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Std with yellow discharge symptoms: Trichomoniasis – Treatment – NHS


Trichomoniasis – Treatment – NHS

Trichomoniasis is unlikely to go away without treatment. The infection may cure itself in rare cases, but you risk passing the infection on to someone else if you are not treated.


Trichomoniasis is usually treated quickly and easily with antibiotics.

Most people are prescribed an antibiotic called metronidazole, which is very effective if taken correctly. You’ll usually have to take metronidazole twice a day, for 5 to 7 days.

Sometimes this antibiotic can be prescribed in a single, larger dose. However, this may have a higher risk of side effects and it’s not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women as a precaution.

Metronidazole can make you feel sick, be sick and cause a slight metallic taste in your mouth. It’s best to take it after eating food. Contact your doctor for advice if you start vomiting, because the treatment will not be effective if you’re unable to swallow the tablets.

Do not drink alcohol while taking metronidazole and for at least 24 hours after finishing the course of antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while taking this medicine can cause more severe side effects, including:

  • a fast heartbeat or heart palpitations
  • skin flushing
  • nausea and vomiting

A specialist can recommend alternative treatments if metronidazole is unsuitable for you (for example, if you’re allergic to it).


If you take your antibiotics correctly, you will not normally need any follow-up tests or examinations for trichomoniasis.

However, you may require further testing to see whether your symptoms are being caused by a different sexually transmitted infection (STI) if your symptoms remain or reoccur after treatment.

If you have unprotected sex before your treatment is finished, you need to return to your GP surgery or sexual health clinic. You may have become reinfected. You must also return if you:

  • did not complete your course of antibiotics
  • did not take your antibiotics correctly (according to the instructions)
  • vomited shortly after taking your antibiotics

You may need more antibiotics or a different form of treatment.

Sexual partners

You should avoid having sex while you’re being treated for trichomoniasis, as you may become reinfected.

If you were prescribed a single dose of antibiotics, you need to avoid having sex for 7 days after taking the medicine.

It’s very important that your current sexual partner and any other recent partners are also tested and treated. If your sexual partner is not treated, this increases the risk of reinfection.

Page last reviewed: 03 November 2021
Next review due: 03 November 2024

Trichomoniasis – Diagnosis – NHS

Trichomoniasis can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to those of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

If you think you may have trichomoniasis, you should visit a GP or your local sexual health clinic (genitourinary medicine (GUM)) clinic.

Some GP surgeries offer an enhanced sexual health service for diagnosing and treating STIs. It may be better to visit a GUM clinic because these clinics can carry out accurate tests more quickly.

In some cases, the GP may refer you to a GUM clinic for tests and treatment if they think you have trichomoniasis.

Using sexual health clinics during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Call a sexual health clinic if you need help or advice. Only go to a clinic if you’ve been told to.

Find sexual health clinic contact details


If your doctor or nurse suspects you have trichomoniasis, they’ll usually carry out an examination of your genital area.

In women, trichomoniasis may cause abnormal vaginal discharge or red blotches on the walls of the vagina and on the cervix (the neck of the womb).

If you are a man with suspected trichomoniasis, your doctor or nurse will examine your penis for signs of inflammation or discharge.

Laboratory testing

After a physical examination, your doctor or nurse may need to take a swab from either the vagina or penis. The swab will be analysed in a laboratory to check for signs of the trichomoniasis infection. It may take several days for the results to come back.

In men, a urine sample can also be tested for trichomoniasis.

If trichomoniasis is suspected, you may be advised to begin a course of treatment before your results come back. This ensures the infection is treated as soon as possible and reduces the risk of it spreading.

See treating trichomoniasis for more information.

Notifying sexual partners

If the test shows you have trichomoniasis, it’s very important that your current sexual partner and any other recent partners are also tested and treated. The staff at the clinic or GP surgery can discuss with you which of your sexual partners may need to be tested.

If possible, tell your sexual partner and any ex-partners so they can get tested and treated as well. If you do not want to do this, the clinic can usually do it for you (it’s called partner notification and the clinic will not reveal who you are).

If you’ve had trichomoniasis and have been cured, there’s no need to tell any future partners.

Page last reviewed: 03 November 2021
Next review due: 03 November 2024

causes and treatments when there is no infection

If you have yellow discharge but no infection, it may be due to various causes, such as changes in hormone levels, microflora disturbances, or even specific habits and lifestyle. In this article, we will look at the main causes of yellow discharge and how to eliminate them.

Yellow vaginal discharge is a signal that something may be wrong with your health. When yellow discharge is not accompanied by itching, burning, or other signs of infection, the cause may be different.

Most common causes of yellow discharge without infection:

  • Contraceptive use
  • Hormonal changes in the body
  • Stress notice yellow discharge and do not feel any symptoms of infection, you are advised to consult a gynecologist to make sure you do not have a latent infection or other diseases.

    Treatment of yellow discharge without infection may include lifestyle changes such as stress reduction or lifestyle changes. If there is too much yellow discharge, the doctor may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms.

    Causes of yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge in women can be caused not only by infectious causes, but also by a number of other factors:

    1. Hormonal changes: to the appearance of yellow discharge.
    2. Microflora disorders: Changes in the composition of microorganisms in the vagina can also cause yellow discharge. This can happen after taking antibiotics, using intimate hygiene products, as well as applying other measures to care for the intimate area.
    3. Stress: Excessive stress can have a negative impact on women’s health in general and the microflora in particular, which can cause yellow discharge.
    4. Vaginosis: A number of vaginal disorders, such as bacterial vaginosis or fungal infections, may be accompanied by a yellow discharge. For the treatment of such diseases, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist and prescribe appropriate therapy.

    Regardless of the cause of the yellow discharge, this symptom should not be ignored. If yellow discharge recurs or intensifies, consult a doctor for advice and prescribe the necessary treatment.

    Related videos:

    Diagnosis of yellow discharge without infection

    If you have detected yellow discharge, but the possibility of infection has been ruled out, then our medical institution is ready to offer you an express diagnosis. This will allow you to find out the cause of the appearance of yellow discharge in order to exclude the possibility of more serious diseases and take effective measures to treat them.

    We have a highly qualified gynecologist who will conduct an examination and answer all questions related to the diagnosis of yellow discharge without infection. We guarantee complete confidentiality and respect for your personal data.

    Before the diagnosis, we will certainly conduct a preliminary consultation to save you from unnecessary trouble and misunderstanding. Be sure that our specialists will provide you with the best quality of medical care.

    Our advantages:

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    What could be the causes of yellow discharge if there is no infection?

    The cause may be a hormonal imbalance, improper hygiene of the genitals, an allergic reaction to personal care products or the use of synthetic underwear.

    What are the symptoms of yellow discharge?

    Yellow discharge may be accompanied by itching, burning, pain during intercourse or urination, and an unpleasant odor.

    What are the treatments for yellow discharge without antibiotics?

    Depending on the cause of the yellow discharge, changes in diet, elimination of allergens, probiotics, topical treatment of fungal infection, use of natural hygiene products may help.

    Is yellow discharge normal?

    A small amount of yellow, odorless and itchy discharge may be normal at some time in the cycle in women, but if this increases and additional symptoms appear, a doctor should be consulted.

    Which drugs can be used to treat yellow discharge?

    Topical preparations such as Pimafucin, Candiben, Clotrimazole can help with a fungal infection. In the case of a bacterial infection, probiotics may be prescribed to restore the microflora of the vagina. It may also be necessary to use drugs to correct hormonal balance.

    What role does lifestyle play when yellow discharge occurs?

    Lifestyle can significantly influence the occurrence of yellow discharge. Proper nutrition, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol consumption, an active lifestyle, and proper genital hygiene can help avoid problems with discharge.

    Can yellow discharge be related to stress?

    Yes, stress can cause changes in the body that can lead to yellow discharge. This is due to the fact that stress can impair immunity, which opens the way to various infections and diseases.

    Symptoms of yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge can be a symptom of various diseases and conditions of the body. Some of them:

    • Vaginal infections. In addition to yellow discharge, there may be itching, burning, inflammation and soreness in the genital area.
    • Pathological processes in the cervix. Yellow discharge may appear after operations or inflammatory processes in this area.
    • Hormonal disorders. Irregular periods, pain in the lower abdomen and yellow discharge can be a sign of hormonal problems.
    • Washing powders and perfumes. Some hygiene products can cause an allergic reaction and yellow discharge.

    If yellow discharge occurs regularly, you should consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Self-treatment can lead to complications and aggravate the problem.

    How to avoid yellow discharge

    Yellow vaginal discharge can be not only an unpleasant phenomenon, but also a symptom of the disease. In order to avoid this inconvenience, you must follow a few simple rules:

    • Stay hygienic: Shower regularly, use special hygiene products for the intimate area. Do not abuse soap or other aggressive products.
    • Take care of your health: Maintain immunity, eat right, reduce stress. Take care of your health and all systems in the body will work properly.
    • Avoid warm baths and showers: High temperatures and high humidity can cause bacteria and fungi to grow, resulting in a yellow discharge.
    • Wear cotton: Cotton has good breathability, which is essential for a healthy vaginal environment.
    • Practice safer sex: Avoid casual sex, use condoms that protect against various sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

    By following these rules, you can avoid the appearance of yellow discharge and maintain the health of the female intimate area in perfect order.

    Medicines taken that cause yellow discharge

    Certain medications can cause yellow discharge in women. This usually occurs as a result of changes in the hormonal balance in the body.

    Among the most common drugs that can cause yellow discharge are:

    • Antibiotics. The use of antibiotics can upset the balance of microorganisms in the vagina, which can lead to a yellow discharge.
    • Antifungals. They can cause changes in the pH level in the vagina, which can also cause yellow discharge.
    • Ovulation stimulants. These medicines can change the hormonal balance in the body and cause yellow discharge.

    In any case, before starting the treatment of yellow discharge, it is necessary to consult a doctor and find out the cause of their appearance.

    Hygiene products for yellow discharge

    With yellow discharge, hygiene is one of the most important components of treatment. To do this, you need to use specialized hygiene products that will help get rid of bacteria and unpleasant odors.

    One of the best hygiene products are specialized gels for intimate hygiene. They contain natural ingredients that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as eliminate unpleasant odors.

    Also, to ensure maximum hygiene, it is recommended to use special pads or tampons that allow you to keep clean throughout the day.

    In addition, it is necessary to maintain a proper hygiene regime – take daily showers, change clothes and shoes, and regularly wash and disinfect.

    Without proper hygiene, it is impossible to get rid of the problem of yellow discharge. Therefore, pay attention to the choice of specialized hygiene products and follow the prescribed doctor’s recommendations to quickly and painlessly get rid of this problem.

    Treatments for yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge can be due to various causes that only a qualified doctor can track down. However, treatment should not be neglected even if there is no infection. Before starting treatment, remember that the possibility of self-treatment is highly undesirable.

    Depending on the provoking factors, there are several specific methods for treating yellow discharge in women:

    • Rational nutrition. Exclusion of fatty, spicy, salty foods, drinking enough water, fruits and vegetables is the first task before starting treatment with drugs.
    • Use of medicines. In principle, herbal teas, vitamins, and probiotic foods can help eliminate yellow discharge. However, in the presence of an infection, it is imperative to visit a doctor and use the therapy prescribed by him, including antibiotics.
    • Hygiene measures. After washing thoroughly and using mild hygiene products, it is recommended not to use tampons, change diapers and underwear frequently.

    In addition, do not forget about the peculiarities of your body and contact specialist doctors, who can provide qualified assistance and answers to all questions.

    What are the possible complications of yellow discharge

    Yellow vaginal discharge can be a sign of various diseases and conditions that lead to a woman’s health problems. If such discharges occur regularly, then it is necessary to pay attention to possible complications that may arise as a result of untimely and improper treatment.

    One of the complications of yellow discharge may be the development of inflammatory diseases in the pelvic organs. If yellow discharge appeared due to an infection that was accompanied by itching and burning, then there is a risk of developing inflammatory processes in the ovaries, uterus and tubes. Late treatment can lead to multiple complications, including infertility.

    Another complication of yellow discharge may be the development of gynecological diseases. For example, cervical cancer may present with yellow discharge and requires mandatory medical attention. Also, yellow discharge can be a sign of the development of endometriosis, polyps, fibroids and other tumors that can cause surgery.

    It is important to remember that yellow discharge can be not only a sign of infectious diseases, but also be a symptom of other serious diseases. Therefore, for diagnosis and treatment, it is necessary to contact a qualified specialist who will determine the cause of the discharge and prescribe the necessary treatment.

    Medical nutrition for yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge can be a sign of various diseases of the female genital organs, such as endometritis, uterine fibroids, cervical polyps, etc. One of the methods of treatment can be proper nutrition .

    Spicy, fried and fatty foods, as well as sweet, starchy and smoked foods should be excluded from the diet. It is recommended to consume more fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, natural dairy products and protein products.

    Herbal drinks such as chamomile, calendula, sage and rowan tea can help with yellow discharge.

    • Avoid:
      • Spicy, fried and fatty foods;
      • Sweet, starchy and smoked.
    • Use:
      • Fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs;
      • Natural fermented milk products;
      • Protein products.

    Plant name Properties

    90 083 Sage
    Chamomile Anti-inflammatory, soothing effect
    Calendula Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory effect
    Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory effect
    Rowan Has a disinfectant effect, strengthens the immune system

    Treatment of yellow discharge should be under medical supervision. However, proper nutrition and the use of herbal drinks can be an additional method in combating this problem.

    Vitamins and supplements for yellow discharge

    If you are experiencing yellow discharge, it is important to understand that it may be due to various factors, including hormonal changes, microflora disorders and other causes.

    For better vaginal health and prevention of yellow discharge, it is recommended to take supplements that contain probiotics and prebiotics. They improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in the body and help reduce the number of harmful microorganisms.

    Also, to eliminate yellow discharge, it may be necessary to increase the intake of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and E, iodine and zinc. They improve the protective functions of the body and help fight possible infections and inflammation.

    • Probiotic Complexes (eg Acidophilus, Bifidumbacterin) support healthy microflora and boost immunity.
    • Vitamin C is contained in many products (citrus fruits, strawberries, gooseberries, etc.), and you can also buy special complexes in a pharmacy.
    • Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, grains and other foods or in special complexes.
    • Zinc is found in buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, dairy products and special complexes.
    • Iodine can be obtained from seafood or purchased in special supplements (eg iodomarine).

    In any case, before you start taking any supplements and vitamins, you should consult your doctor and find out the causes of yellow discharge, as they can be caused by various factors.

    Traditional treatments for yellow discharge

    Not everyone will risk going to the doctor immediately if they find yellow discharge. In this case, you can try to apply alternative methods of treatment.

    The first thing to do is to avoid too much bathing and use soft underwear so as not to injure the skin.

    Very good for taking baths with herbal tinctures, such as calendula, chamomile, and also with the addition of sea salt. This will reduce inflammation and relieve skin irritation.

    You can also use compresses, such as chamomile, calendula or celandine. They need to be applied to the vaginal area for 20-30 minutes several times a day.

    Do not forget about the diet. It is necessary to exclude spicy, fatty and sweet from the diet, as well as increase the amount of enzymes, vitamins and trace elements that are found in vegetables, fruits and green vegetables.

    If the yellow discharge persists for a long time and is presented in large quantities, it is necessary to consult a doctor to rule out the possibility of gynecological diseases.

    What are the risks of yellow discharge self-treatment

    Yellow discharge is a symptom that can be caused by various causes, including infections or other diseases. Treatment that does not address the root cause can have serious consequences.

    One of the dangers of self-treatment of yellow discharge is the risk of a long course of the disease. Excessive temporary use of drugs can lead to an imbalance in the microflora and an exacerbation of the disease.

    Improperly treated yellow discharge can also lead to other infections that may be more dangerous. For example, if you have a fungal disease and you treat it with antibiotics, it is likely that bacteria will start to develop and worsen the symptoms of the disease.

    The only way to properly treat yellow discharge is to see a specialist. Only a doctor can determine the root cause of the symptom and prescribe adequate treatment. This guarantees a quick recovery and a minimum of complications.

    When to see a doctor about yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge can be a sign of various diseases. Therefore, if you notice that you have yellow discharge, you should consult a doctor. Slight changes in the color and smell of secretions may indicate changes in the state of health of the body.

    Yellow discharge in women can be a sign of various infections, including genital infections. If such discharge appeared in combination with itching, burning and discomfort in the intimate area, then you should immediately contact a gynecologist.

    In men, yellow discharge may be a sign of prostatitis, a disease of the prostate gland. Such discharge is often accompanied by pain in the perineum, as well as painful ejaculation.

    • If yellow discharge is accompanied by pain in the intimate area, you should consult a doctor;
    • If you notice yellow discharge in your body, accompanied by frequent urination or abdominal pain, you should see a urologist;
    • If yellow discharge is accompanied by fever and general malaise, a physician should be consulted.

    Remember that self-treatment can lead to undesirable consequences. Only a qualified doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment.

    Which doctors treat yellow discharge

    Vaginal discharge can be the result of various factors, from normal physiological changes to various diseases. Therefore, if you have yellow discharge, be sure to consult a doctor for professional advice.

    Treatment of yellow discharge can be carried out by several specialists:

    • Gynecologist – will conduct an examination, determine the cause of the discharge and prescribe the appropriate treatment;
    • Immunologist – if the cause of the discharge is associated with a violation of the immune system, then this specialist will help restore immunity and prevent further problems;
    • Endocrinologist – If the yellow discharge is due to a hormonal imbalance, then this doctor will help restore the hormonal balance and prevent further problems.

    It is important to understand that the restoration of health is the result of the joint efforts of the doctor and the patient. To avoid possible complications, do not postpone the visit to the doctor and follow his recommendations.

    Psychological aspects of yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge in women can cause not only physical but also psychological displeasure. Such secretions can affect well-being, the level of trust in your body, as well as the quality of intimate life.

    Feeling uncomfortable and uncomfortable in intimate relationships can lead to a decrease in self-confidence and attractiveness. Yellow discharge can cause embarrassment and embarrassment in intimacy, which negatively affects partnerships.

    Prolonged and unpleasant sensations with yellow discharge can cause anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is recommended not to postpone increased attention to such manifestations and consult a specialist for advice.

    • How to cope? It is important to remember that yellow discharge is often the result of various physiological processes and is almost always successfully treated. To improve psychological health, it is recommended to consult a psychotherapist or psychologist. They will help you become aware of your emotions and feelings, as well as teach you how to work with them more effectively.
    • Importance of diagnosing and treating possible infections. If yellow discharge is accompanied by itching and burning in the intimate area, this may indicate the presence of an infection. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and prescribe treatment if necessary. Only after treatment can we talk about complete relief from inconvenience and increased self-confidence, as well as to establish partnerships.

    In our center we offer a comprehensive approach to the treatment of yellow discharge, which includes both medication methods and psychological consultations to support and strengthen psychological health.

    Individual treatment of yellow discharge

    Yellow discharge in women can occur for various reasons, from hormonal changes to postpartum complications. Therefore, before starting treatment, it is necessary to identify the cause of this condition.

    In most cases, yellow discharge is the result of a bacterial infection or inflammation in the vagina. In this case, it is necessary to take a course of antibiotics and take anti-inflammatory drugs.

    However, the individual characteristics of the female body may require an individual approach to treatment. For example, some women have an increased sensitivity to certain groups of antibiotics, so it is necessary to find an alternative treatment.

    In addition to antibiotics, the doctor may prescribe special drugs that strengthen the immune system, as well as vitamins and minerals to restore the microflora in the vagina.

    • Remember to consult a doctor if yellow discharge occurs.
    • A personalized approach to treatment can prevent complications and speed up recovery.

    Contact a specialist who will help you choose the most effective course of treatment and advise on all emerging issues.

    Vaginal discharge – types, causes and treatment

    What is vaginal secretion

    The vagina, or vagina, is the part of the female reproductive system that connects the external genitalia (vulva) and uterus. It is an elastic hollow tube consisting of muscles, mucous membranes and various glands that secrete a secret.

    Like the vulva, each woman’s vagina has individual differences in structure. So, the presence and shape of the hymen, the length of the vagina and its angle in relation to the entrance to the uterus (cervix) are individual. On average, the length of the vagina in an adult woman varies from 7 to 12 cm.

    Through the vagina, vaginal intercourse, fertilization and the birth of a child occur. Due to the elasticity of the tissues, the vagina can stretch, adapting to the size of the penis or head of the fetus during childbirth, and then shrink again, returning to its original shape.

    The microflora is normally well developed on the vaginal mucosa. It consists of beneficial lactobacilli, which maintain the acidity of the environment and protect the internal organs of the reproductive system from pathogens.

    The body also removes various biological fluids through the vagina: menstrual flow, vaginal secretion, and at the beginning of labor, amniotic fluid.

    Vaginal discharge is a mixture of fluid (secretion) secreted by the glands of the vagina, cervical mucus, dead cells of the mucous membrane and bacteria that are part of the normal microflora. The composition and amount of secretions are individual. In addition, their color, consistency and intensity depend on the woman’s age and the phase of the menstrual cycle.

    Types of vaginal discharge

    Since the vagina is permeated with glands from the inside and lined with a moist mucous membrane (epithelium), densely populated by microorganisms, it constantly secretes mucus with various impurities. This is normal: this is how the vagina maintains the microflora, self-cleanses itself from unnecessary bacteria and epithelial cells that have died during renewal. But if the discharge causes discomfort, accompanied by itching, burning, pain and inflammation of the vulva and vagina, this is a sign of pathology.

    Thus, vaginal discharge can be physiological (normal) or pathological (abnormal).

    Physiological vaginal discharge

    Physiological vaginal secretions are normal secretions characteristic of the healthy microflora of the vagina. They are mucus of various consistency – from liquid to thick, creamy. Color – from transparent to yellowish white. On underwear and panty liners, the vaginal secretion leaves white spots, sometimes with a slight yellowish tint.

    Normal secretions consist of cervical mucus produced by the cervix, dead cells of the mucous membrane, secretions from the vaginal glands, bacteria and lactic acid.

    The amount of vaginal secretion depends on the phase of the menstrual cycle. So, at the beginning of the cycle, there are few discharges, and they are liquid. Abundant viscous discharge is characteristic of the middle of the cycle – ovulation. In women of reproductive age, the average amount of discharge can reach 2 ml per day – this is about half a teaspoon.

    However, vaginal discharge is not exclusive to women of reproductive age. Girls have practically no discharge, or they are minimal and not particularly noticeable. The amount of discharge increases along with the onset of puberty, when secondary sexual characteristics begin to develop (for example, the mammary glands grow, the figure changes). Under the influence of hormones, the vaginal microflora changes – this is a sign of the maturation of the reproductive system, its preparation for the onset of the menstrual cycle and a possible sexual life.

    Adolescent girls often worry about vaginal discharge but are embarrassed to ask about it. This can lead to self-doubt.

    In the first days of menstruation, the discharge becomes copious, thin, with a lot of blood and clots. This is due to the active rejection of the endometrium – the layer of mucous membrane that lines the uterine cavity and prepares it for a possible pregnancy. On average, on the 4th-5th day, bleeding becomes less, they thicken, darken, and then stop altogether.

    In pregnant women, the volume of regular vaginal discharge increases due to increased blood supply to the organs of the reproductive system, an increase in the level of sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. According to the chemical composition, the discharge may become more acidic – this is how the vagina protects the fetus from pathogens – but this does not cause discomfort.

    During pregnancy, the volume of discharge increases, but this usually does not cause discomfort

    In menopausal women, the amount of discharge is significantly reduced – to almost imperceptible. This is due to a decrease in the level of female sex hormones and the gradual extinction of the function of the reproductive system. The vagina becomes less elastic, there is a feeling of dryness, sometimes pain during vaginal intercourse.

    Abnormal vaginal discharge

    Normal vaginal discharge without a strong odor is a sign of a healthy reproductive system. But if the discharge has become unusual in color, smell and volume, and also causes discomfort, you should consult a doctor for medical help.

    When infected with a pathogen, the vaginal microflora changes: some microorganisms become more, others less. The acid-base balance is disturbed, the protective functions of the mucous membrane are reduced.

    In addition, pathogen activity can lead to inflammation of the vagina, vulva, and reproductive system. This can affect reproductive function, in severe cases, provoke infertility, and during pregnancy, lead to spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and irreversible pathologies of fetal development.

    Main signs of abnormal vaginal discharge:

    • offensive odor – musty, putrid, reminiscent of the smell of raw fish;
    • unusual color – green, grayish, yellow, gray-white;
    • unusual consistency – cheesy, lumpy, foamy;
    • profuse discharge – the volume of vaginal secretion is greater than usual;
    • itching, burning, inflammation, redness in the vagina and vulva;
    • pain when urinating;
    • pain during vaginal intercourse.

    Causes of abnormal vaginal discharge

    In the vast majority of cases, the cause of pathological discharge is foreign pathogens that penetrate the vagina, attach to the mucous membrane and disrupt the normal microflora with their vital activity.

    The most common diseases that affect the nature of vaginal secretions include bacterial vaginosis, vaginal candidiasis, trichomoniasis, chlamydial infection and gonorrhea.

    It is important to note that it is impossible to make an accurate diagnosis by the nature of the discharge alone. This requires laboratory tests of a scraping from the vagina, in some cases, a blood test. However, the presence of atypical discharge is a clear signal of the reproductive system that its health is at risk.

    Vaginal candidiasis is one of the causes of atypical vaginal discharge

    Bacterial vaginosis

    Bacterial vaginosis is a non-inflammatory disease of the vagina in which the concentration of lactic acid bacteria is greatly reduced. They are part of the normal microflora and maintain the acid-base balance.

    Increased acidity inhibits the growth of opportunistic pathogens, which also live in small numbers in the vagina and provide some benefit. But if the number of lactobacilli decreases, the environment in the vagina becomes more alkaline – and, therefore, comfortable for life and active growth of opportunistic and pathogenic microorganisms.

    The causative agents of bacterial vaginosis can be opportunistic bacteria that are part of the normal microflora – Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae, Mobiluncus spp., Veillonella spp. and others.

    Epithelial cells of the vaginal secretion are covered with rods of an opportunistic organism – Gardnerella vaginalis (pink pips)

    Common causes of bacterial vaginosis:

    • frequent change of sexual partners;
    • non-compliance with intimate hygiene;
    • frequent douching, use of antiseptic drugs (eg, miramistin) without a doctor’s prescription;
    • injuries of the vaginal mucosa;
    • antibiotic treatment;
    • hormonal disorders.

    Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are the presence of profuse discharge with a “fishy” smell of white or light gray, sometimes frothy, itching and burning in the area of ​​​​the entrance to the vagina, as well as discomfort in the vulva and pain during intercourse (dyspareunia).

    In bacterial vaginosis, vaginal discharge is profuse, whitish-gray and thick, and smells like rotten fish.

    Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis includes measurement of the acidity of the vagina – pH-metry, aminotest, as well as the study of the microflora of the vagina by laboratory methods. Preventive studies for various sexually transmitted infections are assigned at the discretion of the gynecologist as part of the differential diagnosis.

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    The main goal of the treatment of bacterial vaginosis is to normalize the microflora of the vagina, reduce the population of opportunistic microorganisms and compensate for the deficiency of lactobacilli. For this, the doctor may prescribe antibacterial drugs and vaginal suppositories.

    Vaginal candidiasis

    Candidiasis, or thrush, is an infectious disease that occurs due to the active growth of the opportunistic fungus of the genus Candida. This fungus is part of the normal microflora of the vagina, but if the number of lactobacilli decreases or the immune system weakens, candida begins to grow rapidly.

    Approximately 80-90% of cases of thrush are caused by Candida albicans. Other types are less common: for example, with a long course of thrush, diabetes mellitus, as well as in patients with immunodeficiency. Can be sexually transmitted.

    Microscopic fungi Candida albicans in 80-90% of cases are the causative agent of thrush

    Common causes of candidiasis:

    • weakening of immunity, including local;
    • diseases of the endocrine system affecting metabolism – diabetes mellitus, thyroid pathology;
    • wearing tight clothing – tight trousers, synthetic leggings;
    • regular use of sanitary napkins;
    • taking antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants;
    • prolonged use of intrauterine devices, vaginal diaphragms, spermicides;
    • frequent douching;
    • hormonal disorders.

    The main manifestations of candidiasis include white cheesy discharge, itching and burning in the vulva and vagina, pain during urination (dysuria), and sometimes pain during intercourse (dyspareunia).

    In candidiasis, vaginal discharge is white, unusually thick, and cheesy.

    A gynecologist can diagnose thrush. After examining and collecting complaints, the specialist may prescribe laboratory tests for the fungus of the genus Candida and a general study of the vaginal microflora.

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    The main goal in the treatment of thrush is to restore the normal microflora of the vagina. The dosage of antifungal drugs and the duration of treatment are calculated by the gynecologist based on the results of laboratory tests.


    Trichomonas vaginitis, or trichomoniasis, is an infectious disease transmitted primarily through sexual contact (STI). Less commonly, trichomoniasis is transmitted from mother to child during childbirth. The infection, as a rule, affects not only the reproductive system, but also the urinary tract.

    The incubation period of the disease lasts from 3 days. In 20–40% of people, the disease is asymptomatic.

    The causative agent of trichomoniasis is a pathogenic unicellular microorganism Trichomonas vaginalis. The source and spreader of the infection can be both a woman and a man.

    Trichomonas vaginalis – a species of unicellular protozoa, the causative agent of trichomoniasis

    Factors that can lead to the development of trichomoniasis:

    • unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner;
    • casual sex;
    • the presence of other infections of the genital tract – for example, bacterial vaginosis or candidiasis.

    Symptoms of trichomonas vaginitis include a grey-yellow, often frothy, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. There is also itching and burning in the genital area, pain may appear during urination and sexual intercourse. The mucous membrane of the vulva turns red and swells.

    Vaginal discharge in trichomoniasis is gray-yellow, often frothy, with an unpleasant odor.

    Diagnosis of trichomoniasis includes microscopy of scrapings from the urogenital tract and cervical canal, seeding for bacteria, as well as targeted analysis for Trichomonas vaginalis.

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    The most common treatment for trichomoniasis involves taking an antimicrobial drug by both partners.

    Chlamydia infection

    Urogenital chlamydial infection (chlamydia) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Newborns can become infected with chlamydia from their mother in utero or during childbirth.

    The causative agent of chlamydial infection is the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

    The incubation period of the disease lasts 7-14 days, after which the first symptoms may appear. However, most women (70-95%) and half of men do not have chlamydia, which contributes to its spread.

    Factors that can lead to the development of chlamydial infection:

    • unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner;
    • casual sex;
    • the presence of other infections of the genital tract.

    Symptoms of urogenital chlamydial infection, if present, include atypical mucopurulent discharge, intermenstrual bleeding, pain and discomfort during urination and intercourse, pain in the lower abdomen.

    Vaginal discharge in case of chlamydial infection is mucopurulent.

    A gynecologist deals with the diagnosis of chlamydia. He can prescribe a laboratory general examination of a scraping from the urogenital tract, as well as a targeted analysis for chlamydia.

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    Chlamydia infection is treated with antibiotics.


    Gonococcal infection (gonorrhea, or gonorrhea) is a sexually transmitted disease, as well as during childbirth. The disease does not spread through the home.

    The causative agent of gonorrhea is the gonococcal bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    The incubation period of gonococcal infection lasts from 1 to 10 days. During this period, the symptoms of the disease do not appear, but the carrier of the bacteria can infect other people.

    Factors that can lead to the development of gonorrhea:

    • unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person;
    • casual sex;
    • the presence of other infections of the genital tract.

    In women, gonorrhea in most cases (more than 70%) is asymptomatic. Less commonly, symptoms appear in the form of mucopurulent discharge from the urethra and vagina, itching and burning, painful urination, pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), and sometimes pain in the lower abdomen.

    With gonorrhea, purulent-mucous discharge from the vagina of a yellow or green tint may appear.

    Laboratory diagnosis of gonorrhea involves the study of scrapings from the urogenital tract for microflora and analysis for sexually transmitted infections, including targeted – for gonococcus.

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    Gonococcal infection is treated with antibiotics.

    Diagnosis and treatment of abnormal vaginal discharge

    Abnormal vaginal discharge is not an independent pathology, but a sign of an infectious disease of the reproductive system. As soon as the root cause of the discharge is diagnosed and treated, the vaginal microflora returns to normal and the symptom disappears.

    As a rule, diseases accompanied by vaginal discharge are treated with antibiotics or antifungals. The period of therapy and restoration of microflora can last up to 2-3 weeks. However, you should not prescribe treatment yourself: each pathogen is sensitive to a certain type of antibiotics and only a doctor can choose them correctly after examination and familiarization with the results of laboratory tests.

    Which doctor to contact for unhealthy vaginal discharge

    A gynecologist deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the reproductive system in women. The specialist will collect an anamnesis – ask about sexual contacts, contraceptive methods, past infectious diseases, as well as about symptoms and their duration.

    A gynecologist deals with the treatment of diseases of the vagina.

    After the interview, the doctor will examine the vagina on the gynecological chair and, if necessary, take a scraping.

    At the end of the appointment, the gynecologist will prescribe additional tests or, if the diagnosis is clear, will tell you about the treatment plan and prescribe medications.

    What tests are prescribed for pathological vaginal discharge

    To speed up the treatment process, you can take a comprehensive analysis for the most common pathogens on your own and come to the doctor with a ready-made result.

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    However, it is important to understand that many infections of the genital tract are similar in nature of discharge and symptoms. Only a specialist can make a more accurate guess after examining the mucous membrane of the vagina and cervix.

    How to prevent unhealthy vaginal discharge

    Most cases of abnormal vaginal discharge are caused by sexually transmitted infections. To prevent infection, it is recommended to avoid contact or use barrier contraception (condoms) when having sex with potentially infectious people.

    In addition, adolescents and sexually active women should visit a gynecologist regularly, once a year, for preventive examinations and monitoring of the health of the reproductive system.

    Women who are sexually active are advised to visit a gynecologist once a year.

    Girls and women should also follow the rules of intimate hygiene:

    • Wash the vulva, the external genitalia, daily. To do this, you can use special means for intimate hygiene. You need to wash from front to back – from the vulva to the anus, not vice versa.
    • Wipe the vulva with a separate towel. It must be washed at least once a week.
    • On long trips or if regular washing is not possible, special wet wipes for intimate hygiene should be used.
    • Do not perform vaginal douching unless advised by a doctor. Especially before visiting the gynecologist. The procedure can disrupt the natural microflora and harm beneficial bacteria or distort the clinical picture on examination. The vagina copes with cleaning itself with the help of natural secretions.
    • Change sanitary pads, tampons and menstrual cups every 3-4 hours. In heat and moisture, various microorganisms grow and develop well. Contact of the vulva and vagina with them can cause an infectious disease.
    • Wear underwear made of natural fabrics more often – synthetic materials are poorly breathable and can create a greenhouse effect in the crotch area. The combination of moisture, heat, and limited air circulation are good conditions for bacteria to thrive.