Pink discharge: What it can be and what to do


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Some women usually have pink discharge during certain times in their life. In most cases, it is not a cause for alarm and it may just be related to a phase in the menstrual cycle, or due to using contraceptives or a sign of hormonal changes.

However, in some cases, discharge of this colour may be related to other conditions and therefore there should be need to go for consultation with the gynaecologist. This is especially if other symptoms arise such as abdominal pain, nausea or odour of the discharge.

Some causes that may result to pink discharge include:

1. Beginning or end of menstruation

During the first and last days of menstruation, some women may have rosy discharge which is usually a mixture if blood and vaginal secretions.

What to do: Having pink discharge during the first and last days of menstruation is perfectly normal and there is therefore no need for treatment.

2. Hormonal imbalance

When a woman suffers from hormonal oscillations, she may note the presence of a rosy discharge. This happens when there is insufficient amounts of oestrogen to keep the uterine lining stable. Due to this there will be flaking, which may have a rosy colouration.

What to do: Hormonal imbalance can be due to several reason such as stress, poor diet, being overweight or presence of some disease condition. It is therefore important to consult a gynaecologist or an endocrinologist for further examination so as to determine the root cause of the hormonal imbalance.

3. Contraceptive

Some women may experience excretion of pink discharge when they start using contraceptives. This is more common in women who have low oestrogen levels or when the contraceptive only contains progesterone its composition.

In addition, this can also happen if the woman does not take the contraceptive pills according to the required dosage.

What to do: Usually, the symptom arises during the first month of after 3 months of using the contraceptive. However, if the discharge lasts longer, then there is need to visit the gynaecologist.

4. Cysts in the ovaries

Ovarian cyst is a bag filled fluid which forms inside or around the ovary and in most cases it is asymptomatic and it comes with symptoms such as pink discharge, pain, changes in menstruation cycle or difficulty getting pregnant.

What to do: Treatment of ovarian cysts can only be done during certain situations, such as when there is presence if malignant features in the ovary. In such cases, the doctor may recommend using the contraceptive pill, that contains oestrogen and progesterone and in rarer cases, there might be need to remove the ovary.

5. Pregnancy

Pin discharge can also be an indicative sign of pregnancy, which occurs due to implantation of the embryo on the endometrium. This is the tissue that internally coats the uterus.

What to do: Pink discharge at the onset of the pregnancy is perfectly normal. However, if the intensity of bleeding increases, one should visit the gynaecologist for further tests.

6. Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection that attacks the vagina and it further affects the uterus as well as the oviduct and ovaries and it can further spread to the large pelvic area and the abdomen. It comes with symptoms such as pinkish, yellowish or greenish discharge, bleeding during sexual intercourse and pelvic pain.

What to do: Treatment is usually done using antibiotics depending on the severity of the disease. Surgery may also be required in more serious cases.

7. Miscarriage

Pink discharge may also be a sign that the woman is about to experience a miscarriage. This is very common during the first 10 weeks of gestation. It can be caused by foetal malformation, excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs or trauma in the abdominal region.

Generally, the sign and symptoms are usually sudden. It can result to fever, severe abdominal pain, headache and pink discharge that progresses to stronger bleeding or loss of blood in form of clots, through the vagina.

What to do: If a woman suspects that they might be experiencing a miscarriage, she should immediately go to the hospital to avoid other complications.

8. Menopause

When a woman transitions to menopause, she goes through hormonal imbalances that will cause changes in the menstrual cycle. As a result of this, she may experience symptoms such as pink discharge, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness and mood changes.

What to do: Menopause is a natural phenomenon and treatment should only be done if the symptoms cause discomfort and compromise the woman’s quality life. In some cases, there may be need for hormonal replacement therapy or dietary supplementation.


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Cornelius A.

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