4 doctors weighed in:

What can cause yellow vaginal discharge with a fishy odor?

4 doctors weighed in
David Miller
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Bacterial vaginosis

A fishy odor is most commonly caused by overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina.
There are several possible causes and while it is not necessarily a sexually transmitted infection it could be. A diagnosis should be obtained by pelvic examination. There are characteristic findings on microscopic evaluation of the discharge. See your doctor for further evaluation.

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In brief: Bacterial vaginosis

A fishy odor is most commonly caused by overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina.
There are several possible causes and while it is not necessarily a sexually transmitted infection it could be. A diagnosis should be obtained by pelvic examination. There are characteristic findings on microscopic evaluation of the discharge. See your doctor for further evaluation. Get a more personalized answer to your question ›
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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David Miller
Family Medicine , 2 years in practice
Dr. Brian Nguyen
Obstetrics & Gynecology

In brief: BV

Sometimes disturbances to the natural bacteria in your vagina (douching, irregular bleeding, unprotected sex, etc) can allow abnl bacteria like Gardnerella to overgrow and cause a fishy odor. It's not sexually transmitted, but can be treated w/ Metronidazole(Flagyl)/Clindamycin/Boric Acid.
See your GYN for a prescription and be examined for other potential causes. Nothing urgent/dangerous though.

Get personalized help from me ›

In brief: BV

Sometimes disturbances to the natural bacteria in your vagina (douching, irregular bleeding, unprotected sex, etc) can allow abnl bacteria like Gardnerella to overgrow and cause a fishy odor. It's not sexually transmitted, but can be treated w/ Metronidazole(Flagyl)/Clindamycin/Boric Acid.
See your GYN for a prescription and be examined for other potential causes. Nothing urgent/dangerous though. Get personalized help from me ›
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Dr. Brian Nguyen
Obstetrics & Gynecology , 3 years in practice
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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
26 years in practice
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