6 Possible Causes of Yellow-Colored Discharge Prior to Period

A woman’s body has its own way of keeping its reproductive parts clean. Vaginal discharge, which is normally produced daily, keeps the inner vagina clean by cleansing the dead cells and debris with the mucus as it flows out of the body. Around the time of ovulation, the cervix also produces a white, watery to thick type of mucus that is discharged before the menstrual period. But some women wonder what a yellow-colored discharge before period means, especially when other symptoms are present.

Yellow Discharge Before Period, Is It Normal?

The normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or whitish before periods. It is similar to an egg white, but it can turn slightly yellow when exposed to air. You may experience yellow discharge (a premenstrual symptom), which is usually normal and goes away when your period starts. A very small amount of blood may also be present in your discharge, especially when your period is about to start. This may be accompanied by other premenstrual symptoms, such as abdominal cramps.

However, if you produce yellow discharge that has a foul odor or is accompanied by other symptoms like itching and redness, you may have a vaginal infection, which may be fungal or bacterial in nature.

Possible Causes of Yellow Discharge Before Period

There are several factors that can cause the yellow discharge before your period. In general, it can be associated with conditions like cervicitis, vulvovaginitis, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

1. Cervicitis

Inflammation of the opening of the uterus or cervix is also known as cervicitis. Various STDs can cause cervicitis, producing yellow vaginal discharge. These include Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts as well as Trichomoniasis.

Bacterial infections (such as staph and strep) or overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your vagina causing bacterial vaginosis can also lead to cervicitis.

Sometimes, cervicitis may be due to gynecological procedures such as pessary, or birth control devices such as cervical cap or diaphragm. It may also be caused by an allergic reaction to spermicides or latex from condoms.


  • Yellow discharge before period
  • Fertility problem
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain

2. Vulvovaginitis

Inflammation/ infection of the outer vulva and inner vagina is known as vulvovaginitis. It can affect women at any age. It may be caused by viruses, bacteria, yeast, or other parasites. STDs can also cause the infection, while various chemicals in soaps and other products can cause inflammation. Environmental factors (poor hygiene or allergens) can also cause vulvovaginitis.


  • Yellow discharge prior to period
  • Foul odor
  • Pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irritation/ itching in the genital area
  • Burning sensation when urinating

3. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. It is sexually transmitted. Doctors recommend testing for chlamydia, especially for sexually active women who are 25 and younger, or older women who have more than one sexual partner.


  • Yellow discharge before period
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Fertility problems
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Loss of appetite
  • Possible yellowing of the eyes
  • Anal discharge
  • Most women have no symptoms

4. Bacterial Vaginosis

Women have a variety of good and harmful bacteria in the vagina. Normally, the harmless bacteria outnumber the bad ones. But sometimes, the harmful bacteria multiply and outnumber the good ones, causing inflammation of the vagina (vaginosis). This may cause a fishy odor, which may be worse during periods or after sex. This is accompanied by vaginal discharge which may have a whitish or greying color, but sometimes, yellowish, too. However, this condition does not usually cause irritation or soreness.


  • Greyish/white or grayish/yellow discharge
  • Fishy odor
  • Grayish-yellow vaginal discharge after intercourse
  • No soreness /irritation

5. Gonorrhea

This is a common STD caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhea. It can affect anyone, including men. The infection spreads by direct contact through the vagina, penis, mouth, or anus.Symptoms usually appear two to five days after infection.


  • Yellow to green vaginal discharge
  • Mouth lesions
  • Increased urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Area feels hot to the touch
  • Burning pain when urinating
  • Sore throat
  • Painful intercourse
  • Fever (a sign that the infection has spread to the pelvis/abdomen)

6. Trichomoniasis

This is a common STD that usually affects sexually active women who are young. It is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Its symptoms usually appear within 5 to 28 days of infection.


  • Greenish yellow, frothy vaginal discharge
  • Strong fishy odor
  • Irritation/soreness in the genitals
  • Urination problems
  • Pain during intercourse
  • "Strawberry cervix"

Preventing Yellow Discharge Before Period

The important things to remember in preventing infection and yellow discharge include maintaining good hygiene and protecting yourself against sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Remember that even if the vagina is self-cleansing, maintenance of personalhygiene can be done by washing the genital area when bathing for good health.
  • However, it is not advisable to use soaps that contain strong chemicals or perfumes because these may kill the good bacteria in the vagina and allow harmful bacteria to multiply.
  • One way to protect your good bacteria is to eat yogurt regularly, since it contains good bacteria called lactobacilli, which can increase the number of healthy bacterial in the body. It also helps prevent Candida or yeast infection.
  • Finally, avoid using tight fitting undergarments andtrousers, which can increase your risk for infection and yellow discharge prior to period.
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