Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and menopause all can change vaginal discharge. These conditions can make you uncomfortable, but there are treatments that can help.

Sometimes, differences in your discharge can be a symptom of something more serious. Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause changes to vaginal discharge. STIs can be a danger to your body's health and to others. So knowing if you have an STI is important.

Brownish or blood-tinged discharge can be a sign of cervical cancer. But this is rare.

Causes related to infection or inflammation

Possible causes of unusual vaginal discharge linked to infections or inflammation include:

  1. Bacterial vaginosis (irritation of the vagina)
  2. Cervicitis
  3. Chlamydia trachomatis
  4. Gonorrhea
  5. Forgotten, also called retained, tampon
  6. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  7. Trichomoniasis
  8. Vaginitis
  9. Yeast infection (vaginal)

Other causes

Other causes of unusual vaginal discharge include:

  1. Certain hygiene practices, such as douching or using scented sprays or soaps
  2. Cervical cancer
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Vaginal atrophy , also called genitourinary syndrome of menopause
  5. Vaginal cancer
  6. Vaginal fistula

It's rare for changes to vaginal discharge to be a sign of cancer.

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

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April 25, 2023