General Practice 2022

Pink discharge: 8 main causes and what to do

Pink discharge: 8 main causes and what to do
Pink discharge: 8 main causes and what to do

Pink discharge is, in most cases, considered normal and not a cause for concern, as it may be related to the phase of the menstrual cycle, contraceptive use or hormonal changes.

However, in some cases, this color of the discharge may be related to other conditions, which should be evaluated by the gynecologist, especially if other signs and symptoms appear, such as abdominal pain, nausea or odor in the discharge, for example, as it may be indicative of ovarian cyst or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Some causes that may be at the origin of pink discharge are:

1. Beginning or end of menstruation

Some women who are in the first or last days of menstruation may have a pinkish discharge, which is usually the result of mixing between blood and vaginal secretions.

What to do: in these cases it is not necessary to perform treatment, since it corresponds to a normal situation.

2. Hormonal imbalance

When a woman experiences hormonal fluctuations, a pinkish discharge may be noticed. This happens when estrogen is present in insufficient amounts to keep the uterine lining stable, allowing it to flake off, which may turn pink.

What to do: Hormonal imbalance can be caused by several factors, such as stress, poor diet, overweight or illness. Therefore, it is important to look for a general practitioner or endocrinologist, to understand the cause that is at the origin of this imbalance and, thus, start the appropriate treatment.

3. Contraceptive

Some women have a pinkish discharge when they start or change birth control, being more common among those who have low estrogen levels or contain only progestogens in the composition. In addition, this can also happen when the woman does not take the contraceptive pill correctly.

What to do: it is common for pink discharge to occur during the first month or for 3 months after using the contraceptive, however, if it lasts longer or other changes are noticed, it is important that the gynecologist is consulted.

4. Ovarian cysts

Ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac, which can form inside or around the ovary and be asymptomatic or cause symptoms such as pinkish discharge, pain, changes in menstruation or difficulty getting pregnant. Learn about the types of ovarian cyst.

What to do: It is important that the gynecologist is consulted when the ovarian cyst causes symptoms, and tests are carried out to assess the characteristics of the cyst and thus start the most appropriate treatment. In most cases, the use of the contraceptive pill with estrogen and progesterone is indicated. In more severe cases, in which the symptoms are very intense and/or there are signs of malignancy, surgery to remove the cyst or ovary may be indicated.

5. Pregnancy

Pink discharge can also be a symptom of pregnancy and it happens due to the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus, this process being known as implantation. See more about implantation bleeding.

What to do: Pinkish discharge during implantation, although not seen in all women, is perfectly normal. However, if the bleeding intensity increases, you should go to the gynecologist.

6. Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease, also called PID, is an infection that starts in the vagina and ascends, affecting the uterus and also the tubes and ovaries, and can spread over a large pelvic area or even the abdomen, generating symptoms such as pinkish, yellowish or greenish discharge, bleeding during sexual intercourse and pelvic pain.

What to do: It is important that the gynecologist is consulted so that exams can be carried out to identify the microorganism responsible for the disease and, thus, start the treatment, which usually involves the use of antibiotics. Understand how the treatment for PID is done.

7. Miscarriage

Pink discharge can also be a sign of miscarriage, which is very common in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. It can happen due to fetal malformation, excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs or trauma to the abdominal region.

Usually, the signs and symptoms come on suddenly and can be fever, severe abdominal pain, headache and pinkish discharge that can progress to heavier bleeding or loss of clots from the vagina.

What to do:If a woman suspects that she is having a miscarriage, she should go to the emergency room immediately.

8. Menopause

When a woman is in the period of transition to menopause, she goes through hormonal fluctuations, which result in changes in the menstrual cycle. As a result, symptoms such as pinkish discharge, hot flashes, sleeping difficulties, vaginal dryness and mood swings may arise.

What to do: Menopause treatment should be done if symptoms cause discomfort and compromise the woman's quality of life. In some cases, hormone replacement therapy or dietary supplementation may be warranted.

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