When it comes to vaginal discharge, it can be somewhat embarrassing to discuss the specifics of the topic with other people. However, it’s very important to understand the possible causes of discharge, and how they can look like.
Pink, green, yellow, gray… but does blue vaginal discharge exist? Keep reading to find out.
Is it possible to have blue vaginal discharge?
Not really. While there are many possible types of vaginal discharge, and many different diseases can cause them, there aren’t any recorded cases of blue vaginal discharge. In fact, while bodily fluids come in a range of colors — from bright red to green and yellow —, there aren’t any bodily fluids that are naturally blue. Only the iris of the eye can be naturally blue.
However, some people have found themselves looking at what seems to be light blue discharge. Don’t worry — there’s a very simple explanation behind blue vaginal discharge.
So… why is my discharge blue?
In some cases, dyes from your clothing or underwear could come into contact with your regular vaginal discharge and stain it, making it look like you have blue vaginal discharge. If you notice this is happening, don’t panic. Simply remove that item of clothing and wait to see if the “blue discharge” goes away.
You could also see “blue” discharge if you’re wearing dark blue bottoms — such as that new pair of jeans! — without any underwear. The risk for blue staining is even higher if your blue pants had a tight crotch seam, and if you were wearing them for a long period of time, especially in warm weather. Other types of tight clothing bottoms, such as leggings or exercise biker shorts, could also cause this phenomenon.
Blue discharge in your underwear is more likely to happen when you’re wearing dark blue garments, especially when they’re new. Keep in mind that fabric dyes, detergents, and other substances can also irritate your genitals, causing discomfort and increasing your risk for infections.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the causes of genital irritation include:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Lichen sclerosus
- Tight clothing
- Intimate cleansing products
- Menstrual hygiene products
It’s always important to remember that choosing the right type of underwear can help us protect our reproductive health, since certain fabrics and cuts can make irritation more likely. It’s a good idea to choose underwear made from natural, absorbent materials that will wick away moisture and allow your intimate area to stay fresh and ventilated — otherwise, sweat and moisture can stay locked in, increasing the risk of infections, itching, and irritation.
You should also try to choose looser cuts of underwear that allow for better ventilation. In fact, both men and women can benefit from loose underwear! According to the Harvard School of Public Health, men who wear loose boxers more frequently have higher sperm concentrations when compared to men who didn’t typically wear this type of underwear. That means that choosing the right underwear is important for both female and male reproductive health.
The best fabrics for underwear include:
- Cotton jersey
- Cotton blends
Simple tips for intimate hygiene
As we mentioned above, the dyes involved in seemingly blue vaginal discharge could lead to irritation. Genital irritation causes tiny wounds in your genital area, which could potentially become points of entry for different infections. As a result, having genital irritation increases your risk of catching an STD if you’re exposed to it. It can also increase your risk of developing a bacterial skin infection in your genital area, such as ingrown hairs.
Fortunately, there are many simple intimate hygiene tips that you can follow to relieve or prevent irritation. According to the NHS, these tips include:
- Wear clean and dry underwear
- Clean up after having intercourse
- Avoid using regular soap on your genitals
- Don’t use scented femenine hygiene products
- Don’t douche
- Use high-quality menstrual hygiene products
- Choose unscented menstrual hygiene products, and change them as often as necessary
- Avoid shaving your pubic hair — trim it, instead
- If you’re going to shave your pubic hair, shave in the direction of the hairs rather than against it
- Wipe front-to-back after a bowel movement
- Steer clear of lubricants that have caused irritation in the past
- Practice safe sex
- Stay hydrated
- Eat healthy foods, and include lots of fruits and veggies in your diet
- Seek medical assistance if you show signs of an infection
Do any STDs cause blue vaginal discharge?
No. Vaginal discharge is one of the most common signs of many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but these infections won’t cause blue discharge. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common signs of STDs include:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Sores or bumps in your genital, rectal, or oral area
- Penile discharge
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Painful sex or urination
- Swollen lymph nodes, particularly around the groin
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lower back pain
- Skin rash
So while blue vaginal discharge may just be the result of staining from your clothes, it’s still very important to get tested for STDs regularly if you’re leading an active sex life. Fortunately, at-home STD test kits make screening for STDs easier than ever. You can learn more about this type of testing at STDWatch.com.
Sexual Health: Genital Itching - my.clevelandclinic.org
Boxers or briefs? Loose-fitting underwear may benefit sperm production - hsph.harvard.edu
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) - mayoclinic.org