What Causes Blood in Cervical Mucus?

Also called cervical fluid, cervical mucus has an important role to play when it comes to becoming pregnant. You will notice a change in the consistency of cervical mucus throughout your cycle, and you are most fertile when you notice the egg white consistency. However, it is also possible to have a bloody mucus discharge, which can be quite frightening for most but is usually due to non-serious issues. In rare cases, bloody mucus discharge indicates an underlying health problem. Let's discover more about it.

Bloody Mucus Discharge, Why?

So many changes take place in your body throughout your cycle and this may change the odor and consistency of your vaginal discharge. Any change in cervical mucus can be quite alarming, but a bloody mucus discharge may be due to one of the following reasons.

1. Brown Discharge Before Menstruation

Teenage girls may experience brownish discharge just before they have their first menstruation. The discharge usually contains stringy clots and is a way to prepare a female's body for menstruation. Young girls may experience such discharge for quite some time until their period become more regular and stable. Sometimes, they may not have a period at all and only have brownish discharge.

2. Leftover Menstrual Blood

If you notice bloody mucus discharge a couple of days after your period stops, it is usually due to the leftover menstrual blood coming out. The discharge will have a relatively thicker consistency and be brownish in color with some odor. This usually happens when some blood stays trapped in the cervix after you finish your period, and this blood may come out with cervical mucus as you ovulate.

3. Ovulation

Stringy discharge usually means you are ovulating. It will be more like egg-white cervical mucus. Sometime, you may experience brownish discharge but that will not have any odor or other symptoms usually associated with infections.

4. Implantation Spotting

You experience light bleeding when the fertilized egg implants itself in the inner wall of the uterus. The discharge in this case may end in a few minutes or continue for a couple of days. Implantation bleeding is more likely to occur a few days before the due date of your period.

5. Miscarriage

Bloody discharge during early pregnancy may indicate miscarriage. Discharge in this case can be thick and chunky or watery and stringy. If it is indeed due to miscarriage, you may also experience cramping as well as fever, nauseaand vomiting. Moreover, the discharge is more likely to be clottier than your period. Once you notice this kind of discharge, call your doctor immediately.

6. Cervical Mucus Plug

The cervical mucus plug is actually the buildup of cervical mucus that closes the cervix during pregnancy to protect it from foreign invaders. The mucus plug can become bloody when the cervix thins in the late pregnancy. The mucus plug comes out as you get closer to labor and with it, there will be some bloody spotting as well.

7. Postpartum Discharge

It is normal to experience bleeding after delivery, which happens when the placenta separates from the uterus. The uterus usually continues to contract even after the placenta is delivered, and this helps close off blood vessels and stop bleeding. Postpartum discharge or lochia may consist of bacteria, blood, and tissue from the lining of the uterus. The bleeding may be strong for a few days after delivery and the lochia will most likely become white or yellow-white within 10 days of delivery. Contact your doctor if bleeding continues for more than 10 days after delivery.

8. Bloody Mucus Discharge After Sex

Post-coital bleeding or spotting after sex is non-menstrual bleeding and occurs after you have sexual intercourse. It usually looks like blood mucus discharge and is thin and slimy. It may also have a specific odor quite similar to the smell of your period. You may experience this discharge due to no specific reason, but an infection may be present in some cases. Cervical ectropion, cervical cancer, endometrial polyps, and vaginal cancer are some other reasons why you may experience bleeding after sex.

9. Bloody Mucus Discharge Between Periods

Spotting between periods or inter-menstrual bleeding (IMB) can occur any time between periods. You may notice a small amount of blood coming out of your vagina with white, milky discharge. Most women find it difficult to differentiate between irregularly frequent periods and IMB. The most common causes of IMB include cancer, vaginitis, cervical ectropion, cervical cancer, fibroids, adenosis, and endometrial polyps. If you are concerned, call your doctor for an evaluation.

10. Pill-Induced Bloody Mucus Discharge

The bloody discharge may well be the outcome of starting any contraceptive medications. It usually happens due to breakthrough bleeding and is more common in women on progesterone-only pills. Some women continue to have breakthrough bleeding even years after starting contraceptive pills.

11. Vaginal Infections

You may notice bloody mucus dischargeas a result of vaginal infections. This usually happens when you contract a sexually transmitted infection or disease such as trichomoniasis or gonorrhea. This will make you notice spotting between periods but the mucus will be much thicker as compared to normal discharge. If you experience this discharge due to vaginitis, you may also experience swelling, vulval itching, painful intercourse, burning during urination, and lower abdominal pain.

12. Other Gynecological Conditions

There may be some other gynecological conditions making you experience bloody mucus discharge. This may happen due to uterine polyps, hormonal imbalance, yeast infections, fibroids, or bacterial infections. It is important to talk to your doctor about a change in your cervical mucus, especially if you also have pain or notice unpleasant odor. 

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