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Chlamydia thick white discharge: What Does It Look & Smell Like?


What Does It Look & Smell Like?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by bacteria that is passed on through sexual contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid.

Men and women with chlamydia don’t usually have symptoms. This means they don’t know they’ve got it, often for long periods of time. If left untreated, chlamydia can spread between sexual partners, leading to more-serious health problems.

For those who do have symptoms, one of the first signs of chlamydia can be an unusual discharge from the vagina or penis. Chlamydia symptoms can start to appear within 1-3 weeks, but they can also appear later than this. Another common symptom that can accompany discharge, is pain when urinating. Women may also experience pain in their stomach and/or bleeding after sex or between periods. Men may have pain and swelling in their testicles.

Chlamydia treatment has a high success rate, and symptoms usually resolve within 1-2 weeks of completing the course of antibiotics.

Read on to find out more about chlamydia discharge and how it differs from other types of discharge. 


What does chlamydia discharge look like?

Chlamydia discharge is different to regular discharge. The appearance of chlamydia discharge is usually yellow in colour, and has a thick, cloudy appearance. It is accompanied by a strong smell.

If you notice discharge similar to that of chlamydia, you should get tested. You can visit your GP, local pharmacy, or your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic to get tested. Alternatively, you can buy a discreet and convenient home chlamydia test kit on the high street or online pharmacy. Unlike other conditions, you cannot make a diagnosis by looking at pictures of chlamydia discharge. This is because discharge can vary amongst individuals. Discharge can also be a symptom of another STI or medical condition, so testing is the most accurate way to confirm diagnosis. 


Chlamydia discharge in women

Vaginal discharge in women is normal. Vaginal fluids and cervical mucus keep the vagina clean, healthy, and moist. It also protects the vagina from infection. Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or white, thick, and sticky, and does not have a strong or unpleasant smell. It’s often slippery and wet for a few days during ovulation.

If you notice a change in appearance of discharge, or more discharge than usual, chlamydia is a possibility. Chlamydia presents as a yellow discharge in women; however, the colour and consistency can also appear thick and milky. Chlamydia discharge usually has a strong odour. Women with chlamydia symptoms often have pelvic pain, bleeding, burning, as well as vaginal discharge. The key is to look out for a change in colour, frequency, smell and consistency of discharge.

At least 70% of women with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms. If symptoms do present, they may not appear until several weeks after sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can still cause serious health conditions. If chlamydia is left untreated, it can spread to the womb and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is a serious condition which can cause of ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.

Chlamydia is often referred to as a silent STI. This is because asymptomatic individuals who engage in unprotected sexual intercourse are likely to pass the infection on unknowingly.

The NHS recommends that sexually active women who are under 25 should have a chlamydia test once a year, and when they have a new sexual partner. If you have chlamydia, it can usually easily be treated with antibiotics.


Chlamydia discharge in men

Normal discharge in men includes pre-ejaculate and ejaculate. These are released from the tip of the penis during sexual arousal and intercourse. Pre-ejaculate has a thick mucus texture, and ejaculate (semen) has a thick and milky appearance. The presence of discharge from the penis at times other than sexual stimulation may be a sign of an underlying health concern, including chlamydia.

In men, chlamydia discharge is usually white in colour, and accompanied by a strong odour. However, this is not always the case and any discharge that occurs when you are not sexually stimulated, could be a sign of chlamydia. If discharge is accompanied by testicular pain, stinging when urinating, itching or burning at the tip of the penis, you should take a chlamydia test.

At least half of all men with chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms. This means that it is easily passed on. In some cases, chlamydia in men can spread to the testicles and epididymis (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles). This can cause pain and swelling and is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles).

The NHS recommends that sexually active men who are under should have a chlamydia test once a year, and when they meet a new sexual partner.


What does chlamydia discharge smell like?

Chlamydia discharge usually has a strong, foul smell. The odour of chlamydia discharge in women is sometimes said to be fishy, or similar to the smell of pus.


I have used antibiotics, but I still have discharge

There can be several reasons why you have taken antibiotics and you still have discharge or other chlamydia symptoms.

  • Antibiotic treatment can take time to work. Often, they continue to work even once the course is complete. It is not unusual to still experience symptoms even after having completed treatment. However, if symptoms do not resolve soon after completing the course of antibiotics, or they appear to be getting worse, you should visit a sexual health clinic.
  • You or your partner have not completed the full treatment course. Not taking antibiotics as prescribed can result in antibiotics not working.
  • Unprotected sex during treatment, or within 7 days after having finished antibiotics, can result in reinfection.
  • The antibiotics are not effective due to antibiotic resistance. If you have used antibiotics in the past, you may have built up resistance to certain treatments. The first line and most effective treatment for chlamydia is doxycycline. If you are unable to take doxycycline, azithromycin is the second line treatment, but it is not as effective as doxycycline anymore, due to resistance.

If you fall into any of the categories listed above, you should get retested after 6 weeks. Remember, discharge is common. It should be a change in discharge that you are looking out for.

It’s also worth knowing that re-infection is common for chlamydia. Therefore, a follow-up test is recommended 6 months after treatment if you have no symptoms. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should have a follow-up test 3 to 4 weeks after completing treatment.

Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.

What Is Chlamydia? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Medically Reviewed

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States. It’s especially common in young adults, for reasons that have to do with the lifestyle choices made by many young people, such as having sex with many different partners.

While chlamydia can be easily and quickly treated, untreated chlamydia can — and often does — cause infertility in women. Symptoms of chlamydia can be mild or nonexistent, which means it’s important to get screened for it if you fit the recommended screening criteria.

Common Questions & Answers

How do you know if you have chlamydia?

Getting tested is the only way to know for sure whether you have chlamydia. The infection often causes no symptoms, but even when it does, the symptoms are easy to confuse with symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases or infections that are not sexually transmitted.

What are the first signs of chlamydia?

Often, there are no signs. But among the signs and symptoms that can occur are painful urination and, in women, abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, bleeding after intercourse, and bleeding between periods. In men, symptoms may include discharge from the penis and painful testicles.

What happens if you don’t get treated for chlamydia?

Untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and to epididymitis in men. Both conditions are potentially painful and can lead to infertility, and PID raises the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus).

How can you tell if a guy has chlamydia?

There’s no way to tell by looking whether a guy has chlamydia. A man (or, indeed, anyone) needs to get tested using an approved laboratory test to know for sure. It’s also important to know that having chlamydia once doesn’t make you immune to it: You can have it an infinite number of times.

Can you die from chlamydia?

Chlamydia itself won’t kill you, but if it damages a woman’s fallopian tubes, leading to an ectopic pregnancy, the fallopian tube can rupture, causing internal bleeding and death if not treated promptly.

Signs and Symptoms of Chlamydia

“The signs of chlamydia are so subtle that women often don’t realize they have an infection,” says Jill Rabin, MD, the co-chief of ambulatory care, OB/GYN, at Northwell Health in Great Neck, New York, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. And, she emphasizes, usually the disease has no symptoms in women.

For this reason, focusing on signs and symptoms is not especially helpful when it comes to detecting or diagnosing chlamydia.

When symptoms occur, they tend to develop one to three weeks after exposure to chlamydia.

Chlamydia Symptoms in Women

In cases of chlamydia where symptoms occur, women may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge that may be watery or milky
  • Painful discharge or bleeding from the anus
  • Inflamed eyelids (from contact with genital secretions)

Advanced chlamydia may cause additional symptoms in women. The following symptoms indicate that chlamydia infection has spread to the fallopian tubes:

  • Pain during sex
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Nausea or fever

Chlamydia Symptoms in Men

Up to half of all men with chlamydia experience no symptoms. When men do have signs or symptoms, they may be minor and may include one or more of the following:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • An abnormal discharge from the penis, which may be pus (a thick yellowish-white fluid) or a watery or milky fluid
  • Painful discharge or bleeding from the anus
  • Inflamed eyelids (from contact with genital secretions)
  • Painful or swollen testicles

Learn More About Symptoms of Chlamydia

Causes and Risk Factors of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. These bacteria attack the cells of your body’s mucous membranes — the soft, moist tissues of your body that aren’t covered by skin.

Here are areas of the body where mucous membranes are possible targets for chlamydia infection:

  • Vagina, cervix, and fallopian tubes in women
  • Urethra in women and men
  • Anus and rectum
  • Lining of the eyelid
  • Throat (uncommon)

Chlamydia can be spread through any sexual contact, with or without ejaculation.

Women can also give chlamydia to a baby during childbirth, causing a genital or rectal infection in the infant that may last for a year or longer. Chlamydia can also cause serious eye infections or pneumonia in infants.

Chlamydia trachomatis can also trigger a less common disease in men and women called lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV). LGV can cause painless genital ulcers, enlarged groin lymph nodes, and/or inflammation of the anus and rectum.

Chlamydia Risk Factors

While chlamydia can be spread through any sexual contact involving mucous membranes, certain activities — and certain people — are more likely to spread the infection.

Chlamydia is more likely to spread through genital-to-genital contact than from your mouth to someone’s penis, vagina, or anus, or from any of these areas to your mouth. That’s because the bacteria thrive in these other areas more easily than in your mouth or throat.

Young people are especially likely to get chlamydia, for a combination of behavioral and cultural reasons. Not using condoms consistently, moving quickly from one sexual relationship to another, and lack of access to STD screening services may all contribute to this increased risk.

In addition, young people may be more vulnerable because “those young cells tend to attract the agents that cause chlamydia and other STDs, such as HPV [human papillomavirus], a bit more vigorously,” says Dr. Rabin.

Men who have sex with men are also considered to be at increased risk for chlamydia. In this group, the rate of positive chlamydia test results from a rectal swab ranges from 3.0 to 10.5 percent, and the rate from throat swabs ranges from 0. 5 to 2.3 percent.

If you’re treated for chlamydia but your sexual partner isn’t, you can be reinfected by your partner, even if your partner is asymptomatic.

How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed?

There are a few different types of diagnostic tests for chlamydia. The newest type, known as nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), can easily be performed on a swab of your vagina or a urine sample. Vaginal swabs are the preferred method to test for genital chlamydia in women, while urine samples are preferred for men.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved NAATs for use on urogenital and extragenital sites, including urine, endocervical, vaginal, male urethral, rectal, and pharyngeal specimens.

Who Should Get Tested for Chlamydia?

If you’re a sexually active woman under age 25, the CDC recommends getting a yearly test for chlamydia and other STDs. Annual testing is also recommended for women age 25 and older if they have multiple sexual partners, a new sex partner, or a sex partner with multiple partners or who gets an STD.

Pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia according to the above guidelines, with a second test during the third trimester of pregnancy. If a pregnant woman tests positive for chlamydia, she should be tested again four weeks after treatment to ensure that it was effective, and again in three months.

Men who have sex with men should also get screened for chlamydia yearly, with any potential areas of contact — urethra, rectum, or throat — included in these tests, regardless of whether condoms were used. Men in this group with multiple sex partners, or whose partner has multiple partners, should get tested every three to six months instead.

People with HIV should be tested for chlamydia at their first HIV evaluation, and at least once a year after that if they’re sexually active, depending on their sexual practices.

Notifying Sexual Partners

If you test positive for chlamydia, you should communicate this result to all sexual partners with whom you were intimate in the 60 days before the onset of symptoms or before your diagnosis — whichever is earlier. This recommendation applies to partners of all genders, with whom you’ve had anal, oral, or vaginal sex.

In some states, your healthcare provider is allowed to prescribe extra doses of antibiotics for you to give to your sexual partners — a practice known as expedited partner therapy (EPT). This practice has been shown to reduce the rate of chlamydia reinfection in the original person seeking treatment, as well as increase the reported rate of sexual partners getting treatment.

Prognosis of Chlamydia

“Chlamydia can be cured easily if it’s caught early,” Rabin says. If you receive prompt treatment with antibiotics, you can avoid the most damaging effects of chlamydia, such as severe pain or infertility in women.

If chlamydia isn’t promptly detected and treated, on the other hand, it can lead to a number of potentially serious complications.

Duration of Chlamydia

If you become infected with chlamydia, any initial symptoms may occur one to three weeks after the time of infection. But in many people who test positive for chlamydia, there are no symptoms, and it’s impossible to pin down how long they’ve had the infection.

Chlamydia doesn’t go away on its own without treatment. If you don’t get treated, you may develop serious symptoms or complications.

Treatment and Medication Options for Chlamydia

A course of antibiotics is the treatment for chlamydia. Your doctor will decide which drug to prescribe, and at what dose, according to your individual medical needs and other aspects of your situation.

It’s important to abstain from having sex until seven days after the start of your antibiotic treatment, to prevent the transmission of chlamydia to a sexual partner. If you have a partner who is being treated for chlamydia, the same recommendation applies to them.

If you have symptoms that persist for more than a few days after you start your treatment, see your doctor again to be reevaluated.

Because the symptoms of chlamydia are similar to those of gonorrhea, you should be treated for both infections if you test positive for chlamydia. That’s because it’s often faster and cheaper to just treat both infections than to order another test for gonorrhea after a positive test result for chlamydia.

After completing your antibiotic treatment for chlamydia, you’ll need to get tested again after three to four months — or earlier, if recommended — to check for reinfection.

While antibiotics can cure chlamydia, they can’t reverse any permanent damage caused by the infection.

Medication Options

For adults and adolescents, the most common antibiotic regimens prescribed to treat chlamydia are as follows, taken by mouth:

  • azithromycin (Zithromax) (1 gram single dose)
  • doxycycline (Vibramycin) (100 milligrams twice a day for seven days)

Alternative drugs that may be considered for special situations include the following:

  • amoxicillin (Amoxil)
  • erythromycin (MY-E)
  • levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • ofloxacin (Floxin)

In some cases, including for some pregnant women, a lower dose of antibiotics may be taken up to four times a day, for as long as 14 days.

Learn More About Chlamydia Treatment and Prevention

Prevention of Chlamydia

There are a few steps you can take to reduce or eliminate your risk of getting chlamydia.

The only sure way to avoid chlamydia is to abstain from having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. You’re also highly unlikely to get chlamydia if you’re in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for the disease.

In other cases, using latex male condoms — correctly and consistently — can reduce your risk of getting chlamydia and other STDs. There isn’t enough data on preventing chlamydia transmission with other barrier methods (such as female condoms) for the CDC to recommend them.

Complications of Chlamydia

If left undiagnosed and untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious complications in both women and men.

In women, untreated chlamydia can lead to the following complications:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Cystitis (bladder inflammation)
  • Cervicitis (cervix inflammation)
  • Preterm delivery during pregnancy
  • Infection in infants born vaginally to an infected mother

PID, a serious infection of the reproductive organs, occurs with symptoms in about 10 to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. But with or without symptoms, it can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, potentially resulting in chronic pelvic pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy (a sometimes fatal condition).

Cervicitis can sometimes cause a yellowish discharge from the cervix.

In men, untreated chlamydia can lead to the following complications:

  • Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland)
  • Epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis, a structure found behind each testicle)
  • Scarring of the urethra
  • Infertility

Prostatitis can come on gradually or suddenly, potentially causing severe pain.

In both women and men, chlamydia can increase the risk of HIV infection if you’re exposed to the virus.

Research and Statistics: How Many People Get Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a very common infection, constituting the largest proportion of all STDs reported to the CDC since 1994.

In 2020, there were nearly 1. 6 million reported cases of chlamydia in the United States, a decrease of 13 percent compared with 2019, which may be attributed not to fewer cases but fewer in-person doctor visits during the pandemic. This comes out to about 481 cases per 100,000 people, but many experts believe that the actual number of infections is much higher.

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), for instance, estimates that as many as 3 million people have chlamydia each year in the United States.

Young people are more likely to get chlamydia than the general population. For both women and men, incidence rises and peaks in their late teens and early 20s. For example, the rate of reported chlamydia in 2020 was nearly 4,800 cases per 100,000 women ages 19 and 20. Among men, incidence peaks at ages 19 and 20 at just over 1,800 cases per 100,000 people.

The rate of reported chlamydia varies widely throughout the United States at the county and state level. In 2020, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine had the lowest reported rates of chlamydia, while the highest rates were found in the Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alaska. The region with the highest rate of chlamydia was the South, while the Northeast had the lowest rate.

Racial Disparity and Chlamydia

The prevalence of chlamydia is drastically different across racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Overall, Black, white, and Hispanic women have the highest rates of chlamydia.

In 2020, there were nearly 447,000 reported cases of chlamydia among Black Americans, with around 352,000 for white Americans and nearly 189,000 for Hispanic Americans. The lowest rates were among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, at 3,384 reported cases, and American Indian/Alaska natives, at 14,917.

Related Conditions

Gonorrhea This bacterial infection can cause symptoms and complications similar to those of chlamydia.

Genital Herpes This viral infection is common, but most people with genital herpes don’t know they have it.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) The most common STD in the United States, this viral infection can cause genital warts and lead to cervical and other cancers. Many forms of HPV can be prevented by vaccines.

HIV/AIDS People who have other STDs are at increased risk for HIV infection, which is largely preventable through pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) therapies.

Sexual Health Resources

You can protect your sexual health and fertility by educating yourself about STDs, as well as about healthy relationships and sexuality. If you’re sexually active, you should also get screened for STDs, according to CDC guidelines.

The following resources can help provide information, support, and services related to sexual health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This online resource from the leading public health agency in the United States provides an overview of numerous STDs and related conditions, covering areas including prevention, testing, treatment, and statistics.

American Sexual Health Association

This nonprofit organization has online resources covering a wide range of topics, including STDs, sexual anatomy, sexual health in relationships, and talking to your kids about sex. It also has an online support group and discussion community with areas for specific STDs, STD prevention, and emotional and relationship issues.

National Coalition for Sexual Health

This coalition of more than 120 member organizations supports improving sexual health for all Americans by promoting high-quality sexual health information and health services. Its website has resources for the public and for healthcare providers, on topics like preventive health services, sexual health quick tips, and how to discuss sexual health at a doctor’s appointment.

Office on Women’s Health

This division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information on numerous topics related to sexual and reproductive health, including STDs, relationships and safety, breastfeeding, and much more.

Planned Parenthood

This nonprofit organization operates clinics throughout the United States that provide STD testing and treatment, birth control, emergency contraception, abortion, and other sexual health services.

Learn More About Sexual Health Resources

Additional reporting by Quinn Phillips.

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking

  • Chlamydia: Fast Facts. American Sexual Health Association.
  • Chlamydia — CDC Detailed Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 12, 2022.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2020: National Overview: Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 12, 2022.
  • Mohseni M, Sung S, Takov V. Chlamydia. StatPearls. January 1, 2023.
  • FDA Clears First Diagnostic Tests for Extragenital Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. May 23, 2019.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2020: Table 6A. Chlamydia — Reported Cases and Rates of Reported Cases Among Men Aged 15–24 Years by Age, United States, 2016–2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 12, 2022.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2020: Table 2. Chlamydia — Reported Cases and Rates of Reported Cases by State, Ranked by Rates, United States, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 12, 2022.
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2020: Table 5A. Chlamydia — Reported Cases by Race/Hispanic Ethnicity, Age Group, and Sex, United States, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 12, 2022.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021: Screening Recommendations and Considerations Referenced in Treatment Guidelines and Original Sources. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. June 6, 2022.
  • Cervicitis: Symptoms an Causes. Mayo Clinic. January 31, 2023.
  • Epididymitis: Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic. December 9, 2022.

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White thick discharge: causes and treatment


  • 1 White thick discharge
    • 1.1 What is white thick discharge?
    • 1.2 What could be the causes of white thick discharge?
    • 1. 3 Fungal infections as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.4 Bacterial infections as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.5 Viral infections as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.6 Sexual infections as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.7 Allergic reactions as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.8 Hormonal imbalance as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.9 Poor hygiene as the cause of white, thick discharge
    • 1.10 Ways to treat white, thick discharge
    • 9000 5 1.11 Treatment of bacterial infections to prevent white, thick discharge

    • 1.12 Treatment of fungal infections to prevent white thick discharge
    • 1.13 Treatment of viral infections to prevent white thick discharge
    • 1.14 Treatment of genital infections to prevent white, thick discharge
    • 1.15 Avoid allergic reactions to prevent white, thick discharge
    • 1.16 Regular hygiene to prevent white, thick discharge
    • 1. 17 Conclusion: White, thick discharge can be associated with various causes and their treatment depends on these reasons
    • 1.18 Related videos:
    • 1.19 Q&A:
        • What is white thick discharge?
        • What are the possible causes of white thick discharge?
        • Can white thick discharge be treated on my own?
        • What medicines can be prescribed to treat white, thick discharge?
        • Can white thick discharge occur during pregnancy?
        • What precautions can be taken to avoid white thick discharge?
        • Can white thick discharge affect my reproductive system?

White, thick discharge can be a sign of a variety of conditions, including fungal infections and inflammation. It is important to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. In the article, we will look at the main causes of white thick discharge in women and what to do if you encounter such a problem.

White thick discharge in women may be the norm, however, depending on the nature and manifestations, they can also be a symptom of gynecological diseases.

Such secretions may vary in texture and odor and may vary in color from clear to yellowish or white. They can also be related to different factors such as infections, hormonal imbalances, or inflammation. It is important to understand that white, thick discharge may be accompanied by various symptoms, such as itching, irritation, and soreness in the genital area.

In this article, we will look at the most common causes of white, thick discharge in women, as well as ways to treat and prevent such discharge.

What is white thick discharge?

White thick vaginal discharge is quite common in women. They are white discharge, which can have the consistency of both jelly and cream, or whey material.

Such vaginal discharge in women may be normal, especially before ovulation, as well as with increased estrogen in the body. But also white thick discharge in women may indicate the presence of any disease that requires a visit to a doctor and treatment.

Therefore, if white thick discharge from the vagina is detected, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist for diagnosis and treatment.

What could be the causes of white thick discharge?

White, thick discharge, called leptotrichia, can be caused by various factors. They can be associated with diseases of the genitourinary system, hormonal disorders, infectious diseases, and even malnutrition. Consider some of the possible reasons:

  • Vaginosis. This disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the vagina. Women with vaginosis may experience a white, thick discharge that has a foul odor. Usually, the discharge is accompanied by itching and irritation in the genital area.
  • Fungal infections. Fungal infections can cause thick white discharge in women. Often such discharge is accompanied by itching and burning in the vaginal area. These symptoms may appear after taking antibiotics or removing the balance of microorganisms in the vagina.
  • Miscarriage or abortion. If you have had a miscarriage or abortion, a thick white discharge may appear in the next few weeks after the procedure. This is a normal reaction of the body to recovery after the procedure.
  • Stress and changes in hormonal balance. Stress and other emotional problems can change the hormonal balance in the body and cause white, thick discharge. Women may also experience such discharge during menopause, when estrogen levels in the body decrease.

If you have white, thick discharge, it is recommended to see a doctor to determine the possible cause. Some causes may require treatment to avoid complications and health problems in the future.

Fungal infections as the cause of white thick discharge

Fungal infections are one of the main factors causing white thick discharge in women. This is due to the fact that fungi produce enzymes that promote the reproduction of their colonies in the vagina. As a result of this, severe itching, burning, and white thick discharge appear, which become a very unpleasant problem for women.

Appropriate precautions must be taken to prevent fungal infections. For example, you need to monitor the hygiene of the vagina, using quality hygiene products and not wearing tight underwear, which can cause sweating and the development of a fungal infection. It is also worth avoiding long courses of antibiotics, which disrupt the balance of the vaginal microflora and create a favorable environment for the reproduction of fungi.

If a fungal infection has not been prevented, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Treatment of fungal infections is carried out with the help of special drugs that suppress the reproduction of fungi and eliminate the symptoms of the disease. Self-medication in this case is strictly prohibited, as this can lead to complications and negative consequences.

Be aware that fungal infections can lead to serious health-saving consequences. Therefore, the sooner you see a specialist and start treatment, the better for your health and well-being.

Bacterial infections as the cause of white thick discharge

White thick discharge can be caused by bacterial infections such as vaginosis, chlamydia, mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis, gonorrhea and others.

Vaginosis is the most common bacterial infection and can lead to white, thick discharge. This is due to a lack of beneficial bacteria in the vagina that maintain a healthy balance of microflora. As a result, pathogenic bacteria begin to multiply, causing white, thick discharge with an unpleasant odor.

Chlamydia, mycoplasmosis, and ureaplasmosis are sexually transmitted bacterial infections that can cause white, thick discharge. Usually, these infections do not cause any symptoms, but if there is a white, thick discharge, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Gonorrhea is also a bacterial infection that can cause white, thick discharge in women. However, since gonorrhea is more common in men, women should see a doctor based on other symptoms, such as burning and pain during urination, to diagnose gonorrhea.

Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat bacterial infections that cause white, thick discharge. It is important to consult a doctor in a timely manner and not self-medicate, which can lead to complications and chronicity of the process.

Viral infections cause white, thick discharge

White, thick discharge in women may be associated with viral infections. Some of these infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), often don’t show symptoms but can cause changes in the color and texture of the discharge. This can lead to a thick white discharge that does not always smell.

Another common viral infection that can cause white, thick discharge is herpes. Herpes can cause irritation and vaginal discharge, as well as itching and redness. Some other viruses, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), can also cause changes in a woman’s secretions.

If a viral infection is suspected, seek immediate medical attention for a specific diagnosis and treatment. Viruses can be treated with drugs such as acyclovir, but only a doctor can determine which drugs are best for you.

Genital infections as a cause of white thick discharge

White thick discharge may be associated with genital infections. Sexually transmitted infections are transmitted sexually, usually through unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner. Such infections can cause white, thick discharge in women.

One of the most common sexually transmitted infections that causes white, thick discharge is candidiasis. This is a fungal disease caused by a fungus of the genus Candida. It can occur not only in women, but also in men. Candidiasis manifests itself as itching and burning in the genital area, as well as white, thick discharge, which often has a sour smell.

Trichomoniasis can be another cause of white, thick discharge. This is a bacterial infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. It is sexually transmitted and can cause a thick, white discharge with a greenish tinge and a foul odor. In addition, women with trichomoniasis may experience itching and burning in the genital area, as well as discomfort when urinating.

However, it is important to note that white thick discharge can be caused by other factors not related to genital infections. Therefore, for an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist and undergo appropriate studies.

Allergic reactions as a cause of white thick discharge

White thick discharge in women can be caused by an allergic reaction. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance as if it were a dangerous enemy.

Allergens can be found in food, dust, animals, etc. When a person encounters an allergen, their body begins to produce antibodies that cause the release of histamine. Histamine leads to swelling, itching, redness, and white, thick discharge. In the case of an allergy, white thick discharge can cause not only a violation of the functionality of the female organs, but also the general nervous system.

For the treatment of allergic reactions that cause white thick discharge, a specialist should be consulted. Your doctor may prescribe allergy tests and medications to suppress allergic reactions, such as antihistamines and glucocorticoids.

Hormonal imbalance as a cause of white thick discharge

White thick discharge in women can appear for various reasons. One of the main factors is hormonal imbalance. This happens when the norms of natural hormones in a woman’s body go astray.

Most often, this imbalance is manifested in violation of the ovaries. For example, if a woman is diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, then there are malfunctions in the work of hormones, which leads to the appearance of white, thick discharge.

Pregnancy, lactation or the use of hormonal drugs can also cause hormonal imbalance. During pregnancy, the level of estrogen in a woman’s body rises significantly, which can lead to the appearance of white discharge.

White, thick discharge caused by hormonal imbalance should only be treated under the supervision of a physician. Establishing a correct diagnosis and prescribing adequate therapy can significantly speed up the process of a woman’s recovery.

In general, to correct hormonal imbalance it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat right and avoid stressful situations. It is also recommended to take regular tests and coordinate the choice of treatment with a gynecologist.

Poor hygiene as a cause of white thick discharge

White thick discharge in women can be caused by poor hygiene. With insufficient care for the genital organs, a violation of the internal microflora may occur, which contributes to the development of white, thick discharge. This is due to the accumulation of dirt, epithelial elements, bacteria and fungi, as well as the weakness of local defense mechanisms.

Increase in the amount of mucous fluid, its density and discoloration can occur when using poor-quality, uncomfortable sanitary napkins and diapers. In addition, insufficiently thorough washing and shower without the use of specialized products can lead to a violation of the microflora and white marks.

To prevent this ailment, women are advised to follow the rules of personal hygiene, using proven intimate hygiene products, not to abuse soap and helium in conditions of vaginal dryness, to wear only high-quality hygiene products and to use antifungal drugs at the first symptoms of the disease.

Ways to treat white thick discharge

1. Medication treatment

Antifungal therapy is prescribed to treat white thick discharge. Ointments, creams and suppositories containing antimycotic drugs are used locally. Some of them may be acceptable for oral use. The course of treatment can last 1-3 weeks, when improvement appears, therapy is interrupted.

2. Genital hygiene

Maintain personal hygiene and change your clothes more often. Remove tight underwear and use only natural fabrics. Take a shower or bath every day. To avoid the possibility of re-infection, use an individual towel and swimsuit.

3. Lifestyle change

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, start exercising, avoid fatty and sugary foods from your diet. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals to boost your body’s immunity.

4. Avoiding stressful situations

Stress can lower the immune system and worsen the situation, so you need to avoid stressful situations and learn how to cope with them.

Treatment of bacterial infections to prevent white, thick discharge

If white, thick discharge is caused by a bacterial infection, the treatment prescribed by your doctor should be followed. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics. It is necessary to strictly follow the instructions on the package of the drug and not stop the course of treatment ahead of time, even if the symptoms of coronary artery disease have disappeared. This will help prevent recurrence of the infection.

In addition, it is important to maintain hygiene. It is necessary to take a shower daily, especially before and after intimacy. Using deodorant and antibacterial soaps will help reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria in the intimate area. It is also worth wearing underwear made from natural materials and avoid tight, tight clothes.

To boost your immune system and prevent bacterial infections, you can increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and take prebiotics and probiotics. They will help restore healthy microflora in the intestines, which in turn will help prevent the development of bacterial infections and white, thick discharge.

Treatment of fungal infections to prevent white, thick discharge

White, thick discharge can be caused by fungal infections such as thrush and candidiasis. To prevent this condition, it is important to treat these infections.

There are medical and non-traditional ways to treat fungal infections. Drug treatment includes the use of antimicrobials such as Diflucan, Nystatin and Clotrimazole. They kill fungi and quickly relieve symptoms, including white, thick discharge.

There are also non-traditional ways to treat fungal infections, such as the use of broccoli, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. They have an antifungal effect and can help fight infection.

It is important to remember that fungal infections can take a long time to heal and require ongoing therapy. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor and get the necessary advice to choose the most effective method of treatment.

Treatment of viral infections to prevent white thick discharge

White, thick discharge may be the result of a viral infection. To prevent them, treatment of the infection itself is necessary. With any viral infection, you need to drink plenty of fluids, mainly water. This will help you stay hydrated and speed up the healing process.

You can also take antibiotics to treat a viral infection to help fight the disease. In order for the treatment to be effective, it is necessary to use exactly those antibiotics that are recommended by the doctor, since each type of virus requires a special approach.

It is important to remember that when treating a viral infection, it is necessary to strictly observe the daily regimen and avoid pinching. It is also necessary to avoid stressful situations and try to reduce the load on the body.

In addition, some patients may use topical preparations to reduce inflammation and discomfort in the discharge area. Such drugs are usually prescribed by the attending physician.

Although viral infections are difficult to prevent, you can slightly reduce the risk of them by taking preventive measures. Wash your face regularly with hygienic soap, dry your genital area thoroughly, and use individual towels. Visit only trusted partners and use contraception.

Treatment of STDs to prevent white, thick discharge

White, thick discharge may be a sign of a STD that needs treatment. In no case should this symptom be neglected, since genital infections can cause serious health complications.

To prevent white, thick discharge caused by sexually transmitted infections, seek medical attention immediately. Treatment of sexually transmitted infections begins with the correct diagnosis. Your doctor may order blood, urine, and pap smear tests to determine the cause of the infection.

Then, depending on the results of the tests, the doctor may prescribe treatment in the form of antibiotics or antifungals. Treatment of genital infections should be complex, therapy and two partners are grafted – symmetry. It is also important to follow the doctor’s recommendations and not interrupt treatment even if the symptoms have disappeared.

In addition, to prevent sexually transmitted infections, it is important to practice good hygiene, use condoms, and avoid casual sex. Nutrition should be rich in vitamins and minerals that many do not look at. In addition, you should regularly undergo medical examinations with doctors

It is also important to stop bad habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, which weaken the immune system and increase the risk of STDs.

Avoid allergic reactions to prevent white, thick discharge

White, thick discharge can be caused by a variety of things, including allergic reactions to certain substances. To prevent these secretions, it is important to avoid allergens and take steps to protect your body from them.

One of the most common allergens is dust, which can contain microscopic particles of various substances. These particles can cause an allergic reaction that results in a white, thick discharge. To avoid such a reaction, it is necessary to clean the room regularly, use special filters to purify the air and avoid contact with dust.

In addition to dust, allergic reactions can be caused by food, chemicals, flower dust and many other factors. Therefore, it is important to monitor your diet, especially if you notice that you are experiencing allergic reactions. In addition, when working with chemicals, it is necessary to use protective equipment to prevent both allergic reactions and other negative consequences.

Avoidance of allergens is a key factor in preventing white, thick discharge. If you already have an allergy, it is important to see a doctor in a timely manner and start treatment. Do not forget that self-medication can lead to serious consequences, so professional advice is always of great importance.

Regular hygiene to prevent white thick discharge

One of the main causes of white thick discharge is poor hygiene of the intimate areas. Regular hygiene is essential to prevent such problems.

To do this, take a daily shower and wash the external genitalia with water and hypoallergenic soap or gel. The use of ordinary soap is not recommended, as it can disrupt the natural balance of microflora in the intimate area.

Strong and scented hygiene products, which can cause irritation and allergic reactions, should also be avoided.

It is important to change linen daily and use only clean towels to dry intimate areas. Do not shower with too hot water, as this can damage the skin and mucous membranes.

Of course, regular hygiene of the body and intimate areas is the first step in preventing white, thick discharge.

Conclusion: white thick discharge can be associated with different causes and their treatment depends on these causes

It is important to understand that white thick discharge in women is quite common and can be associated with different causes. Some of them, such as fungal infections and bacterial vaginosis, require mandatory treatment with drugs prescribed by a doctor.

In addition, discharge may be the result of an allergic reaction to personal care products, intimate hygiene products, synthetic underwear, or other substances that may be encountered in everyday life. In this case, it is necessary to pay attention to the elements of the hygiene regime and regularly change personal hygiene products.

It is also worth paying attention to your lifestyle: lack of sleep, stress and poor nutrition can lead to changes in the microflora in the body and, as a result, to disruption of the normal balance of microorganisms in the vagina.

In any case, if you notice changes in your health, the best solution is to see a doctor. He will prescribe the necessary tests, identify the cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment. In any case, you should not ignore the problem, as this can negatively affect your health and quality of life.

Related videos:


What is white thick discharge?

White thick discharge is vaginal discharge that is white in color and has a thick consistency. They may be accompanied by itching, burning and odor. This phenomenon can occur in women in all age groups.

What are the possible causes of white thick discharge?

The causes of white thick discharge can be varied. For example, it can be a white disease, a fungal infection, bacterial vaginosis, an allergic reaction to hygiene products, an inflammatory process in the uterus, etc. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Can white thick discharge be treated on my own?

Treatment of white, thick discharge must be prescribed by a physician. Failure to comply with this rule can lead to complications and chronic diseases. Therefore, you should not self-medicate, but you should consult a doctor to prescribe the correct treatment.

What medicines can be prescribed to treat white, thick discharge?

White, thick discharge is treated according to the cause. Medicines can only be prescribed by a doctor on an individual basis. For example, it can be antibiotics, antimycotics, probiotics, etc. Treatment with vaginal suppositories may also be prescribed. The course of treatment can be from one to several months.

Can white thick discharge occur during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be one of the causes of white thick discharge. During pregnancy, women’s hormonal levels change, and this can lead to various discharges. However, if you notice severe itching, burning, smell, any discomfort, you should consult a doctor.

What precautions can be taken to avoid white thick discharge?

Certain precautions must be taken to prevent white, thick discharge. For example, keep your genitals clean, use quality hygiene products, wear only cotton underwear, avoid spermicides, maintain a healthy lifestyle, etc.

Can white thick discharge affect my reproductive system?

White thick discharge may affect the reproductive system if not treated. It is possible to develop complications that can cause infertility. Therefore, if you notice the appearance of white thick discharge and discomfort, you should consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Which vaginal discharge in women is normal and which is not, advice from a gynecologist


One of the topics that is embarrassing to discuss even with the closest friends concerns female discharge. Each of us has them, but it is not so easy to determine which discharges are normal in women and are a normal part of life, and which can serve as symptoms of dangerous diseases. Therefore, we asked all these questions to the gynecologist.


Ilya Belov

Women Health

Expert advice

female physiology

If there is no discomfort, we usually do not notice the discharge. But sooner or later, any of us is faced with finding unusual marks on underwear and wondering what kind of discharge is normal for girls. Over time, we figure out how our body functions, for example, what kind of discharge before menstruation is considered normal, but “surprises” still happen. We have analyzed several such situations in the material, but we must warn you – in case of any doubts, contact a gynecologist personally for professional advice.

Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.

Olga Terekhina

obstetrician-gynecologist of the Atlas Medical Center, Ph.D.

Not all discharges are signs of pathologies. Some are the norm, and even necessary.

When girls first have discharge

Approximately one year before the first menstruation, marks can be seen on the underwear. These vaginal discharges are normal, they have neither color nor smell and indicate the preparation of the female body to reach puberty. They will accompany you until the menopause period.

What is considered normal discharge: examples and signs

Light discharge in women is normal if it is almost odorless, does not cause irritation and, in general, is practically not felt. However, as always, there are nuances – let’s figure it out.

What is normal vaginal discharge

Normal discharge in women has a slight sour smell, does not cause irritation of the mucous membranes and discomfort. This is the color of normal discharge in women: it is not bright and has a shade from transparent to light yellow. They perform various functions: they protect against infections, help the sperm enter the body, or act as a lubricant during sexual intercourse.


Understanding the question of what discharge is normal, you can easily find photos on the Internet. Their regular appearance is a sign of the healthy functioning of your reproductive system. By the way, if there is no discharge at all or there is no menstruation, you should consult a doctor – this can serve as a signal of violations.

Normal menstruation: what kind of discharge appears before and during

You probably noticed that before menstruation, the mucous membrane works differently, and wondered what kind of discharge is normal before menstruation. It is considered normal if the discharge becomes creamy or jelly-like, and you should not be afraid of light beige discharge. During menstruation, bleeding may include small clots, and become darker towards the end.

Sometimes the question arises which discharge is normal during ovulation. At this time (approximately the middle of the cycle), the intensity and density of secretions may increase.

What discharge during pregnancy is considered normal

During the bearing of a child, a woman’s body undergoes many changes, including the expectant mother may wonder what discharge is normal during pregnancy and what discharge is normal in the first trimester. Here are the changes to expect.

There will be more secretions – this is a natural process caused by hormones.

What kind of early discharge is normal? Transparent or white, but if there are yellowish marks on the linen or padding, don’t worry either.

In the last weeks of pregnancy you may also notice that the discharge contains streaks of thick mucus streaked with blood. These discharges in women are normal before childbirth, they should not be a cause for alarm.

What discharge after childbirth is considered normal

Within 3-8 weeks after childbirth, women develop bloody mucous discharge, the so-called “lochia” (not to be confused with menstruation). You may be afraid of this and wonder what kind of discharge is normal after childbirth, but in this case, fears are unnecessary – this is a natural process. Lochia is a combination of blood, mucus, white blood cells, placenta remnants and pieces of the uterine lining, so your body gradually gets rid of the consequences of bearing a baby.

Within a month after the abortion, such vaginal discharge is also considered normal. They should not have an unpleasant smell, and you should not feel pain.

Why discharge can turn pink

Pink color appears in the discharge when taking oral contraceptives or the presence of an intrauterine device – they can make you worry and wonder what color the discharge is normal. Don’t worry – such discharges are called “spotting” – they appear in the period of adaptation to taking contraceptives for the first 3-4 months. During this period, the body gets used to microdoses of hormones or the presence of a foreign body in the uterine cavity. But if these discharges persist for more than 4 months, tend to increase, or are accompanied by pain, this is a reason to consult a doctor.

What is considered normal during sex

During intercourse, a sufficient amount of secretions from the vagina, cervix and paraurethral glands is an important basis for pleasurable sensations, all of which are normal secretions in women. What should be the discharge to make you worried? Insufficient. If there is little discharge, you risk getting microcracks, itching, discomfort and infection.

Which secretions are not normal

A deep yellow, green, brown or black discharge in women accompanied by a strong odor, itching, fever and pain in the lower abdomen is not normal. They testify to pathological processes in the body.

Inflammation and infection discharge

Inflammatory diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, mycoplasmosis and others can be the cause. If you feel something is not right, and wonder what the normal smell of discharge is, check this list – and see a doctor!

  • Women with chlamydia develop yellowish, foul-smelling mucous discharge from the vagina.
  • In gonorrhea, a woman will notice yellowish-white vaginal discharge and intermenstrual bleeding.
  • With trichomoniasis, the discharge of a woman becomes clear, white, yellowish or greenish with an unusual fishy smell.
  • Mycoplasmosis in a woman will be indicated by a discharge with an unpleasant odor and an unusual consistency.

Bloody (not menstrual) or purulent discharge in women is not the norm, but a reason to urgently consult a doctor. Such discharge can be symptoms of a variety of diseases, including cysts, cervical erosion, and even cancer.

Thrush discharge

Thrush is a disease caused by fungi of the genus Candida. These fungi infect the mucous membranes, causing itching, burning, and discomfort. The discharges are of a “curdled” nature, which is why they are commonly called “thrush” by the people. There is no sharp smell with thrush. If a little whitish mucus is secreted, then it is appropriate to wonder what female discharge is normal, but candidiasis cannot be confused with anything: the discharge is abnormally abundant.

The disease can be caused by various reasons: taking antibiotics, excessive intimate hygiene using antibacterial soap, or, conversely, neglect of hygiene, pregnancy, diabetes, chronic stress, dietary errors, for example, drinking beer, champagne and sweets. All this can provoke vaginal discharge. Norm and moderation in nutrition and hygiene will reduce the chance of catching this unpleasant disease.

If you see any of these signs, don’t worry about what kind of female discharge is normal, but rather consult a doctor.