Have you ever had a green vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharges come in various colors and consistencies. Some of them are not even a cause for alarm. Still, it would probably surprise you if you notice green discharge on your underwear.
If you want to know what this means, keep reading the rest of this article as we discuss all about green vaginal discharge.
What Does Green Discharge Mean?
Here’s the gist of it: Green vaginal discharge usually spells trouble.
In fact, it’s generally accompanied by other symptoms, such as vaginal irritation, unpleasant odor, pain, and even spotting. Pay attention to these as they may signal an underlying health issue.
Symptoms of Green Vaginal Discharge
Green vaginal discharge is pretty easy to spot. You’ll typically notice a yellow-green or green discharge on your underwear or whenever you wipe your intimate area.
And like what’s mentioned above, it comes with other symptoms. These range from foul-smelling odors to more severe symptoms like vaginal irritation, painful sexual intercourse, and burning sensation during sex.
Causes of Green Discharge
For many women, bacterial infection is the culprit. But there are also many instances where a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is to blame.
This means you should be concerned about your vaginal health status. Here are a few reasons you’re experiencing green vaginal discharge:
Trichomoniasis Vaginal Infection
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis.It affects as many as 3.7 million people per year.
In this case, the discharge is more yellow-green than pure green. Apart from the yellowish-green discharge, you may also notice a foul odor, irritation, and some discomfort during urination.
But take note that only 30% of infected people actually experience trichomoniasis symptoms. If you suspect you have it, go to your doctor so they can run lab tests to confirm it.
Although bacterial vaginosis isn’t a sexually transmitted infection, it’s most commonly seen among sexually active people. No one knows for sure why it’s so, only that it occurs when the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your vagina are out of balance.
Its symptoms are similar to trichomoniasis. In many cases, the discharge is white with a foul odor. You may also experience a burning sensation when you pee.
Vulvovaginitis is the inflammation of both the vulva and the vagina.
For most women, this can happen for several reasons, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
You’ll notice green vaginal discharge because of the inflammation. Other signs include a burning sensation during urination, an unpleasant odor, and irritation and itching of the genital area.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Pregnant women are especially susceptible to contracting UTI due to progesterone which slows down the normal contractions of ureters. Besides, as the womb grows larger to accommodate the fetus, it puts pressure on the ureters. This causes urine to collect in the bladder, resulting in UTI.
At the start, along with green discharge, you may also notice a burning sensation when urinating and an unpleasant odor.
Although most women don’t usually exhibit symptoms, STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia can also make you experience more discharge, vaginal bleeding, painful urination, and pelvic pain. The vaginal discharge may also be yellow and cloudy.
And if left untreated, it can spread to your reproductive organs and progress to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Foreign Body in the Vagina
Ever heard of women forgetting their tampons in their genitals? Seems highly unlikely, but it happens!
Unfortunately, a foreign body in your vagina can trigger an infection. That’s why it might result in a green vaginal discharge, along with the other symptoms of infection.
Green Discharge During Pregnancy: What Should You Do?
Green vaginal discharge is an abnormal discharge and may be a sign of something serious. If left untreated, it may lead to complications, such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of your reproductive organs and can bring permanent damage to your reproductive system. It can cause problems in getting pregnant and result in long-term pelvic pain.
- Problems with the baby, like preterm deliveries and lower-than-average birth weights.
- Infecting a sexual partner
- Toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening condition that releases harmful toxins to the body.
If you’re pregnant and you notice even a tiny greenish discharge on your panties together with other infection symptoms, don’t try to diagnose yourself. You shouldn’t wait and see if it will get worse, either.
Instead, you should go to your healthcare provider immediately.
For non-pregnant women, green discharge may lead to ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening form of pregnancy where the fertilized egg grows outside the uterus. It can also induce infertility.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Like what we mentioned before, green discharge is no good news. It’s probably an infection you’ll have to manage one way or another. That’s why we recommend you visit your doctor right away.
For green discharge coupled with any of these symptoms, you should go to a doctor ASAP:
- Burning sensation during urination
- Pelvic pain
- Light bleeding or spotting between periods
- Pain during intercourse
In rare cases, it could even be a sign of a life-threatening health issue. Watch out for the following symptoms:
- Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
- Weak pulse
- Sudden change in behavior or mental status (lethargy, delusions, hallucinations, confusion, and delirium)
- Fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Severe nausea and vomiting
To help your doctor come up with a diagnosis, you might be asked the following questions. Take note of them and remember to answer as truthfully and accurately as you can:
- How much discharge are you experiencing?
- When did you start noticing green discharge?
- Have you had a vaginal discharge like this before?
- Does it have an odor?
- What’s the consistency of your discharge?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- Have you been intimate with someone with similar symptoms?
- Does your vaginal discharge come and go, or is it constant?
- Are you pregnant? Or have you been pregnant before?
- When was your last period?
- When was the last time you got cervical screening or Pap smear?
- Has your discharge been getting better or worse?
- What medications are you taking?
In some cases, the green discharge can go away on its own. Usually, this happens when your symptoms are relatively mild.
Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Go to your doctor immediately so you can be properly diagnosed.
Treatment of Green Discharge
Your prescription depends on your doctor’s diagnosis. That’s why it’s crucial to present your healthcare provider with transparent and complete information during your consultation.
Because there’s a high chance that your green discharge is caused by an infection, you’ll mostly be treated with antibiotics, especially for cases like trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and bacterial vaginosis.
Home Remedies for Green Discharge
Aside from getting immediate medical attention, you can also do the following to help you get rid of green discharge faster:
- Wash your genitals with running water (and nothing else) two to three times per day.
- Bathe in warm water to reduce itching.
- Wear breathable cotton underwear.
It’s best to inform your doctor before doing these on top of any prescribed treatment. This is to ensure it won’t have any adverse effect on your current treatment.