What Causes Light Pink Discharge or Spotting?

Light pink discharge or spotting

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:06 am

Do you have light pink discharge (Pink spotting) before or after your period and you are worried? Or do you have brownish pink discharge in the middle of your menstrual cycle and you are scared? Then this guide will explain what causes pink discharge and when its abnormal.

Light pink discharge in women is merely a mixture of blood with your vaginal discharge. If this happens, your discharge will look bloody or pink in color.

Vaginal discharge is a part of every woman during their reproductive years. It helps the vagina keeps itself free from infection and clean.

Female discharge consists of mucus like discharge produced by the cervix with vaginal cells and bacteria.


What are the causes of light pink discharge in women?

Normal discharge experienced by women is white in color. It may be brownish in color or sometimes yellowish in color when exposed to air. Pink discharge is due to slight bleeding that mixes with your watery cervical mucus or thick vaginal discharge. Should I get worried? No except you notice bloody discharge that continues for days.

Some of the normal causes of vaginal discharge in women are:

1.  During ovulation in women.

During ovulation, there is a slight spotting that occurs in women. This will either come out as dark brown colored discharge or pink discharge after mixing with your discharge. You don’t have to worry about it as it will clear in few days.

Ovulation is the process of expelling the egg (ovum) from the most mature follicle in your ovary. During ovulation, you may experience slight pain that goes away in hours. It occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle. If you have a regular 28 days cycle, then ovulation happens between day 14 and 16. If you’re not sure of when you ovulate, you can learn about ovulation here.

Also, you can get an ovulation kit or fertility monitor or use an online ovulation calculator to estimate when you are likely to ovulate. Any pink discharge during this period is normal and should not worry you.

2.  During pregnancy

Do you desire to get pregnant? Or you are suspecting you’re pregnant?

Pink discharge can be an early sign of pregnancy. After ovulation occurs, the egg will fuse with the sperm to form your baby (zygote) which is then transported to the uterus for implantation.

Implantation occurs when the fertilized ovum burrows into the endometrial covering of the uterus. Due to slight bleeding that occurs during this process, women experience pink discharge about a week before their next period. Should I be worried? No. This usually resolves is few hours or days.

3.  Sexual intercourse

Do you notice light pink discharge after a rough intercourse or just before your period? Are you worried about it?. While there are other causes of bleeding during intercourse in women, sexual intercourse can tear the vaginal wall or cause trauma to the cervix resulting in mild bleeding. This bleeding can mix with your cervical mucus to form brownish pink discharge. This is normal and should not worry you.

Though not experience in all women, some women complain of pink discharge just before they are expecting their period after intercourse. This may be a sign of your next period and is normal.

4.  Tubal pregnancy in women

Tubal pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy can also cause light brown-pink discharge. After your egg is fertilized, it is transported to the uterus for implantation. This is possible because of ciliated cells and muscular activity of the tubes. Conditions like PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) can damage these ciliated cell leading to implantation within the fallopian tube. If the baby grows, it can rupture and start bleeding. This can come out as pink discharge or bloody discharge. Rupture ectopic pregnancy is an emergency and requires urgent treatment and care.

5.  Contraception or Birth control pill

Are you already taking any pill to prevent pregnancy? And do you notice pink discharge while taking your pill? Then it’s not unusual as women taking pill can have spotting. This is normal and resolves with time. If it gets worse or persistent, you should let your doctor know about your symptoms.

6.  Atrophic vaginitis

As a woman begins to get close to menopause (perimenopause) or in menopause, you will begin to have a thin epithelial covering of your vagina. This is due to decreasing level of estrogen. If you are already on estrogen replacement, then it’s likely you won’t have these symptoms. However, in women who have atrophic vaginitis and have intercourse with a dry vagina, they can have vaginal tear with slight bleeding. This can come out as pink discharge.


When should I worry about my brownish pink discharge?

Pink discharge is common in women, and in most cases, it is normal. If you experience pink discharge due to the following conditions, then you should inform your doctor.

7.  Cervical polyps

This is the presence of a mass hanging in your cervix canal. It is not normal in women and can cause bleeding. If this bleeding mixes with your discharge, you can have brownish pink spotting.

Cervical polys are associated with pink discharge that occurs after intercourse. It may also present with heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia. The good news is that pink discharge if due to cervical polyp can be treated by surgery. It involves the use of polyp forceps to remove it.

Also, it is most common in young women during their reproductive years. Should I worry about persistent bleeding after intercourse? Yes. Inform your doctor for test and treatment.

8.  Endometrial cancer

This is cancer that affects the normal covering of the uterus. If you are overweight and more than 40 years, then your pink spotting may be due to cancer of the endometrium. Other symptoms you may experience are:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not related to your period and irregular
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Painful urination or dysuria

However, if detected early in women can be treated and cured. It involves total removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes with chemo or radiotherapy.

9.  Cervical cancer

This can be a cause of bleeding in women. Cervical cancer is due to abnormal growth in the cervix. The initial stage of the disease has no symptoms. However, in late stages, bleeding from cervical cancer can mix with blood to form pink discharge.


Frequently asked questions about pink spotting

These are some commonly asked pink discharge questions. You can ask or suggest to our comment section below.

Is pink discharge normal in women?

Yes and No. This is the best answer as pink discharge can be normal or abnormal. Normal causes of pink spotting are pregnancy, intercourse, ovulation and dry vaginal. However, pink discharge can be abnormal due to cervical polyps, cancer or ectopic pregnancy.

What causes light pink discharge after period?

Most women will experience pink discharge after their period and it is likely normal. The commonest cause of this type of discharge in women is pregnancy and ovulation.

How to know if you’re pregnant?

If you already missed your period and had a clear watery discharge, then you are pregnant. Also, if you are expecting your period in a weeks time and notice pink discharge then its likely due to implantation bleeding.

How to know when you’re ovulating?

If your pink discharge is occurring 14 to 18 days after your period starts, then its most likely due to ovulation. If you understand your ovulation, you can prevent pregnancy or get pregnant easily with regular intercourse when you notice fertile mucus.

What causes light pink discharge before period?

If you are experiencing your period in a weeks time and you have pink discharge, then it’s likely because you’re pregnant. Also, pink spotting during the middle of your menstrual cycle is a sign of ovulation.

However, vaginal infections can cause pink spotting at any time during your menstrual cycle.

Is pinkish brown discharge normal?

Pinkish brown discharge is normal in women and it is due to ovulation and pregnancy.

Is yeast infection discharge pink in color?

No. Most women with a yeast infection will have white cottage cheese discharge. However, if you have a slight bleeding with yeast infection either during pregnancy or ovulation, it can turn pink.

What causes pink watery discharge after period?

This type of discharge is most likely because you’re ovulating. It is normal and resolves in hours or few days. If it persists with a foul-smelling odor, then it’s abnormal.

What causes pink spotting 2 days after my period?

Light pink discharge right after period is likely due to the removal of endometrial tissues that did not come out during your period. You still do not have to worry as it is normal and will resolve in few days.

What causes pink discharge a week after period?

This is due to ovulation. You can easily get pregnant with intercourse days before pink discharge. However, if you’re not ready to get pregnant, then avoid intercourse during this time or use a condom.


Now it’s your turn, let us share your story. Did you notice pink discharge before or after your period? Share your comments and questions.

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  • Paulin Reply

    I had intercourse with my boyfriend last month almost all through my fertile window. I’ve been feeling pregnant,cramps,lightheadedness, backache, bracket pain, frequent urination and my nipples look different and sensitive, I started bleeding light pink yesterday. Could this be a sign of pregnancy or period?

  • Snowy Reply

    I have irregular menstruation since then but recently I had my menstruation latter part of August and ends something like August 25, then last Sept 3 I notice some light red spots / discharge in my undies. Is this still normal?

  • Natasha Reply

    I had my period last week, finished then 2 days later had bright red blood for a day (I thought I’d come back on) but nothing again for rest of day then the 2 days after that my discharge is pink? What does that mean?

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