An important part of the female reproductive system is the function of vaginal discharge. Glands inside the cervix and vagina secrete this fluid to get rid of bacteria and dead cells. This keeps the vagina clean and helps to prevent infection.
Vaginal discharge is perfectly normal and can vary in amount, color, and odor. It normally ranges from milky white to clear when it comes to color. The discharge will be more prevalent during ovulation, breastfeeding, and sexual arousal. Lastly, the odor can differ if you are pregnant or do not keep good personal hygiene.
Your vaginal discharge is an excellent indicator for knowing what is going on down there. As long as you know what is normal, you will be able to tell if something is awry. There are also usually other symptoms that occur when something is wrong.
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There are many reasons that you could be having abnormal discharge. Some of them are harmless and do not signal an underlying problem. However, some are not, and these should be considered carefully when you are trying to figure out what is going on down there. Some causes of discharge:
- Antibiotics or steroids
- Yeast infection
- Birth control
- Vaginal atrophy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pelvic infection
- Scented soaps, bubble bath, or lotions
- Cervical cancer
- Bacterial vaginosis
These are just a few reasons for abnormal discharge. Most of them will be covered in more depth later. Abnormal discharge is not always a cause for concern, but you should still be careful, especially when it comes to having sexual intercourse.
After sex, vaginal discharge is usually transparent, and there is a lot of it. If you have a different experience, it can mean a few different things. Pink vaginal discharge after sex, along with white, brown, and yellow, can have several different meanings. This depends on a few things.
1. Pink Discharge After Sex
Having pink discharge after sex can mean a few things. For the most part, it is not a cause for alarm. However, there are some things to keep a look out for. With other symptoms, this discharge can mean something else entirely.
Pink discharge usually signifies the presence of blood. This is not always a bad thing and can be a sign of normal occurrences. However, there are some times in which you should worry.
- TraumaDuring rough sex or an act of violence, the vagina may become traumatized and secrete discharge with blood. This can come along with acute pain and possibly urethral function disturbances. Medical observation is recommended to prevent any further problems like infection.
- MenopauseVaginal atrophy during menopause can cause pink discharge. This is because the cervical fluid that is secreted during intercourse starts to decrease. The trauma to the blood vessels produces light bleeding. To avoid this, make sure you are using enough lubrication.
- Oncological PathologiesThere are some pre-cancerous conditions that can cause pink discharge after sex. Uterine, cervical, and endometrial cancers are just three of these circumstances. Cervical polyps, as well as the former three things, can cause cervical fluid to reduce, and as a result, there may be rupturing of the blood vessels.Other symptoms like abdominal cramps and pain during sex are ones to pay attention to.
- MenstruationThe beginning or end of your period can allow pinkish fluid to be expelled after sex.
- PregnancyIf you are pregnant, bleeding a little after intercourse can happen. This is because of the intercourse slightly scratching the cervix.
- Birth ControlIf you are on birth control, it is common to have spontaneous bleeding because of the thinning of the uterine lining.
- When to Worry
- If the abnormal bleeding between periods lasts longer than three days.
- Any irregular spotting that happens for longer than three menstrual cycles.
- Unusual bleeding or spotting that is different from the usual.
- Heavy bleeding after sex.
- Noticing any pain or bleeding, heavy periods, lower abdominal pain, pelvic pain, foul odor, pain urinating or pain during intercourse.
- Suspecting a problem.
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause is over.
2. White Discharge After Sex
In most cases, white discharge after sex is completely normal. This is your normal discharge that occurs on a regular basis. If there are any other symptoms, however, it may be a sign of something else.
- Vaginal LubricationWhen your body is sexually aroused, to aid in the act of intercourse a clear, thin fluid is secreted. This makes intercourse more comfortable and pleasurable for both you and your partner. With a watery and slippery texture, your body may continue to produce this even after sex.
- Male EjaculateIf you are having unprotected sex, it is likely that the fluid is male ejaculate. Semen is similar to discharge and can be expelled after sex.
- Female EjaculateSexual arousal can cause a watery fluid to secrete or spray. This is called female ejaculate fluid, but not all women ejaculate when they are aroused. It can even happen without ever having an orgasm.
- Cervical MucousThe cervix produces different types of mucus throughout your cycle, as mentioned before. When your period is at its end, the discharge may be thicker and dry, especially after sex.
- Bacterial VaginosisThe vagina has a very delicate balance of bacteria going on. A disturbance in this balance can lead to bacterial vaginosis. A fishy odor accompanied with whitish or grayish discharge can signal this infection.
- Yeast InfectionWhen there is a change of pH in the vagina, it may encourage yeast to grow in numbers in your vagina. This is not usually transmitted through sex, and has symptoms like white, clumpy discharge, itching, burning, and redness of the vaginal area.
- PregnancyCreamy white discharge may be an early sign of gestation. This is called leucorrhea and either has a mild odor or none at all.
3. Brown Discharge After Sex
Brown discharge after sex can be completely harmless. There is a number of things that can cause this. The following are most of these reasons.
- Endometrial CellsBrown discharge usually happens when there is old blood being expelled. This discharge is left over from your previous period. This can occur at any time, regardless if you are having sex or not. It is nothing to worry about unless you are filling a pad within an hour. There could be an underlying issue causing it to happen.
- OvulationDischarge may become darker when uterine cells slough off. Either right before or during ovulation, this occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle. It can also appear as brown or pink spotting, and there may be egg white cervical mucous along with it.
- ImplantationWhen the embryo attaches to the uterus, brown spotting can occur. This is because blood from minor blood vessels accumulates in the cervix and is eventually expelled. The discharge may also be pink, diluted by mucous.
- StressBeing stressed can affect your cycle and the discharge that is expelled. A change in emotions and the use of stimulants, alcohol, and other substances can cause stress that skews your cycle. Malnutrition can be another reason for your body to be stressed out. Stress hormones are impactful on the sex hormones that lead to your menstrual cycle being affected as well as causing brown discharge after sex.
- Birth ControlBirth control is another source of brown discharge after sex. The use of birth control on a regular basis causes the uterine lining to thin out and shed randomly. This can also happen if you miss a pill, or if you take an emergency contraceptive. Intrauterine devices can also cause this discharge.
- When to WorryMost of the time, brown discharge is normal. However, it can be the result of something else entirely. Keep a look out for any other symptoms that can correlate with certain diseases.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections, and menopause are some of these possible underlying causes.
- Symptoms of something else going on include frequent urination, itching, odor, uttering bleeding dysfunction, burning, rash, vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, and mouth ulcers. If you notice any of these, see your doctor immediately to ensure that you get it taken care of.
4. Yellow Discharge After Sex
Yellow discharge after sex is not usually a good thing. It can signify STDs or other issues. If you have yellow discharge, talk to your doctor to make sure that you stay as healthy as possible.
- Greenish yellow discharge
- can signify this sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by a small organism called Trichomonas vaginalis which gets infected. This STD is one of the most common ones in sexually active young women. Luckily, it is curable.
- Other symptoms include frothy and thick discharge that has a strong sour odor. Irritation and itching, as well as pain or burning during urination, are other signs that this disease may be present. Lower abdominal pain and uncomfortable intercourse can also occur.
- These symptoms appear within five to 28 days of being exposed to the infection. If you get this during pregnancy, seek immediate help to avoid preterm labor.
- If you have mucous discharge that is yellow, it can mean that you have gonorrhea. This is a sexually transmitted disease contracted by exposure to infected bodily fluids or through intercourse with someone who is infected.
- More common symptoms include pelvic pain, spotting after sex, bleeding between periods, burning at urination, and swelling of the vulva. It may also be asymptomatic in some women so make sure to get checkups regularly.
- Treating this STD as soon as possible is essential to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease. This can damage the fallopian tubes which can lead to ectopic pregnancy or even infertility.
- Light yellow discharge can mean that you have a different sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia. Caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, this infection is the most common STD in the United States.
- It is highly contagious and spreads quickly. In 75 percent of women’s cases, no symptoms occur.
- Other symptoms are a discharge hue that can range from neon yellow to slightly orange, depending on where you are in your cycle. Burning, itching, bleeding in between periods, painful intercourse and periods, abdominal pain, fever, and discomfort at urination are all possible indicators.
- May also cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in some cases. If the infection is not treated on time, infertility is a risk. If you are pregnant, see your doctor immediately to avoid the risk of early birth. It can also be transmitted from mother to child, causing blindness, eye infections, or pneumonia.
- There are many ways to contract a yeast infection, and most of them are unrelated to sex. It can be transmitted through sex, however. Causes of a yeast infection are things like a steroid or antibiotic use, hormonal imbalance, douching, diabetes and other specific diseases, stress, weak immune system, and pregnancy.
- There are several other symptoms that signal a yeast infection. Other than the pale yellow, cottage cheese like discharge, there may be a foul odor, itching, burning, painful intercourse and urination, and soreness of the vulva.
- Taking care of a yeast infection is important, for it can reach your bloodstream and cause a slew of other problems. Yeast infections may reoccur within two or three weeks because of continued exposure to triggering factors. If this happens, your doctor might prescribe for you to take anti fungal medication for a determined amount of time.
Vaginal discharge after sex is common. Depending on what kind of discharge it is, it can mean different things. Whether it be pink, brown, white, or yellow, knowing what it could mean is important. As long as you are aware of the problems that could happen, you are sure to keep your reproductive system as healthy as possible.