Genital discharges are pretty common occurrences in women and men. Women can have vaginal discharge while men have penile discharge. This is not necessarily something to be worried about when it occurs, as the genital discharge is normal and expected.
Female discharge assists in keeping the vagina free of harmful pathogens and clean. The color of normal discharge is usually translucent white or clear. Still, sometimes this can change depending on the condition of the body. For instance, some women may experience chlamydia discharge color, which can be yellowish and smelly, when they get the infection.
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Penile discharge typically occurs in the form of pre-ejaculate fluid when there is arousal from sexual activity. This discharge is secreted from the glands on the inner part of the foreskin and the tip of the penis. Similar to vaginal discharge, penile discharge is usually clear in color. However, a change in the color, smell, amount, or consistency of penile discharge can indicate an underlying STI.
STD discharge color chart
Sometimes, you can determine what type of infection you’ve contracted by paying attention to the changes in your genital discharge patterns. A change in the color of your genital discharge may mean you have a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or other conditions. A yellow or green discharge may indicate you have an STD. View the color chart below:
Types of abnormal discharge
A woman’s vaginal can be pretty sensitive to changes. Changes in the balance of good bacteria in the vagina can change the discharge’s color, smell, or texture.
For instance, a woman can experience a green vaginal discharge or an unusual brown discharge. Below are a few conditions that can cause abnormal vaginal discharge;
- Using antibiotics or steroids
- Bacterial vaginosis (a common bacterial infection in pregnant women or women with multiple sexual partners)
- Birth control pills
- Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea
- Yeast infections
- Cervical cancer
- Feminine products like scented soaps, douches, or bubble baths
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease primarily spread by transferring bodily fluids from one infected person to another during sexual engagements. It is caused by a bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia is the most reported STI in the US, and it usually doesn’t cause symptoms to show in most people. This means that people can have this infection for a long time without knowing it and infecting others.
These are some of the essential things to know about chlamydial infections.
- Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in the US, but most people don’t know they have it.
- The bacteria that causes chlamydia is usually sexually transmitted
- The people most at risk of getting chlamydia are sexually active young women
- Chlamydia only spreads from one person to another
- Chlamydia doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in most cases
- In cases where symptoms appear, they can be different for men and women
- Chlamydia infections can lead to severe long-term health problems
- An infected woman can give her newly born baby chlamydia through childbirth
- You can use antibiotics to treat chlamydia
- You can prevent getting chlamydia
People can have chlamydia for a long time without seeing symptoms, but there are cases where symptoms occur. These symptoms show up differently in people based on their gender. One of the common symptoms for men and women is smelly genital discharge.
Some other symptoms of chlamydia in women include;
- Yellow, white, or gray discharge from the vagina
- Burning sensation during urination
- Increased urge to frequently urinate
- Bleeding in between menstrual cycles
- Painful menstruation
- Chronic abdominal or pelvic pain
- Pain during sex
- Itching in and around the vagina
- Presence of pus in the urine
Symptoms in men
- Mucus-like or watery discharge from the penis
- Burning sensation or pain during urination
- Swollen testicles
Both genders may experience symptoms that are not genital-based.
Eyes: you may experience conjunctivitis if the bacteria gets into your eyes.
Anus: Pain and bleeding, including a mucus-like discharge, are some of the general symptoms of this infection.
Throat: You may experience a sore throat if the bacteria gets into your throat.
How to prevent chlamydia
The most effective measure to prevent chlamydia is abstinence from all sexual contact since the infection is passed from one person to the other during sex. However, suppose you’re not staying away from sex. In that case, you must use a latex condom every time you have sex to protect your sexual health. Also, make sure to get screened frequently.
In addition, you can consider limiting the number of your risk of getting an infection. If your sexual partners have chlamydia, they might not show any symptoms, and you can get it from them if you don’t practice safe sex. Ensure you and your partner go for regular STD tests.
What is chlamydia discharge color?
Oftentimes, chlamydia may cause symptoms that look like a urinary tract infection or cervicitis. Most times, an infected person’s vaginal or penile discharge may be yellow in color. They can sometimes have a foul-smelling odor. Chlamydia discharge color can also be gray or whitish. This symptom is usually followed by pain and a burning sensation in the genital area during urination.
How is chlamydia treated?
Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat chlamydia. Antibiotics can ease the symptoms and clear the infection within a week or two. However, in cases where the symptoms ease a few days into treatment, it is vital to continue using your medication as recommended by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you notice any of the symptoms of chlamydia or if you have unprotected sex with someone who has. Your doctor will screen you and recommend treatment therapy to cure the disease.
Antibiotics usually treat chlamydia in over 95% of people when used correctly.
Doxycycline and azithromycin are the two most commonly prescribed antibiotics for chlamydia.
For doxycycline; take this drug every day for a week
For azithromycin; take one dose of 1g, then 500mg once a day for two days
People allergic to these drugs, breastfeeding, or pregnant may be given different antibiotics like erythromycin or amoxicillin. If your doctor is concerned about complications, a longer course of antibiotics may be prescribed.
While treating chlamydia, you should avoid having sex to prevent reinfection.
You should follow the following guidelines during treatment:
Starting a treatment therapy doesn’t automatically mean you are cured of the infection. Ensure to take all medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
You should stay away from all sexual contact during your treatment
Consider reaching out to your sexual partners so they can get tested and treated to reduce the risk of reinfection.
Frequently Asked Questions
The vaginal or penile discharge of someone with chlamydia usually has a sharp foul smell. This smell is sometimes described as fishy or likened to how pus smells.
Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina is a common sign of chlamydia in women and men. While the chlamydia discharge color is usually yellowish in nature, the consistency of the thickness can vary depending on the gender. For example, men can experience penile discharge that is clear and thin; they can also sometimes have thick mucus-like discharge. Women can experience frothy green or yellow discharge.
Vaginal discharge is pretty standard and good for the health of the vagina. This is because the discharge helps to clean the vagina of harmful bacteria. However, if you’re experiencing unusual discharge, you should inform your healthcare provider. You can also employ the following measures to deal with constant vaginal discharge.
- Don’t use feminine products or scented soaps to wash your vaginal.
- Avoid douching
- Avoid using feminine sprays and bubble baths on your vagina
- Wash your vagina regularly with mild, gentle soap and warm water. Do not apply soap inside your vagina.
- When you use the restroom, wipe your vagina from front to back to prevent bacteria from getting inside and causing an infection.
- Make a habit of wearing 100% cotton underwear, and avoid clothes that are too tight.
You should get checked for chlamydia at least once a year. However, if you have anonymous or multiple sex partners, you should get tested as frequently as every 3-6 months.