Yellow Cervical Mucus Causes – Is Estrogen a Culprit?
Cervical mucus can be a nuisance and sometimes just downright gross. It can in volume, texture and consistency several times throughout the monthly ovulation cycle. Most of the time, clear cervical mucus is present and it serves several very important functions. It helps to keep “unwanteds” out of the region of sensitive reproductive organs. And, it also helps to flush away bad stuff like bacteria. Most of the time, mucus color changes little, although it’s opacity can fluctuate dramatically, going from a thin and clear substance to thicker and stretchier egg white cervical mucus, all in relation to the monthly cycle of fertility. However, there are times that changes in cervical mucus can be alarming. One of the most common cases is a yeast infection. During a yeast infection, cervical discharge can be thick and cottage cheese like in nature. It can have a bad odor, and is normally easy to detect. However, not all cases of odd cervical mucus are so easy to identify. In cases of yellow cervical mucus for instance, the culprits can be a little less obvious.
Most of the time, thick yellow mucus is associated with infection. When a cough or cold takes hold of the respiratory system, infection is often a suspect. And, inflammation is also often associated with thick yellow mucus, where allergies and pollution can create a mucus membrane nightmare. But, yellow mucus is common and expected in these places and much less so from the vaginal area. And, when it appears, the causes are much less apparent. The most common infection of the vagina is a yeast infection, the symptoms of which have been described. And, while yellow mucus can occur in yeast infections, it’s not one of the more common traits.
Yellow cervical mucus however is common in gonorrhea. CDC explains that gonorrhea is a reproductive mucus membrane affecting sexually transmitted disease (). While some of the symptoms of the condition (which can many times produce no symptoms at all) include itching of the anus, bleeding, and sore throats, one of the more common symptoms is yellow discharge (this can also be green). Cleveland Clinic mentions another infection that can cause yellow cervical mucus, trichomoniasis. In some cases, multiple infections can be present, which can also change the color, consistency or volume of cervical mucus present.
But, NaturalFertilityandWellness.com explains another, much less ominous cause of yellow cervical mucus that has much more to do with the ever fluctuating hormones of the female body – estrogen levels. As the amount of estrogen that is building up as the female body prepares for periods of maximum fertility, the mucus produced from the cervical area can become yellowish in color. This period may not last longer, and may give way rather quickly to the wetter and more lotion like mucus that is present during periods of high fertility.
Of course, increases in estrogen are normal, and so can be yellow mucus discharge. And, the best way to determine if the resulting change in mucus color is related to ominous sources or not is to determine whether or not there are other telling side effects associated with it. For instance, if yellow mucus discharge is not accompanied by any symptoms whether in the vaginal region or elsewhere, such as a fever, then it is likely that this slight color variation is either normal or potentially related to escalating estrogen levels. However, if the change in mucus hue is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s probably worthwhile to see a healthcare provider. As previously mentioned, there are certainly some health concerns that can be related to yellow cervical mucus that can be problematic like certain STD’s and infections. And, when left untreated, they can lead to even more serious health concerns. For instance, CDC explains that gonorrhea left unattended can, in extreme cases, lead to infertility.
Everyone’s cervical mucus is just a little bit different than the next person’s. And, it’s often the case that slight variations in color and texture are nothing to worry about. Yellow cervical mucus doesn’t necessarily mean that anything wrong is occurring, and may simply be attributable to variances in female hormone fluctuations. Paying attention to the other signs that the body is giving in conjunction with the mucus changes is the best way to determine whether or not it’s anything to worry about.