Vaginal discharge is a fluid or semisolid substance that is normal and helps keep the vagina clean. Normal vaginal discharge is clear or milky white and does not have an unpleasant odor. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including trichomonas, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia can cause a change in color or odor. Symptoms of infection may include
- yellow-green or gray discharge,
- strong odor, or
- irritation of the genitals.
Treatment depends on the infection.
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Bacterial VaginosisBacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection. The causes of bacterial vaginosis are not clear. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a foul vaginal odor and vaginal discharge. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis is generally with antibiotics.
ChlamydiaChlamydia is a bacterial sexual transmitted disease (STD) spread when people have sexual relations. Often, there are no symptoms. Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted either from person to person through sexual contact (oral, anal, or vaginal); or from mother to child during birth. Symptoms of chlamydia may vary in men and women. Treatment is generally through antibiotics.
Condoms and Sexually Transmitted DiseasesIn addition to helping prevent pregnancy, male condoms -- either latex or vinyl -- can help protect against a number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They include HIV-AIDS, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and some genital ulcer diseases.
GonorrheaGonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which may be transmitted through contact with genital fluids. Symptoms of gonorrhea may be different in men, and women. Treatment includes prescription antibiotics like ceftriaxone, Cipro, azithromycin and others, which cure the infection.
Sexually Transmitted DiseasesSexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies.Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
TrichomoniasisTrichomoniasis is a contagious STD. Trichomoniasis can infect men and women. Symptoms of trichomoniasis in women include: vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, and a smelly, itchy, and frothy foam discharge. Symptoms of trichomoniasis in men include urethral discharge, pain with urination, and pain and swelling of the scrotum. Treatment for trichomoniasis is with antibiotics.
Vaginal InfectionsVaginal infections, or vaginitis, describe the most common medical concerns women have in the area of their reproductive organs. Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that creates discharge, odor, and other symptoms.
Vaginal Yeast InfectionsVaginal yeast infections (vaginal candidiasis, genital candidiasis, or vulvovaginal candidiasis) is a fungal or yeast infection. Symptoms include vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, painful or burning urination, and painful intercourse. There are a variety of causes of a vaginal yeast infection. Treatment is generally OTC vaginal yeast infection medication.
Vaginal Discharge Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Clindamycin vaginal (for use in the vagina) is an antibiotic that is used to treat vaginal infections caused by bacteria...learn more »
Azithromycin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, including infections of the lungs, sinus, throat, tonsils, skin, urinary...learn more »
Cefixime is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body...learn more »
Fluconazole is an antifungal medicine that is used to treat infections caused by fungus, which can invade any part of the body including the mouth, throat, e...learn more »