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Pink Discharge During Pregnancy: When Is It Normal & When Not?

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Statistics show that as much as 25-30% pregnant women experience pink discharge during pregnancy. While this isn’t a reason of concern in most of the time, it might sometimes indicate a very serious underlying condition, such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Knowing when spotting is normal and when not is critical to knowing when you should seek medical attention. Alternatively, regular checkups can help ensure that there’s nothing wrong down there and that both you and your baby are healthy.

The material below covers the must-knows about pink vaginal discharge during pregnancy.

Pink Discharge Early Pregnancy, a Common Occurrence

Pink vaginal discharge in early pregnancy is absolutely normal and doesn’t mean that there is something wrong down there. It happens as a result of the fertilized egg attaching to the endometrium (the inner wall of the uterus). While pregnant, increased hormonal activity results in blood vessels to dilate, so they may crack and bleed when the egg attaches to the endometrium. As a result, you will experience light bleeding that can last for a couple of minutes, a few hours or even one or two days. You can expect the spotting to occur 12 days to one week post fertilization, which is typically close the date when your period should come. Of course, there will be no period, and once implantation spotting stops, you should experience no more bleeding.

Implantation spotting is usually bright red, similar to when you cut your finger. If bleeding is minimal, you may only see pinkish streaks in your normal vaginal mucus, or pinkish stains on your underwear or toilet paper.

Breakthrough Bleeding: Still Normal?

Breakthrough bleeding is bleeding that occurs at the times when your period would have been due. Normally, this would be at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of pregnancy. When you have breakthrough bleeding, you will also experience a number of other symptoms, such as cramps, backache, feeling bloated and “off,” a heavy sensation in your pelvic, as well as pink mucus discharge during pregnancy.

Since you are pregnant, there is no period, although symptoms are very similar. The breakthrough bleeding is usually due to hormone levels not being high enough to prevent period yet, and you may have it during the first three months during early pregnancy. At this point, the placenta begins to take over hormone production from your ovaries. However, many women experience breakthrough bleeding during late pregnancy and still give birth to healthy babies.

Read also:

What’s With This Pink Discharge? Our Expert Is Answering Your Questions

5 Most Common Causes of Light Pink Discharge

Bleeding After Sex: Embarrassing, But Frequent & Harmless

Engaging in sexual activity during the first months of pregnancy can result in bleeding and pink vaginal discharge too. This bleeding is harmless, and it caused by increased blood supply and softening of the cervix. Sexual intercourse can lightly “scratch” the cervix, resulting in light bleeding. Although common, it’s best to tell your doctor or midwife if you experience pinkish discharge after sex. This will give you the reassurance you need that your baby is healthy and hasn’t be harmed.

Miscarriage: Signs to Watch Out For

Studies show that one in three or four pregnancy end in miscarriage. Often, miscarriage happens due to the damaged fetus – your body may reject a pregnancy that is unable to survive its complications. Common signs of miscarriage include heavy bleeding with clots, backache, cramping and stomach pain. Moreover, pregnancy symptoms (breast tenderness, nausea or bloated tummy) disappear. If you are bleeding but no longer experience pregnancy symptoms, chances are that you have lost your baby.

It is possible to miscarry without any symptoms other than light pink discharge. Since it’s quite difficult to say if the discharge is normal or not, it’s best to see your doctor as frequently as possible and do checkups to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy. Miscarriage is most likely to occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, so once you go over that, your pregnancy is safe.

Read also:

4 Common Questions About Pink Discharge After Sex

Seek Medical Assistance Immediately

If you experience bleeding and pinkish discharge in early or late pregnancy, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Although this isn’t necessarily a sign of miscarriage, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Your doctor will do an ultrasound screening to see whether there is heartbeat, and do a couple of other tests to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy. Make sure to follow his advice as closely as possible, and always have your phone at hand if you ever experience bleeding at any point during pregnancy.