Yellow Pus Vaginal Discharge Symptom, Causes & Questions
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A yellow pus vaginal discharge can be alarming. Many of its possible causes are common and can be self-treated, however, some causes are more serious and require a doctor's visit. Read below to learn 8 possible causes of yellow pus vaginal discharge and ways to treat it.
8 causes of yellow pus vaginal discharge
This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
Bacterial vaginosis is an inflammation of the vagina due to overgrowth of the bacteria which are normally present.
It is not considered an STD (sexually transmitted disease) but nearly all cases are found in women after unprotected sexual contact, especially with multiple partners. Frequent douching is also a factor.
Male partners do not carry this condition, but it can spread between female partners.
Common symptoms include an itchy, foul-smelling discharge that may look grayish or greenish, as well as burning during urination. However, some women have no symptoms.
The greatest risks of bacterial vaginosis are secondary. The symptoms can be similar to actual STDs and so should not be ignored. This condition makes a woman more vulnerable to actual STDs, as well as to pelvic inflammatory disease and to infections following any gynecologic surgery.
Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis are at risk for premature or low-birth-weight babies.
Diagnosis is made through symptoms, and/or pelvic exam and vaginal swab.
Treatment consists of oral medication, and sometimes a cream or gel that is inserted into the vagina.
Top Symptoms: vaginal itch or burning, vulvovaginal odor, bloody vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, thick vaginal discharge
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Vaginal trichomonas infection
Trichomonas vaginalis infection (or "Trichomoniasis" or "trich") is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite of the same name. It affects over 3 million people per year, but only about 30% have any symptoms.
Top Symptoms: vaginal discharge, vulvovaginal odor, vaginal itch or burning, vaginal bleeding, white/gray vaginal discharge
Symptoms that always occur with vaginal trichomonas infection: vaginal discharge
Symptoms that never occur with vaginal trichomonas infection: vaginal ulcer
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Yeast infections are due to alterations in the balance of microscopic organisms in the vulvar and vaginal regions. The term "yeast infection" is most commonly used to describe symptoms caused by the fungus Candida albicans.
Symptoms include itching of the vaginal and vulva, burning, redness..
Symptoms of menopause
Menopause is the name for the natural process by which the menstrual cycle (period) stops happening in a woman. Usually, the process is gradual (takes months or years) and occurs from the age of 45 to 55 years. Menopause is officially diagnosed once a woman stops having a period for 12 months continuously. A woman with menopause will notice a decrease in the number and regularity of her periods until they completely stop. In addition, she may notice a number of symptoms that occur as a result of decreased estrogen levels, such as hot flashes, changes in mood, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, changes in libido, and changes in sexual function. Certain medications exist that can decrease these symptoms.
Top Symptoms: fatigue, delay in or irregular periods, vaginal discharge, anxiety, trouble sleeping
Symptoms that always occur with symptoms of menopause: delay in or irregular periods
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is the general term for a bacterial infection of a woman's reproductive organs.
PID is most often a complication of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. However, it is possible to get PID from other causes.
Any woman can be affected. It is most often found in sexually active women under age 25, especially those who have had PID before, have multiple partners, and/or douche frequently.
Symptoms include fever, lower abdominal pain, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain and/or bleeding during sex, and pain on urination.
Untreated PID can cause infertility due to damaged tissue in the reproductive tract, as well as chronic pelvic and abdominal pain. Unprotected sex partners will be infected as well.
Diagnosis is made through symptoms, pelvic examination, vaginal and cervical swabs, and urine tests.
Treatment is with a course of antibiotics. Be sure to finish all of the medication as directed, even when you begin feeling better.
To prevent PID, have all partners (male or female) tested for STDs and avoid unprotected sexual contact.
Top Symptoms: fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal discharge, nausea or vomiting, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain
Symptoms that always occur with pelvic inflammatory disease: fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge
Urgency: In-person visit
Atrophic vaginitis is a common condition that may affect up to 47% of postmenopausal women. It occurs due to low levels of estrogen which can be caused by menopause, medical treatments, and hormonal conditions, among other things.
Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include vaginal dry..
Ovulation pain (mittelschmerz) or midcycle spotting
Mittelschmerz is a German word that translates as "middle pain." It refers to the normal discomfort sometimes felt by women during ovulation, which is at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle.
Each month, one of the two ovaries forms a follicle that holds an egg cell. The pain occurs when the follicle ruptures and releases the egg.
This is a dull, cramping sensation that may begin suddenly in only one side of the lower abdomen. In a few cases, there may be vaginal spotting. Mittelschmerz occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period.
Actual Mittelschmerz is not associated with nausea, vomiting, fever, or severe pelvic pain. These symptoms should be evaluated by a medical provider since they can indicate a more serious condition.
Diagnosis is made through patient history.
Treatment requires only over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. An oral contraceptive will stop the symptoms, since it also stops ovulation.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), last period approximately 2 weeks ago, vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, pelvis pain
Symptoms that always occur with ovulation pain (mittelschmerz) or midcycle spotting: last period approximately 2 weeks ago
Normal case of vaginal discharge
It is perfectly normal for every woman to have a clear or thin white vaginal discharge which is more or less constant.
The body protects the vaginal tissues by producing this light mucus from glands in the cervix and in the vaginal walls. This keeps the tissues lubricated so that they do not dry out and become irritated, and keeps the tissues slightly acidic because that helps to kill off any harmful germs.
The discharge is also a cleaning mechanism, clearing away any dead cells or bacteria as it moves out of the vagina. Douching is not necessary for normal discharge.
Vaginal discharge may change at different stages of life. During pregnancy, it becomes white and milky in appearance.
During and after menopause, the discharge lessens due to the drop in estrogen levels. If the dryness causes irritation or difficulty with sexual activity, a gynecologist can recommend an appropriate remedy.
Normal vaginal discharge never causes itching or has a foul smell, and is never any color other than clear or white.
Top Symptoms: vaginal discharge, mild vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, clear vaginal discharge, severe vaginal discharge
Symptoms that always occur with normal case of vaginal discharge: vaginal discharge
Symptoms that never occur with normal case of vaginal discharge: vaginal itch or burning, painful urination, severe vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, abdominal pain (stomach ache), bleeding after sex, missed period, vulvovaginal odor
Urgency: Wait and watch
Questions your doctor may ask about yellow pus vaginal discharge
- Are you sexually active?
- Do you feel pain when you urinate?
- When was your last menstrual period?
- Do you bleed after having sex?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Yellow pus vaginal discharge symptom checker statistics
People who have experienced yellow pus vaginal discharge have also experienced:
- 23% Vaginal Itch Or Burning
- 13% Foul-Smelling Vaginal Odor
- 13% Vaginal Discharge
People who have experienced yellow pus vaginal discharge were most often matched with:
- 50% Vaginal Trichomonas Infection
- 37% Bacterial Vaginosis
- 12% Yeast Infection
People who have experienced yellow pus vaginal discharge had symptoms persist for:
- 39% Less than a week
- 26% Less than a day
- 18% Over a month
Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.