You can use toilet paper to wipe after completing a bowel movement or after urinating. Those two functions alone could be the difference between toilet paper being yellow or any other color.
Toilet paper is most likely to be yellow after you wipe due to the color of anal or vaginal discharge. There are numerous reasons why that discharge might be yellow, such as infections like vaginitis or poor hygiene.
Some of those considerations could have to do with a mere dietary change. Others might have to do with potential illness, while others might have to do with potential anal or vaginal infection. The key is to avoid jumping to any conclusions.
Should Toilet Paper Be Yellow After Wiping?
Yellow staining on toilet paper post-wipe isn’t always a sign that something’s wrong. Instead, the odor of that yellow stain on your toilet paper is usually the giveaway for something more sinister.
What are the benign—and concerning—causes of yellow stains?
Any qualified physician will tell you that it is perfectly normal for urine color to be yellow, and it is not unusual for urine to appear a deep amber.
If you wipe yourself with toilet paper after urinating, it is perfectly reasonable to expect the color of that toilet paper to be yellow—the more transparent the yellow, the better.
Under usual circumstances, vaginal discharge actually serves a practical purpose. By keeping your urinary and vaginal tracts clean, discharge aids in protecting you from infection.
There could be any number of reasons for yellow vaginal discharge, but not all of them mean that you are ill or infected. You should not be alarmed if your toilet paper is a light yellow following discharge, which is considered quite common.
If that shade of yellow starts taking on a shade of green (or a mixture of both), the state of your health might require further investigation from a health care provider. There is no guarantee that something is wrong, but it is best to err on the side of caution.
Yellow vaginal discharge has sometimes been associated with early pregnancy. You can detect this early in the first trimester of that pregnancy, and it could continue to be visible throughout your pregnancy.
You Are On Your Period
Yellowish discharge is also sometimes evidence that you are about to go on your period and is no cause for worry or panic if you find evidence of it after wiping.
Vaginitis is usually associated with uncontrollable itching and significant pelvic pain. However, yellow discharge and an unpleasant odor could also be a sign of infection. If you encounter all three of those symptoms after wiping, it would be prudent of you to visit the doctor.
Your toilet paper could be yellow because you haven’t been cleaning correctly after completing a bowel movement. When you fail to clean yourself thoroughly, fecal bacteria can run into your urinary and vaginal tracts, causing infections.
The yellow you see on your toilet paper after wiping could also just be an old stain created by your last visit to the bathroom, which is a glaring indictment of your hygiene practices but not really a significant health issue.
Why Is My Stool Yellow?
Your toilet paper might be yellow because the color of your stool was yellow. That is of greater concern since it may indicate major conditions like cirrhosis and hepatitis, which damage the liver, or pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.
The biological explanation for yellow stool in liver conditions is that liver diseases affect the number of bile salts that make it to your intestine. The discoloration of your stool is just one serious symptom.
Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer can cause yellow stool because the organ stops processing fats in the body. Giardiasis, a parasitic infection, may also cause yellow stool as it interferes with the intestines.
Sometimes, producing a yellow stool is not particularly complicated and is caused by something seemingly innocuous as stress. When you are stressed, your body usually isn’t absorbing nutrients at the rate that it should be, hence the yellow when you visit the loo.
Finally, the color of your stool could simply be yellow because of something that you have eaten.
A common dish in Asian communities is biryani, which has a lot of yellow or shades of yellow because of the rice color and the extensive spices used.
So, a yellow stool could simply be a dietary issue, although that is something you would be able to spot straight away.
What Color Should Toilet Paper Be?
If you wipe with toilet paper after completing a bowel movement, the color of your toilet paper should either be brown or green. All shades of brown are considered normal stool colors by medical experts.
If your toilet paper is yellow after wiping, the chances are there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. However, there are some colors that your toilet paper definitely should not be after wiping, at which point you should investigate the matter further with your doctor.
If your toilet paper is white or clay-colored, you probably have a problem with your bile duct. This is also a likely scenario if you are on medications like anti-diarrheal drugs.
If your toilet paper is black when you wipe after a bowel movement, it usually means that you are bleeding in the stomach. Suffice it to say, that is pretty serious stuff. However, this is also a likely scenario if you are on medications like anti-diarrheal drugs.
If your toilet paper is bright red when you wipe after a bowel movement, it usually means that you have some lower intestinal bleeding. Something like this is generally associated with hemorrhoids. Usually you can feel them.
If your toilet paper is blood red, it could also just mean that you have just been eating some food with red coloring in it or it could be menstrual blood from your period.
The Final Verdict
Your toilet paper appearing yellow after wiping is more common than you might think, and in isolation, this is something that you should not be too concerned about. However, you will need to investigate further once you start noticing other symptoms.
Symptoms that should be of particular concern once you discover that your toilet paper is yellow include: fatigue, confusion, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, bad smell, and weight loss. For these symptoms, it’s time to seek medical treatment options.