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.

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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

March of Dimes notes that bleeding can occur during the implantation stage of pregnancy when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This blood may be orange in color.


Other early symptoms of pregnancy may include the following:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • mood swings
  • changes in weight
  • headaches
  • heartburn
  • swollen or tender breasts
  • a strange taste in the mouth

Pregnancy testing

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 12–15 days after ovulation. However, people can also speak with a trusted healthcare professional if they think they may be pregnant.

BV is a common vaginal condition that occurs due to an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vagina.

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following factors may play a role:

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, the CDC suggests it can increase a person’s risk of contracting an STI.


According to the CDC, many people with BV do not experience any symptoms. However, when symptoms occur, they may include the following:


BV may resolve without treatment. However, people who experience symptoms may require oral or topical antibiotics.

This condition can recur following successful treatment. However, if people experience BV more than four times per year, they may need to use an antibiotic gel inside the vagina for several months to prevent another recurrence.

Trichomoniasis or “trich” is a common STI that occurs due to infection with the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.


According to the CDC, around 70% of people with trich do not experience symptoms, though they can still pass on the disease.

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 CDC, trich is the most common curable STI.

Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics, such as metronidazole. People will likely need to take this medication twice daily for 5–7 days until the infection resolves.

Around 1 in 5 people who complete treatment for trich develop reinfection within 3 months of treatment. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that all sexual partners receive treatment at the same time.

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 2020 review, around 70% of cases of abnormal vaginal discharge occur due to one of the following infections:

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:

  • color
  • odor
  • consistency
  • amount

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.