Presence of yellow discharge is not always a cause for alarm, especially if it is light yellow in colour. This type of discharge is normal in women who have usually have thick discharge, especially during ovulation period.
However, if the yellow discharge is accompanied by a foul smel or other symptoms such as itching of the vagina or pain when urinating, it may be a sign of an infection.
Therefore, whenever there is doubt of the type of discharge, it is necessary to consult the gynaecologist who will identify the problem and recommend the most appropriate treatment, which will also depend on the real cause of the discharge.
Candidiasis is a frequent infection in most women and it is caused by the excessive growth of the fungus Candida albicans in the vagina. It results to the appearance of a yellowish discharge. The disease is more common in women who have a weak immune system or who are undergoing antibiotic treatment.
Other symptoms of candidiasis include very light yellow discharge, with small clots, that resemble curdled cheese, intense itching and a burning sensation during sexual intercourse.
What to do: A great way to eliminate excess fungi and fight candidiasis is to keep the vagina clean and wear cotton panties so as to allow that region to breathe. In addition, it is advisable to consult the gynaecologist who will prescribe the use of vaginal antifungal ointment, such as Fluconazole or Clotrimazole. These will aid in relieving the symptoms quickly.
2. Sexually transmitted diseases
STDs are common infections that usually arise in women who practice unprotected sexual intercourse, especially with more that one partner. Some STDs such as trichomoniasis or chlamydia can result in the appearance of discharge that may have different colours ranging from yellow, grey and greenish.
Aside from discharge there may also be other symptoms such as itching of the vagina, pain when urinating and severe redness.
What to do: In case there is suspicion of a sexually transmitted disease, one should consult the gynaecologist who will perform tests to confirm the diagnosis of the infection and start the most appropriate treatment, that often includes antibiotics.
Inflammation of the urethra, scientifically known urethritis can occur due to trauma in the urethra due to an infection. It is more frequent in women who have recurrent urinary infection or who do not maintain adequate vaginal hygiene.
In such cases, the discharge may be yellow-green in colour and it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as a burning sensation when urinating, difficulty to start urinating and itching in the vaginal region.
What to do: In case of suspicion of urethritis, one should visit the gynaecologist so as to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment that will be done using antibiotics such as Azithromycin or Ceftriaxone.
4. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection that affects the female reproductive organs and it begins by attacking the vagina then it progresses to the uterus. It causes the appearance of yellowish discharge and oter symptoms such as fever that is usually above 38ºC, pain below the belly an vaginal bleeding.
What to do: It is important to consult a gynaecologist if there is suspicion of PID, as it necessary to start treatment with antibiotics that are taken or about 2 weeks. During treatment, one should avoid engaging in sexual intercourse so as to facilitate fast recovery.
Yellowish discharge in pregnancy
During pregnancy, yellowish discharge may also be a sign of trichomoniasis, which may result in premature or low birth weight.
Therefore, it is important that the woman consults a gynaecologist or an obstetrician so that the best treatment can be prescribed. Treatment can be done using Metronidazole or Tinidazole.
Important tips during treatment
Although treatment may vary depending on the cause of the discharge, there are some tips that can be used during treatment to ensure quick recovery. One of these tips is that the partner of the woman should also go for treatment even if he does not present the symptoms, so as to prevent recontamination.
In addition, it is also recommended to:
- Use condoms so as not to contaminate the partner
- Avoid making vaginal showers because the showers remove the bacterial layer of vagina, which are responsible for protecting this region from infections
- Avoid using perfumes or sprays of intimate hygiene, as they alter the vaginal pH
- Wear cotton underwear, because cotton does not cause irritation;
- Avoid wearing tight pants or shorts, preferring to wear skirts or dresses to allow the region to be aerated
Another tip for the treatment of yellow discharge is to avoid tampons, and preferable use the external ones like sanitary towels.