Losses are an issue that most women have dealt with throughout their lives. In most cases it is normal mucus. Other times, however, it is better to talk to the gynecologist to prevent some problems. Here are all the cases.
This article was written in collaboration with our doctors and gynecologists
After menopause, the intimate environment changes and you may notice small “anomalies” than usual: especially in the quantity and color of vaginal discharge – considered normal when they are transparent and odorless – which could increase, change consistency, color, smell.
During the menopause it is good to keep the losses under control because they could be a sign of intimate infections (more frequent after the age of 50) or diseases such as Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy .
But let’s see together when it is better to contact a gynecologist .
Dark yellow (almost green) discharge can be a sign of an infection
Sometimes intimate infections are asymptomatic, that is, they do not present any disturbance through which they manifest themselves, but they remain in our body continuing to develop their own bacterial or viral load until they become more serious and therefore involve strong disturbances.
Fortunately , vaginal infections are almost always associated with specific losses: for example when you notice secretions that are not transparent but tending to yellowish or light green.
This is a fairly clear symptom of an ongoing infection which must therefore be managed by a specialist. Before identifying the most suitable treatment , in fact, it is absolutely necessary to identify the pathogen responsible for the infection and on the other hand to limit the contagion in the case of a transmissible infection.
Here are some examples:
- It could be Chlamydia Trachomatis (or chlamydia, or chlamydia) which is sexually transmitted during intercourse with infected people. It is an infection that affects about 5.5% of the population.
The most classic symptoms are mild burning and itching with yellowish-gray discharge .
To identify it, a vaginal swab from the gynecologist is sufficient, who in a short time can diagnose any infection and proceed with adequate treatment.
- Another cause of yellowish discharge is Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, known more frequently as “Scolo”, is one of the most widespread sexually transmitted diseases in the world. In these cases the losses manifest themselves with a creamy consistency.
To prevent it is important to have adequate protection during sexual intercourse. Considering that the consequences of gonorrhea can also be serious, it is worthwhile to carry out some in-depth examinations if at the suggestion of the gynecologist .
- Yellow intimate discharge could be a sign of Trichomonas vaginitis, again a sexually transmitted infection.
The protozoan that causes this type of vaginitis can remain silent for months and then manifest itself with yellowish, foamy and foul-smelling discharge, itching and vaginal irritation. Sometimes it also causes pain when urinating.
The gynecologist can easily pinpoint the source of the infection by examining a sample of mucus taken from the cervix.
Yellow vaginal discharge can also be linked to bacterial infections (Gardnerella, Escherichia Coli) or to so-called “yeast” infections.
If you want to learn more about the most frequent vaginal infections you can read these articles:
- Candida infection in menopause: how to recognize it
- Cystitis in menopause: how it manifests itself, how to cure it
- Vulvar vestibulitis: what it is and how you need to deal with it
- Bad intimate smells: what can they depend on?
Yellow discharge in menopause, can depend on changes in the vaginal environment
In perimenopause and in the early stages of menopause, the vaginal environment undergoes many gradual changes , due to the hormonal changes that the woman’s body goes through .
One of the consequences of this transition is the change in the endogenous bacterial flora that normally populates the intimate area. These are “good” bacteria that protect against other infections and pathogens that can reach internal organs by going up the vulvar canal.
Among these, Doderlein’s lactobacilli represent the majority of the total vaginal bacterial flora, constituting about 90% of it. Thanks to these lactobacilli, the vaginal environment tends to remain acidic throughout the fertile life.
When menopause occurs and the hormone level is lowered, the availability of glycogen decreases, a sort of “food” for lactobacilli, whose production is also influenced by estrogen. In the absence of this element, the population of Doderlein bacilli decreases, increasing the vaginal pH and making the entire vaginal environment more vulnerable to infection .
Even if a true infection does not develop, the vaginal transudate may appear more opaque and yellowish due to the decrease in bacilli .
AVV can also generate yellow discharge in menopause
One out of two women, in menopause, develops a progressive pathological condition linked to hormonal changes: Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy . It is a physiological thinning of the tissue which, combined with the lack of transudate and natural hydration, can give rise to itching, irritation and micro-lesions , painful and sometimes, in the most serious cases, bloody.
Especially when itching is involved – and therefore the compulsion to scratch – the situation can worsen: the irritation increases and the lesions are accentuated. In these cases, our body tries to defend itself against infections as best it can by trying to increase vaginal secretions which – although scarce in menopause – may still exist.
However, the absence or deficiency of hormones makes this secretion more compact and dry . Here they can turn out to be yellow losses .
What to do in case of yellow discharge in menopause?
The first rule in case you notice that your losses may not be “normal” is to see a gynecologist . Fortunately, most infections can be effectively treated, especially if “caught” early on.
The gynecologist will be able to recommend the most suitable treatment to deal with infections or a path to alleviate or contain the effects of Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy .
In any case, in addition to the specialist visit, you can:
- Immediately change towels at home to avoid contagion in case of infection
- Use non-colored cotton underwear
- Use a mild intimate cleanser specifically for menopause
- When showering or bathing, do not use scented soaps. Also avoid intimate deodorants
- Avoid unprotected intimate relationships because they could be a vehicle for contagion