Vaginal discharge after periods is quite normal in healthy women; it occurs all through the entire menstrual cycle. Such discharge is either whitish or clear and the intensity of the discharge is dependent on when it occurs during the cycle. Pink discharge after period is usually a sign of minor bleeding. However, it can sometimes occur due to other causes such as ovulation, pregnancy, adjustment or reaction to new birth control pills, implantation, or varied underlying conditions.
Pink discharge after period: Is it normal?
Pink discharge after periods is usually normal in most cases. It may be noted that about 2 to 4 grams of mucus is generally discharged by the body every day.When minor vaginal bleeding occurs along with the discharge of such mucus, then it causes it to become pinkish. Also, the chances of this happening tends to increase when the body is sexually excited because during this time the mucus levels produced by the body naturally increase so as to provide lubrication.
There are many conditions that can cause bleeding and subsequent mixture of blood with the natural discharge from the vagina. It is normal in most cases, but women need to check the accompanying symptoms before deciding whether they need medical attention or not when they notice pink discharge after periods.
Women need to seek medical attention if the discharge contains a lot of blood, especially when such blood is not period blood; when pink discharge occurs along with pain in abdomen; or when such abnormal discharge occurs just after unprotected sexual intercourse.Women should especially seek medical attention if the discharge is thick, smelly like fish, or causes itching, or if sores appear on the genital area. This is because the above symptoms may be an indication of vaginal or vulvar inflammation and presence of some STD/sexually transmitted disease or UTIs or urinary tract infections. Progressive darkening of the color of discharge can sometimes be a sign of vaginitis or malignant tumor.
Causes of pink discharge after period
Pink discharge after period can occur due to varied causes. A few common ones are listed below:
- Birth control pills: When women start using birth control pills, implants, or other contraceptives, then they are most likely to experience minor spotting. The hormones present in the pills tend to interfere with the normal natural menstrual cycle as the body adjusts to the medicine, thereby resulting in spotting after and in between periods.Also, spotting due to implants is caused because the body is not used to the presence of artificial substances in the reproductive region. However, such spotting is usually rare and random. Women however need to consult a doctor if spotting due to contraceptive use is frequent or if there is heavy bleeding.
- Pregnancy: Fertilization of an egg by sperm causes it to attach to the uterine lining in about one to 2 weeks. This then causes the some of the blood present in the lining to break and pass into the vagina. This blood then mixes with the normal vaginal discharge and gives it a pinkish hue. Depending on the age of the blood from the uterine lining the spotting/pink discharge after period may turn brown or dark red.
- Ovulation: It is a process marked by rupture of the ovarian follicle and subsequent release of an egg. It typically occurs about 2 weeks after last period. The released egg creates a tiny hole thereby causing tiny bits of blood to seep into the vagina. Such bleeding is mild and lasts for just a few hours. Also, ovulation is characterized by increased hormone levels which causes spotting. This blood from the ‘egg hole’ and spotting mixes with normal discharge and gets released as pink discharge after period.
- Menstruation: Many days after the last period and before the new period begins, some women may experience normal spotting. This blood mixes with vaginal discharge and causes it to turn pinkish.
- Bleeding post-delivery: Childbirth can be very taxing on the tissues and result in bleeding for several days after delivery during the healing process. This can cause normal vaginal discharge to become pinkish. It may however be noted that heavy bleeding with or without severe pain after childbirth needs to be checked by a doctor abnormalities.
- Infections: Women affected by infections of the cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, uterus, or ovaries may also suffer from pink discharge after periods. In some cases, sexually transmitted diseases or STDs can also cause normal vaginal discharge to turn pinkish or become discolored. Hence, women who experience burning sensations, itchiness, and frequent urination, etc. along with pink discharge need to visit a doctor and get checked for presence of infections or STDs.
- Varied diseases: Bleeding, and subsequent pink discharge after periods, can occur due to diseases such as adenomyosis, ovarian polycystic disease, endometriosis, uterine cervical tumors or cancer, and hormonal disruptions. Rough sexual intercourse can also result in minor bleeding and cause the discharge to become pinkish.