Pink discharge is not always cause for alarm, especially if it appears around the time of your expected period. Here are some natural ways to manage the problem.

Did you know vaginal discharge is a normal part of being healthy? It is your body’s way of keeping things clean and balanced down there. Just like other bodily functions, discharge can change throughout your cycle, depending on your hormones and activity level. You will be surprised to know that colour can also vary. However, if you sometimes observe pink vaginal discharge before your periods, fret not! Pink discharge usually occurs when a small amount of blood mixes with your normal vaginal secretions. It can happen at various times in your cycle but understanding the cause can ease your worries. So, let’s know the reasons behind pink discharge and how to prevent it.

What is pink vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid released by glands in the cervix and vagina, according to a 2020 study published in the Singapore Medical Journal. It can vary in consistency, colour, and amount throughout the menstrual cycle and is a normal part of the body’s functioning. Sometimes the discharge is white, yellow, green, brown, or red, says a study published in the Clinical Methods Journal.

As the name suggests, pink discharge, also known as pinkish discharge, is a form of vaginal discharge that is pink or light pink. “It can happen before or after your period, and it may be accompanied by other symptoms like cramps or pain. Usually, pink discharge occurs when little amounts of blood combine with your normal vaginal discharge. While it can be scary to see, it is usually nothing to worry about,” says gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Neha Khandelwal.

period bleeding
Pink vaginal discharge can happen due to multiple reasons. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Causes of pink vaginal discharge

There are various possible causes of pink discharge before your menstrual cycle. These include:

1. Hormonal fluctuation

“Hormonal changes might influence the consistency and colour of your vaginal discharge. Pink discharge can occur as a result of hormonal imbalances, such as those encountered during perimenopause or menopause,” explains the expert.

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2. Implantation bleeding

If you are attempting to conceive, pink discharge may indicate implantation bleeding, which occurs when a fertilised egg sticks to the uterine lining, as found in a study published in the Human Reproduction Journal. This normally occurs 6–12 days following ovulation.

3. Menstrual period

Pink vaginal discharge can occur at the start or the end of your menstruation. Menstrual blood mixes with clear discharge, turning it pink. Unlike full flow, irregular or mild periods lasting a few days may seem pink, as explained by the expert.

4. Sexually transmitted infections

Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia, can cause pink discharge before a period. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, these infections can also cause itching, pain when urinating, pelvic pain, and irregular bleeding.

5. Bacterial vaginosis

According to a 2023 study published in the StatsPearl Journal, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a frequent vaginal ailment caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Women with BV may experience pink, yellow, or greyish vaginal discharge with a fishy scent before their periods. Itching, burning during urination, and vaginal irritation are among the other possible symptoms.

6. Perimenopause

“Perimenopause, the period preceding the end of menstruation, is characterised by fluctuating estrogen levels. These hormones fluctuate, causing irregular spotting and pink vaginal discharge. Other symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and trouble sleeping may develop. Perimenopause typically begins when a woman is in her 40s,” explains the expert.

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7. Pregnancy complications

Pink vaginal discharge during pregnancy may be a cause for concern. It could signal a problem with the pregnancy, such as a threatened miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. If you develop pink discharge or spotting while pregnant, you should visit your doctor, suggests the expert.

Natural ways to prevent pink vaginal discharge

Here are some of the easy ways that will help to prevent pink vaginal discharge naturally:

1. Maintain hygiene

  • Wash the genital area every day to keep it clean and dry.
  • Avoid using strong soaps or feminine hygiene products that could disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina.
  • Always wipe from the front, after using the toilet, to back to avoid bacteria from spreading from the anus to the vagina.

2. Eat more probiotic-rich foods

Consuming more probiotic-rich foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or using probiotic supplements will help manage vaginal discharge. According to a study published in the Frontiers Cellular and Infection Microbiology Journal, probiotics can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, lowering the risk of diseases such as bacterial vaginosis, which naturally minimises pink vaginal discharge.

3. Stay hydrated

Dehydration has been linked with an increased risk of vaginal infections, as found in a study published in the BMJ Open Quality Journal. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water helps to maintain vaginal moisture and general hydration, which benefits vaginal health. It also helps to reduce the discharge before the start of menstruation.

Woman drinking black alkaline water
Stay hydrated to avoid pink vaginal discharge. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Practise safe sex

Getting intimate with the proper use of precautions is essential for maintaining vaginal health. Using condoms consistently and properly lowers the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), thus reducing the chances of getting a pink discharge, explains the expert.

5. Wear breathable fabrics

“Wear cotton underwear, which aids in better air circulation and keeps the area dry. Avoid tight-fitting clothing, especially synthetic clothing, which can trap moisture and promote yeast and bacterial growth, which can lead to pink vaginal discharge,” suggests the expert.

Things to keep in mind!

While these home remedies may help to reduce the chances, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. If you are experiencing excessive pink vaginal discharge, you should visit your doctor to determine the underlying cause and obtain the necessary medical attention.

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