Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes green vaginal discharge?"
I'm a 32-year-old woman, and I've always been very healthy. But recently I started having a greenish vaginal discharge, and I'm really worried. What could cause this? I'm not sexually active right now, so I don't think it's an STD.
I can understand why are concerned as vaginal discharge can be very unpleasant. The good news is, you are not alone. Over 10 million office visits per year are for vaginal discharge. This means that most any primary care physician is equipped to diagnose and treat whatever is causing your problems. The first thing you should know is that some vaginal discharge is normal. However, it seems you are describing a distinct change, which likely represents and infection. Vaginal discharge is most often cause by one of 3 organisms: 1. Candida (your common yeast infection), 2. Trichomonas vaginalis (a single celled organism that causes green foul smelling discharge), and 3. Bacterial Vaginosis, and increased prevalence of naturally occurring bacteria most notably Gardnerella Vaginalis (usually a fishy smelling discharge). Yeast infections are usually a white discharge, but can be other colors on occasion. Trichomanas is a green discharge, but it is almost exclusively sexually transmitted. Bacterial Vaginosis is possible as well. Risk factors for this are sexual activity, douching, and smoking. Regardless of the cause, all three are easily diagnosed in the office and treated. More uncommon causes of vaginal discharge would need to be ruled out by your doctor, if no diagnosis could be made. Good luck.
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