Many women are usually concerned by the appearance of pink discharge. However, women should realize that vaginal discharge is a protective reaction of the vagina and this is quite normal. The physical characteristics and amount may depend on the phase of the menstrual cycle. When bloody discharges occur, these may be physiological and they may happen during the postpartum period, after taking birth control pills, ovulation and during the first pregnancy trimester.
However, it is important to realize that a pink vaginal discharge can be caused by an inflammatory disease and other serious hormonal disorders that cause abnormalities of the genitourinary as well as other key body systems. This means that when the discharge are regular and are accompanied by discomfort, it may be necessary to contact a medical practitioner.
What pink discharges indicate
Depending on when it occurs, pink discharge can be a sign of various things such as:
When the pink discharge occurs in between the periods, it can be a sign of ovulation. When the follicle becomes ruptured during the menstruation cycle, an ovum gets released. The egg travels to the fallopian tube before getting into the uterus. Most women don’t feel the ovulation process but there are many who report feeling some discomfort in their lower abdomen or even some slight spotting in a process that is known as ovulatory syndrome. When the egg finally gets fertilized, this marks the start of a pregnancy and the woman will miss her periods. Where fertilization doesn’t happen, the normal periods will begin again after a period of 14 days.
When the pink discharge occurs before the start of periods, it could be an indication of a pregnancy. The fertilized egg will usually travel to uterine cavity before attaching itself to the endometrium-the uterus inner layer. The endometrium will get enough supply of blood as a result of an improved hormonal activity and during the exact time of egg implantation, there may be an occurrence of a slight bleeding. This is known as implantation spotting. The bleeding has an appearance of a pink discharge. The increased progesterone levels will help the already fertilized egg to become an embryo and no menstruation will happen. Where a successful implantation happens and a pink discharge occurs during the first trimester, it may be an indication of a threatened abortion or miscarriage.
At times, the fertilized egg’s implantation can occur on the outer part of the uterine cavity in a place that is not right for the pregnancy to develop further. In most cases, this can happen on the cervix or fallopian tubes. When this happens, this may cause the appearance of a discharge that is pink in color as well as missed periods despite the fact that home pregnancy tests will show one line. A Hcg blood test is recommended in such a case.
Hormonal contraceptives may also be a cause of pink discharge. Whether these are pills, intrauterine device, vaginal rings or even the intradental implant, they can cause hormonal changes in the woman’s body. This is due to the fact that the contraceptive hormones are used to replace the woman’s hormone and this can suppress the ovulation process. There are many instances when the hormonal contraceptives are usually prescribed in the treatment of various gynecological conditions.
Infections can cause a bloody discharge in the internal or external genitalia. However, to determine whether this is the cause of the pink discharge, you will need to check the consistency to determine whether it is purulent or mucous and is accompanied by an itching and burning sensation in the vaginal apertures area. There are times when the discharge may be accompanied by severe abdomen cramps as well as fever. Some of the key infections that can be marked by a pink discharge include:
- Cervical erosion: The occurrence of a pink but painless secretion just before, during or even after periods or even after physical activity or sex can be caused by cervical erosion. A colposcopy may be necessary to diagnose the condition.
- When there is periodic and painless pink discharge that is not related to menstruation, this can be a sign of cancer. This could be cervical or endometrial cancer in its late stages in premenopausal or menopause women. This is why regular gynecological examinations are necessary.
- Hormonal disorders. The pink disorder can be caused by a hormonal imbalance and this is usually as a result of stress, climate change, ovarian cysts, hypothyroidism, endometrial hyperplasia, endometriosis as well as other hormonal conditions affecting the endocrine and reproductive systems.
- Diseases of associated systems and or Vaginal bleeding that is not caused by hormonal disorders may be as a result of conditions such as blood cagulability, diabetes, diseases, affecting the hematopoietic system, liver or kidney disease as well as other pathologies.
When the discharge should be a source of concern
Also known as leucorrhea, the pink discharge occurs naturally and helps mainly to clean the reproductive system by getting rid of bacteria as well as dead cells. At times, the pink discharge will get its color from mixing with blood. This is particularly the case in pregnant women. With the estrogen levels being high, there is an increase in flow of blood to the vagina.
Therefore, every woman experiences vaginal discharge at one time or another. This discharge can vary in terms of color, odor or quantity. When the discharge can be termed as normal, there are moments when you should consult a gynecologist especially when the discharge is accompanied by:
- Discharge that is very thick
- Fishy odor
- Contains blood at times
- Occurs after sex
If you are not pregnant and you are concerned about the pink discharge from the vagina, you should contact your physician immediately.