The Ultimate Vaginal Discharge Color Guide

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Vaginal discharge is usually white or clear, but it can fluctuate throughout the month. Color changes typically aren’t cause for concern unless you’re experiencing other unusual symptoms.
Let’s be real: Many of us have experienced that moment when you pulled down your pants in the bathroom, saw a different color than usual, and asked, “Is that normal?”
This is often followed by questions like, “Is it the time of the month?” “What did I eat this week?” and even “How was the sex last night?”
Many of these colors are common and not a reflection of illness. But even if you know you’re in the clear, what do these colors actually mean?
Well, wonder no longer. We put together a color guide that’s not only medically accurate, but also fun to look at.
And even though there’s usually nothing to worry about, there’s also information on consulting a professional if you’re concerned.

What is vaginal discharge?

What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge is the medical term for fluid that comes from the vagina, and it’s an amazing thing.
It’s how your body gets rid of dead vaginal skin cells, bacteria, and secretions from your cervix and vagina to help protect your vaginal and urinary tracts from infection. It also keeps your vaginal tissues lubricated and clean.
Your hormones impact the amount and consistency of vaginal discharge, which is why you may have different amounts at certain times, like before menstruation, during pregnancy, or while using hormonal birth control.

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What can vaginal discharge look like?

What can vaginal discharge look like?
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What causes blood red to dried brown vaginal discharge?

What causes blood red to dried brown vaginal discharge?
Red or brown bloody discharge is common during menstruation. Colors might range from cherry red at the beginning of your period to rusty brown.
Some people have irregular periods and spotting. Others experience spotting due to their birth control method or hormonal changes.
If you see red throughout the month, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition, like an infection.

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What causes cream or milky white vaginal discharge?

What causes cream or milky white vaginal discharge?
A variety of white shades of discharge, from eggshell to cream, can be common. Unless your discharge is accompanied by certain textures or smells, don’t fret too much.
White discharge can occur for many of the same reasons as clear discharge. It’s simply natural lubrication, keeping your vaginal tissue healthy and minimizing friction during sexual activity.

What causes pale yellow to neon green vaginal discharge?

What causes pale yellow to neon green vaginal discharge?
Very light yellow discharge is more common than you might think. Sometimes the color is daffodil yellow. Other times it’s more of a greener chartreuse.
This color is usually a sign of an infection, but if you know you’re probably in the clear (as in it’s a one-off occurrence), what you eat could affect the color.
Some people report this color change occurring whenever they take new vitamins or try certain foods.

What causes blush to deep pink vaginal discharge?

What causes blush to deep pink vaginal discharge?
Pink discharge, ranging from a very light blush to the deep pink of a sunset, is often just a sign of the beginning of your menstrual period.
Some people may periodically experience light bleeding after penetration with fingers, a sex toy, or a penis, which can result in pink discharge.

What causes clear vaginal discharge?

What causes clear vaginal discharge?
Clear discharge, which can also be whitish, is usually OK. It may have an egg-white like consistency. It’s also the go-to discharge a healthy body expels to rebalance itself — because the vagina is a self-cleaning organ.
During arousal, blood vessels in that vagina dilate and fluid passes through them, causing an increase in clear, watery discharge.
If it’s around day 14 of your menstrual cycle, you’re probably ovulating and producing cervical mucus.
If you have a reason to suspect pregnancy, this can also cause a change in hormones and increase how much discharge you have.

What causes storm cloud gray vaginal discharge?

What causes storm cloud gray vaginal discharge?
When white turns to gray, like storm clouds or exhaust, consult a doctor or other healthcare professional. It could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is a common overgrowth of bacteria.
Your clinician will likely prescribe antibacterial ointments or oral antibiotics.

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