Vaginal discharge – do I have to worry?

Li KunMany women are confused when it comes to vaginal discharge.

However, often this isn’t a topic you would openly discuss with your friends or even your doctor.

You may have questions such as “ Is it normal discharge? Why does my discharge always vary in amount and colour? Should I see a doctor? When should I be worried?”. These are perfectly common and normal questions to ask as vaginal discharge varies from individual and they can be quite confusing.

Usually there is really nothing to worry about unless your vaginal discharge is associated with itching, pain or bad smell. Having vaginal discharge is normal in all women. But of course, it will be helpful to know what normal discharge is or looks like.

Click here for our New Article on Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal Environment

Before proceeding any farther, let us realize that a normal healthy vagina is never free from a type of bacteria known as ‘lactobacillus’. When balanced in amount, it is a ‘friend’ and ‘protector’ of the vagina. Its role is to protect the vagina from infection by releasing certain proteins and maintaining a vaginal pH of 4.5. Once the bacterial count decreases, vaginal pH changes and various infections of the vagina can occur. Green, yellow, gray and white, thick, cottage-cheese like discharge, usually with odor, itching and pain are signs of infection.

normal discharge

Normal and ovulation discharge

Clear, whitish, thin or thick odorless discharge are usually normal and shoudn’t be alarming. It can happen at any time during your menstrual cycle. This discharges means your reproductive organs are ‘cleansing’ the vagina and cervix, getting rid of dead cells and bacteria which is being transported by these discharges.

Somewhere around the 14th day of your cycle (i.e when an egg is released from your ovary -termed ovulation), you may notice clear colourless and elastic discharge resembling egg white. It is usually much more in amount than your usual vaginal discharge. This is a good sign for those who are trying to concieve as this when you are most fertile.

Sometimes, white and more watery discharge can be found after heavy physical activities, when you are sexually excited or sometimes when you feel extremely tired.

Common causes are Infections, Hormonal Imbalance, Vaginal Environments Changes and maybe it’s just Normal Discharge!

 

Menses discharge

Besides having bright red blood discharge during menses, you can also have dark brown discharge which usually occurs towards the end of your menstruation or 1-2 days after menstruation.  This is the leftover menstrual blood in the vagina which was not completely cleared. It is brown as dead blood cells turn brown. Sometimes, this dark brown discharge can also be seen during your mid cycle when ovulation occurs and is normal.

2

Infections

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Bacterial vaginosis (vaginal infection caused by bacteria) is one of the most common causes of gray, foul fishy-smelling vaginal discharge. Redness of the vulva, itching and burning sensation during intercourse may accompany. Green, thick fishy-smelling discharges are commonly caused by gardnerella infections.

Gonorrheal infections are manifested by cloudy yellow discharge often accompanied by pelvic pain and frequent urination.

Trichomoniasis (a parasitic infection) gives yellowish frothy discharge with bad odor. This is usually transmitted through unprotected sex. These infections are commonly treated with over-the-counter antibiotics, most effective one being metronidazole in forms of tablets, vaginal gel/creams and suppositories.

White, cottage-cheese-like discharge often accompanied by itching is due to yeast infection known as candidiasis.

Other type of infections that you could get which could cause abnormal vaginal discharge includes chlamydia, ureaplasma and mycoplasma.

Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Women

If you are pregnant, consult a doctor before taking any medications. Pay attention to your personal hygiene. Changing your panty liners frequently, keeping your feminine area cool and dry by avoiding tight clothing and linen panties may help prevent from such infections.

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Lifestyle

We must not overlook some other simple facts that may lead to changes in normal conditions of vagina. Decreased bacterial count and an increased vaginal pH more than 4.5 are the main culprits causing infection. You may not notice that using fragrant soaps, vaginal douching and frequent bubbly baths may be some of the causes. For those who are sexually active, sticking to one partner is the best prevention, as STDs are often associated with such infections. Pregnancy and menopause may sometimes lead to imbalanced vaginal conditions due to hormonal changes. It is then best to maintain a good personal hygiene.

Although less frequently red discharge or spotting is a more serious case. When this is noted, question yourself: Have you had any unprotected intercourse recently? If yes, this may be a sign of pregnancy and you might want to do a pregnancy test. Spotting during early pregnancy may mean miscarriages or threatened abortion. Some other reasons are vaginal tear and lacerations during rough intercourse, and, if you are more than 40, it may be due to cancers. This is the time when you should be worried and tell your doctor.

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Related topics.More on vaginal discharge.Vaginal bleeding.Candida (Yeast/vaginal thrush)Bacterial vaginosisTrichomoniasisChlamydiaGonorrhoeaIf you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.Dr (Ms) De SouzaMD (Russia), MMed (Obs&Gyn)

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1,909 Comments

  1. Hi doc
    My period was 9 days late.i had a brownish discharge but stop.after that I’m having now a white creamy discharge which is very annoying to me.also had a lower back pain.what should i do.what happen to my cycle?.

    Thanks

    • drtan

      I am not sure. But based on your symptoms, it sounds like you should see your doctor. Although most likely it is due to some hormonal changes. you should also exclude malignancies and infections.

  2. Hi doc my Virginia is red and my urin is bubbles what’s wrong with it thanks

  3. Alyssa

    24 yr old female, never been pregnant, no kids have Mirena almost 2 straight years. NO surgeries ever. No period for over a year. I have dark brown discharge and Black clots/balls of tissue coming out w/slight odor, Severe lower abdominal/pelvic pain, Nausea, weight loss, bright red blood after sex, recurring yeast infections, recurring UTI, no appetite, right flank pain. I have been treated for BV twice and twice for yeast infections. It hurts to walk at times, breathe deeply. I get severe abdominal pain about 30 minutes after eating for atleast an hour up to 24 hrs. I think I have endometriosis or Cervical Cancer. I have a picture of this clot that came out and it looks like a miscarriage but I Know for a fact its NOT. Please help. I’ve been in and out ER; 1st ER visit stated Ovarian cyst on Right ovary, IBS, GERD. 2nd ER trip stated cyst was gone w/ appendix unidentified and fluid surrounding bilateral ovaries. I’ve been in pain for 7+ months and every day the pain is WORSE. I don’t know what to do next I’ve called many OBGYN they think i’m overreacting and just want to take Mirena out. I’ve NEVER had an issue with Mirena, it’s in place and doing it’s job. Why am I having BLACK discharge again? This happened last year (2014) and it smelled like straight GARBAGE, this time not so much of a smell… Thanks

    • Alyssa

      Also sex has been unbearable for me. It BURNS like hot knives stabbing in and out of my vagina. I hadn’t had sex for MONTHS because of the torture afterwards but after passing this black clot I had intercourse the following day. Well intercourse was nothing but my squeezing my eyes shut and holding my screams in because it hurt so bad. But right after I had bouts of bright red blood. (I haven’t had a period in over a year) My lower stomach is ALWAYS hurting constantly like there’s pressure of a person sitting on my stomach or pushing down hard, a cement block sinking down, etc. I had chlamydia a few years ago and took antibiotics for it. It came back twice and I had taken meds for it. I think it never went away and caused me to have the recurrent infections and might have damaged my ovaries or tubes. I always have diarrhea, right side pain, pelvic pain, and recently my right leg feels like a “dead leg” it feels so heavy at times. Few times both legs hurt so bad I couldn’t get off my couch for hours, sometimes I feel this “vibrating” sensation in my lower abdomen/ovaries? Dr. please give me any advice. ER is in the near future?

    • You should really see a women’s health doctor or a gynaecologist and get a proper consultation and assessment, rather than visiting ER. And a phone call to your OBGYN is not enough. Your symptoms of foul smelling vaginal discharge do not sound normal at all.
      Please get an appointment with a doctor. We cannot give advice over the internet.

  4. Nikki

    Need hellp please last week I was spotting brown then started to bleed like a period then my stomach was cramping bad then I went to restroom and I had a thick big discharge dark red to like purple and clear with red discharge also I’m a bit scared because it was a bit big never had discharge like that before and haven’t got my period because I’m on the depo birth control shot

    • A vaginal discharge like you have described does not sound normal. You should see a doctor to get yourself assessed. You are welcomed to visit any of our clinics. We have female doctors who can assist you.

  5. Chris

    Hello!
    I was wondering can a man be tested for chlamydia? How do they get tested? I’ve heard its impossible to test male’s for chlamydia.

    Thanks.

  6. Hello dr, I’m 21 and I’m married. I had an intercourse about two weeks ago and my period due was suppose to be yesterday but I have not period yet till now. My period is usually on time or earlier than it supposed to. My breast is swollen, which I usually does when its near to period due but today when I peed, there was a grayish-red discharge from my vagina. There was no smell & such. I’m confuse. I haven’t get my period yet. I only missed 2 days of period. I’ve tested with dip n tell pregnancy test yesterday but it shown that i got it negative. Is it too early for me to test? Am i pregnant & miscarriage? I’m totally confuse

    • My last period was on the 22nd april till the 27th. Had an intercourse on the 4th of may. Is it possible that im pregnant? I’ve tested and it shown negative. But today i had a greyish red discharge with no smell & pain. Is it possible that im having a miscarriage?

    • Hi Wawa, it’s very difficult to interpret what exactly the greyish red dicharge could be. Observe and see if you get further bleeding, if you do then it is most likely your period. Sometimes, period can be early or late by a few days and this is normal. It may take up to 2 weeks after your missed period for the pregnancy test to be accurate. Test again in 1-2 weeks again if your period is still not here.

  7. Hi Doc,
    I have encounter some varginal bleeding (1st time) like periods continuously 2 days before my period. Today is my 5th Day of period, the flow and volume is slightly heavy compared to my usual period day 5 flow. Also, my period this month is 5 days earlier than my usual schedule monthly period which is always late. Could you please advise me or m I sick?
    Thanks.
    Regards,
    Lee

    • Is this the sign of cervical cancer?

      • drtan

        These are not typical signs of cervical cancer. It sounds more like hormonal problems maybe DUB. It could also be due to systemic medical problems like thyroid problems etc

        • Hi Doc,
          Thanks for your reply. Is your clinic has ultrasound screening and PAP smear? What is the charges? Is possible for me to visit doc for screening on my Day 8 of period?I am worry this is abnormal bleeding.
          Thanks.
          Regards,
          Lee

          • drtan

            Yes we do. Please click HERE and send us an email on our contact form. I will get a relevant lady doctor to contact you for the details.

  8. Hi Doctors.

    During the 3rd day of my period last month (18th April), my partner and I had intercourse. I have a 29-30 day cycle. About a week ago, my breasts started getting sore like usual PMS but a few day later, I had a little brownish discharge which dried up to be yellow and flaky. It came only once. I’m not totally sure, but I read that sore breasts only happen a few days before or after ovulation.

    Do you think I might be pregnant?

    • Sore breasts can occur due to hormonal changes such as during ovulation, pregnancy or as PMS symptoms. The only way to be sure if you are pregnant is to get tested after you have missed your period.

  9. candice

    Hello Doctor,
    I am 25 and have never had sex but I do masturbate frequently, but now I had been having green discharge for a few days, it itches around my vagina and i feel a burning sensation when peeing. Although the pain is not so bad now, the green discharge is still there, with no foul odor to it. I had removed an ovarian cyst along with one of my ovaries last year, so I am worried. Am I required to see a doctor to get it treated or would it go away on its own? Should I be worried?

    • drtan

      Burning sensation when peeing and green discharge both are symptoms of infection. Since you’ve never had sex it can’t be an STD but there are other non-STD infections that you can get. You should certainly see a doctor and get diagnosed and treated. Infections that are left alone for too long can lead to serious consequences.

  10. Samantha

    I have not ever had my period yet!!! And I am having brownish discharge and I’m worried about it do u know what it could be

    • drtan

      Honestly there are a whole bunch of possibilities. You could be pregnant, you could be having some sort of hormonal aberration, you could have an infection, you could have cancer or pre-cancer, it could be your lifestyle, it could be a medicine side effect etc etc You need to see a doctor to figure it out.

  11. Sarab

    Hi Dr. Sim Li Kun
    My name is Sarah I’m 24 years old I’m virgin, and I have few questions regarding Vaginal Discharge… I used to had greenish like watery discharge it was very intense I used to loss lots of it.. But than last month I took antibiotic for my stomach and I noticed it’s no longer greenish but very mucus like texture discharge I loss it when I pee also I’m not sure if it’s normal or not… I loss like lots ofit .. Is it harmfull to loss lots of mucus discharge?? If you could please answer this bcz I’m too shy to discuss it with It my family Dr …. And I also I get weird pain in my lower part of my abdominal in my right side…

    Please answer me and thank you :)

    • Hi Sarah,
      With regards to your vaginal discharge, it is difficult to tell if it is normal or not as it varies from individual women. It also depends where you are in your menstrual cycle. For example, if its in the middle of your cycle, then it can be normal to get mucus sticky discharge. If the discharge is not smelly or changes in colour, it could just be normal vaginal discharge. Maybe you could observe your discharge for the next 1-2 cycles and see if there is a pattern change to it to give you a better idea whether it could be normal as your greenish vaginal discharge has just been treated with antibiotics so you may not be use to your current new discharge.
      As for the right sided lower abdo pain, if it is intermittent, there could be various reasons causing the pain such as a cyst, ovulation pain, etc. If the pain persist or you feel unwell, you should see a doctor as it could be more harmful causes like appendicitis. If you are unsure about your vaginal discharge or your abdominal pain, you should see a doctor or feel free to visit us.

  12. Hi my name is honey my question is that before few days i have sex with my partner without protection and now ia am getting white jelly like discharge do i grt worried about pregnenet should i do pregnancy tedt or not…plz reply fast i am very much worried…

    Thanks
    Yours sincerly
    Honey

    • Hi honey, you will not be able to test for pregnancy a few days after having sex. As there is a risk of getting pregnant, I would advice that you get tested when your period is late.

  13. Hi my name is honey my question is that before few days i have sex with my partner without protection and now ia am getting white jelly like discharge do i grt worried about pregnenet should i do pregbancy tedt or not…plz reoly fast i am very much worried…t

    Thanks
    Yours sincerly
    Honry

    • Hi honey, you will not be able to test for pregnancy a few days after having sex. As there is a risk of getting pregnant, I would advice that you get tested when your period is late.

  14. Dear Dr. Sim,

    Hi I am from VN, since last year my menses become irregular and I had occasional pain at my left abdomen (upper part) and recently the pain frequency increase and I also see lots of white discharge. Could u pls advise me what could be wrong? Can I bring my x Ray here to show u in Singapore? I can make a trip to ur clinic If ur advice is helpful, pls advise. Thanks a lot.

    Urs sincerely,
    Ny

  15. Hellow. I am 16 years old and I am a virgin. Nothing weird has ever happened and my discharge was always normal. A few days ago I’ve been getting itchy down and kind of painful. It looked swelly. And today My discharge was yellowish green (again, I am a virgin) What can be the reasons? I am so freaked out and I’m scared to share this problem with my parents because all the other websites said that it only happens to non-virgins which is very weird. Please help ?

    • Hi Sara, sounds like you could have a yeast infection which is common in women and is not sexually transmitted. You could try over the counter remedies from the pharmacy or otherwise visit a doctor to get some treatment for this.

  16. Hi doctor,

    I’ve some wired discharge recently. After my period, about a week THERES brown discharge after 4/5 days there’s bright discharge and then after 3/4 days there’s white milky watery discharge. I really don’t know what is happening I hope you can help me please

  17. I have a query about a photo I found online, if you’re not pregnant and clear of Std, also had clear smear test, is this a normal discharge?Maybe a little paler than this colour but very similar.No itching or soreness, no smell til after intercourse,which can be strong or faint. And not all the time.
    http://imageserve.babycenter.com/21/000/242/AfnFashmLLEso11RgaRUzM2X3urYSAN0_lg.jpg

  18. Hi, My last period was in February. Since then, I begin having brown discharge everyday. This worries me more as I am a virgin. Can I get your opinion on this? Thank you.

  19. Christina

    I have another question: I’ve had a metal like taste in my mouth that last all day and its been happening for 3 days now and I have more milky discharge.as I said I do take birth control every day but in the mornings at different times.will the birth control still be effective?

  20. Christina

    Hi doctor I’m really worried..I’m currently taking birth control but I had unprotected intercourse. He said he did not ejaculate in me and I trust that. That was two weeks ago.but for three days I’ve been experiencing small amounts of brown vaginal discharge then it stopped for 2 days and today I had white/clear vaginal discharge. Am I pregnant?? Please help

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      birth control pills are up to 98-99% effective if taken properly and correctly. The only way to be sure is to confirm with a pregnancy test. For any abnormal discharge, apart from pregnancy, we basically need to rule out infections including STD and cervical causes. Since you are already sexually active, you should start do pap smear screening as well.

  21. I have some brown discharge and sometime accompanied with little blood. My menstrual is going to be next week but I already encounter the discharge for a week now. I do not have any sexual activity and my body feel normal other than the discharge. May I know what’s the problem? Thank you!

    • Brown discharge indicates bleeding. The sinister causes include cervical cancer. You should see your doctor to find out what the cause is.

  22. Juliana

    Hi,

    about two days after some fingering with my partner, I have some yellowish-greenish vaginal discharge. There are no other symptoms such as itching or burning when urinating. It seems to be clearing up. Should I still get tested? Thank you for your advice.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      If it is clearing up then that is good but a yellow-green discharge isn’t normal. It would be best to get some swab tests done to be sure. That way if there is something there it can be treated.

  23. Hello doc,
    My name is april i am a 32 year old female who has never had a normal cycle every year sometimes more.Three months ago i had a brown discharge (like the one you get before or after its over) it lasted 8 days.Three days ago it came back same color thickness this time little bit of pink not doing much just a spot or whipping. I also think i have rectacel (not sure) its almost impossible to pass gas with out moving a certain way or pushing in on my stomach also pooing is a pain i vomit sometimes during and my blood pressue shoots up during bowel as a child i had ore cancer cells burnt off i had a health dept to do pap she said my cervix was scared everything came back fine but why am i so tired feels like im dieing pls help let me know what it could be.

    ,

    • Your question is a little confusing. From what I can gather, you have very irregular menstrual cycles, you have problems with your digestion, your blood pressure is high and you have had pre-cancer of the cervix. It sounds like there is some potentially serious medical problem with you. It could range from a hormonal problem to a more general medical problem. I think you need to see you doctor and get properly investigated.

  24. I had a c section on jan 21 2015, I didn’t take my medication as I often as prescribed and I had a few blood clots. I have seemed to heal up fine, but me and my partner had intercourse twice since eight weeks after my healing process. Now I am having strange symptoms. First I have a lot of very clear long elastic discharge with streams of fresh blood, there is a lot that comes out at a time. and every other day it comes out. Is this normal? and the most recent mucus had a greyish white streak in it also. As far as I can tell there is no foul smell or itchiness, but intercourse is painful. it feels like he is ripping through when incerting. im not sure if this is from still healing. what concerns me is there is a lot of mucus and it has blood.

    • The one thing we would be very concerned about is whether or not there is an infection in your womb. This can be very dangerous. I suggest you see your ObGyn again for a check up.

  25. Is the second picture of the discharge the normal menese discharge or an infection? My discharge looks exactly the same. But I’ve been wondered because my discharge has increased in amount since I recently started being sexual active.

  26. shafreena

    Hi, 3mnth before I have my mensus at 7days but pass 3mnth I had my period at only 2 days 3rd day I’ll stop. There is any problem. If I’m pregnant?.. I had yeast infection but now I’m okay… Plz give some idea to pregnant

    • shafreena

      Hi, 3mnth before In Dec my period will be normal at 7days.. After that Jan mnth to march my period come only 2days n 3rd day it will stop.. Thn I had a yeast infection. I took medicine past week.. If I’m pregnant… Otherwise why I had such a menstrual problem.. Plz explain me

      • shafreena

        Not yeast infection dr says that urine infection.. And my period cycle(28 to 30) is normal… I just want to know I’m pregnant r not.. Thn if I’m not pregnant why I had this problem.. Then my period blood like a bright red color n blood look like water mixed into blood.. I dnt know plz explain me

        • If you are still having your periods then logically you cannot be pregnant. There are many possible causes of irregular menstrual cycles. These range from infections to general medical problems to hormonal problems. You should see your doctor to find out what is causing your symptoms.

  27. kjenkins

    I camed on my period on the 5th me and my fiance was having sex and an hour laterI camed on I went off the 13th. The hold time i was on I was having backache headache nipples hurting tried and my left side down below my stomach was hurting sharp pain. The last two days I was having diarrhea. Now I be tried just be wanting to sleep feeling nausea all day long. Yesterday I was at work n notice I had some milky e ggwhite in my panties no smell. I need help wats going on. I dont have no disease.

    • Your symptoms are very sinister indeed. I would suspect an infection and maybe an ovarian cyst or other kinds of growth causing a hormonal imbalance. You should see your doctor.

  28. I am 31. I have PCOS. I have not had a period in 18 months. For 6 days i have had brown and pink spotting. Not enough to stain a pad. Slight cramps which went after 2 days. Now nothing. A tiny spot of blood in the evening and nothing else. I am not on any tablets/birth control. I have a 2 year old as well (via clomid)

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      I suggest best to do a UPT to rule out pregnancy. if negative, you should visit a doctor for proper assessment for the irregular bleeding and spotting. Combined contraceptive pill will actually be beneficial for you if you are not planning for any child anytime soon.

      • Its just very unusual for me to to spot. I have never spotted. Its either a full blown period or nothing. We would like another child and im not getting my hopes up. I thought it was the start of a period but now im getting nothing. Thank you for your reply

  29. Last month I got my periods on 18th. And my bf just entered his penis into my vagina.but then he took it out.but it felt wet its 13 of this month now I didn’t get my periods. I noticed stringy blood in my comod.I am a type 1 diabetic and had urine infection. I have cases of hypoglycia and sometimes hyper too. My infection tablets course is over. What should I do??

    • Sorry it was 8th of February. And all that happened on 27 or 28

      • Got periods on 8th Feb and had sex almost but that was just for a minute or two.this happened on 28th or 27th

    • You had your period on 8th Feb and then had unprotected sex 3 weeks into your period. So logically you could be pregnant. However, you also have IDDM and UTI both of which can also delay your period. The logical thing to do now is to wait for your period. You are 1 week late. After 1 more week if you still do not have your period, do a pregnancy test. Regardless of the outcome of the test, you will need to see your doctor after.

  30. Hi,

    My boyfriend and I are both virgins yet we still participate in sexual activities. Four days ago he fingered me it kind of hurt but not that much. The day after I found some brown reddish discharge when I wiped after the toilet. My period is due in 7-10 and I don’t think its that. I don’t think it could be pregnancy as we did not participate in sex. It’s currently day 4 since it happened and the brown discharge only really Comes out when I force it out… Like when you are constipated. I’m worried I won’t get my period. What could this be? Thank you.

    • Hi, the brownish reddish discharge that you have been experiencing could likely be due to old blood from likely trauma/cuts when he fingered you. It should resolve after a few days. If it persist, then I would advice that you see a doctor as rarely it could be due to other sinister causes like cancer. Find out more about abnormal vagina bleeding here.

  31. I have been sexually active for almost a year now and have had only one sex partner. He has never been tested for Stds, but has never experienced any symptoms. For the past few months I’ve been experiencing a bad smelling yellowish-white vaginal discharge, and the amount has increased within the past month. There is no itching or burning, but I do have some pelvic pain 1-2 days after sex. I’m 18 and have never been tested for stds before. Should I be highly concerned about an std or PID?

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      The discharge you described does not sound normal. It may or mya not be STD related. However, untreated chlamydia and gonorrhoea can cause pelvic infection and complications with fertility. It is always important to start screening for STD once you are sexually active.

  32. Hi dr I have an implanon (implant) and my period is all over the place I have a dark greyish discharge no odor bits of blood and chucks of stuff aswell im not sure what though sorry im not very clear with my description….

    • Are you sexually active? If so you should rule out an STD. That said, when the discharge is greyish, we usually suspect BV. The bits of blood could well be due to the implanon. However, you should also be getting regular checks to rule out cervical cancers.

  33. Hi, I’m 32 years old and had my rubes cut and burned when I was 25 after my second baby was born. I suddenly started having dark brown bloodiesh discharge with clear mucus. I am a couple of days early for my period which I usually get a bright red discharge at the beginning. Is this normal? I am not really cramping. TIA!

    • There could be many possible causes. It is certainly prudent to exclude the more sinister ones first although they are rare. These include cervical cancer and womb cancer. More likely the discharge is due to hormonal issues or local sources of bleeding like cervical polyps.

  34. I have been with my boyfriend 3 months and since Saturday he says that when he puts his fingers inside it feels swollen very bad. I haver also been having green discharge when wiping. Today he put his finger in the see if it was swollen and a white cottage cheese like substance came out on his finger. I have never experienced anything like this and don’t know what it could be.

    • Sounds like you have yeast infection as you have white cottage cheese like substance. Sometimes with yeast infection, you can also get green discharge, but sometimes it could be a sign of another type of infection. You could try OTC yeast medications and see if your symptoms improve. If it doesn’t then it is best to see a doctor for further evaluation of your symptoms.

  35. Hi,

    I’m 10 weeks and 3 days pregnant and I been having a brown red discharge back and hip pain at first I got scared and when to the ER since I had a miscarriage last year at 7 weeks they told me that my cervix was closed and no blood outside it but around it …I when to my doctor and she told me the same thing did a ultrasound to check the baby it was moving and had a heartbeat 162 but I been having this discharge for 5 days all ready only when I wip and back and hip pain is this something normal???

    • Sounds like threatened abortion. Avoid sex, rest in bed, take folate and discuss with your doctor the need for progesterone. More info here.

  36. Hi there,

    So it’s about a week-week 1/2 before my period, and for the last few months I have had more clear egg white colour and consistency discharge, with brown in it… Is this normal? I have also experience abdominal cramping when this happens. Please let me know your opinion. I have been tested for STI’s, and they all came back negative. Thanks in advance!

    • Definitely not normal. Aside from possible infections which you have tested for, you should also look into more sinister things like cervical cancer. Brown in the discharge indicates blood and it is necessary to know the source of the bleeding.

  37. Hi,
    Lately ive been noticing that i have a light brown sweet smelling vaginal discharge. Im a virgin and im wondering if this is normal or an infection. My period is supposed to start in 2 weeks. Im not sore or anything. Everything is normal except for this. Should i br worried? Or will it go away on its own?

    • It is hard to give a diagnosis just by listening to your description. Brown discharges usually indicate blood. Since you are a virgin, STIs and Cervical Cancers are certainly no the issue. Depending on your age, it could still be womb cancers or ovarian cancers. Of course most likely it is nothing but you really cannot be too careful when it comes to these things.

  38. Hi,
    I am 38 years old, with a 5.5 year old son, generally regular periods, never before spotting. I’ve been spotting for 9 days, first brown/pink now seems to increase and is red (but unlike period). The spotting began mid-cycle, about 14 days before period is due. Had unprotected sex with husband some days before spotting began. I have not experienced pain with the spotting and got checked by a gyno 4 days ago (he saw minimal bleeding from cervix but nothing else), ultrasound didn’t show anything, but he did say I am before ovulation (if it were ovulation bleeding it wouldn’t last so long right?). PAP was normal 2 years ago. Hormones levels were tested a month ago prior to spotting and came back normal. I do have hypothyroidism but this too was checked last month and is balanced. I am not on any birth control and hoping to conceive. Any suggestions or knowledge would be very appreciated. I am very worried… Thank you

    • You have ruled out hormonal causes, cancer causes, local causes and medical causes. That really does not leave anything out. My bet is on hormonal causes. The problem with hormonal blood tests is that they are really difficult to interpret and changes according to the cycle.

  39. I began taking birth control last June, but I just switched to a lower dosage this December. Since switching I have missed my period the past 2 months. I took 3 pregnancy tests and they are all negative. Is this normal?

    • When you say switch to a lower dosage I am assuming you switched from 30mcg of EE to 20mcg of EE. Sometimes, pills with 20mcg of EE comes in a 24 day pack instead of a 21 day. So this might cause your periods not to come. Another possibility is that your diet has changed to influence the absorption of the medicine by your body. 3 pregnancy tests from Dec till now really cannot be wrong. Another possibility is that you have a medical condition causing your period to be delayed that is not related to your pills at all.

  40. The last two months my period has started between 5-6 days early… I started my period this morning (5 days early) and I now have sore breast and cramping. My period isn’t very heavy like it usually is the first day and while I was in the short a yellowish light brown lumpy sticky stuff came out. Iv never had this happen before and I’m a little but worried. Please someone help put my mind at ease.

    • Sounds like something is messing up your hormones. It could be something as benign as stress or lifestyle changes. Or it could be due to medical problems like anemia. You should see your doctor just to make sure it is nothing too sinister.

  41. I have yellowish discharge but lately I have been experiencing some brown discharge and I don’t have my period yet and I’m not sexually active. I don’t know what’s wrong could you please help?

    • Usually brownish discharge would indicate bleeding. There are many causes of vaginal bleeding from benign causes such as mid cycle bleeding, polyps, to more sinister causes like cancer. I would advice that you see a doctor for further evaluation of your symptoms.

  42. Yes I’m supposed to start my period on the 16th and started yesterday feels like a period but I’m seeing a pinkish blood color in my panties like a drop and no fully period is coming out also when I pee it don’t burn it feels like my lower belly hurts when I pee I did have unprotected sex the following day and were trying also it may just be he tore it but this is the 2nd day of pinkish color it feels like I have cramps period symptoms also my breasts nipples hurt I’m thinking there swollen when I touch them am I pregnant if I don’t start on the 16th.

    • So this is about 2 weeks prior to your period. You have cramps and some bleeding after sex. You are right that it could be just due to an abrasion or tear, however, it could also be due to more sinister things like cervical or uterine problems. Pregnancy symptoms do not start so early.

  43. My boyfriend and I both first time partners decided to have sex and since I have been experiencing a brown and sometimes bloody discharge, I am 16 and sometimes experience spotting which is what I though it was but it hasn’t stopped yet and its been a week.. We used a condom however there was a slight problem with my boyfriends penis being quite large and it hurt considerably.. but I don’t think it should still be affecting me.. I did some research and managed to work out that it happened right over my ovulation time…Did the condom work?… could I be pregnant? What should I do? I am very scared please can anyone help?

    • You are most likely bleeding from a torn hymen and some vaginal tears or abrasions. You can also bleed slightly during your ovulation. Since you used a condom it is very unlikely you are pregnant. However, please remember that condoms can fail. This is however unlikely. Please relax and wait for your next period.

  44. Hi doctor,
    Im 5 weeks 4 days pregnang today. I had light pink discharge 6 weeks ago and since then i have brown and pink discharge with some on and off back pain. I had ultrasound yesterday and doctor said he cant see the yolk sac but the gestational sac is there and measures 5weeks 2 days. He suggested another ultrasound for 2 weeks later. Im really worried. Do you think i have risk of miscarriage, would i lose the baby :(

    • Hi Dora, in the first trimester of pregnancy there is a higher risk of miscarriage. Unfortunately there is not much you can do at this stage but to wait for a repeat ultrasound scan. In the meantime, try and take it easy and refrain from any strenuous activities.

  45. hi I have been spotting for three days straight its been dark pink to light pink with clear discharge for three days with mild cramps aswell. I had tender breasts for two days along with it and today I feel slightly nauseous, I have been urinating every five minuts

    • Hi Clara, whereabouts are you in your menstrual cycle? Are you due for your menses or could you be pregnant? If there is a chance you could be pregnant, then you should take a pregnancy test.

  46. Really well-written and informative article.

  47. i had a tubal in 2011 during a c-section and this past friday i experienced what i have looked up as implantation bleeding.. could i really be pregnant.. i would like to be but i dont know what to do should i go ahead and take a test

    • You mean you had a tubal ligation? Those procedures are good but they are not foolproof. In other words you still can be pregnant. However, there is a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. So please take a pregnancy test and see your doctor asap if it is positive. If you have abdominal pain, you should see your doctor immediately.

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