A guide to vaginal discharge colors: What do they mean?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Vaginal discharge is a common finding and is usually harmless. Although, in some cases, a specific color, amount, or consistency of discharge may indicate an underlying health condition or disease. 
  • Vaginal discharge naturally cleanses the vagina, serves as lubrication during sexual intercourse, and may aid in the prevention of an infection.
  • Conditions such as Yeast infections, BV and STIs can all lead to changes in vaginal discharge color. Most causes of abnormal vaginal discharge can be resolved with the right treatment.

Overview

Vaginal discharge is what every woman is well familiar with, and this discharge can mirror your vaginal health. Vaginal discharge color and consistency can vary throughout the cycle. There are different colors of discharge, including clear, pink, red, brown, white, yellow, or green.

Vaginal discharge is composed of cervical mucus and vaginal secretions. There is also a variation in the amount of vaginal discharge from person to person.

Generally, vaginal discharge is normal. Occasionally, certain colors may indicate an infection or a condition that requires treatment. Normally, vaginal clear watery discharge or milky white discharge is classified as usual. The consistency can be thick or thin. Healthy discharge may have a yellowish tinge once it dries, but an odor can indicate an infection.

Pregnancy, hormone fluctuations, or infection can directly affect the amount and consistency of discharge.

Read the entire article to learn more about vaginal discharge color and its causes.

What does the color of your discharge mean?

For a woman, vaginal discharge is not exactly new and is common. Vaginal discharge is the fluid from the vagina that helps get rid of bacteria, cervical secretions, and dead vaginal skin cells. Additionally, it keeps your vagina well-lubricated. 

Your hormones directly affect the amount and consistency of vaginal discharge. That is why you may have noticed a difference in the vaginal discharge color and texture before your period, during pregnancy, or while taking hormonal birth control.

So, if you have questions like, ‘What does white discharge mean?’ or ‘Why is my discharge pink?’ continue reading for answers.