Yellow Discharge Before Period: Any Itchy, smell, odor? 10 Top Causes

Yellow Discharge Before Period Any Itchy, smell, odor 10 Top Causes

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:08 am

Do you experience yellow discharge before period and feel it’s abnormal? Do you feel vaginal itching, smell or odor down there? This guide will explain the causes of yellow discharge in women before period, when its abnormal and due to pregnancy.

Yellow discharge is usually due to an infection. However, typical white vaginal discharge can turn yellow on exposure to air. This occurs due to oxidation on contact with air.

In some women, implantation bleeding may be the first pregnancy sign, and though may come out as brown discharge, some women may see a yellowish brown discharge before period. Implantation bleeding is a sign you are pregnant, and if you feel weak with other symptoms of pregnancy, you should take a test and inform your doctor.

While it’s possible your yellow vaginal discharge is nothing serious, it could be due to Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and trichomoniasis infection. In women who douche or have a severe vaginal yeast infection, they may experince a yellow discharge too.


How does normal vaginal discharge look like?

Vaginal discharge is a natural way the vagina keeps itself clean. It consists of bacteria, mucus discharge from the cervix and epithelial cell. It is without odor and has no foul smell.

The presence of inflammation (redness, vaginal itching, soreness of the vulva) is abnormal.

Most women discharge are usually white, brown or thick white discharge. White discharge is the most common discharge in women. However, women can also experience brown discharge. Brown discharge is normal in women and could be due to implantation bleeding as an early pregnancy sign.


What causes yellow discharge before period?

Yellow discharge before period is mostly healthy, though it is due to an infection. It could be due to the removal of old endometrial tissue covering the uterine wall. This can occur before and after your period and clears on its own. However, yellow discharge can be due to an infection caused by:

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis


1.  Chlamydia infection

Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and affects both men and women. However, it only shows symptoms in 30 percent of women that are infected. This means that about 70 percent of women and men infected will not show symptoms.

Therefore, it is possible to develop complications of chlamydia without any symptoms of infection. Some chlamydia symptoms in women are

  • Pain while urinating
  • Low abdomen pain
  • Yellow vaginal discharge or pus like discharge
  • Fever (high body temperature)
  • Pain during intercourse

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Early diagnosis and prevention of chlamydia is important to prevent any complication of the disease. Some complications of chlamydia include

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Ectopic pregnancy. This is because the infection can ascend the genital tract through the cervix to affect the fallopian tubes. This will result in the growth of the fertilized ovum outside the uterus.
  • Infertility. Any damage to the fallopian tube and vaginal infections can cause infertility. If you have difficulty getting pregnant after previous untreated infection, then you should inform your doctor.
  • In pregnancy, chlamydia infection can affect the baby leading to preterm labor and transmission to the baby during childbirth.

Therefore, if you develop yellow discharge with any of the above symptoms you should inform your doctor.


2.  Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection and can affect both women and men. It can cause yellow vaginal discharge in women. About 50 to 90 percent of women do not show gonorrhea symptoms. However, if not treated can have long term effects in these women.

The WHO estimated that there is 88 million new gonorrhea infection each year. Gonorrhea symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
  • Yellow discharge or white vaginal discharge with odor or pus like discharge
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Low abdominal pain
  • Fever

Since gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted use of condom and abstinence can prevent contact of the infection. The good news is that gonorrhea can be treated and cured. Early gonorrhea treatment is important for prevention of complications which include:

  • Premature delivery in pregnancy
  • Threatened miscarriage or miscarriage
  • Increased chance to get infected by other sexually transmitted diseases including HIV
  • Bartholin abscess
  • Infertility


3.  Trichomonas infection

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection too. It can cause yellow discharge in women. About 70 percent of women will not show symptoms of trichomonas infection. However, you may experience any of this trichomoniasis symptoms if you have the infection

  • Vaginal itching
  • Foul smelling yellow discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Low abdomen pain

If not treated early can lead to long term infertility problems in women. Some of the other complications of trichomonas are

  • Increased transmission of other STDs in women including HIV
  • preterm delivery and premature babies

If you experience yellow vaginal discharge with the above symptoms, then it’s vital that you inform your doctor. Also, since not all women will show symptoms, it is recommended you test yourself for STIs yearly.


4.  Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis can cause yellow green discharge in women. Though not sexually transmitted, it has been shown to cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women if not treated. Transmission of BV is common in women that use vaginal douching and unprotected intercourse. Also, if your partner is uncircumcised with the infection, you can be infected.

Common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include

  • Fishy smelling discharge that is yellow in color.
  • No pain or soreness
  • Some women may experience mild itching of the vagina

The good news is that symptoms and signs of bacterial vaginosis (BV) can be treated and cured.


How is yellow vaginal discharge treated in women?

If you have yellow discharge before period then you may have an infection. Inform your doctor of your symptoms. The causes of yellow discharge can be treated easily and cured.

Your doctor will also ask you some questions to determine the cause of your infection. Some of the questions are:

  • Any history of unsafe intercourse?
  • Any history of sharing sex toys?
  • Are you having abnormal vaginal discharge?
  • Any fever or low abdomen pain?
  • Are you having difficulty in getting pregnant?
  • Any vaginal itching?
  • Any previously untreated foul smelling discharge?

In addition, some other test will be carried out. This is to determine the cause of the infection.

If the cause of the infection is due to chlamydia, it can be treated with azithromycin and doxycycline. In pregnancy, amoxicillin can be used because it does not affect the baby.

If the cause of your vaginal discharge is due to bacterial vaginosis, it can be treated with metronidazole (Flagyl).

Gonorrhea infections are treated with ceftriaxone and ampicillin. They are both safe in pregnancy. Early treatment of yellow discharge will prevent PID in women.


How can yellow discharge be prevented in women?

  • Avoid having unprotected intercourse
  • Use condoms
  • Abstinence is the best way to prevent any sexually transmitted infection.
  • Stop vaginal douching
  • Early treatment of infection
  • Reduce sexual partners and counsel your partners on the need to get tested and treated. This is because you can get reinfected again.
  • Inform people or friends you had intercourse with to get tested too. This will prevent further spread of the infection.


Frequently asked questions about Yellow discharge

You asked and we answered your questions on yellow vaginal discharge.

What causes yellow discharge before period?

Yellow discharge before period may be due to the removal of old blood in your womb. It is normal in women and usually disappears when your period starts. However, if it is smelly or with odor, then it’s abnormal. If you also have a fever and low abdomen pain, you should inform your doctor.

What causes yellow discharge after period?

This is not usually a problem except you experience fever, itching or foul vaginal discharge. After your menstruation, some of the remnant endometrial tissues covering the uterus will be expelled. This comes out as yellow discharge or dark discharge in women.

Is yellow discharge before period sign of pregnancy?

A light yellow discharge in pregnancy may not be abnormal. In the first trimester, yellow spotting before your next period may be a sign you’re pregnant.

Is yellow discharge due to a yeast infection?

Yeast infection discharge is usually white clumpy discharge that can sometimes be yellow. However, most women with a yeast infection will have white vaginal discharge that is cheese like with a beer-like smell.


Now it’s your turn, let us know if you experience abnormal vaginal discharge. Join the conversation and share your experiences.

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