Vaginal discharge plays a very vital cleaning role in the female reproductive system. Vaginal discharge is a fluid produced by glands inside the cervix and vagina. What it basically does is ferry away bacteria and dead cells. By maintaining cleanliness in the vagina, there is minimum risk of getting infections. In most cases, the discharge is normal. There are variations in the amount, smell as well as the hue (color ranges between colorless to milky white) depending on the period of your menstrual cycle.
Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that pink vaginal fluid can be an indication of inflammatory diseases, hormonal disorders, ectopic pregnancy, endometrial hyperplasia, cervical erosion, genital cancer, endometriosis among other diseases associated with irregularities of the genitourinary and other body systems.
Pink Vaginal Discharge – Is It Normal?
When you experience a pinkish discharge, it means there is only a small amount of blood. In most cases, this should not raise any alarm as it is an indication that a woman is ovulating or about to begin her period. In some cases, pink discharge can occur because of pregnancy. After giving birth, you can also experience a lot of pink discharge for a week or more.
Prior to periods beginning, there might be pink discharge because only a small amount of blood is mixed with the usual whitish discharge. Later, as the menstruation becomes more, the discharge will turn to red. If your period comes a day after the pinkish discharge, then it is perfectly normal.
What Might Pink Discharge Indicate?
When pink discharge occurs in between your periods, it could mean you are ovulating. Ovulation occurs when an ovum is released from a ruptured follicle. It goes down to the uterus via the fallopian tube as it awaits fertilization. If fertilization does not occur, your periods will begin after about 14 days. In most cases, a woman will not feel this process taking place, but those who do feel discomfort in the lower abdomen and experience slight spotting. This is referred to as ovulatory syndrome. In some cases, the syndrome is also characterized by pink discharge.
Sometimes, pink discharge before your period could be a sign of pregnancy. During implantation, the fertilized ovum moves to the uterus, which is by then laced by a thick layer of blood called the endometrium. As a result, you will have no periods. At the moment that the ovum is getting attached to the endometrium, minimal bleeding might occur leading to the presence of light pink discharge. If the pink discharge goes on after implantation, it could be an indication of a miscarriage.
In some cases, implantation of the fertilized ovum might happen in other places other than the uterus. This means that the ovum has attached itself to a location that cannot support pregnancy like the cervix or the fallopian tubes. If this happens, you will miss your period and have pink vaginal discharge. If you test for pregnancy using a pregnancy kit, the results will be negative. In such cases, it is advisable to seek medical attention at once.
Contraceptives might cause pink discharge. This includes hormonal contraceptives like patches, pills, intrauterine device, intradermal implant and vagina rings. These contraceptives change how your hormones behave - they focus on suppressing the ovulation process by replacing your natural hormones with those in the contraceptive. In most cases, they are used to treat various gynecological diseases.
Pink discharge may appear when:
Taking combined oral contraceptives without instructions from a doctor or a gynecologist might result in pink discharge or spotting.
Intrauterine devices are either hormonal or non-hormonal. If the IUD is well inserted, it should not cause any form of discomfort. However, if it is wrongly inserted, you can get pink discharge.
Infections and Diseases
All forms of infections have similar characteristics including fever, swelling, pain, swelling among other anomalies. Pink discharge could indicate there is inflammation as a result of diseases and infections.
Gynecology related infections: It is common to have bloody discharge as a result of infections either of internal or external genitalia. It is important to keep track of such discharge then seek medical advice.
Erosion of the cervix: Cervical erosion is characterized by painless pink discharge that occurs before, between or after your period. It can also occur after physical and sexual activities.
Cancer: If pinkish painless discharge occurs occasionally, and it is not related to your menstrual cycle, it might be a symptom of cervical or endometrial cancer.
Hormonal abnormalities: Hormonal abnormalities or imbalances are quite common. Different factors can cause this to happen, including sudden climate change, stress, intense physical activity among other factors. Hormonal imbalance is mostly categorized by pink vaginal discharge.
Diseases of related systems and organs: Vaginal bleeding causing pink discharge could be a result of other diseases that are not related with hormonal imbalance. Such diseases could include diabetes, vesicovaginal or rectovaginal fistula, blood coagulation problems, liver or kidney diseases among other pathologies.
When Is Discharge Considered Abnormal?
Scientifically known as Leucorrhea, vaginal discharge is a natural occurring process that secretes a white fluid from the body. As mentioned above, its major role involves cleaning the reproductive system by expelling dead cells and bacteria.
Every woman has vaginal discharge unique to their body system. The discharge will vary in terms of quantity, odor and color. Though it is considered normal, whenever you experience an itchy sensation or irritation around your genitalia, it is wise to pay your gynecologist a visit. If you also experience the following you should get checked:
Extremely thick discharge
Presence of blood in discharge
Presence of discharge immediately after engaging in unprotected sex