Causes of foul smelling vaginal discharge

It's normal to experience vaginal discharge. This article throws light on why it happens.

Vaginal discharge is a common occurrence among women. There are different kinds of vaginal discharge, which could indicate an infection. It is often called abnormal when the consistency is chunky and colour is yellow or green; the odour may be foul too. There are other uncomfortable symptoms that could be cited too.

Bacterial vaginosis

One of the most common reasons behind abnormal and foul smelling vaginal discharge is an infection called bacterial vaginosis. This happens when there is an abnormal outgrowth of certain kinds of microorganisms. The imbalance of these microorganisms can also lead to this condition. The yeast and bacteria could continue growing inside the vagina, leading a certain kind of imbalance. A pelvic examination by a gynecologist in such cases would be of great help. (Read: Do you suffer from smelly vaginal discharge?)

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Sexually transmitted diseases

Another common reason for foul smelling vaginal discharge is sexually transmitted diseases. Having several sex partners or indulging in unprotected sex several times, could lead to this condition. Even excess intake of birth control pills leads to vaginal discharge. One of the common diseases cited in such cases is Trichomoniasis. It is a parasitic condition that occurs when one indulges in unprotected sex way too often. A smart way to prevent such a condition is by keeping it safe and using protection. (Read: Answers to 6 embarrassing health queries women refuse to ask)

Vaginal atrophy

Vaginal atrophy is also something that leads to foul smelling vaginal discharge. This occurs only when the walls of your vagina become too thin and start drying out. Such cases don t occur when a woman is young or has just entered puberty. Vaginal atrophy only occurs when one has entered the stages of menopause. It is always advisable to visit the doctor during such times. Regular meditation is important. (Read: 7 tips for a healthy vagina)


Foul smelling vaginal discharge often occurs when you are suffering with an infection. Another common infections is vulvovaginitis. This could happen to women of all ages and is quite common these days. There are several causes to such a condition. Some of them are environmental factors, yeast, bacteria, viruses, chemicals and menopause. Sexually transmitted infections are another problem.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is quite a common disease and has been a reason of death for several women across the world today. One of the common symptoms of cervical cancer is foul smelling vaginal discharge. It is dangerous and needs to be treated right at the spot. It is wise to visit the doctor the moment you see such a symptom. Procrastination would worsen the situation and ultimately become life threatening. (Read: How to identify abnormal vaginal discharge? (Query))


There are several symptoms to foul smelling vaginal discharge. Here are a couple that should help you identify.

-Bloody or Brown

If your vaginal discharge is bloody or brown, it could be an indication of irregular menstrual cycle, cervical cancer or even endometrial cancer. There are other symptoms that come along with this such as vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain.


If your vaginal discharge is yellow or cloudy, it could meet gonorrhoea. Other symptoms that come with this are bleeding in between your periods, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, etc.


Pink vaginal discharge could mean the shedding of the line of your uterine during child birth. This one will only occur during pregnancy.

-Thick and cheesy

Thick, white and cheesy vaginal discharge often indicates a yeast infection. Other symptoms that come with this are pain around the vulva, itching, painful experiences during sexual intercourse, etc.

-Yellow with fishy odour

A final symptom is yellow with fishy odour. It could mean bacterial vaginosis. There could be itching experienced in this area. Your vagina could swell up and redness would be present throughout the vulva.

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