Vaginal discharge in some amount is normal for most women. It is usually whitish or clear, and should not have a strong odor. If your discharge changes in texture, color or odor, it can be symptomatic of infection, although some variation is expected during your menstrual cycle. Infections are often accompanied by spotting, discomfort, burning or itching.
Green vaginal discharge is usually indicative of trichomoniasis. This is a sexually transmitted infection. The discharge frequently has a bad odor, and may often be yellowish-green rather than just green. Urination and intercourse may bring discomfort, and you may have an itching in the genital area.
Vaginal discharges change in their character when you have vaginal infections. You may have spotting, a green discharge or vaginal burning. Read on to learn more about causes of green discharge and the ways in which you can cope with it.
Is a Light Green Discharge Normal?
A light green discharge is most assuredly not considered to be normal. It generally has a foul smell and comes with inflammation of the vagina, pelvic pain, vaginal itching and fever. This kind of discharge usually means that you have a vaginal infection, but it could also be due to other infection-related conditions.
Common Causes of Light Green Discharge
Below you will find the most common causes of light green vaginal discharge:
This is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) for women. The bacterium chlamydia trachomatis causes it. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that roughly three million new cases are reported in the US every year.
Indications of chlamydia include vaginal bleeding while not on your period, low grade fever or frequent urination. It can cause problems in the reproductive system of females and can even result in reproductive tracts damage and infertility.
This STD is quite common, and its cause is the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. Over seven million cases are reported a year, and men can get this disease, as well as women. It is most commonly seen in women who are still in their child-bearing years. In addition to light green discharge, other symptoms include genital soreness and irritation. This infection is very easily spread through sexual contact.
- Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis causes a light green discharge with a noticeable fishy odor. It is also known as anaerobic vaginosis and it involves an imbalance in the bacteria of the vagina. When this disease occurs, it usually indicates that there is an over-abundance of the bacteria Mobiluncus or Gardnerella within the vagina. This leads to a burning in the vaginal area and the abnormal discharge.
Technically, bacterial vaginosis isn’t a true STD, since these bacteria may be found in women who have not had sexual intercourse, or any sexual contact. It is just the bacterial imbalance that causes the green discharge.
Gonorrhea is another common cause of the light green discharge we are speaking about. It affects many people who engage in unprotected sex. It results from an infection of the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
This bacterium reproduces most commonly in warm, moist areas of the female reproductive tract. This includes the urethra, cervix, fallopian tubes and uterus. Gonorrhea sometimes affects the mouth, throat, eyes or anus, as well. About one million females develop this disease each year, and between 25-40% of them have chlamydia, as well. The CDC recommends that any woman who has gonorrhea also receive treatment for chlamydia.
- Lichen Sclerosis
This is a lesser-known cause of light green discharge. It is mainly a skin condition, found in the vulva of female patients. It begins with white patches in the area surrounding the vulva. They grow as time passes, and they change the coloration, texture and pigment of the skin.
The vulvar area will become thin and wrinkled. The skin will be easily ripped, which results in pain, itching and a purple or red bruising of the area surrounding the vulva.
- Foreign Bodies
A condom that was left in the vagina or a tampon not removed for a couple days may result in the body reacting to that foreign object. This can cause a green discharge. Some of the other symptoms are light spotting, vulvar swelling, vulvar redness, pain when urinating and pelvic discomfort.
What You Can Do about Light Green Discharge
There are things you can do to prevent light green discharge, or care for the problem when it occurs. They include:
Preventing it with Proper Daily Care
- Don’t use feminine hygiene products with scents or perfumes, and don’t use douches that have these scents. Do not use feminine spray or bubble bath.
- Wash your vagina every day at least once with mild soap and water, making sure you treat the vaginal tissue gently.
- After you have urinated, wipe the vulvar area from front to back, to prevent bacteria from the rectum from entering the vagina and causing infection.
- Wear 100% cotton underwear. Don’t wear any clothing that fits tightly in the area of the pelvis.
Ask Help from your Doctor if Needed
- You should never ignore light green discharge from your vagina. There are common ways to get rid of the problem, but be sure you don’t ignore the root cause that resulted in the discharge. In this way, you can stop it from recurring.
- Once your physician has identified the underlying problem, he will know how it should be treated. Treating underlying causes of the discharge and other symptoms will reduce the risk of serious complications.
- If the problem is related, for example, to bacterial vaginosis, you will be prescribed an antibiotic, to put the bacteria of the vagina back into their proper balance.
- If the discharge comes from trichomoniasis, your physician will prescribe other types of antibiotics that fight this disease, like Flagyl or Tindamax.
If the underlying problem is not properly and promptly treated, complications may occur. These include:
- Ectopic pregnancy, where the fetus grows in the fallopian tubes, rather than in the uterus
- Infertility from the development of scarring in the fallopian tubes
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection found in a female’s reproductive tract
- Spreading of the infection to your sexual partner(s)
- Toxic shock syndrome, which is a rare but life-threatening condition of certain staph bacteria and the toxins it releases – In addition to women in child-bearing years, it can also affect post-menopausal women, along with men and children.