Yellow Vaginal Discharge : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Last Updated: 27/07/2022

Yellow vaginal discharge is a discharge from the vagina of a liquid or thick yellow secretion, often with an unpleasant odor. Pathological leucorrhea may be accompanied by pain during urination and sexual intercourse, discomfort and itching in the vagina. Yellow discharge occurs both as a result of natural hormonal fluctuations, and with various infectious or inflammatory lesions of the genital organs. To determine the cause of leucorrhoea, a comprehensive gynecological examination, laboratory tests, and ultrasound of the pelvic organs are performed. Drug therapy is prescribed only after verification of the diagnosis.

Causes of yellow vaginal discharge

Physiological changes

A small amount of light yellow secretion is formed a few days before menstruation. These secretions are odorless and are not accompanied by any other discomfort in the genital area. Their appearance is associated with natural hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. Similar thick yellow leucorrhoea is observed in pregnant women under the influence of progesterone. If a woman has a vaginal discharge with a fetid odor, the color and amount of discharge have changed, you should seek medical help to find out the cause.

genital infections

  • Trichomoniasis . Liquid yellow frothy discharge with a putrid odor is characteristic of vaginal trichomoniasis. Patients complain of profuse vaginal discharge, which irritates the skin of the external genital organs, causes a rash and itching. Sometimes streaks of blood are visible in the pathological secret.
  • Chlamydia. Yellowish mucopurulent leucorrhoea with a specific odor, which are distinguished by a thick consistency, is typical of another infectious cause - chlamydia. Vaginal discharge is combined with pain during urination, in some cases - discomfort during intercourse.

Inflammation of the genital organs

Yellow discharge of a thick consistency without a special odor occurs with damage to the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Detachable meager, more often appears after intercourse, hygiene procedures. Other reasons also influence the increase in secretion volume: chronic stress, concomitant diseases, hypothermia. Discharge from the vagina occurs against the background of pulling pains in the lower abdomen and in the inguinal region, sometimes the temperature rises to subfebrile numbers. Most often, yellow leucorrhea provokes:

  • Pathology of the appendages : salpingitis, oophoritis, adnexitis.
  • Inflammation of the vagina : colpitis (vaginitis), vulvitis.
  • Damage to the mucous membrane of the cervix : endocervicitis.

Yellow discharge from the vagina - a reason to consult a gynecologist


Vesicouterine fistula

The pathological canal that communicates the cavity of the bladder with the uterus is formed during trauma or iatrogenic damage. At the same time, women note periodic leakage from the vagina of a liquid discharge of an intense yellow color with a pungent odor. In severe cases, discharge mixed with urine is constantly observed, so patients are forced to use urological pads. Due to the constant maceration of the skin of the perineum, severe itching and burning are felt, dull pains in the lower abdomen are characteristic. Similar symptoms develop with vesicovaginal fistulas.


The gynecologist is engaged in identifying the causes that caused yellow discharge from the vagina. A comprehensive examination using physical and instrumental techniques is shown, and various laboratory tests are also performed. Diagnostic search is aimed at verifying the underlying disease that caused the appearance of an abnormal vaginal discharge with a noticeably unpleasant odor. The most informative are the following types of survey:

  • Gynecological examination. This is the first and main method for diagnosing the cause of discharge, which includes an assessment of the condition of the external genitalia, a detailed examination in the mirrors of the vagina and cervix. The study helps to detect inflammatory changes, destructive processes. At the end of the examination, a vaginal secret is taken to determine the microflora.
  • The study of smears . As a screening method, bacterioscopy of smears separated after staining with special dyes is used. This study has a low specificity (60%), so the analysis is supplemented by culture culture of secretions on nutrient media.
  • Methods of Instrumental Visualization . To clarify the cause of discharge with an unpleasant or fetid odor, a standard ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs is performed, as well as a more informative transvaginal ultrasound. For the purpose of detailed visualization of the cervix, a colposcopy, Schiller's test, is performed.

A clinical and biochemical blood test is mandatory, and the female hormonal profile is determined. It is possible to confirm the infectious etiology of yellow discharge with a stench using serological tests (ELISA, RNGA). With a possible vesicouterine fistula, cystoscopy is necessary.

Examination of a gynecological smear



Help before diagnosis

Scanty, odorless, creamy-yellow discharge from the vagina, which forms against the background of good health, does not require therapeutic measures. If the discharge is profuse, frothy, accompanied by a fetid odor or perineal discomfort, this indicates the development of the disease. In such a situation, it is necessary to visit a specialist to identify the cause of the symptom and select a treatment. Before establishing a diagnosis, regular hygienic baths with herbal decoctions (oak bark, chamomile) and antiseptic solutions are recommended.

Conservative therapy

With pathological yellow discharge from the vagina, etiotropic drug treatment is indicated. To increase the likelihood of complete recovery, therapy is carried out simultaneously for both sexual partners. For the entire period of treatment, a woman should refrain from sexual intercourse. The following groups of drugs are most often used:

  • Antibacterial drugs . For the eradication of chlamydia, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, tetracycline antibiotics are used, which effectively act on intracellular microorganisms. Trichomoniasis is treated with antiprotozoal drugs.
  • Immunomodulators . These funds do not directly affect the causes that provoked yellow discharge, however, they increase local and general immunity, stimulate the activity of the lymphocytic system. Due to this, the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms is accelerated.
  • Antihistamines . Blockers of H1-histamine receptors significantly reduce the production of endogenous allergens and inflammatory cytokines. They are prescribed to cope with the accompanying unpleasant symptoms - itching and discomfort in the genital area.
  • Probiotics . The drugs are used as adjuvant therapy to prevent dysbiosis and other consequences of taking antibiotics. To normalize the microflora of the vagina, vaginal suppositories with lactobacilli are recommended.

Yellow vaginal discharge quickly stops if the treatment regimen prescribed by the gynecologist is observed. Premature rejection of basic antimicrobial therapy contributes to the chronicity of the process and the formation of antibiotic-resistant forms of microorganisms. After treatment, it is important to observe the requirements of intimate hygiene and use condoms during sexual relations with unfamiliar partners.


Surgical interventions are usually performed in cases where yellow vaginal discharge is due to the presence of urethro-vaginal, utero-vesical and other pathological communications between the organs of the reproductive and urinary systems. To date, a wide range of operations has been proposed - from suturing the fistula opening and excision of the fistula to methods of reconstructive plastic surgery. The choice of a method for eliminating a defect is determined by its scale of damage and the condition of the patient.