
• Birth control pills
• Antibiotics misuse


The diagnosis of abnormal discharge is based on the health history and characteristics of the discharge fluid.


Treatment is focused on addressing the underlying cause. It is therefore advisable that you consult a doctor/ physician once you observe any abnormality in your discharge.
Gonorrhea – Antibiotics such as Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin.
Trichomoniasis – Antibiotics such as Metronidazole
Yeast infections – Clotrimazole, Fluconazole, Miconazole

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