Aug 2021

Vaginal Discharge and Its Colors

  • By: Samantha Denäe

Let’s face it, discharge is annoying. While discharge is completely normal, a lot of times when we discharge we assume the worst. There are many factors that can play into producing discharge and the colors associated. The job of healthy discharge is to keep the vagina clean, keep infections away, and to provide lubrication. As your body’s needs changes, so will the discharge. Discharge will also increase during sex in the prevention of discomfort and irritation. It will also thicken during ovulation to help sperm on their journey to the egg for potential pregnancy. Your vaginal discharge is a reflection of your health and when it begins to smell, becomes consistent, is accompanied with itching or pelvic pain is when you should question what’s going on. 

Red or Brown 

Red or brown bloody discharge is normal during your period. At the beginning of your period, you may see a cherry red to rusty brown discharge color. If there is red discharge throughout the month, it could be a sign of an infection or another health issue, like a vaginal infection, cervical cancer or uterine cancer. Some women experience an irregular menstrual cycle or spotting. Spotting could be due to birth control or hormonal changes. 

Cream and Milky White

There are a variety of shades of white discharge, from eggshell to cream, and it is normal. White discharge may occur due to vaginal lubrication to assist with minimizing friction and keeping the vaginal tissue healthy.

It becomes unhealthy when the discharge is paired with certain textures or smells and could be an indication of bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.

Pale Yellow to Neon Green 

Light yellow (daffodil yellow) and chartreuse green is a normal discharge color that could come from your diet or supplements IF it is a one-off occurrence. Typically, this color discharge is a sign of an infection such as gonrrhea, chylmadia, trichomoniasis, desquamative inflammatory vaginitis (DIV).

Blushed Deep Pink 

Pink discharge (light blush to deep pink of a sunset) is usually an indication of the beginning of your cycle. It can also be caused from sexual intercourse from time to time.


Clear discharge (sometimes whitish in color) is usually normal. At times, it is of an egg-white like consistency and is seen as the “go-to discharge” expelled when a healthy body needs to rebalance itself — remember your vagina is a self-cleaning organ. 

Ovulation, pregnancy, and sexual arousal are all reason you could have white discharge. 

During the ovulation period, the body will produce cervical mucus. With pregnancy, the body has a change in hormones, and this can cause an increase of how much discharge you have. When you become sexually aroused, blood vessels in the vagina will dilate and fluid will pass through them, causing a spike in clear, watery discharge. If consistent, clear discharge could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance.

Storm Cloud Grey

When white discharge turns to gray, it is best to see your doctor or call your OB-GYN, as this could be a sign of BV, a very common infection in women.

If you’re worried about your discharge color, amount, or other symptoms, your body is pretty good at letting you know. It’ll send some pretty specific cues like itching, pain, and burning during urination to tell you to get a downstairs checkup. 

Make an appointment with your doctor anytime your discharge is accompanied by these symptoms or signs:

  • itching
  • pain
  • burning sensation while you pee
  • a strong, foul odor 
  • frothy texture
  • thick, cottage cheese texture
  • vaginal bleeding
  • gray in color
  • bleeding that’s unrelated to your period

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