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What Are the Common Causes of Pink Vaginal Discharge?

Pregnancy may cause pink vaginal discharge.
Menstruation may begin as pink discharge and change to red as flow becomes heavier including more blood.
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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2014
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Pink vaginal discharge gets its color from the presence of a small amount of blood. In many cases, this discharge is considered normal and can indicate that a woman is about to start her period or that she is ovulating. A small amount of pink vaginal discharge can also be a sign that a woman is pregnant. Large amounts of pink discharge are common after a woman has given birth and can continue for a week or more.

At the beginning of a woman’s period, the discharge may be pink because there is only a small amount of blood that is mixed with the normal whitish discharge that occurs between periods. Once menstruation becomes heavier, the color of the discharge will probably change to red because of the large amount of blood in it. A pink vaginal discharge can be a good indicator that the woman will begin her period within a day. As long as the period progresses normally, this pink discharge is considered completely normal.

It is also possible for a woman to have some pink vaginal discharge in between periods. Many women bleed when they ovulate, though the amount of blood is usually very slight. If this bright red blood moves quickly out of the body, it can mix with the whitish normal discharge, resulting in a pink color.

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Women may also experience very light bleeding at the time of their first menstrual period after they have become pregnant. This bleeding is usually very light both in flow and in color. A woman who sees only light spotting at the time of her normal period should check to find out if she is pregnant.

Pink vaginal discharge is also common after a woman has given birth. After the baby and the afterbirth are expelled during labor, other tissue remains to be pushed out of the woman’s body. It is common for a woman to experience bleeding that is similar to a heavy period in the first few days after giving birth, followed by discharge that gradually lightens in color even though it remains relatively heavy. Pink vaginal discharge may be seen for between a few days and a little more than a week, gradually lightening to white as the last of the bloody uterine lining is expelled. A woman who continues to experience heavy bleeding or severe pain after childbirth should be seek medical attention.

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anon311619
Post 7

I'm on the second day of my cycle, and I'm trying to get pregnant. At the beginning of my period, it was dark red with clots and now on my second day it's orange. What's going on?

orangey03
Post 6

The color of my discharge before my period is more brown than pink, but pink is definitely present. I'm thinking probably if I had noticed it before it dried, then I would have seen more pink, because the brown is likely just dried blood.

I know that when brown is present in urine, it means that something is wrong with your kidneys. That is why I always check my urine when I see a brownish-pink discharge. So far, my urine has been clean, so I guess it's all related to my period.

wavy58
Post 5

I have never had pink discharge before, but I have had some strangely colored discharge. Both times I noticed it, I went to the doctor right away, because it was so unusual.

When I had lots of greenish-yellow vaginal discharge along with burning, itching, and pain, I made an appointment with my doctor. She told me that I had trichomonas and that it was caused by a tiny organism called a flagellate. She put me on antibiotics, and I recovered.

The other time, I had a weird gray, foamy discharge that smelled like fish. That was awful, so I went to my doctor quickly. She diagnosed me with bacterial vaginosis, and antibiotics cleared it up soon.

I think if I ever did have a pink discharge, I would go to the doctor just as quickly. Pink means that blood is coming from somewhere, and that could be a very bad sign.

shell4life
Post 4

I have had pink discharge before, but it was related to my kidney condition. I have multiple cysts on my kidneys, and at times, a cyst will rupture and bleed. That blood can come out in my urine or as a pink discharge.

I had been having some severe kidney pain a few days ago. After the pain went away, I noticed a brownish-pink discharge in my underwear. I did not worry, because this has happened before following a pain episode.

There is really nothing that can be done about the cysts, and some bleeding is normal. The discharge resembles that which I have the first day of my period, but often it occurs when it' s nowhere near time for my cycle, and then I know what has happened.

seag47
Post 3

I am glad that I read this article! Just a few days ago, I had a bit of bright red discharge. It was straight blood, and since I am on birth control pills, I knew that my period was still a week away. Now, I think that maybe I was ovulating. That is a relief!

Had the discharge been pink, I would have thought maybe I was pregnant, but since it was bright red, I don't think that's the case. I should know this week whether it is anything to worry about or not when I see if I have my regular period on schedule.

tlcJPC
Post 2

@Agni3 – That’s right! Pink discharge can come from STD’s as well, but that isn’t all! Even something like vaginosis or a yeast infection can preempt a vaginal mucous that is pinker than the typical white or slightly yellowish color.

Also, I know of one other thing that can cause a slightly pink discharge, seemingly from nowhere. Occasionally, if a woman has engaged in intercourse very recently and experiences a slight pink color it can be from the cervix being hit during the sexual act.

This is particularly common among pregnant women, or women who are very sensitive in this particular area. Normally, there is no reason for concern as long as their isn't a huge amount of bleeding.

Agni3
Post 1

I just wanted to add that I have read that a pink vaginal discharge can also be caused by some STD’s. This is probably for the same reasons that pink discharge is common around a woman’s period and such; there is small amount of blood involved.

The fact is that anytime a woman is irritated, and the skin breaks there can be a pink discharge. While the tissue of the vagina is incredibly resilient (hello, we give birth) it can tear and bleed just like any other part of our bodies without major trauma happening.

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