The presence of yellow discharge does not always indicate a problem, especially if it has a light yellow coloration. This type of discharge is normal in some women who present thicker discharge, especially during ovulation.
However, if the yellow discharge is accompanied by a foul smell or other symptoms such as itching in the genital area or pain while urinating it may be indicative of an infection.
Therefore, whenever there is any doubt about the vaginal discharge it is very important to consult a gynecologist to identify the problem and start the most appropriate treatment, which can be quite different according to the cause of the discharge.
Candidiasis is another very common infection caused by the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans inside the vagina and can lead to the appearance of a yellow discharge. Usually candidiasis is more common in women who have weakened immune systems or who have been taking antibiotics.
Other symptoms that may also indicate candidiasis include very pale yellow discharge, but with small clots, resembling curd cheese, intense itching and burning sensation during intercourse.
What to do: A good way to eliminate the excess fungus and fight candidiasis is to keep the vaginal area clean and to wear cotton panties to allow the skin to breathe. In addition, it is also recommended you see your gynecologist to start using an antifungal vaginal ointment such as Fluconazole or Clotrimazole, which may help to relieve symptoms more quickly.
2. Sexually transmitted diseases
STDs are relatively common infections that can occur in women who have unprotected sexual contact, especially when you have more than one partner. Some STDs such as trichomoniasis or chlamydia can cause the appearance of vaginal discharge that range from yellow to gray to greenish.
In addition to vaginal discharge, there may be other symptoms such as itching in the genital area, pain while urinating and intense redness, for example.
What to do: When a sexually transmitted disease is suspected, see your gynecologist to confirm the infection and start the most appropriate treatment, which often includes the use of antibiotics. See the list of the main STDs and how they are treated.
Inflammation of the urethra, known scientifically as urethritis, can be caused by trauma to the urethra or due to an infection, and is therefore more frequent in women who have recurrent urinary tract infections or who do not have adequate intimate hygiene.
In these cases the vaginal discharge may have a yellow-green color and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as burning when urinating, difficulty in starting to urinate and itching in the region, for example.
What to do: You should see your gynecologist to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment with an antibiotic such as Azithromycin or Ceftriaxone.
4. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection of the female reproductive organs that usually begins in the vagina and progresses to the uterus, causing the appearance of a yellow discharge and other symptoms like fever above 38ºC, pain in the foot of the belly and vaginal bleeding.
What to do: It is very important to see your gynecologist if PID is suspected because it is usually necessary to start treatment with antibiotics for about 2 weeks. During treatment you should also avoid having sex, to facilitate recovery.
Yellowish vaginal discharge in pregnancy
During pregnancy, yellowing of vaginal discharge can also be caused by trichomoniasis, which can result in premature delivery or a low birth weight in the newborn. See what ate the possible causes for vaginal discharge during pregnancy and when it might be serious.
It is important that women see their gynecologist or obstetrician so that the best treatment is followed, which can be done with the use of Metronidazole or Tinidazole, for example.
Important tips to follow during treatment
Although the treatment may vary according to the cause of the discharge, there are some tips that can be important in any case. One of these tips is that your partner should also do the treatment, even if he does not show symptoms, to prevent the person from being contaminated again.
During treatment, it is recommended:
- Use a condom to avoid contaminating your partner;
- Avoid doing vaginal showers because the showers remove the bacterial layer of the intimate region responsible for protecting that region from infections;
- Avoid using perfumes or intimate hygiene sprays as they alter the vaginal pH;
- Wear cotton underwear because cotton does not cause irritation;
- Avoid wearing tight pants or shorts, preferring to wear skirts or dresses to allow the area to be ventilated.
Another tip for the treatment of yellow discharge is to avoid internal absorbents, preferring the external ones.