Normally vaginal discharge between periods is almost transparent, since its main component is cervical mucus. Observing pink discharge before period is an alerting symptom. It can be explained by 3 physiological and at least 8 pathological factors. To find the difference between them, one may choose to answer eight questions, provided in our article. However, this does not always help in accurate diagnostics. Making a diagnosis and prescribing adequate treatment, if necessary, is only up to a gynecologist.
Discharge between periods consists (mainly) of cervical mucus, exfoliated endothelial (inner vaginal lining) cells and a set of bacteria, representing normal vaginal microflora. Sometimes these components are lined up with blood, in which case the discharge acquires brown or light pink coloring. The color of the discharge depends on the extent to which blood is diluted in mucus, the amount of which in its turn varies, based on the fluctuations of estrogen level throughout the cycle. Pink vaginal discharge may occur under the influence of several physiological factors or else; it can indicate to one of the possible pathologies.
Distinctive features of normal spotting before your period
Occurrence of pink mucus between periods in healthy women may be explained by such harmless conditions as ovulation, implantation, and adjustment to hormonal contraceptives, which cause bleeding on the first stages. In order to find out whether or not pink vaginal discharge is physiological, one should answer a few questions:
- When did spotting start?
- How long did it last?
- Do you have similar previous experience?
- What is spotting accompanied by?
- Do you take any drugs, particularly hormonal contraceptives?
- Have you had unprotected sex in recent times?
- Are you pregnant?
- Do you have any general or chronic diseases (diabetes, thyroid pathology), or any diagnosed gynecological diseases (myomas, endometriosis)?
Let us try to find possible variants of answers to these questions
- If light pink discharge is observed in the middle of the cycle, it can, among other things, be indicative to ovulation or adjustment to hormonal contraceptives. If spotting started immediately before the anticipated period, it might be associated with the affection of vessels during implantation. Pathological discharge is not related to the cycle.
- All types of spotting last no more than 3 days.
- Ovulation bleeding (OB) may occur in several consecutive cycles, from time to time or only once. Implantation bleeding (IB), accordingly, takes place along with conception (IB occurs just as many times as pregnancies). Spotting before your period, which is associated with the adjustment period, may be observed throughout 3-6 cycles during the intake of contraceptive drugs (and no more). No type of physiological spotting occurs twice in the same cycle, except for highly infrequent case of overlapping IB with OB (which is a theoretically possible scenario).
- Normal pink vaginal discharge does not contain any admixtures, apart from blood. Women are not supposed to experience itching or irritation in genitals. As for pain, ovulation is sometimes accompanied by pricking, abdominal dragging pain caused by the ovulating ovum; bleeding, associated with the adjustment period in some cases goes in line with slight cramps; implantation is considered to be painless.
- The initial stage of intake of hormonal contraceptives (regardless the form – pills, injection or gel) brings forward the version of adjustment related bleeding, provided that there are no other (pathological) symptoms, whereas the intake of, aspirin, for example, can cause disturbance of coagulation, indicating to a completely different mechanism – the cause of bleeding.
- Another reason for IB is certainly recent unprotected intercourse, but at the same time, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases or infliction of micro traumas is not excluded. In such cases pink mucus, particularly purulent cervical secrete, is an obvious sign of pathology.
- Apart from IB, undiagnosed pregnancy can also be the reason for pink vaginal discharge, which indicates to the disturbed course of childbearing. As a rule, this discharge is accompanied by dragging pain and requires immediate hospitalization.
- Many hormonal diseases, as well as blood pathologies, can be accompanied by bleeding out of the cycle. In case pink discharge before period has somatic etiology and is not related to gynecological factors, the answer and the treatment should be provided by the relevant specialist. Chronic diseases of the urinary system also require regular supervision of a gynecologist.
Analyzing possible etiology of spotting before your period, one can only define the direction of search or consider the norm. Only the specialist can make an accurate diagnosis, after conducting additional examinations.
Pathological pink vaginal discharge
In the case pink mucus is lined up with another unfavorable symptom, mentioned below. Then it may be appropriate to suppose any of these conditions:
- Micro traumas, inflicted during sexual intercourse;
- Sexually transmitted diseases;
- Endocrine pathology (thyroid deficiency or ovarian polycystic disease)
- Precancer (erosion, polyps, ) and cancer of the uterine cervix;
- Endometriosis – islet proliferation of endometrial lining out of the uterine cavity;
- Adenomyosis – when mucous lining of the uterus moves into the muscular layer;
- Myomas, fibromyomas and other oncological pathologies of the uterus;
- Blood coagulation failure, including such, associated with the intake of hormonal contraceptives.
Thus, against 2 physiological causes, we can list at least 8 common pathological factors, causing pink discharge before period. As long as a deviation from the norm is quite probable, it is better not to rely on luck, but consult a gynecologist instead.