Pink vaginal discharge: what it is, what causes it & what to do about it
Written by: Mooncup Team
Time to read 3 min
Did you know that the colour of your vaginal discharge can mean different things? Yep, you heard it here. If you’ve ever spotted pink vaginal discharge and wondered why, then you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what pink vaginal discharge means, what causes it & what to do about it…
What’s vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge is a fluid that is naturally produced by the glands in the cervix and vagina. A mixture of fluid & cells that are shed from the vaginal walls, cervix and vulva, the amount, colour and consistency can vary dependent on a few factors:
Where you are in your menstrual cycle
Other medical conditions
Generally speaking, vaginal discharge is clear or white and may have a mild odour. It can become thicker, wetter or gloopier during ovulation, pregnancy and sexual arousal.
It’s important to note, that changes in colour, small or consistency can indicate an infection or other medical condition. Always pay attention to any changes in your vaginal discharge and anything that’s not “normal” for you and always speak to a doctor if you have any concerns.
What does pink vaginal discharge mean?
Pink vaginal discharge at the start or end of your period is to be expected and usually is not a cause for concern, as blood can mix with the clear cervical fluid on its way out of the uterus and cause a pinkish discharge.
Here’s a few more reasons why you could have pink vaginal discharge:
Beginning or end of your period: at this time when blood flow is at its lightest, it may mix with our fluids and dilute the red colour.
Implantation bleeding: a small amount of pink or brown spotting can occur when a fertilised egg implants itself in the uterus, usually around 6-12 days after conception.
Hormonal changes: pink vaginal discharge can be a result of hormonal changes during your menstrual cycle, especially if you’re ovulating.
Low oestrogen levels: as the hormone oestrogen helps to stabilise the uterine lining, if you’re experiencing low levels your discharge may appear pinker than normal.
Hormonal contraception: starting a new form of hormonal contraception or switching to a new one can create an artificial oestrogen imbalance and cause light pink discharge or spotting.
Ectopic pregnancy: sometimes instead of implanting in the lining of the uterus, the fertilised egg implants and begins to grow in the fallopian tube, abdomen, ovary or cervix, which may cause spotting or bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition and requires medical attention immediately.
Miscarriage: miscarriage can cause a sudden gush of clear or pink fluid. Whilst pink vaginal discharge can be normal, make sure you report any pink discharge or other miscarriage symptoms to your doctor.
Lochia: the name for the period of bleeding after childbirth, you may experience pink vaginal discharge.
Perimenopause: as you approach menopause, you may experience irregular periods or pink vaginal discharge as your hormone levels begin fluctuating.
Cervical inflammation or irritation: if the narrow passage between the uterus and vagina is inflamed or irritated, you may see pink vaginal discharge.
Cervical cancer: in rare cases, pink vaginal discharge can be a sign of cervical cancer.
If you spot pink vaginal discharge, note the timing and how often you experience it. You may need to speak with a doctor or gynaecologist to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment if necessary.