Pink Mucus: What Can It Be Caused By?

Pink mucus is an admixture of fresh blood in cervical mucus. Most women have dealt with such a symptom and wondered what may stand behind it. Of course, the diagnosis cannot be made online, however, knowing more about your physiology and typical symptoms of common gynecological conditions may help to understand whether your situation is normal or not. We are going to look into the question why pink vaginal discharge may occur and what you can take it for.

Why Does Pink Vaginal Discharge Occur?

Any pink vaginal discharge indicates the presence of a small amount of blood in cervical mucus. First of all, such a phenomenon often occurs after sex. This can be explained by a minor cervical trauma caused during intercourse. Some cervical pathologies, such as polyps, hyperplasia and others, can also be a culprit of pink mucus-like discharge.

Pink Discharge, Caused by Physiological Triggers

  • Onset of period.

It’s normal when pinkish discharge precedes menstruation, further progressing into the full-blown menstrual bleeding and lasting 1-2 days after the period is over.

  • Oral contraceptives.

Pink mucus may appear in the middle of the cycle, if you are beginning to take oral contraceptives. Usually such organism’s reaction is considered normal during the first three months of usage of such birth control pills.

  • Fragile blood vessels.

Sometimes the uterine walls are naturally supplied by extremely fragile blood vessels, located very close to the surface of cervical lining. Pink discharge may occur because of the sexual arousal, during intercourse or orgasmic contractions as these blood vessels can be easily damaged. As a result spotting begins.

  • Intrauterine device (IUD).

Light-colored bloody discharge may happen in the middle of the cycle or before period after the intrauterine device insertion. In this case you should consult your gynecologist. Maybe this contraceptive method simply doesn’t suit you.

  • Ovulation.

Pinkish spotting may occur 1,5 -2 weeks before period, i.e. during ovulation, when a mature ovum is released from an ovarian follicle. Ovulation spotting is reported by 30% of women. It’s a physiological norm.

  • Implantation.

If conception was successful, a woman may experience pink spotting approximately 1 week before the date of expected period. It looks like just a few drops of blood, diluted in cervical mucus which is often mistaken for an early period. In reality it’s implantation spotting, not a very widespread but possible early symptom of pregnancy. In case you had unprotected sex in the middle of the cycle and now suspect you may be pregnant, wait another week and do a pregnancy test or contact your gynecologist.

  • Childbirth.

Right after labor a woman has pink discharge that looks like diluted blood. It’s referred to as lochia, a normal post-delivery phenomenon. Lochia contains mucus, blood and placental tissue and usually lasts for about 14 days after birth.

Pink Spotting During Ovulation

Very often ovulation is accompanied by specific sensations and symptoms. These can include pain in the lower abdomen and characteristic discharge.

Every month, approximately in the middle of the menstrual cycle one follicle in an ovary ruptures to release a mature ovum. This process results in the damage of blood vessels, which nourish the follicle, in which the ovum has been maturing. Therefore, several blood drops remain in the abdominal cavity after the release of the ovum. Depending on individual physiological peculiarities, a woman may experience slight painful sensations. Normally the pain is short-term (it is felt during a few minutes or a few hours), localized on one side (right or left ovary) and felt as cramps, dull or moderately acute aches.

In some cases ovulation may be accompanied by slight bleeding during 1-2 days. Since discharge, which is typical for ovulation, is clear, stretchy and resembles egg white in consistency, mixed with several blood drops it looks like pink mucus. Ovulation spotting is associated with a decline in estradiol level when the so-called yellow body isn’t formed and therefore progesterone is not produced too. As a result, the insignificant separation of endometrium causes the above-mentioned spotting.

Pink Discharge in Early Pregnancy

Often pink discharge in early pregnancy is a symptom of microtraumas in the vulnerable mucous membrane of the female reproductive tract. They may occur after sexual intercourse or gynecological examination. If a woman has cervical erosion, it also becomes more sensitive during pregnancy. That’s why a pregnant woman should be especially careful of any manipulations, which may trigger minor bleedings. Douching is definitely a bad idea. It can traumatize vaginal and cervical linings and trigger uterine contractions, which may result in a miscarriage.

Sometimes pink mucus appears instead of menstruation, since during the first weeks of pregnancy your organism may still be programmed to proceed with a regular cycle. If this discharge is not accompanied by pain, it stops on its own and your doctor is sure there’s nothing to worry about, this is also a variant of norm.

On the other hand, if pink discharge is intensifying, turning into bleeding that is accompanied by severe cramps, it can be the symptom of a threatened abortion or a miscarriage. Often this problem is associated with insufficient production of female sex hormone progesterone that normally prevents uterine contractions and minimizes the possibility of miscarriage accordingly.

What’s Tricky About Pink Discharge?

We have mentioned the most common cases when pink mucus doesn’t indicate any health issues. However, not always you can evaluate your discharge properly, especially if you experience this specific symptom for the first time in your life. Ovulation spotting, for instance, may be your physiological reaction to ovulation. However, there are many pathological conditions which can also cause the mid-cycle spotting. Thus, pink discharge between periods is considered normal if:

  • It’s rather scanty.
  • It lasts not more than 72 hours.
  • The hue of mucus is pinkish or brownish.
  • Bloody discharge is odorless.
  • You haven’t had any gynecological conditions or uterine bleedings previously.

When Pink Cervical Mucus Is Not a Good Sign?

  • Cervical erosion.

Cervical erosion can be caused by hormonal disorders, surgical interventions (abortions, surgeries), cervical or uterine inflammations. A woman can’t diagnose this disease herself. It’s detected only during regular gynecological examination. However, the first symptom of cervical erosion, which can be easily noticed, is a mucus-like discharge with blood right after sexual intercourse or any mechanical manipulations.

  • Chronic endometritis and endocervicitis.

Pink mucus, typical for these conditions, looks like diluted blood and usually happens before or after period. Such discharge has an unpleasant odor.

  • Inflammations.

Along with menstrual disorders, pink vaginal discharge is often a sign of inflammatory processes in female reproductive organs.

  • Polyps and fibroids.

These conditions may be accompanied by both pink and bright red, scanty and abundant bloody discharge.

Summing up, it should be mentioned that only a gynecologist can determine the real cause of your pink discharge after a thorough examination and necessary laboratory tests. No online consultations, recommendations from friends or other doubtful diagnostic methods are acceptable.

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