Vaginal discharge is a natural process that keeps your vagina and reproductive tract clean. Every day, fluid leaks from tiny glands in your cervix and vagina to remove dead cells and debris.
What does BV discharge look like?
White, clear discharge is normal and usually indicates a healthy body.
However, if you have white or clear bacterial vaginosis discharge color that is thick and accompanied by a foul-smelling fishy odor, it could indicate bacterial vaginosis (BV). This condition is a recurrent infection of the genital area caused by changes in the pH balance of the bacteria in your vagina.
If you have a yellowish or greenish discharge, it can mean you have gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis—sex-related sexually transmitted infections that can cause uncomfortable symptoms. If you have this discharge and notice itchy, burning, or irritated vaginal areas, see your doctor right away for testing to determine what’s causing the issue.
Discharge that’s light brown to black, or dark pink to blue-green, is more likely to be old period blood that has been left in the uterus longer than usual. It can also indicate a retained object, such as a tampon or missed miscarriage.
Bacterial vaginosis is not an STI, but it can be a recurrent problem that can be treated with antibiotics from your doctor or a sexual health clinic. A GP or sexual health clinic will prescribe antibiotic tablets, gels, or creams that you put in your vagina.
In addition to a doctor’s exam, you may be asked to give them a sample of the discharge in your vagina. This will help them diagnose a bacterial infection and rule out other causes of vaginal discharge, such as sex-related STIs like gonorrhea or chlamydia.