If you go to the bathroom and find green discharge on your underwear or toilet paper, it’s natural to worry. Green discharge is always abnormal and deserves the attention of a healthcare provider.
Unfortunately, green vaginal discharge is often a sign of an STI or bacterial infection. This article will review potential causes of green emissions, when to see a healthcare provider, and treatment options.
What is green discharge?
Green vaginal discharge is green fluid from the vagina. It could be:
- Has the consistency of cheese
Causes of green discharge
If your vaginal discharge is green, it is always a concern and you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Green discharge usually indicates a vaginal infection, an underlying disease, or a foreign body. Potential causes include:
Also colloquially known as “trich” Trichomoniasis It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite. In the United States, an estimated 2 million people are diagnosed with the disease each year.
It may cause discharge:
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection also known as “clapping.”
It may cause vaginal discharge:
Chlamydia It is the most common form of sexually transmitted infection. It may cause vaginal discharge:
Also known as BV, bacterial vaginosis This happens when the wrong type of bacteria overgrows the vagina. This can alter the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as itching and discharge:
- off white
- fishy smell
Bacteria living in the vagina contribute to women’s sexual health
Also called vaginitis, Vulvovaginitis Refers to infection or swelling of the vagina or vulva.
It may cause vaginal discharge:
pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It may cause the following discharges:
foreign body in vagina
If there is something in the vagina (called a foreign body) that shouldn’t be there, such as missing or forgotten, the body will react to it. This discharge may be:
Other symptoms that can occur with green discharge
Green discharge may be accompanied by various other symptoms.
Reproductive tract and reproductive tract symptoms
Symptoms that may affect the genitals or reproductive system include:
- Vulvar or vaginal redness
- Vulvar or vaginal swelling
- vaginal or vulvar itching
- Cracked or cut vulva
- burning when urinating
- painful sex
- irregular period
- bleeding during menstruation
In addition to genital or reproductive tract symptoms, green discharge may be accompanied by other symptoms of the above conditions, including:
- abdominal pain
- pelvic pain
- rectal bleeding or mucus discharge
- throat infection or soreness (if acquired through oral sex)
When to see your healthcare provider
You should contact your healthcare provider right away if you have green discharge with any of the following symptoms:
- pelvic pain
- abdominal pain
- known contact sexually transmitted infection
You should also watch for symptoms that may indicate an infection that needs treatment. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:
- Sudden change in discharge color, consistency, or smell
- itching in the genital area
- genital area swelling
- redness in the genital area
- worsening symptoms
- Symptoms persist for more than a week
- blisters on the vagina or vulva
- vaginal or vulvar ulcers
- burning in urine
You should see your healthcare practitioner frequently if:
- Symptoms do not go away completely, even with treatment
- Symptoms return immediately or soon after finishing treatment
- you have other medical conditions, such as diabetes
- you have a new sex partner
- you may be pregnant
green discharge during pregnancy
Clear to white discharge is normal during pregnancy and nothing to worry about. Green or brown discharge may indicate an infection such as thrush or bacterial vaginosis. Consult your healthcare provider if you have a worrisome discharge.
green discharge treatment
In order to treat green discharge, it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Depending on the circumstances that led to your discharge, there are many treatment options for green discharge, including medical and lifestyle changes.
Medical treatment for green discharge will vary depending on the cause. They may include:
- Non-prescription drugs
- Drugs inserted into the vagina
- oral medications, such as antibiotics
Home remedies/lifestyle changes
There are many ways to avoid abnormal discharge. These include:
- practice safer sex
- Wipe from front to back
- wearing cotton underwear during the day
- Not wearing underwear at night to let genitals “breathe”
- Avoid hot baths
- Take a bath every day and pat the genital area dry
- do not rinse
- Not using feminine hygiene sprays
- Do not use colored or scented toilet paper
- Not using deodorant pads or tampons
- No scented bubble bath
Green discharge is always abnormal and requires medical attention. This could be a sign of an infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, or a foreign body in the vagina. Your healthcare provider will be able to make a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment for you.
Finding something unusual in your underwear, like green vaginal discharge, can be worrying. But while this development is worrying, keep in mind that most conditions that can cause green discharge are easily treatable. The sooner you make an appointment with your healthcare provider, the sooner you can get appropriate treatment and make you feel better.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get rid of green discharge?
Green discharge is often a sign of an infection or medical condition that requires diagnostic treatment by a healthcare provider. In many cases, treatment will include prescription antibiotics.
Can yeast infection secretions look green?
A yeast infection usually results in a white, lumpy, and tasteless discharge. If your discharge is green, it may be related to another infection or condition.
Can you have green discharge but not have an STD?
While green discharge usually indicates an STI, it can also be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease, bacterial vaginosis, or a foreign body stuck in the vagina.
Will trichomoniasis go away?
Trichomoniasis does not go away on its own. It needs proper treatment. Infections can persist for months or years without treatment. The infection can be passed on to sexual partners throughout the duration of the infection.