Dear Dr Mitchell,
Can the cause of my green discharge, pain, itching, and burning be from a partner who is not circumcised?
A green vaginal discharge is usually indicative of a significant vaginal infection. The associated pelvic pain suggests that there may be pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). In PID the lining of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and sometimes the ovaries, are inflamed and this results in significant pelvic pain, fever and the associated vaginal discharge. A green discharge may also be due to trichomonas infection or severe candidiasis (yeast infection).
It may also be associated with gonorrhoea or chlamydia infection. It is important to get an endocervical swab and a high vaginal swab done to confirm the nature of the infection. Your partner will also need to be evaluated and treated appropriately, even if he has no symptoms.
Most men tend to be completely asymptomatic, even in the presence of a definite infection. Traditionally, most men are not circumcised, and this does not necessarily cause you to be at increased risk for infection. The usual practice is to pull back the foreskin and wash the penis and genital area thoroughly with soap and water when bathing. This has been shown to be adequate in preventing infection once there is no third-party involvement.
If you have been confirmed to have trichomonas infection, or any other significant sexually transmitted infection, you should get screening for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and syphilis. Condom usage to reduce the risk of recurrence should be seriously considered.
It should be extremely important for you to get treated as soon as possible to reduce the complications of blockage of the Fallopian tubes and subsequent infertility with associated chronic pelvic pain.
Consult your doctor who will advise you further.
Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave, Kingston 5; or fax to 968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.