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Yellow vaginal discharge: What causes it and tips to prevent it

Yellow vaginal discharge before the menstrual cycle is normal, but it is not good if it is a recurrent thing. Here are some natural ways to manage the problem.
woman with vaginal dryness
Everything you need to know yellow vaginal discharge. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Updated: 9 May 2024, 08:52 pm IST
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Vaginal discharge is a common problem, but it could tell a lot about a woman’s health and any underlying issues. Vaginal discharge is a way of sending signals to your body to know what’s going on with your reproductive system. Similar to a natural indicator, it can fluctuate depending on your activity, any medical condition, and your menstrual cycle. Even the colour of the vaginal discharge can also be an indication of your health. In fact, women may notice yellow vaginal discharge before periods. While the majority of discharges are healthy, the odd yellowish one may be your body’s method of alerting you to an important health issue. Here are some of the causes of yellow discharge before periods and learn natural ways to prevent it.

What is yellow vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid secreted by glands in the cervix and vagina, according to a 2020 study published in the Singapore Medical Journal. It can change in consistency, colour, and amount throughout the menstrual cycle and is a typical element of the body’s functioning. Sometimes the discharge is white, brown, or crimson.

“It may indicate that your period is about to start if you see a little more discharge that has a yellow tint. This is because your vagina produces more mucus just before your periods, but the yellow colour occurs when the clear discharge is combined with a small amount of blood. While a light yellow colour is typically normal, a darker yellow colour with an odd scent could indicate an infection or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs),” says, obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr Madhu Juneja.

Also Read: 5 likely reasons why you may be noticing more vaginal discharge than usual

home remedies for vaginal discharge
Know everything about the yellow vaginal discharge! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the causes of yellow vaginal discharge?

Yellow vaginal discharge can indicate various conditions or infections affecting your vagina. Here are some potential reasons for yellow vaginal discharge:

1. Normal hormonal changes

“Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can cause changes in vaginal discharge consistency and colour. If you notice a yellowish tint in the vaginal discharge before periods, you need not worry. It can be a normal variation for some women,” says the expert.

Also Read: Is it PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder? 3 ways to find out

2. Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

In a 2023 study published in the StatsPearl Journal, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Yellow or grayish vaginal discharge with a fishy odour can occur before periods in women with BV. Other symptoms may include itching, burning during urination, and vaginal irritation.

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3. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Certain STIs, such as trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia, can cause yellow or greenish discharge before periods. These infections may also cause other symptoms like itching, pain during urination, pelvic pain, or abnormal bleeding, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

4. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs, often caused by untreated STIs, found in a 2023 study published in the StatsPearl Journal. Yellow or green discharge, along with pelvic pain, fever, and painful intercourse, can be symptoms of PID.

5. Cervicitis

“Inflammation of the cervix, known as cervicitis, can cause yellowish discharge before periods. Cervicitis may be caused by infections, allergies, or chemical irritation,” explains the expert.

5 best natural ways to prevent yellow vaginal discharge

Here are some of the easy ways that will help to prevent yellow vaginal discharge naturally.

1. Practice good hygiene

“Keep the genital area clean and dry by washing with mild soap and water daily. Avoid using harsh soaps or feminine hygiene products that can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina. Most importantly, after using the toilet, always wipe from front to back to prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina. Following these tips one can prevent yellow vaginal discharge naturally, explains the expert.

2. Keep yourself hydrated

According to a study published in the BMJ Open Quality Journal, dehydration is connected to an increased risk of vaginal infections. Thus, drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water helps to maintain vaginal moisture and overall hydration, which supports vaginal health. Plus, it helps to decrease yellow vaginal discharge before the onset of menstruation.

A glass of water
Drink enough water to avoid smelly vaginal discharge. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Practice safe sex

“Getting intimate with the correct way of using precaution is very important to keep your vaginal healthy. Use condoms consistently and correctly to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can cause yellow discharge, says the expert.

4. Eat probiotic-rich foods

Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or take probiotic supplements. As per a study published in the Frontiers Cellular and Infection Microbiology Journal, probiotics can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, reducing the risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis (BV) which automatically reduces yellow vaginal discharge.

5. Manage stress

“Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and contribute to hormonal imbalances that affect vaginal health. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to manage stress levels, recommends the expert.

The thing to remember!

While these natural remedies might help lessen yellow vaginal discharge, they do not replace medical treatment. If you are experiencing excessive yellow vaginal discharge, you should visit your doctor to determine the underlying cause and obtain the necessary medical attention.

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About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

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