Orange vaginal discharge may indicate trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis (BV). Orange blood may occur at the end of a menstrual cycle or during early pregnancy.
Orange vaginal discharge may occur due to a temporary imbalance of the bacteria in the vagina.
It may also occur if a person has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as trichomoniasis.
In both cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotic treatment to resolve the underlying condition and its symptoms.
People may also experience orange discharge or blood toward the end of a menstrual cycle or during implantation early in pregnancy.
This article explains the potential causes of orange vaginal discharge, including their symptoms and treatment options, other possible causes of abnormal discharge, and when to contact a doctor.
According to Planned Parenthood, menstrual fluid naturally varies in color and consistency. It can also change in color and consistency over the course of a period.
Some people may observe orange discharge or fluid, particularly toward the end of their period. This may be due to a mixing of menstrual fluid and cervical fluid or because blood is becoming older and oxidized.
Learn more about the potential different colors of period blood.
If orange fluid or discharge occurs as part of a menstrual cycle, people may also experience the following:
Orange discharge toward the end of a period is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong. However, people should contact a doctor if they also experience symptoms such as:
- severe pain
- an unusual or strong odor
- pain or itchiness around or in the vagina
Other early symptoms of pregnancy may include the following:
- mood swings
- changes in weight
- swollen or tender breasts
- a strange taste in the mouth
Taking a pregnancy test can help someone determine whether pregnancy may be the cause of orange blood or discharge.
Pregnancy tests detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in urine from around
Researchers do not know the exact cause of this bacterial imbalance. However, according to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom and the
- being sexually active
- having new or multiple sex partners
- not using condoms or other barrier contraceptives
- using scented products in or around the vagina
- having an intrauterine device (IUD)
Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, the CDC suggests it can increase a person’s risk of contracting an STI.
- changes in discharge, such as thinner discharge
- vaginal pain, burning, or itching
- itching around the outside of the vagina
- burning when urinating
- a strong fishy odor, especially after sex
According to the
When symptoms occur, they typically develop within 5–28 days of exposure to the infection, though they can also develop much later. The symptoms may then come and go.
Possible symptoms of trich in women include:
- thin discharge
- an increased amount of discharge
- discharge with a fishy smell
- discharge that may be clear, white, or tinged with green or yellow
- itching, burning, or soreness of the genitals
- a skin rash around the genitals
- discomfort when urinating
According to the
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), vaginal discharge is typically clear or white and has no noticeable odor. Changes in discharge color or smell may indicate an infection.
According to a
- bacterial vaginosis, which accounts for 50% of cases
- vulvovaginal candidiasis or thrush
Less commonly, changes to vaginal discharge can indicate a more serious STI, particularly if a person experiences additional painful or uncomfortable symptoms. Examples of such STIs include:
According to the ACOG, a person should contact a doctor if they experience changes in the following areas of vaginal discharge:
Changes in these symptoms could signal an infection.
A person should also contact their doctor if they have completed treatment for BV or trich and experience a recurrence of their symptoms. They may have another infection that requires follow-up treatment.
Orange vaginal discharge may be due to bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. In both cases, the treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
It’s also possible for both conditions to recur following treatment. Anyone who experiences a recurrence of their symptoms should see their doctor for follow-up treatment.
People should also visit a healthcare professional if they experience abnormal vaginal discharge with painful or uncomfortable symptoms, such as pelvic pain, genital itching or soreness, and bleeding between periods or after sex.