Most causes of abnormal vaginal discharge — such as yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or menopause symptoms — are relatively harmless, but they can be very uncomfortable.

Abnormal vaginal discharge can also be a symptom of certain sexually transmitted infections. Since these infections can be passed on to other sexual partners — or can spread to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes — detection and treatment is important.

Very rarely, a brownish or blood-tinged vaginal discharge could be a sign of cervical cancer.

Other causes of vaginal discharge may include:

  1. Bacterial vaginosis
  2. Cervical cancer
  3. Cervical polyps, noncancerous (benign) growths on your cervix
  4. Chlamydia
  5. Genital warts
  6. Gonorrhea
  7. HPV infection
  8. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  9. Pregnancy
  10. Rectovaginal fistula (an abnormal opening between the rectum and vagina that allows feces to leak into the vagina)
  11. Sexually transmitted diseases
  12. Trichomoniasis
  13. Vaginal atrophy
  14. Vaginal cancer
  15. Vaginitis
  16. Vesicovaginal fistula
  17. Yeast infection (vaginal)

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

March 22, 2013