Read below about green vaginal discharge, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your green vaginal discharge from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Green fluid from the vagina

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Green Vaginal Discharge Symptoms

Vaginal discharge is a mixture of cells and bodily fluid excreted through the vagina. Normal discharge can vary in amount, color, and consistency, but most often the quantity and quality of vaginal discharge changes depending on the stage of your menstrual cycle. [5]

Nevertheless, vaginal discharge that differs significantly from your normal pattern may be a sign of an underlying problem. Abnormal vaginal discharge may have an unusual odor and appearance. [5]

The discharge may appear green or brown instead of white or clear, and along with change in color you may also experience:

Green Vaginal Discharge Causes Overview

Causes of abnormal vaginal discharge are often readily diagnosed and treatable, so it is important to follow up on your symptoms and seek medical attention promptly once you experience symptoms.

Infectious:

The female reproductive system is open to the environment via the vagina, making it particularly susceptible to infection by not only outside organisms but organisms already present within the vagina. [1,2]

  • Bacterial: Bacteria that normally inhabits the vagina can overgrow and cause infection that leads to abnormal vaginal discharge. Furthermore, sexually transmitted bacteria such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause similar symptoms. [1]
  • Fungal: Yeast is a type of fungus normally present in the vagina under a delicate balance. When this balance is disrupted, yeast can also overgrow and cause infection that results in vaginal itching and abnormal discharge. [2]

Other green vaginal discharge causes:

  • Obstructive: Any object inserted into the vagina that can obstruct the flow of vaginal fluid may result in abnormal vaginal discharge. Tampons left in the vagina for too long are often a frequent offender. [3]
  • Topical: Certain scented sprays and soaps and hygiene practices, such as douching, can disrupt the vaginal fluid balance and result in abnormal vaginal discharge. [3]
  • Anatomical: Rarely, an abnormal anatomical opening between the vagina and the rectum (called a fistula) allows feces to leak into the vagina, resulting in what may appear to be brown discharge with a foul odor. [4]

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Green Vaginal Discharge

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced green vaginal discharge. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.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.

    Treatment leads to a 100% cure rate in 7-14 days

    Rarity:
    Rare
    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

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  2. 2.Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female genital structures like the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary, and the surrounding abdominal wall. It is typically caused by N. Gonorrhoeae or C. Trachomatis.

    Prognosis after treatment within 3 days of symptom onset is great (88%-100%). Those that are hospitalized, older, or have had gynecological surgery have a worse time with this infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    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

Green Vaginal Discharge Treatments and Relief

Try these at-home solutions and lifestyle changes to combat your green vaginal discharge symptoms, find relief, and prevent future occurrences:

  • For itching or swelling, use a cold compress like an ice pack wrapped in a wash cloth to alleviate discomfort. [7]
  • For suspected fungal infections, you can buy an over-the-counter antifungal cream. [7]
  • Limit douching and use of scented soaps to restore balance to your vaginal secretions and prevent abnormal discharge. [7]
  • Use a condom during sexual intercourse to prevent sexually transmitted infections. [1]

However, if your green vaginal discharge symptoms continue to persist, make an appointment with your doctor. [3]

Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are available for many sexually transmitted infections and bacteria. [3]
  • Surgery: If your abnormal discharge is the result of a fistula, you may need to have it surgically closed by a surgeon to restore normal function. [4]

FAQs About Green Vaginal Discharge

Here are some frequently asked questions about green vaginal discharge.

What color is the discharge from a bacterial infection?

Bacterial infection can cause discharge of many colors. If the infection is from a sexually transmitted infection (STI), discharge may be yellow, white, red, or grey. Trichomonas is a microscopic parasite that causes a sexually transmitted infection. It can commonly cause a grey green vaginal discharge. [3,8]

Which STD causes green discharge?

STD (sexually transmitted disease) is also known as STI (sexually transmitted infection). Green discharge is commonly associated with trichomonas vaginalis which is a common STI (or STD). If one has trichomonas vaginalis, it is also likely that a concurrent infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia is present. You should seek medical treatment for both diseases in addition to trichomonas. [8]

Why do I have smelly green discharge?

A smelly (fishy) green discharge is a common sign of an infection with trichomonas vaginalis. This infection is caused by sexual activity with another individual who is infected. Commonly this can occur through contact of mucus membranes. Because it only tends to colonize genitals, it is transmitted through vagino-vaginal contact or penile-vaginal contact. [8]

Is light green discharge normal during pregnancy?

No, light green discharge is not normal during pregnancy. It is a sign of a bacterial infection with trichomonas vaginalis which should be treated with antibiotic medications that are safe for your baby. To confirm that green discharge is a sign of trichomonas you should visit your physician and seek proper diagnosis and treatment. [8]

What causes light green discharge without odor?

Light green discharge can occur with or without odor and is usually caused by trichomonas vaginalis. The odor that it usually causes can be subtle and can be elicited by the addition of certain chemicals as a test. If you believe that you have a sexually transmitted infection you should seek medical treatment. [8]

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Green Vaginal Discharge

  • Q.Are you sexually active?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Q.When was your last menstrual period?
  • Q.Do you bleed after having sex?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our green vaginal discharge symptom checker to find out more.

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Green Vaginal Discharge Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced green vaginal discharge have also experienced:

    • 24% Vaginal Itch or Burning
    • 18% Vaginal Discharge
    • 9% Foul - Smelling Vaginal Odor
  • People who have experienced green vaginal discharge had symptoms persist for:

    • 39% Less Than a Week
    • 26% Less Than a Day
    • 18% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced green vaginal discharge were most often matched with:

    • 55% Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
    • 44% Vaginal Trichomonas Infection
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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References

  1. Diseases Characterized by Vaginal Discharge. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 2010. CDC Link.
  2. Dou N, Li W, Zhao E, Wang C, Xiao Z, Zhou H. Risk Factors for Candida Infection of the Genital Tract in the Tropics. African Health Sciences. 2014;14(4):835-839. PubMed Link.
  3. Vaginal Discharge. American Academy of Fami ly Physicians: FamilyDoctor. Published April 1, 2014. FamilyDoctor Link.
  4. deBeche-Adams TH, Bohl JL. Rectovaginal Fistulas. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. 2010;23(2):99-103. Clinics and Rectal Surgery.
  5. Vaginal Discharge. NHS. Published January 17, 2018. NHS Link.
  6. Huffman GB. Diagnosing Uncomplicated Cystitis in Women. American Family Physician. 2002;66(10):1943-1944. AFP Link.
  7. Vaginal Yeast Infection: Care Instructions. Kaiser Permanente. Published October 6, 2017. Kaiser Permanente Link.
  8. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published July 14, 2017. CDC Link.