Bloody Discharge: What Causes Blood In Discharge?

Bloody discharge

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:05 am

Bloody discharge (blood in discharge) that occurs before or after your period is simply mixture of blood with your vaginal discharge. You don’t have to worry because most of the causes are normal. Normal causes of bloody discharge are ovulation, pregnancy and aggressive sexual intercourse with your partner.

However, there are abnormal causes of blood in discharge that you should know. They are endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, Atrophic vaginitis, endometrial hyperplasia, uterine fibroids and ruptured tubal pregnancy.

In this article, we will explain blood in discharge, the causes and how to treat your abnormal bloody discharge.


How should my normal discharge look like?

It is normal for you to have discharge as a woman. You dont have to worry about your discharge if it is white in color. Most women with white vaginal discharge get worried when there is change in color of their discharge.

If your discharge becomes pinkish brownish in color, then you still dont have to worry. In most women, it can be due to ovulation or pregnancy.

Have you also noticed a yellow discharge? It could also be normal though can be a sign of an infection. I already discussed about yellow discharge in this article.

Why do i have vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a simple natural way to get your vagina always clean and healthy. It usually consists of bacteria, vaginal cells and cervical mucus. It is normally odorless and does not smell. Any vaginal itching with smelly discharge is likely due to an infection.


What are the normal causes of bloody discharge in women?

Bloody discharge is most likely normal in women. It occurs due to mixture of blood and your discharge. Some of the common causes of bloody discharge are:

Early pregnancy sign

If you get pregnant, you may experience light blood in discharge. This is due to implantation.

What is Implantation? After the egg produced by your ovary is fertilized by the sperm, it is transported to the uterus. At the uterus, it burrows into the endometrium covering the uterus. This is implantation.

This burrowing can cause some women to have slight bleeding. This bleeding when mixed with your cervical mucus can form a bloody discharge. It clears up in few days (1-2 days) and some women may complain of abdomen pain too.

Bloody discharge as an early sign of pregnancy is normal and does not require any treatment. However, if discharge continues for days, then its likely not because of pregnancy. You should inform your doctor ASAP.

A sign of ovulation

It is possible to have blood in discharge when you’re ovulating. Not sure about your cervical mucus while ovulating then read this ovulation guide.

Ovulation is a normal process that occurs in women during their reproductive years. It is the cyclical rupture of the most mature follicle in your ovary with release of the egg. This egg is then fertilized by the sperm.

This rupture will cause slight bleeding or spotting that comes out as bloody discharge. You should not worry as it usually clears in few days. These other ovulation symptoms will give you a clue. They are abdomen pain, fertile cervical mucus that is clear and watery discharge, increased libido.

Blood in dischrge at the middle of your menstrual cycle is normal except

  • You notice abnormal smell, vaginal itching and painful sexual intercourse
  • Your bloody discharge continues for days without stopping with increasingly bright red color.

If this happens, you should immediately let your doctor know about your symptoms as its abnormal.

During sexual intercourse

During intercourse, it is possible to have blood in discharge. This is due to vaginal wall tear with slight bleeding that can occur. This blood mixes with your discharge to form bloody vaginal discharge. If you have bloody discharge after intercourse, then its likely due to vaginal tear. However, other conditions like endometrial hyperplasia, cervical polyps, vaginal infections can cause bleeding during intercourse.


When should i worry about blood in discharge?

Now that you understand the normal causes of bloody discharge, it is important to know if your discharge is abnormal. Causes of abnormal blood in discharge are:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

This is an ascending infection, caused mostly by chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, that affects the fallopian tubes, abdomen and your womb. More than 90 percent of women that have PID infection is due to gonorrhea and chlamydia. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and cause infertility. Also, PID is a common cause of ectopic pregnancy in women. Early treatment of PID is necessary to prevent complications.

Treatment involves the use of antibiotics for atleast a week. PID or any other vaginal infection can cause abnormal blood in your discharge.

How to know your Blood in discharge is due to infection?

  • It occurs anytime in your menstrual cycle
  • There is pain, fever, low abdomen pain, pain during intercourse and dysuria
  • There is vaginal itching, smelly discharge and sometime soreness
  • You have had unprotected intercourse in the past
  • You feel weak and tired

Can PID be cured? Yes it can. You should let your doctor know about your symptoms early.

Ectopic pregnancy

If your fallopian tube is damaged, due to PID infections, the fertilized egg may be implanted outside the womb. This will cause ectopic pregnancy.

Women may experience slight bleeding from an ectopic pregnancy that can mix with your vaginal discharge and form bloody brown discharge. This is a common emergency and requires urgent care and treatment.

Not sure if you have an ectopic? Then you can learn more about ectopic pregnancy here.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer can also cause bloody discahrge in women. It usually shows no symptoms in early disease. However, as the disease pregresses, you will notice blood in your discharge. Other symptoms of cervical cancer include

  • Painful urnation
  • Weight loss
  • Pelvic pain
  • Back pain
  • Foul smelling bloody discharge

This is not a common cause of bloody vaginal discharge in women. However, presence of the above symptoms will help you know if your bloody discharge is due to cancer.

Uterine polyps

These are abnormal growth that can protrude into the cervix. During intercourse, they can cause bleeding and bloody vaginal discharge.

They can be diagnosed by inspecting your cervix or uterus. Treatment is by removal of polyp during surgery.

Uterine fibroid

This is a common cause of bleeding in young women. The most common type that causes bleeding is the submucous fibroid. This bleeding can mix with your vaginal discharge and cause bloody discharge.

Symptoms of fibroid include

  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Difficulty in passing urine and stool
  • Miscarriages in pregnant women
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

If the cause of your bloody discharge is due to fibroids, you can be treated medically or surgically. Surgical treatment (myomectomy) involves the removal of the fibroid from the uterus. Depending on your ages and type of fibroid, your doctor may decide to remove your uterus (hysterectomy).

Endometrial cancer

The uterus is covered with endometrium. If cancer develops in the endometrium, it can result to bleeding in women.

Endometrial cancer is common in women above 40 years with symptoms like painful urination, pain during intercourse and bloody discharge. Your doctor with take samples from your endometrium for testing (Endometrial biopsy). If you have the disease, treatment and cure is possible in the early stages. It involves removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and your ovaries.


Frequently asked questions about bloody vaginal discharge

You asked about bloody vaginal discharge and we answered. Any more questions or comments? Feel free to share below.

What causes bloody discharge after period?

Bloody discharge after period is likely due to ovulation or vaginal tear. However, it depends on the time it occurs in your menstrual cycle.

If you notice bloody discharge about a week after your period ends, then its likely because you’re ovulating. However, bloody discharge that occurs due to ovulation resolves in few days. If your bloody vaginal discharge continues for days then its abnormal

Also, if you had intercourse just before this brown vaginal discharge, then it may be because of a vaginal tear. This does not last long too.

What causes bloody discharge before period?

This is likely due to pregnancy. During implantation of the fertilized ovum into the endometrium, there is slight spotting that can occur in some women. This can mix with your discharge to come out as blood in discharge. This usually occurs a week before you are expecting your next period. Should i be worried? No. It should resolve in few days. However, if it persists, then its likely abnormal.

What causes brown bloody discharge between periods?

There are 2 main causes of bloody discharge after your period. If it occurs in the middle of you cycle, then its likely ovulation. If it occurs a week before your next period then its due to pregnancy.

What causes light blood in discharge but no period?

These are the possible causes of streak of blood in discharge without period

  • Pregnancy due to implantation bleeding
  • Ovulation due to rupture bleeding of the most mature follicle of the ovary

Now its our turn to share your symptoms and questions. Do you have brown bloody discharge before and after period? Are your discharge due to abnormal or normal causes. Let us know

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