Last updated on April 30th, 2019 at 02:33 pm
Question: What causes yellow discharge no odor? Is it normal or due to a vaginal infection?
Whether you are expecting your period or after the end of menstruation, yellow discharge with or without odor may cause you to worry something is wrong.
First of all, your vaginal discharge is a natural protective way you avoid infections. Secondly, if you are having a discharge that’s not whitish, it doesn’t necessarily always mean something is wrong. In fact, you can have a brown, yellow or milky discharge with virtually no health problem.
The truth is, from time to time during your menstrual cycle, your discharge may change its typical whitish color to something else. If you are concerned, you are not alone.
Here is an email I received from one of my readers
Hi Dr. Dunn
I feel like I have a vaginal infection, but I’m not sure if these are the signs. For two weeks now, I have been experiencing a yellow discharge with itching and a foul smell, especially in the evening.
I also feel pain in my lower abdomen and discomfort while urinating. Are these signs that I have infections and what should I do?
If you have yellow discharge without smell, it’s nothing to worry about. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of inflammation down there, you must inform your doctor right away.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, and severe yeast infection may cause you to have a yellowish discharge.
This article explains why you have yellow discharge no odor, when its abnormal and when you must talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
Is yellow discharge no smell normal?
Vaginal discharge is a normal part of every woman’s life, and it works to fight against infections and also keep your vaginal area clean naturally.
During different times in your menstrual cycle, it’s not abnormal that you may see a thick, watery or creamy vaginal discharge.
Your hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, affect the way your vaginal discharge looks like and feel like.
Glands in your cervix produce mucus that moves into your vaginal area removing dead cells and debris. Normally, vaginal discharge is whitish without any smell.
However, you can experience a light yellow discharge when your discharge is exposed to air. This occurs because of oxidation, and you don’t have to panic if your discharge is yellow without odor.
If you are experiencing a yellow discharge before period no odor, it could be a sign of pregnancy too. Implantation bleeding causes light spotting that may change your discharge to yellow or brown.
To be certain you are pregnant, it’s important you take a pregnancy test. Though, breast swelling and pain, body weakness, mood swings, waist pain, light abdominal pain and a missed period are signs you could be pregnant.
Yellow discharge no odor: When to worry?
Remember that most likely a yellowish discharge no odor means nothing wrong and you don’t have to be scared.
Nevertheless, you should see your doctor if you are experiencing
- Persistent lower abdominal pain
- Severe vaginal pain
- Heavy menstrual period
- Painful urination
- Occasional greenish discharge
- Lower back pain for weeks now
- Symptoms that suggest you are pregnant
- Pain during sexual intercourse
What causes yellow discharge with odor?
While it’s possible your yellow discharge may not mean an infection, if you have yellow discharge with itching, smell, lower abdominal pain, and fever, it could be due to something more serious. Here are possible causes of yellow discharge with odor.
1. Chlamydia infection
Chlamydia is a common infection women catch after unprotected sexual intercourse. So, if you notice a yellow-colored discharge with itching, it’s possible it could be chlamydia.
If you do not use condoms or totally abstain from sexual intercourse, you can get chlamydia. Chlamydia infections affect about 4.2% of women worldwide.
Commonly, a lot of women will have chlamydia without knowing, and this is because symptoms may be absent for a long time.
However, if you become symptomatic, chlamydia symptoms begin to show up after three weeks of exposure to the bacteria.
Apart from yellow discharge with itching and odor, other symptoms are
- Difficulty in conceiving
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Vaginal spotting between periods
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Frequent urge to pee
- Smelly vaginal discharge
If you experience these symptoms with a yellowish discharge, it’s time to see your doctor.
You should also know that chlamydia can cause problems with a woman’s fertility if not quickly treated. It can spread up to your cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes resulting in widespread inflammation and pain.
If chlamydia affects the fallopian tube, it may cause irreversible damage and scarring resulting in future ectopic pregnancy or infertility.
Treatment of chlamydia is quick and easy. Your doctor will request samples of your vaginal discharge to be sure of the organism causing the infection. Treatment follows after culture, and if you take your medications as prescribed, you will feel better in a few weeks time.
2. Gonorrhea infection
Sexually active women that are between the ages of 15 and 25 years are prone to catch sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Both infections can make you have a yellow discharge with itching, and if not quickly treated may cause an unpleasant smell down there with possible complications listed here.
Apart from a yellow discharge, you may also experience fever, low abdomen pain, back pain, pain during sexual intercourse, burning sensation while urinating, and body weakness.
The truth is, just like chlamydia, a lot of women will have gonorrhea without any symptoms at all. If you discharge smell, see your doctor for evaluation.
Yellow discharge with itching: Could it be a yeast infection?
It’s normal that young girls experience yellow discharge without itching. If you do, and you have no smell too, its nothing serious.
However, if you have a yellow discharge with itching, it could be due to chlamydia, trichomoniasis, forgotten tampoon, and a severe yeast infection.
Women may experience mild, moderate or severe symptoms of a yeast infection. Common symptoms if you have yeast is vaginal itching for days with soreness, pain while having intercourse, swelling of the vulva and redness.
In severe infection, you may have mild spotting that causes a yellowish vaginal discharge. It’s best to see your doctor for further evaluation.