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    Health Tips

     Types of Vaginal Discharge, what they mean and what is normal?  

    Written on 8 July 2019

    Expert Verified

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    Types of white vaginal discharge and its causes

    Vaginal discharge serves the function of a housekeeper carrying away all the dead cells & bacteria from the cervix and vagina. It keeps the vagina clean and prevents any chance of infection.

    The type of vaginal discharge such as odour and colour can range from clear to milky white. For example, the amount of discharge will vary when you are breastfeeding or sexually aroused as compared to when you are pregnant.

    However, if you feel that the smell, colour is different from usual along with condition such as vaginal itching and burning, it can be the result of an infection.

    Causes of abnormal discharge

    Here is a list of things which can cause an unusual discharge.

    • Use of antibiotics

    • Bacterial infection, common in case of pregnant women

    • Cervical cancer

    • Usage of Birth control pills

    • Sexually transmitted infections such as Gonorrhoea

    • Diabetes

    • Use of scented soaps and lotions

    • Thinning & Drying of vaginal walls during the menopause phase

    • Yeast infection

    • Irritation in the vagina

    Types of Abnormal Discharge and its cause

    1) Brown or bloody

    Cause - Cervical cancer, irregular menstrual cycle.

    2) Pink

    Cause - Shedding of the uterine lining occurring after childbirth.

    3) Yellow or greenish

    Cause - Possible case of Gonorrhoea, a STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) disease which affects the urethra and rectum area.

    4) Thick and white

    Cause - Possible case of yeast infection which might result in pain and swelling around the vulva region and painful sexual activity.

    5) White, grey, or yellow with odour

    Cause - Possible case of bacterial vaginosis resulting in vaginal inflammation.

    Diagnosis of abnormal discharge

    Your doctor can start the diagnosis by confirming about your medical history and include questions such as,

    • When did the excess discharge begin?

    • What is the colour of discharge?

    • Presence of any odour or smell?

    • Presence of an itching or pain around the vagina

    The doctor can also prescribe a list of tests to conduct further examination.

    Treatment of abnormal discharge

    The treatment will depend on your current condition. For example, if you have a Yeast infection, the doctor can prescribe an anti-fungal cream or an antibiotic pill.

    You can also prevent vaginal infection by taking the following steps:

    • Keeping the area clean by washing using a mild soap

    • Avoid usage of any scented soap or sprays

    • After using the washroom, always wipe from front to back to prevent any bacterial infection

    Is this helpful?



    Verified Article by

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO
    Written by



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