Pinkish-brown Discharge: 12 Causes And When To See A Doctor

If you see no improvement within three days, or the symptoms worsen or come back after treatment, you should contact your health care provider again. It’s that tampons often contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them from the pesticides used on the cotton, as well as the manufacturing process. Candida and the many other germs that normally live in the vagina keep each other in balance. If the discharge is white, gray, or yellow and has a fishy odor, this is an indication of bacterial vaginosis. Your health care provider will consider other causes of vaginal discharge such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Some breast cancer treatments can cause more or different discharge. Abnormal discharge can happen when the vagina’s microbial community gets out of balance. HPV spreads through sexual contact. BV can only be properly treated with a prescription from your ob-gyn or health care provider, so you'll want to book it to your doc for an appointment if things seem fishy down there (pun 100 percent intended). Other factors that can cause imbalance include a weak immune system, pregnancy, and diabetes. In pregnant women, symptomatic bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis have been associated with premature deliveries and low birth weight babies. Brown discharge can be a sign of pregnancy and implantation.

These include chlamydia, gonorrhea (GC), and trichomoniasis.

And, last but not least, remember to always remove your tampons. “ Vaginas are self-cleaning ovens : If the yeast infection symptoms do not go away after a week, contact your gynecologist. One of the first signs of ectopic pregnancy is unusual vaginal bleeding, which may be pink or brown. “There are times when discharge amounts can change,” Burris says. The cause depends on what type of vaginitis you have: Vaginal discharge is normal – most women and girls get it. Sex partners should be tracked and treated appropriately to avoid re-infection.

Discharge varies in color, texture, and smell. This is caused by an imbalance of bacteria. Is there a cure for oral thrush?, the test was meant to simulate the daily disinfecting of dentures. We look at what's normal and what's not. This is a very serious condition, which is why it’s important to always visit your doctor if you suddenly have some unusual vaginal discharge going on.

It occurs in 1 out of 50 pregnancies. If you experience yellow, green, thick, or cottage-cheese-like vaginal discharge, these are symptoms of a problem that warrants a doctor’s care. The fungus can also cause diaper rash. Beginning or end of your period Your menstrual flow — the rate at which blood exits the vagina from the uterus — is generally slower at the beginning and end of your period. However, you should use a pregnancy test to check your hCG hormone level to confirm it is a pregnancy.

  • Additionally, during menopause, a woman should not have any type of vaginal bleeding, which is also a sign of uterine cancer.
  • The vagina becomes dry or atrophic.
  • In this case, the antibiotic kills the bacteria that normally protects and balances the yeast in the vagina.
  • Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection in the vagina caused by a parasite," says Dr."

Ovulation Spotting

Use them sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Uptodate, while probiotics are generally thought to be safe, clinicians say yeast infection home remedies aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and may be costly, ineffective and carry risks that aren’t fully understood or appreciated. This, too, is normal. They will look at your vulva and vagina and take a sample (swab) to be checked under a microscope, or sent for a lab test. Women with yeast infection of the vulva may have “small cuts” on the vulva due to friable skin of the area, and may have burning with urination. Irritation to the cervix from things like a gynecological exam or pap smears and even over-enthusiastic sex can cause brown discharge.

What are trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and viral vaginitis? These are all normal conditions. If this happens, they should see a doctor.

They are most likely to occur during a person’s childbearing years, commonly appearing on an ovary after it releases an egg and disappearing during menstruation.

What Is Trichomoniasis?

Infections spread during sexual contact. Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus, such as around the ovaries, rectum, fallopian tubes, or vagina. What matters is that you know what *your* normal generally looks like—that way you're better able to spot when your discharge looks or feels a little off. Slower blood oxidizes, which causes it to turn brown. It usually contains a little bit of blood. A late discharge at the end of your period can look brown instead of red. These symptoms may be worse after the menstrual period.

What Causes Brown Discharge?

For example, fluids tend to be a bit heavier around the time a girl ovulates, which is when an egg is released from the ovary and moves into the fallopian tube. If you are pregnant and experiencing spotting, you should consult with your doctor. The clumps resemble cottage cheese and besides itching, there can also be burning and pain.

If You Are Experiencing Thick, White Vaginal Discharge With Burning Or Itching And Suspect You Have A Yeast Infection:

Left untreated, it can lead to cervical cancer in women. Vaginitis signs and symptoms can include: If the discharge is only slightly yellow and there are no other symptoms, there may be no infection. Gonorrhea, another STI, can also cause vaginitis symptoms. The vagina normally contains yeasts, which help maintain the bacterial balance in the body. A vaginal discharge is sometimes present with this infection, but not always. Let’s find out more about brown itchy discharge! There are a number of reasons why you may have vaginal discharge.

Anyone who has gone through menopause and not had a period for at least 1 year should see a doctor if they experience vaginal bleeding. Change out of wet swimsuits or other damp clothes as soon as you can. Symptoms include a heavy, white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge, itching and burning in the vaginal and vulvar region, and sometimes pain. Forgotten tampon or foreign body. These include:

Don't use harsh soaps, such as those with deodorant or antibacterial action, or bubble bath. This condition happens due to an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in your vagina. If you’re on birth control, you could also have breakthrough bleeding, which causes light brown discharge or spotting. Breakthrough bleeding is any vaginal bleeding you may experience between your menstruations or while you are pregnant. However much you may relate to Amy’s joke about wanting to be rid of it, you should know that discharge isn’t usually something you need to be worried about. In men, the organism usually infects the urinary tract, but often it causes no symptoms. This can lead to things like yeast infections or BV.

Nancy L. Brown, Ph.D., M.A., Ed.S

Apart from menstruation, plenty of other factors can also affect the balance. These warts usually are white to gray in color, but they may be pink or purple. In addition, there can be discomfort in the lower abdomen and vaginal pain with intercourse. It should gradually get lighter and disappear over time. If you are experiencing the symptoms described in this article, you should call your doctor now.

Like thrush, BV is very common and is not sexually transmitted.

The discharge can be more noticeable at different times of the month depending on ovulation, menstrual flow, sexual activity, and birth control. You may experience spotting, or other kinds of irregular periods (shorter/longer, light/heavier, etc.) If it’s not that time of the month for you—e. It is easily treated with antifungal medicine, which can be bought over the counter from your pharmacist. Your cycle may get shorter or longer, and your periods may be lighter or heavier. Generally, bleeding will be lighter or heavier than regular menstruation, and the following symptoms will occur alongside it:

But you should encourage your partner(s) to see the doctor as well.

Bacterial Vaginosis Treatments

Fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix carries away dead cells and bacteria. This engorgement of blood vessels increases the volume of transudate from the vaginal walls. When blood is flowing quickly, it’s usually red. However, there are a number of reasons why you might be spotting, or have some brown discharge so it’s not recommended to heed this as a sure sign of being pregnant.

However, sometimes the number of candida increases. If the problem is an STD, the doctor will want to treat your sexual problems, too. In fact, they can protect the individual from other infectious and invasive bacteria by producing substances such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that inhibit growth of other bacteria. It doesn't usually cause itching or irritation. Validate user, symptoms usually begin on the last few days of the antibiotics course, or just after the course is finished. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts (HPV), vulvovaginitis and pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID) can all cause spotting or brown discharge. This is because the delicate balance of healthy vaginal secretion is disturbed during menstruation, which happens every month. Treatment depends on what’s causing your abnormal discharge. Vaginal discharge raises common questions for women, including what’s normal and what’s not.

Whether the discharge is darker yellow, thick or lumpy, foul-smelling, and accompanied by other symptoms (suggesting a possible infection) or pale yellow and watery with a sweet or nonexistent smell (like amniotic fluid), you’ll need to get checked out by your provider as soon as possible.

You may feel an uncomfortable wetness, but you shouldn't have any itching or soreness around your vagina.

What Is Not Normal?

But they can have many possible causes, such as infections, period, vigorous sex, menopause, infection, or ectopic pregnancy. Yeast infection symptoms are often accompanied by a clumpy, white discharge. Any of these can be a sign of infection. Common causes of abnormal vaginal discharge can include any of the following: But what if the colour, texture or smell of your discharge changes? What about brown discharge and itching? You should also seek medical advice if your vaginal discharge is NOT clear and watery or white. Yeast infections symptoms can be similar to other infections and STD’s.

Chlamydia And Gonorrhea

Let’s find out what can cause brown discharge along with itching and burning. I think you can see, it can get pretty complicated to get all the information needed to give the best answer possible. Brown discharge may be caused by irregular period cycles. If the discharge is pale yellow and watery like urine, your water may have broken.

But, if symptoms don’t improve with treatment or she has more than four yeast infections in a year, she should see her provider. What does yellow discharge during pregnancy mean? If the brown spotting lasts more than a couple weeks, frequently happens after sex, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as vaginal itching, weird smells, or cramping, then it’s a good idea to call your doctor to make sure it’s not a sign of infection. Can you get a yeast infection from having sex? (for teens), you may have a rash (red raised dots or bumps), itchiness, or white discharge. Use a mild soap and warm water to gently wash around your genitals. It's easily treated with antibiotics. You may especially notice this after sex," she says. "Objects such as a lost tampon can also cause irritation, itching, and strong-smelling discharge.

An infection occurs when the normally occurring candida increase in number to cause bothersome symptoms.

  • It is important to see your healthcare professional if there has been a change in the amount, color, or smell of the discharge that persists beyond a few days.
  • It’s especially common to have brown discharge around 2 days before your period.
  • This condition was formerly known as vaginitis after one type of bacteria that commonly cause the condition.
  • So if you detect thick white discharge sans smell, it's likely yeast.
  • Anytime you have a concern about a change in your vaginal discharge, contact your gynecologist.


Gonorrhea is the sexually-transmitted disease (STD) resulting from infection by the bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Candida infection: thrush, it’s a procedure that allows your healthcare provider to look at your esophagus and also take a tissue sample for testing. This mucus is produced naturally from the neck of the womb, known as the cervix. Take daily showers or baths using gentle soap and warm water. Another source of viral vaginal infection is the human papillomavirus (HPV).

You may feel an uncomfortable wetness, but you should not have any itching or soreness around your vagina. Any time vaginal discharge looks or smells different than normal, or if it becomes heavier than usual for no apparent reason, it may indicate an infection or other problem. It is not an STD, but rather an infection that can happen when your vaginal pH balance gets out of whack. Both conditions are treated with antibiotics. It may become more pink or brown in color. Vaginal yeast infections, you may consider eating yogurt regularly if you frequently get yeast infections or are on antibiotics. If you do experience any changes or are worried, it's important to seek medical advice.

IUD myths and misconceptions

If the discharge looks bloody, see a doctor immediately. What is vaginal discharge? Ovulation is the process of an ovary releasing an egg. Sexually transmitted infections produce abnormal vaginal discharges that range from cloudy to yellow or green. I have had sex with a male but with protection, but I had sex with a girl it wasn't oral so I am not sure.

Many useful bacteria live in your vagina. If you are diabetic, controlling blood sugar levels may help to avoid recurrent infections, especially yeast infections. Yeast infections: symptoms, diagnosis & treatment, a yeast infection is an incredibly common fungal infection — WebMD estimates that 75% of women will experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetime and 40% to 45% will experience more than one. In addition to the unusual discharge, people may experience pain during intercourse and itching. Do you douche? The itching may be present at any time of the day, but it often is most bothersome at night.

The amount of vaginal discharge can vary significantly from person to person.

Here Are All Of Your Hormonal Birth Control Options

A period typically lasts for 3–5 days. It often happens with women in the reproductive age. Other common ones include chlamydia and gonorrhea. Vaginal sprays, douches, perfumed soaps, scented detergents and spermicidal products may cause an allergic reaction or irritate vulvar and vaginal tissues.

[17] The exact reasons for the disruption of vaginal flora leading to BV are not fully known.

This condition is often linked with excess growth of bacteria that are typically found in the stool. Use panty liners to help absorb excess discharge. Having green discharge is not normal. Possible causes include: Other symptoms may include:

What Are the Causes of Vaginal Discharge?

For example, many people who have an STD don’t notice any changes or symptoms. Visit your healthcare provider for a test. If you have thick, clumpy white discharge (a sign of a yeast infection) or if you have fishy vagina odor (a sign of bacterial vaginosis), you can treat bv and yeast with Boric Life, NutraBlast’s boric acid suppository.

Yeast infections can usually be avoided by doing the following: It could also be some other kind of infection, but it’s hard to diagnose this stuff yourself. ” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cervix can become irritated due to infection, exposure to chemicals, or trauma. Foreign objects can cause a chronic vaginal discharge with a foul odor. Human papillomavirus (HPV):

There are a number of infections, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can result in an abnormal discharge.

This spotting may be brown, pink, or red. But seeing an unexpected color of vaginal discharge may give you pause (which is the more low-key way of saying it might totally freak you out). A few days before ovulation, the mucus will be thin and slippery, similar to the consistency of egg whites. If your symptoms do not improve, see your doctor for an exam to confirm the diagnosis and change the treatment. In addition, any postmenopausal bleeding should also be cause for concern. When the flow slows, the blood has time to oxidize.

  • Brown discharge during pregnancy can be normal.
  • But if your white discharge has an unusual-for-you consistency and comes with other symptoms, you should see your doctor.
  • It can make your vaginal discharge frothy, yellow or green.
  • Pink or brown discharge is not an early sign of pregnancy.
  • Watery, pale yellow discharge could potentially be amniotic fluid — the liquid that nourishes and safeguards your baby in the amniotic sac.
  • They can get infections through unprotected sex with a partner who is unaware they have an infection, and they can spread an infection to a sexual partner through unprotected sex.

When should I see the doctor about abnormal vaginal discharge?

One example is inflammatory vaginitis which is characterized by thick, mucoid, yellow to green copious vaginal discharge commonly seen in menopausal women. This is called nonspecific vulvovaginitis. Below, physician assistant Steven Johnson explains what is normal and when to see a health care provider regarding vaginal discharge topics. Candida infection of the skin: medlineplus medical encyclopedia, its name comes from the way it often causes a ring-shaped rash. The vagina is self-cleansing, so there is no need to wash inside it (called douching). It may even seem like you have black vaginal discharge around this time of the month. You can try to self-treat with antifungal creams and over-the-counter remedies, but you're better off getting a prescribed antifungal from your ob-gyn to prevent it from coming back. Always wipe from front to back after using the restroom. It could be caused by irregular menstrual cycle or cervical or endometrial cancer.

You may feel scared or worried when you see it the first time.

A common cause is a type of vulvitis (inflammation of the vulval area), caused by a streptococcal infection. Could my vaginal bleeding be caused by an infection? Brown clumpy discharge, along with itching and burning. It causes a foul-smelling, brownish-green discharge and irritation of the labia and vaginal opening. Anything that upsets this balance may increase your risk of infection or overgrowth of any of the normal bacteria or by yeast. How do I know if my discharge is unhealthy? Bacterial vaginosis is an infection of the vagina, caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance.

  • Like thrush, BV is very common and isn't sexually transmitted.
  • Others, such as STDs, can spread to reproductive organs or to sexual partners.

What Exactly Is Discharge, Anyway?

Douching and cleansing will not help—and may make things worse (16,17). Rinse soap from your outer genital area after a shower, and dry the area well to prevent irritation. BV is actually the most common vaginal infection among women ages 15 to 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is easily cured with prescription meds once your doctor diagnoses it. If you experience extended or heavy bleeding, together with itching, pain, rash, weak, cramp, or smell, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure everything is fine.

  • If this balance is disturbed for some reason, the vagina becomes prone to infections.
  • If the infection progresses to a pelvic inflammatory disease beyond the vaginal area, it may take longer to treat.
  • If you have vaginal discharge, which many women don't, the characteristics of the discharge might indicate the type of vaginitis you have.
  • Two to three days after the period ends, there is a thick, white discharge. Mobile Apps

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis? Business of Medicine Navigate the complex business, legal, and ethical arenas towards building and maintaining a successful medical practice. To help you translate whatever message your vagina is trying to send you, here's a complete vaginal discharge color guide, with info on what each color/texture could mean. The reason for this is that blood oxidizes when exposed to the air. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when more unhealthy bacteria than healthy bacteria grow. Keep reading to learn more about why bleeding can happen with a yeast infection, symptoms to expect, and when to see your doctor. Your vagina has a dynamic and finely tuned ecosystem. In rare cases, the culture may be sent to a lab.

Your doctor may prescribe you some medicine and will also rule out any further infections or disorders. For non-STD infections, bacterial vaginosis displays symptoms such as itching and burning sensation of the vagina or vulva. There are a few potential causes of yellow discharge during pregnancy, including: 5 You may also experience itching, pain during urination, and an unpleasant odor. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the U. Leaking amniotic fluid.

It is slippery and clear. Let’s take a look at the different colors of vaginal discharge, what it might signal, other related symptoms, and what you can do: Yellow discharge could also be amniotic fluid. See a doctor if you develop foul-smelling discharge or fever, or pass large clots. It is usually treated with tablets you swallow.

How to Maintain Optimal Vaginal Health

Abnormal discharge is also unusual in older women. The most common cause is an allergic reaction or irritation from vaginal sprays, douches or spermicidal products. It’s actually the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women who are premenopausal. The burning could feel like a bladder infection. Starting or switching hormonal birth control methods can cause discharge to be red, pink, or brown.

When should I contact my doctor?

Vaginal discharge may result from infection with: Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vaginal atrophy). But if it keeps happening, or if other symptoms of a vaginal infection persist, then you should see a doctor or family planning clinic. For some women, brown spotting does occur during early pregnancy. It’s also common to experience brown discharge after periods. It is associated with itching or irritation.

When To See A Doctor

But yellow discharge could be a sign of an STI like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis, Mary Jane Minkin, M. Other possible noninfectious causes include inflammation or irritation of the vagina from a scented product such as soap, douches, pads or tampons; diabetes; or low estrogen levels as in menopause (atrophic vaginitis). There may be a lost object inside their vagina, such as a tampon. Bacterial vaginosis is a condition is caused by an imbalance in the growth of the bacteria that are normally present in the vagina. There are not any apparent symptoms of implantation that are in any way distinguishable from signs of your impending period. There are many reasons for abnormal discharge, including (but not limited to) the ones mentioned. Light bleeding or spotting from the vagina is sometimes caused by an infection such as thrush, vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). This is also normal and is not a cause for concern.

If you think you may have an STD, get tested to check your status so you can get the right treatment. Vaginitis is a medical term used to describe various disorders that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina. As many women experience brown discharge from time to time due to hormonal fluctuations or breakthrough bleeding between periods, with this particular discharge it's worth waiting to see whether the problem resolves itself before seeking medical help.

Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. It can occur right after your period or be caused by irregular periods. ” Michigan Medicine.