All content within this page has been reviewed and endorsed by
Dr David Nunns, Consultant Gynaecologist
Vaginal discharge colour can tell you a lot about your health. Normal, healthy discharge can vary throughout the month (and from person to person) between white, clear, and a creamy yellow. However, on the whole, green discharge is not always such a positive sign.
So what are the causes of green discharge, what does it mean, and what do you need to do if you are experiencing it?
Discharge has several functions, but the main job is to clean and moisten the vagina, as well as acting as a sort of bouncer for your privates – kicking out any infections, germs, or excess bad bacteria before they cause any trouble!
But if things are not going as well and the discharge is struggling with its job, it has a habit of letting you know in a number of ways – one of which is the colour. The reality is that, on the whole, green discharge is not the sign you expect to see from a healthy, happy vagina.
Whether it’s green watery discharge, green sticky discharge, or thick green discharge – it all boils down to the same thing, that you need to get to the root of the cause by going to see your doctor. But please don’t panic, this is not always the case, and at least you have spotted the warning signs! Some options to consider are:
A Forgotten Tampon
Yes, it happens. Something as simple as a forgotten tampon can upset your vagina and cause it to start releasing this green mucus discharge to draw your attention to it.
A Bacterial Or Fungal Infection
There are all sorts of good and bad bacteria to be found in your vagina at any point, but somehow they manage to perfectly balance each other out – most of the time. Occasionally things will get knocked off balance, and the bad bacteria starts to dominate.
Thick, green discharge might be one of the signs. A bad, fishy smell may be another sign at this stage. You don’t need to be sexually active for this to happen – even things like using an overly-scented soap or douching can affect that balance.
The same thing happens with a fungal infection – the balance of harmless fungus in the vagina gets disrupted, and before you know it, the objections from down below have become visible!
A Sexually Transmitted Infection
Unfortunately, a thick green discharge can also be a sign of some kind of sexually transmitted infection, so it always best to head to your closest sexual health clinic and get checked out.
One of the most common is Trichomoniasis, which is caused by a parasite. Other symptoms to look out for might include itching, pelvic pain, chunky or frothy texture to your discharge, or an unpleasant smell. The good news is it is generally easily treatable.
Thanks to a drop in oestrogen levels, women can experience mild green discharge. This is easily treatable with an oestrogen cream or pessary prescribed by the doctor.
Very occasionally, green discharge may be perfectly normal. For the same reason that people can get yellow discharge and find it is merely down to their individual discharge or part of their monthly cycle, the same can sometimes apply here – although, in reality, it is quite rare.
Some outside influences can have an impact on the colour, and add a harmless green tint. In these cases, a milky green discharge or a light green discharge are more likely. Some possible causes to consider are:
Have you made any big changes to your diet in recent weeks? Certain foods can have an impact on your discharge, so something in your diet may have turned your discharge green.
Medication or Vitamins:
Have you begun taking any new medicine or vitamin supplements recently? Besides food, new medication or vitamin tablets have reportedly had a similar effect in some cases. If this is the reason, you should have no other side effects, and it will disappear within a few days.
If you aren’t experiencing any other symptoms, maybe you can experiment with changing your diet or medication (if it is safe to), and see if that makes a difference. Also consider using an Always liner to get a clear idea of the exact discharge colour against a white background, whilst protecting your underwear from unsightly stains.
The more extreme the colour of your discharge, the greater the chance that it is linked to an infection. So a bright or lime-green discharge is a bit of a red flag to get yourself checked out.
Lighter green discharge – especially if you can’t find another cause, or if it is combined with another symptom – is also worth getting checked out. Other symptoms might be pain, unusual bleeding, itchiness, swelling, or generally anything that feels out of sorts in that area.
Remember, abnormal vaginal discharge is generally easy to diagnose and treat, so the sooner you seek medical attention for it, the sooner you can go back to living your best life!
In the meantime, prevent any unpleasant staining or damp feelings down below by wearing Always Dailies Panty Liners, which will leave you feeling clean and fresh all day, and are safe to use daily.