what does it mean ?

More or less abundant and colorful, vaginal discharge is quite normal, although it can sometimes reveal a pathological character. In this article, we tell you all about yellow losses.

From puberty to menopause, the vagina produces secretions. This is a completely normal physiological phenomenon that can have different origins. There is indeed three kinds of vaginal discharge : there is first the cervical mucus, produced at the level of the cervix and mainly secreted during the ovulation period; the vaginal microbiota, secretions coming from the vaginal mucosa and whose role is to protect the walls of the vagina; and finally love juice, a lubricating liquid produced by the vestibular glands – located at the entrance to the vagina – which facilitates penetration during sexual intercourse.

What should be remembered is that these different natural secretions are proof that the body is functioning well and that the balance of the vaginal flora is respected. They can be translucent, white, yellow, brown, green, more or less lumpy, slimy, and plentiful, and there is nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if the vaginal discharge is accompanied by other symptoms, then it may indicate a gynecological disorder or infection. Here we take stock of yellow losses and what they are due.

What characterizes yellow discharge?

It is not uncommon that the color, consistency and nature of the vaginal discharge change during the menstrual cycle. Are yellow secretions staining your underwear? Know that in principle this does not testify to anything abnormal, especially when the discharge takes on this color before menstruation or during pregnancy. As a reminder: vaginal secretions naturally turn creamy white or even pale yellow, suddenly when they thicken, they can turn yellow without this being a worrying sign. Hormonal changes cause this phenomenon.

At the end of the menstrual cycle, a protective mechanism for the uterus to keep sperm out of the vagina causes vaginal discharge to become more abundant (and therefore more yellow).
During pregnancy, their thickening is this time caused by the increased blood flow to the pelvic area and the increase in hormone levels. In both cases, the result is the same: vaginal secretions thicken and therefore appear more yellow, which is quite normal and is therefore not necessarily a sign of pathology.

Yellow discharge and gynecological disorders

If the yellow discharge which is not accompanied by any other symptoms is nothing to worry about, when it is associated with burning, itching, redness, an abnormal odor or pain in the vagina, this can be a bad sign. Indeed, the yellow and thick secretions can then be one of the symptoms. gynecological problems or vaginal infections. Here are some examples of pathologies that can manifest themselves in particular by the appearance of yellow discharge:

  • Vaginitis : this is an inflammation of the vagina called vaginitis, most often caused by an infection (mycosis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, etc.). Besides the yellow discharge, other symptoms that may indicate vaginitis are: vaginal dryness, unusual odor, irritation, itching and vaginal pain. When the vulva is also affected by inflammation, it is called vulvovaginitis.
  • Cervicitis : inflammation of the cervix, cervicitis is accompanied by very yellow discharge called “mucopurulent”. If it can be the consequence of a sexually transmitted disease (chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes…), cervicitis can also be caused by an allergic reaction. Other symptoms that characterize it are usually vaginal pain, bleeding and fertility problems.
  • Bacterial vaginosis : this time it is an infection of the vulva and / or the vagina caused by the proliferation of bacteria, most often resulting from an imbalance of the vaginal flora. Beyond the yellow color, bacterial vaginosis is also manifested by abundant and smelly vaginal discharge.
  • Trichomoniasis : sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis is also characterized by purulent, smelly and irritating yellow discharge. It is caused by the bacteria trichomonas vaginalis.

Menopause and yellow discharge

At the time of menopause, vaginal secretions are much rarer and this is the reason why the fact of noticing yellow losses can be all the more indicative ofvaginal dysfunction, much more vulnerable because it is drier. Infections, irritations, inflammations … The atrophic vaginitis related to menopause can also be the source of the problem. It occurs most of the time following a drop in estrogen hormones and can cause, among other things, moderate to severe dryness. This is why, at the time of menopause, it takes all the more pay attention to the coloring of vaginal discharge, in particular when the latter tend towards yellow.

Yellow losses: when to consult?

We were telling you: if your vaginal secretions are colored without being accompanied by other more worrying symptoms, in this case, the yellow discharge only testifies to the good functioning of your vaginal flora. Conversely, yellow losses can also herald an imbalance or even a disorder in which case it is better to consult a gynecologist so that a clinical examination is carried out as soon as possible. A vaginal sample may then be required and will allow the analysis of the composition of the vaginal discharge, the establishment of a diagnosis and finally the prescription of a treatment if necessary.

Several possibilities are then possible: if the yellow discharge is due to an infection, the gynecologist most often recommends local treatment (which may take the form of an ointment or ova to be introduced into the vagina); in the event of infections caused by the proliferation of bacteria (such as bacterial vaginosis, for example) or by a sexually transmitted disease, antibiotics can also be administered; another case: if the change in color of the vaginal secretions is due to the imbalance of the vaginal flora, probiotics can also be prescribed in the form of eggs.

Yellow losses and intimate hygiene

In conclusion : no need to upset your personal hygiene to overcome yellow discharge : either these are normal and indicative of the proper functioning of your vaginal flora, or they are caused by a disorder or infection and must be submitted to a gynecologist. Anyway, the fact of increasing the number of showers and intimate toilets will not allow you to get rid of your vaginal discharge, on the contrary! In fact, too much hygiene is more likely to disrupt the natural hydrolipidic film of the vagina and thus unbalance your vaginal flora. Bad idea, then!

Good to know : if recourse to intra-vaginal toilets and clothing that is too tight are to be avoided (given that they promote the proliferation of bacteria), the use of a soap without perfume and with the adapted pH is recommended on the contrary.

White discharge, what is it and what is it for?

Video by Clemence Chevallet

Editor for the beauty section, Mélissa intends to share with you all the secrets of this vast universe. Nothing escapes her and it is with you that she shares all her finds …