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Yellow Green Discharge?

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Overview of Yellow Green Discharge

Clear or white vaginal discharge is normal for women, but yellow green discharge may indicate an infection “down there.” This could be a sign of a benign (yet very annoying) yeast infection or a sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia or trichomoniasis.

Promptly diagnosing and treating abnormally colored discharge is crucial. When left untreated, trichomoniasis and other STDs can cause permanent reproductive damage. But don’t worry, provided these symptoms are diagnosed and treated early, yellow green discharge will be a thing of the past.

Causes of Yellow Green Discharge

  • Sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
    • Trichomoniasis
    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea
  • Complications of STDs such as pelvic inflammatory disease or cervicitis
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis

Yellow Green Discharge & Common STD Symptoms

This type of discharge may be accompanied by other symptoms when an STD is present. When abnormal vaginal discharge is a symptom of trichomoniasis, other symptoms include the following:

  • An unusual odor, an itching or burning sensation 
  • Pain during sex
  • Discomfort during urination
  • Genital irritation

Chlamydia and gonorrhea symptoms are very similar and include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge that can be yellow, green or white
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea or vomitting 

Diagnosing Yellow Green Discharge

The first step towards diagnosing discharge is STD testing. A test for trichomoniasis, chlamydia and gonorrhea is strongly recommended. STD testing is available at a local lab or even through an at-home STD testing kit for ultimate privacy and convenience. After testing, results will return in a few short days.

If you STD test comes back negative (or you are not at risk for STDs), a yeast infection or bacterial infection may be to blame. A doctor can conduct further STD testing.

Treating Yellow Green Discharge

Discharge and other symptoms will subside upon treatment. If caused by trichomoniasis, the doctor will prescribe the medication metronidazole. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are each treated with different antibiotics. STD testing must take place before treatment is administered to obtain a correct diagnose; these three STDs all cause abnormal discharge, but required different medication. 

Important: Do not engage in any sexual activity until you have finished treatment. Any partners must test for trichomoniasis and other STDs to avoid passing infections back and forth.

When yellow or green discharge is caused by a vaginal yeast infection, over-the-counter or prescription medication can cure the infection. Bacterial vaginosis and vaginitis are treated with prescription medications.

Understanding STDs in Women

A certain level of vaginal discharge is normal in women. It's important to be aware of what is normal for your body, so you can recognize irregular STD symptoms.

STDs chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are all known to cause abnormal vaginal discharge - anything from frothy, green discharge to thick, cottage-cheese discharge. These three common STDs are curable, but it is important to diagnose them early before complications occur.

If you have been potentially exposed to an STD, have STD testing performed promptly; don't wait until symptoms (such as abnormal vaginal discharge or genital discomfort) appear. Believe it or not, most STDs in women do not show symptoms. For example, approximately 3.7 million people are infected with trichomoniasis, but only 30% experience symptoms.

Left untreated, STDs chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility or other serious reproductive problems in women. Untreated trichomoniasis can increase one's risk of contracting other STDs and HIV.


Written by Abby Morgan

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