Vaginal discharge is abnormal if it is:
With abnormal vaginal discharge, you may also have itching, burning, a rash, or soreness in your vulva (the area outside the opening to the vagina).
There aren't really any dangerous causes of vaginal discharge.
The most common cause of an abnormal vaginal discharge is:
Other causes of abnormal vaginal discharge include:
Creams, powders, soaps, or other items that touch and irritate your vulva
If you're past menopause, having a thin and dry vagina
Causes of vaginal discharge in children include:
See a doctor within a day if you have vaginal discharge and any of these warning signs:
Intense belly or pelvic pain, or pain that lasts more than 2 hours
Discharge that looks like pus
Stool (poop) in your vaginal discharge
A bloody discharge after menopause
A child with a fever or yellow or green discharge that smells fishy could have an STD (sexually transmitted disease), possibly from sexual abuse. Take this child to a doctor that day.
See a doctor within a few days if you have abnormal discharge but no warning signs.
If you've had yeast infections before, you probably don't need to see a doctor every time you have the typical symptoms, unless you also have other symptoms. Typical symptoms are a thick, white, and clumpy discharge and itching and burning in your vulva. Yeast infections should be treated with antifungal medicines.
Doctors will ask questions about your vaginal discharge and any other symptoms.
Doctors typically do a pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor looks inside your vagina, holding it open with a small instrument called a speculum. Doctors may use a cotton swab to take a sample of the discharge for testing.
Doctors treat the cause of your discharge, if they can. For example, if you have an infection caused by bacteria, doctors will give you antibiotics to take by mouth.
If you’re feeling sore and itchy, doctors may also suggest you: