A normal vaginal discharge is odorless, clear or whitish in color and changes to thin 1 week after your period. Most women find themselves confused as a result of not being able to tell the meaning of the discharge. Unless your discharge is smelly mucus, it is absolutely normal to have a pink discharge 2 days or even 1 week after your period.
Is it normal to have pink discharge after your period?
Yes, it is normal as long as it occurs to a healthy woman and does not cause any discomfort. Ovulation bleeding is the primary cause of a pinkish discharge two weeks after a woman’s period. An ovum in most cases causes abrasion of small blood vessels on its way out of the follicle. This slight damage to the tiny blood vessel is the cause of pink mucus discharge.
- You can tell you are ovulating if the light pink discharge is occurring from the 14th -18th day after the beginning of your period.
- If you have a regular cycle, meaning that all your periods occur on the expected date, then you need not worry.
- A pink discharge ceases to be normal if accompanied by fever, odor and inflammations.
Therefore, a pink discharge after your period with such symptoms is abnormal, and you will need to seek medical attention immediately.
Why do I have a pink discharge after my period? This is one of the major concerns of women experiencing such discharge days after their period. Most if not all women are always happier and relieved once their period ends. A normal discharge is usually white or even a bit brownish when exposed to the air.
Should you get worried that yours is pink? Unless the discharge lasts longer than a week, no need to raise an alarm. Here are some of the common causes of pink discharge after a period:
In the case of fertilization, a pink discharge will occur two weeks after period. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is implantation bleeding. It occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. A light pink spotting occurs in most cases and lasts up to 2 days.
Light pink ovulation spotting is a normal occurrence. Ovulation can trigger one to have a light pink discharge. When the egg ruptures as it gets released from the ovaries or the follicle holding it, bleeding occurs.
As the egg travels to the fallopian tubes, bleeding and bloating can be the immediate symptoms. A slight pink bleeding is normally as a result of a broken cyst follicle. Ovulation usually occurs from after 14 days of your last menstrual period.
- Hormonal imbalance
Your hormones can be altered by several factors such as climate change, stress, endometriosis, and cysts.
This and other factors may increase or decrease levels of sex hormones, circulating in your blood system. If the normal levels of sex hormones are altered pink spotting might occur.
- Birth control
One of the most used contraceptive by women is the birth control pill. The pills are made in such a way that once taken; they mimic the natural sex hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones regulating and controlling a woman reproductive system.
A pink discharge after period is common with a pill such as plan B since it causes hormonal imbalance in the reproductive system. In case you miss your pill, you are also likely to suffer from a pink mucus.
- Ruptured blood vessels
Deep penetration during sex can also cause injury to the fragile small blood vessels located near the cervix. Intense sexual arousal can again lead to breakage of these blood vessels causing a discharge. A pelvic contraction during sex is also a major cause of trauma to the vessels.
Infections spread to different parts of the woman reproductive system causing the following diseases which may be the cause of a pink discharge after period or sex:
- Endometriosis: This is a condition characterized by the spread of the lining of the uterus to other parts outside the uterus, causing bleeding occasionally at different times in the woman cycle
- Myoma: In this condition, the inner of the uterus is characterized by a growth of begin tumors which cause irregular bleeding, mostly pink in color as it mixes with the cervical mucus on its way out.
- Cervical cancer: If the discharge does not cause discomfort and is not related to your period, chances are it could be a cancer of a reproductive organ. The most common cancers involve the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and the cervix.
- Fibroids: About 40% of women develop fibroids. These are growths in the uterus that increase in size with time. In most cases, fibroids are the causes of light pink spotting between periods. They bleed each time slightly and are mostly unnoticeable at the beginning.
Most women do not show symptoms of fibroids but will notice a gradual abdominal increase a sign of fibroid multiplication.
- Systemic diseases
Disorders such as those of blood clotting, diabetes, and fistulas among others can also be the cause of pink bleeding. This type of bleeding that is unrelated to the reproductive system is almost impossible to deal with without a specialist. One may need to undergo a lot of examinations and tests to arrive at the proper diagnosis.
Light pink discharge after period
What does a light pink discharge before period mean? Vaginal discharge is part of every woman’s cycle during their reproductive years. The mucus-like discharge produced by the cervix helps keep the vagina clean and infection-free. Light pink spotting in most cases is the mixture of the vaginal mucus (whitish in color) and blood (red in color).
- If you are on a new contraceptive or birth control method such as pills or IUD, then you might get a pink discharge for at least two months of use.
- Contraceptives alter the normal hormonal balance. Consult your doctor when discharge persists.
- Ovulation also causes a slight pink spotting as a result of hormonal imbalance.
Infections of the reproductive organs in most cases cause bleeding after period, irritations and pain. The consistency of the discharge and the smell of the discharge, in this case, will signal you of an infection. Sometimes women experience fever and cramping which are as well signs of infection.
What Does it Mean 1 Week After?
There should be a worry if vaginal discharge that occurs a week after menstruation is accompanied by fatigue, fever, dizziness or other symptoms.
Unless that happens, the pink blood is normal. Most women get stressed when experiencing inter-menstrual bleeding. Here are four common causes of pink spotting a week after your period:
- Old blood
For some reasons, blood from the uterus lining might be retained in your uterus a week later. In this case, the blood which might be light will mix with your vaginal mucus and appear as a light pink discharge. In most instances, the light pink discharge will appear 1 week after your period has ended.
- Hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalance can be as a result of many contributing external and internal factors. In case progesterone and estrogen are triggered by such factors, a pink discharge occurs as a result of their imbalance.
These changes and imbalances may be caused by problems such as PCOS. You may experience symptoms such as bleeding between periods, thinning hair or hair loss in women, difficulty getting pregnant and even irregular periods.
- Irregular menstrual cycle
An irregular cycle mostly occurs to young women in their teenagehood. During this period sex hormones are not fully regulated.
A slight pink discharge after period is common for years until the sex hormones are well regulated for a normal cycle. Besides that, a woman’s cycle can be disrupted by stress, health conditions or poor nutrition.
- Rough intercourse
A deep penetration might cause a pink discharge even 1 week after your periods. The tiny blood vessels break due to the pressure of the penis against the cervix leading to spotting.
In the case of vigorous sex, vaginal pain is usually the first symptom that occurs even before a pinkish discharge.
Pink discharge instead of a period; not pregnant
Implantation bleeding which signifies conception occurs between the sixth day and the eleventh day after ovulation.
A hormone known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is usually produced soon after conception. A pregnancy test done immediately after spotting is likely to be negative because the pregnancy hormone is not fully found in the urine. You need to wait until a week is over to get actual pregnancy results.
If the pregnancy results are still negative after implantation has thought to have taken place, you need to visit your doctor. In such a scenario, there could be an underlying course for your discharge. Besides that, you might just be having irregular periods.
2 days after menstruation
If you notice a pink discharge 2 days after your period, it is unlikely that you are pregnant. It is normal to have spotting 2-4 days after your period. You should only worry when the discharge is smelly mucus and causes vaginal inflammation or irritation. Here are the four possible causes of light pink discharge 2 days after your period are;
- Retained period blood
Sometimes during your period, not all blood tissue is expelled. Some uterine clots or blood clots during menstruation remain. These later mix with vaginal mucus resulting in pink spotting from 2 days after your period is over.
- Contraceptive pills
If you are on the regular use of contraceptive pills, then expect a light pink bleeding after your period. This is a common side effect especially in people who start using the pill for the first time. Contraceptives cause bleeding when the body is trying to adjust to the amount of hormone present in the pills.
Most women get overly stressed as their period approaches. Cortisol, the hormone produced during stress disturbs the regular pattern of sex hormones leading to light spotting 2 days after a period or even amenorrhea (lack of period) in extreme cases.
- Uterine incapacity
Due to muscle-related defects, a woman’s uterus might lack the ability to contract and expel all the blood. Uterine incapacity is in most cases accompanied by after- period cramps with light pink discharge. Use of pain killers is advised; in case of heavy bleeding visit your doctor for farther management.
Smelly pink discharge
A normal vaginal discharge is odorless. There is a need to worry when a smelly pink mucus occurs mainly after your periods.
In most instances, other symptoms may not be visible. However, treating a pink foul smelling discharge depends on finding the underlying cause. In case of a smelly pink discharge as a result of remains of the endometrium, then that resolves on its own mostly after 2 days.
- If you experience pink blood for a longer period, there could be an underlying problem.
- A foul-smelling pink discharge taking longer than normal is usually a sign of vulva or vaginal inflammation.
- A cancerous tumor is only speculated if the pink spotting increases its odor and changes its color to dark pink.
The first step if you are experiencing an abnormal pink discharge is to visit a gynecologist. A gynecologist will ask a lot of questions related to your menstrual cycle, the color of the discharge and when it all started. Your doctor will examine you and take samples of your discharge to the laboratory if necessary.
Your treatment will depend on the cause of the discharge. Bacterial infections will be treated with antibiotic creams, pills or injections.
Fungal infections will also be treated with fungal creams and oral antifungals. In other cases, your doctor might diagnose a minor infection as the cause of the smelly light pink discharge after menstruation. If that occurs, you might be given vaginal suppositories (Tablets inserted into your vagina to clear infections).
Vaginal infections are common. the vagina is a moist organ, a slight change in its nature leads to infections. Any slight change from the normal whitish discharge, to lets, say green could be a sign of an infection. Here are tips to help you relieve your symptoms, and prevent the infection from spreading further;
- Do not use tampons when menstruation occurs, they spread the infection upwards to the cervix, use a pad instead.
- Do not scratch your vagina in case of irritations; you are likely to spread the disease.
- Use a medication cream during your period if your doctor prescribes any.
- Always seek a medical appointment when your symptom persist.
- Do not hesitate to return to your doctor if you experience strange symptoms even after your medications.
- Avoid use of petroleum jelly or any sprays into your vagina two days to your medical examinations. Sprays and jelly might affect the outcome of the result
- Wear cotton underwear to prevent sweating in the genitals.
- Do not have sex with a new sex partner
- Use a condom if having sex with multiple partners
- Do not use deodorants to make your vagina smell good; it can cause vaginal inflammation and irritations.
Complications of smelly pink discharge
In most cases, a pink spotting is no cause for concern. However, you have to get worried as soon as you notice a smelly mucus discharge. Here are the three possible complications of a smelly pink discharge
Constant pink spotting has been associated with endometrial cancer of women above 40 years. The discharge might be assumed to be normal until the late stages where an odor is typical. It is always advisable to go for regular cancer screening annually.
- Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an egg attaches itself outside the uterus. A woman experiencing pink bleeding may be as a result of an ectopic pregnancy.
The discharge becomes smelly mucus once it takes longer to get out of the body to the vaginal canal. Visit a doctor if you think you are pregnant so that you can rule out ectopic pregnancy.
- Severe infections
Most vaginal infections cause bloody discharges. At early stages of infections, other significant symptoms might be absent.
As infections progress inflammations lead to skin erosions and irritations at the vagina.A smelly mucus discharge in most cases is a sign of an infection, simply talk to your doctor about it and get a solution before it gets worse.
When to call a doctor
Spotting instead of your period is nothing to worry about. You should only pay a lot of attention to when it starts, and look out for any extra symptoms. If no symptoms are observed, there is nothing wrong with you; you are okay. In some cases though, you will need to call a doctor urgently. Do not hesitate to call your doctor if;
- You experience light or heavy spotting after sexual intercourse.
- You notice Pink, red or brown discharge lasting for weeks.
- Spotting is accompanied by an odor.
- Spotting is accompanied by vaginal itchiness and cramping.
It is never easy to prevent spotting from happening. However, determining the cause is usually the key role in eliminating or regulating it. It is not all cases of spotting that can be controlled by hormonal pills; it is best to visit your doctor to check if there is an underlying cause of your abnormal discharge.
- 1. Vaginal discharge: what is abnormal? (May 2016): http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginal-discharge-whats-abnormal#1
- 2. Vaginal bleeding (March 2015): http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/vaginal-bleeding/basics/causes/sym-20050756
- 3. Abnormal menstruation (March 2016): https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/abnormal-menstruation