Green Discharge

Do I Have an Infection?

Vaginal discharge that is a yellow-green colour is not normal. It can indicate an infection in your body, and you should get treatment as soon as possible. The infection could be due to a sexually transmitted infection (STI). These can lead to complications, especially in pregnancy.

Read on to learn more about green vaginal discharge, it’s causes and how to get treatment.

Dr Clair Grainger

Medically reviewed by

Dr Clair Grainger

Last reviewed: 27 Apr 2022

What is Green Discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a normal part of life for most people. It is mucus or fluid that helps keep the vagina clean and protect it from infection.

Green discharge is usually an indication of an infection in your body. It can be yellow-green, but some people have a brighter green or yellow discharge.

The amount of discharge you get varies depending on the individual and what is happening in your life. For example, if you are using birth control or pregnant, you might notice changes in your vaginal discharge.

Normal vaginal discharge is usually:

  • white or clear
  • wet and slippery
  • thick and sticky
  • without a strong smell

If you have green discharge, it is common to see a thinner yellow discharge to start with, which becomes more mucus-like and yellow-green. If it is not treated, the discharge can become thick with a much brighter green colour and an unpleasant smell.

The type of infection which causes green discharge is commonly a sexually transmitted infection (STI) though there can be other causes such as a forgotten tampon. Changes to the colour of your discharge can also be caused by gynaecological cancers or an ectopic pregnancy so it’s always important to contact a doctor quickly if you notice green vaginal discharge.

What Infections Can Cause Green Discharge?

The following STIs can give you green vaginal discharge:


  • caused by the ‘trichomonas vaginalis’ parasite and transmitted during sex
  • other symptoms in women include swelling, itching and soreness around the vagina and pain when peeing or having sex
  • common to have no symptoms
  • diagnosed using a swab test
  • usually treated using an antibiotic called metronidazole which you take for 5 to 7 days


  • a bacterial infection transmitted during sex
  • also known as ‘the clap’
  • other symptoms include abdominal pain, pain when peeing and sometimes heavier periods or spotting
  • common to have no symptoms
  • can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and complications in pregnancy if left untreated
  • diagnosis with a swab test
  • treatment involves antibiotics given as either an injection or tablets and is often given in conjunction with treatment for chlamydia


  • widespread infection caused by the bacterium ‘chlamydia trachomatis’ and transmitted through sex
  • other symptoms include abdominal pain, pain when peeing or during sex, heavier periods or spotting
  • common to have no symptoms
  • can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and complications in pregnancy if left untreated
  • diagnosis with a swab test
  • treatment involves antibiotics given as either an injection or tablets
  • treatment involves antibiotics usually given as tablets

Can Periods Cause Green Discharge?

Periods do not cause green discharge. If you get green discharge around your period, this usually means that you have an infection and not that your period is causing the green discharge.

Green Discharge and Pregnancy

If you have a green discharge and are pregnant, see a doctor immediately (whatever stage of pregnancy). Green discharge means that you may have an infection, and this may be dangerous for your baby as the infection can cause premature birth or low birthweight.

Green discharge is not a sign of pregnancy.

It’s common to get heavier white, milky or clear discharge in pregnancy due to increased oestrogen levels.

Any discharge that is yellow or green, thicker or lumpier and has a strong odour is a cause for concern and should be discussed with a doctor immediately.

Green Discharge and Sex

If you see green discharge after you have had sex, this usually indicates an infection in your body and is a concern. The infection can be a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but this doesn’t mean that a specific episode of sex directly causes the green discharge you see after it.Treatment for the STIs that cause green discharge is antibiotics.. The prescribing doctor or nurse will advise you to avoid sexual contact for a certain period of time depending on the STI and the treatment you receive.

How to Prevent Green Discharge

You can prevent green discharge by taking measures to protect yourself from getting an STI. These include:

  • using a condom when you have sex
  • using a condom to cover the penis or a latex square (called a dam) to cover the female genitals when you have oral sex
  • washing sex toys carefully or not sharing them

Less common causes of changes to your vaginal discharge could be prevented by:

  • remembering to remove tampons on time
  • attending cervical screening appointments
  • using contraception to prevent pregnancy

How is green discharge treated?

The treatment for green discharge is usually antibiotics, either taken orally or given as an injection. The first step is for the doctor to identify which STI is causing the green discharge. Once a doctor knows whether it is trichomoniasis, gonorrhoea or chlamydia, they can prescribe you the appropriate treatment. They may also want to rule out any other underlying causes for the change to your discharge.

Our doctors at Superdrug Online Doctor can assess your symptoms quickly and discreetly. Once they have prescribed your treatment, you can have it sent to an address of your choice in an unmarked package.

Is green discharge a cause for concern?

Green discharge is a cause for concern as it usually indicates an infection in your body. See a doctor or visit a sexual health clinic to get help treating it.

If you have the following symptoms at the same time as green discharge, this could be a sign of something more serious. See your doctor as soon as possible if you have:

  • fever
  • unexplained weight loss
  • extreme tiredness
  • increased need to pee
  • pain in the stomach
  • bleeding between your period or after sex


Cervical Cancer Symptoms (2021) NHS [accessed 14 March 2022]

Chlamydia NHS [accessed 24 February 2022]

Gonorrhoea NHS [accessed 24 February 2022]

Green vaginal discharge Flo Health [accessed 24 February 2022]

Toxic shock syndrome (2019) NHS [accessed 14 March 2022]

Trichomoniasis NHS [accessed 24 February 2022]

Vaginal discharge NHS Jan 2021 [accessed 24 February 2022]

Vaginal Discharge NCBI [accessed 24 February 2022]

Vaginal discharge in pregnancy (2021) NHS [accessed 14 March 2022]

Vaginal yeast infections Women’s Health [accessed 24 February 2022]

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (2022) NHS [accessed 14 March 2022]

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