During pregnancy, if a vaginal discharge is white or clear, there is no cause for concern, although you may be a little bit worried about it. It may also appear creamy or stringy (just like egg whites).
In fact, it’s a common early pregnancy sign and is caused by rapidly changing hormones. Don’t worry…your baby is not in harm!
But if the discharge has mucus which takes on strange colors and emits foul smells, then it is taken as a cause for concern.
Still, depending on the circumstances, a light yellowish discharge may or may not be a cause sign of an serious medical issue. However, if the discharge is thick, chunky, and smelly, it is likely a sign of an STD.
There are two types of yellow vaginal discharge; normal and abnormal. Let’s have a look at each of them, their causes and how you can treat them. Read on for all the information you need.
Table of Contents
Normal Yellow Discharge
A woman can expect a neutral light yellow vaginal discharge during the third trimester of your pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, you will experience a lot of yellow secretion, which is a normal sign that indicates you’re going into labor. This is called a normal discharge, which is also known as leukorrhea. It appears thin, milky, white and has a mild odor to it.
Usual Cause of Pale Yellow Discharge: Hormones
The cause of this condition is the natural hormone estrogen. Your fat cells, ovaries and adrenal glands produce it in an abundant quantity because of hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition in dietary fiber, stress or excess body fat. Fortunately, it is a usual condition for pregnancy that does not require any urgent medical treatment.
Yellow Discharge Also Caused by a Dry Vagina
Yellow vaginal discharge is normal for some women. Doctors say that a clear or cloudy yellow secretion can occur when the vagina is too dry. The only time for you to be concerned is when your discharge starts to emit some kind of odor. But if there isn’t any odor and you don’t experience any other symptoms, then you can relax.
Change in Vaginal Discharge? Check in With your Doctor
Still, the moment your discharge or mucus goes from white to yellow, tell your doctor about it just to make sure that there aren’t any underlying medical conditions that may have caused this change. It can also be a sign of more serious problems.
Learn more about Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy
Do you want to find out more about pregnancy yellow discharge? Then check out this short video below for all the details you need to know about it.
Abnormal Yellow Discharge
If you experience this during early pregnancy, is this a problem? Let’s find out.
This is something you need to take seriously because light yellowish discharge during the first or second trimester of your pregnancy is not a good sign. In fact, it can also be threatening because it is usually a precursor to an acute inflammatory process or another kind of infection. As such, abnormal discharge is followed by genital itching and burning and a foul smell as well.
Some of the most common causes of this kind of yellow discharge are Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Staphylococcus or colon bacilli. If your discharge appears bubbly yellow-green, you may have Trichomonas Vaginalis. However, if your discharge during pregnancy is bright yellow, then some of the signs you will notice include ovarian or tubal inflammation as well as vaginal bacterial infections.
If you notice any of these phenomena during your pregnancy, get in touch with your gynecologist, where you will undergo a series of crucial medical tests. That way, you will know if you have any kind of infection and whether you require any treatment for it.
Is Yellow Discharge a Sign of Pregnancy?
A common question that people have is whether or not it can be a sign of pregnancy. It is true that many people experience an increase in vaginal discharge when they are pregnant. It’s usually sticky and white, although it can be pale yellow.
This increased discharge is caused by changing hormones and increased blood flow to the area around your uterus and vagina. You should visit your doctor if the yellow discharge has a greenish tinge to it, smells bad, burns or itches, is very thick or watery or is accompanied by pain.
To learn more about early signs of pregnancy, check out the following resource: Implantation Bleeding and Other Signs of Pregnancy.
Causes of Abnormal Yellow Discharge
There are a number of reasons why you might experience abnormal yellow discharge during pregnancy. Here are a few of the most common ones.
Trichomonas vaginalis is an anaerobic protozoan parasite that causes a sexually-transmitted disease known as Trichomoniasis. This parasite is able to turn your discharge yellow-green, frothy and foul-smelling.
If you experience symptoms such as soreness, itching or swelling in the vaginal area, and painful urination, go see your doctor right away. Your doctor will perform some tests to see if Trichomoniasis is the cause of your discomfort. If proven positive, then you may be prescribed adequate antibiotics. On the plus side, this disease can be completely treated today.
A yellow vaginal discharge during pregnancy can be an alarming as it could be a sign for Gonorrhea. This disease is very dangerous, especially if you’re expecting. But thankfully, it can be treatable these days.
What happens is that gonorrhea grows in various places in the body’s mucous membranes. The bacteria can grow in moist, warm areas such as your vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, throat and mouth.
If your yellow discharge is cloudy and smelly with altered consistency, experience symptoms such as genital itching or burning and suffer from painful urination, then this infection is a problem. Other possible symptoms include pelvic pain, bleeding between periods and urinary incontinence.
If you experience any of these symptoms, then immediately visit your doctor to get tested for gonorrhea. Treatment for this includes taking an injectable or oral antibiotic.
The tell-tale sign of this is if you have foul, or fishy smelling discharge. It’s usually thin, watery and grey but it can also appear to be yellow. Unlike a yeast infection, the discharge isn’t chunky and it’s also not itchy.
Learn more about BV here: Bacterial Vaginosis.
Other Causes for Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy
Yellow discharge can also be caused by other conditions or infections such as:
- Yeast infection
All of these are alarming, so it’s essential to see your doctor at once. Remember that untreated infections like these ones can lead to more serious medical conditions, including infertility.
Causes of Yellow Discharge Before Your Period
For some women, experiencing an odorless yellow discharge is nothing to worry about, but for others, it could be a sign for a number of serious medical issues.
What about before your period, when you’re not pregnant? What are some of the possible causes, and are they a cause for concern?
A Short Menstrual Cycle
If your cycle is shorter than average, your secretion will appear brownish-yellow in color. This is due to a small amount of menstrual fluid. Women who undergo menopause will notice this as a result of hormonal changes.
Your Period Is Near
A light yellow watery secretion is a sign that you are nearing your period. This is caused by additional mucus produced by your vagina. But if the discharge has no foul smell or abnormal texture, there is no need to worry.
Some women even use discharge levels throughout their period to help with fertility. It’s known as the cervical mucus method.
If you’re close to having your period, you may also have a small amount of spotting which could resemble yellow vaginal discharge in some cases.
You May Have an Infection
The only way to tell a normal discharge from an abnormal one is its smell. If the odour is equal to that of a foul, fish-smelling one, then it is a definite sign that you are infected, and the likely culprit is bacterial vaginosis.
On the other hand, if you have clumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese, but doesn’t smell bad, then you probably have a yeast infection.
Check in with your family doctor to be sure instead of attempting self-diagnosis. This is especially vital when pregnant.
You’ve Started a New Diet
In rare cases, a yellow odourless discharge can be caused by a new kind of food or some vitamins.
Vulvovaginitis is another kind of infection, caused by inflammation of the vagina or vulva, that causes a yellow vaginal discharge. Whether it includes yeast infections, viruses or bacteria, you will experience symptoms of this disease such as vaginal pain, burning during urination, foul odor, as well as vaginal, itching, dryness and irritation.
Cervicitis is the inflammation of a woman’s cervix. It is caused by STDs such as Human Papillomavirus, Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, Herpes and Chlamydia.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
This condition most commonly leads to yellow or greenish discharge that has a strong odour. It usually results from an untreated STI that has spread through the reproductive system.
It can be serious, because if not treated, it can damage your uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.
Some other symptoms besides vaginal discharge are:
- Abdominal pain (dull)
- Irregular periods or spotting
Check in with your family doctor about this serious condition.
Some people experience some light bleeding, or a change in discharge around the time of ovulation.
Fluctuating hormones can have an impact on your periods, as well as discharge. The most common time for this is during perimenopause, with is the period of time leading up to menopause. It usually begins around the age of 50.
Besides periods and discharge, you may also experience weight gain, sleep troubles, mood swings, depression or anxiety and other things as well.
I Have Other Colours of Vaginal Discharge
Here’s some more information about the various kinds of discharge:
Finally, you can learn about How to Get Rid of Smelly Discharge.
What about Discharge When Breastfeeding?
Congratulations on starting your new family! Now that you’re breastfeeding, you may have noticed some changes in the amount and type of vaginal discharge. This is mostly due to changing hormone levels.
The most common type is clear, milky and white. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about.
You may also notice some bloody discharge after giving birth, which is known as lochia. This is also quite normal!
Finally, you may also note a browish or pink discharge which may in fact be your period resuming. Because you’re breastfeeding, it can just be a whole lot lighter than normal.
How Can I Prevent Problems with Discharge?
There are a number of things you can do to maintain optimal vaginal health. Read our quick tips and advice to help you avoid problems.
Practice Safe Sex
Use condoms with new partners, and especially if you have multiple partners. This will help to prevent sexually transmitted infections, which can lead to all sorts of complications if not treated. Prevention in the first place is always the best course of action!
Remember, good sex is safe, healthy sex. Don’t take the risk.
Air it Out
Remember that bacteria and yeast love to grow in warm, moist conditions. So, change out of that swimsuit or pair of bike shorts after a workout. Don’t wear underwear at night. Avoid tight leggings or pantyhose, etc.
Pay Attention to What you Eat and Drink
Try to drink lots of water and eat those fruits and veggies. This will help you body fight off any of the bad stuff.
Avoid Douching or Vaginal Soaps
These things can throw off the pH balance like nothing else! All you need to stay clean down there is water. Plain old water. Be sure to give that are a good rinse every time you take a shower or bath and you’ll be good to go.
If you have sex when your vagina is dry, you can cause little tears and abrasions. Ouch! Woman: get yourself some lube immediately!
Sure, these medications can save your life, but it doesn’t mean you should take them for every single tiny thing. Use sparingly and only when necessary. You may have further health complications later from overuse of these them.
Good Bathroom Hygiene
Maybe your mom told you this? Maybe she didn’t. But, you should always wipe from front to back instead of the other way around. This helps to prevent fecal matter from getting into your vagina.
How Can I Deal With Excessive Discharge?
You may be tempted just to wear panty liners, period panties or reusable cloth pantyliners every single day for weeks at a time. However, this isn’t always ideal. These things are not that breathable and can actually lead to further problems.
Plus, by not treating the underlying condition, things may in fact get worse. For example, if you have an infection or STI that requires antibiotics, wearing panty liners is going to do nothing to help you!
Please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy: Have your Say!
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Please note that this content is for informational purposes only and should not be take as medical advice. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider for the best care and advice specific to your situation.