We receive compensation from the providers of the services and products featured on this website. This impacts the offers’ positioning, rating & scoring. Advertising Disclosure


What does yellow vaginal discharge mean?

The information provided herein does not constitute an expert or medical advice, nor intended to replace such advice.

Women Health
STD Tests

Noticing yellow vaginal discharge can be distressing for any woman. This type of discharge can be caused by many different conditions — and in some cases, it may even be a normal occurrence. It’s important to recognize warning signs that can accompany yellow vaginal discharge and point to a health problem.

Causes of yellow vaginal discharge

In most cases, yellow vaginal discharge is a sign of an infection. It’s important to keep an eye out for any warning signs that try to tell you that something is wrong with your reproductive health.

Let’s talk about some of the most common causes of yellow vaginal discharge.

Normal vaginal discharge

In some cases, vaginal discharge with a slight yellow tint may be normal. Normal vaginal discharge tends to be white, but you could also see a very mild yellow color sometimes. Under normal circumstances, vaginal discharge shouldn’t be accompanied by any symptoms, and it shouldn’t have an unpleasant smell.


Chlamydia, caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) around the world. A large percentage of those infected with chlamydia are asymptomatic, which helps drive its spread. Chlamydia can spread through vaginal, oral, and anal sex.

When symptomatic, chlamydia can cause:

  • Yellowish, pus-like discharge 
  • Frequent, painful urination
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Rectal pain and/or bleeding

If left untreated, chlamydia can cause scarring of the reproductive organs, pelvic inflammatory disease — which we’ll discuss below —, chronic pelvic pain, fertility problems, and pregnancy complications. 


Gonorrhea is an STI caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Similarly to chlamydia, gonorrhea can be completely asymptomatic in many of the people who are infected. Although gonorrea is an STI, it can also affect parts of the body outside of the male or female reproductive systems, such as the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and rectum. This disease spreads through vaginal, oral, and anal sex, but it can also pass from mother to child during delivery. 

Symptoms of gonorrhea in women can include:

  • White, yellow, or green discharge
  • Pus-like vaginal discharge
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain during intercourse

Untreated gonorrhea can spread and affect other parts of the body, causing symptoms such as:

  • Skin rashes or sores
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Conjunctivitis

Buy LetsGetChecked At-Home STD Test Today!


Trichomoniasis is another STI, this time caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. The discharge caused by trichomoniasis is usually more yellowish-green than pure yellow, but it’s another condition that you should keep in mind.

Symptoms of trichomoniasis include:

  • Foul smelling, frothy discharge
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Genital itching or redness
  • Painful intercourse


Although yeast infections caused by Candida spp. typically lead to white, clumpy discharge, it can also have a slight yellow tinge. The most common symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is intense genital itching, which can be accompanied by painful urination or intercourse, genital irritation and swelling, and cracked skin.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease isn’t caused by one specific pathogen — instead, it’s a complication that can develop as a result of an untreated infection of the reproductive system. This occurs when an infection spreads to the upper part of the female reproductive system, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Symptoms of PID include:

  • Purulent discharge
  • Fever and chills
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Irregular periods or spotting

PID can lead to life-threatening complications, such as sepsis. It can also cause scarring to the reproductive system, which can lead to chronic issues such as an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. 

Get Your LetsGetChecked Discount for STD Test Today!

Article image

When to seek medical attention

As we mentioned earlier, yellow vaginal discharge is usually a symptom of infection, and you should seek medical attention so you can get an early diagnosis. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination, take your history, and possibly collect a sample of the discharge for testing. Signs that you need to seek medical advice include:

  • Foul smelling discharge
  • Painful intercourse and/or urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Genital itching, pain, or inflammation
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Spotting between periods or after sex

Since many STIs can remain asymptomatic for a long time, it’s important to attend regular checkups with your gynecologist. Keep in mind that even asymptomatic STIs can lead to chronic health complications. Asymptomatic individuals may also be unaware that they’re spreading an STI to their partners.


The treatment for your yellow vaginal discharge will depend on its cause. Most conditions that lead to yellow vaginal discharge can be treated with a course of antibiotics (or antifungals, in the case of candidiasis). Depending on your symptoms, your doctor could also prescribe antiinflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, to help with pain and inflammation. 

If you’re diagnosed with an STI, your doctor could suggest more extensive testing to rule out co-infection with other diseases. This way, they’ll be able to ensure a more effective treatment plan for you. Your partner(s) could also require treatment, even if they’re asymptomatic — otherwise, you could be at risk of getting reinfected again. 

Get Your LetsGetChecked Discount for STD Test Today!



Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez

Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez

Dec 11, 2022

More about STD_Tests

10 panel STD tests
Choose the right 10 panel STD tests for you in the most private, safe and affordable way possible
Updated at Oct 01, 2023

Hannah Kingston

Sexual Health
STD Tests
3 min read

How Do I Know Which STD Test I Need?
There are many STDs known today, making it sometimes confusing to know which test you should get and when.
Updated at Oct 01, 2023

Tommy Gonzales

Sexual Health
STD Tests
3 min read

How Do You Get an STD?
How do you get an STD? We talk you through the different ways that you could contract an STD as well as the steps you can take for best protection.
Updated at Oct 01, 2023

Hannah Kingston

Sexual Health
STD Tests
3 min read

You may also like

The Rise of Chlamydia in the US
The rates of chlamydia in the US have been steadily increasing. Some people are at greater risk than others. Here's what you need to know to stay safe.
Updated at Aug 30, 2023

Dr. Patricia Shelton

3 min read

The Rise of STDs in the US
The rates of STDs in the US have risen sharply over the past few years. Here’s the information you need to know to keep yourself safe despite the rising rates.
Updated at Aug 29, 2023

Dr. Patricia Shelton

Sexual Health
STD Treatment
3 min read

AimCheck.com Overview
Is AimCheck.com a good option for ordering your own medical lab tests? Can you really trust this company with your health and wellness?
Updated at Jul 12, 2023

Dr. Patricia Shelton

3 min read

Top 3 STD Testing Services


  • LetsGetCheck
  • Open options


  • MyLabBox
  • Open options


  • PrioritySTD
  • Open options
Most Popular
LetsGetChecked Logo


  • Confidential results in 2-5 days
  • Free & discreet shipping - both ways
  • Uses hospitals labs for max accuracy
  • Medical support available 24/7
  • Consultation for treatment options
  • FSA & HSA cards accepted
  • FDA listed tests

Save 25% with code "GET25"