Bloody Discharge: These Reasons Are Behind It

You may have noticed some blood in your discharge outside of your period. Depending on which phase of your cycle you are in, this can have different causes. In this article, you will find out what the reasons are for bloody discharge.

Your Discharge Can Look So Different

Discharge begins with puberty and accompanies most women until menopause. What it looks like and, above all, what consistency it has, can depend on hormonal fluctuations

Accordingly, it is completely normal if your discharge is somewhat stronger than usual during pregnancy or ovulation. However, if your discharge changes significantly in color, odor, or consistency, it may indicate an infection in some cases.

If you are indeed suffering from an infection, a green discharge may be a sign. Brown discharge most often occurs as intermenstrual bleeding during pregnancy.

These Causes Can Influence The Discharge

You have noticed a sudden change in your discharge? This can have different causes. Some indicate a disease, while others are completely normal and have no reason to worry. Let’s get to the bottom of the causes.

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Bacterial Infection

If you notice an unpleasant, fishy smell in your discharge, it may be due to an inflammation of your vagina. Often, this inflammation is caused by the bacterium Gardnerella vaginalis.

However, pathogens of these sexually transmitted diseases can also cause inflammation:


Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs. Purulent discharge and pain when urinating can be the first signs of the disease. Caution: If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to infertility.


These pathogens lead to gonorrhea – another very common STD. Especially in women, the disease progresses without noticeable symptoms. In some cases, there may also be pain during urination or a yellowish discharge.

Fungal Infections

Lactic acid bacteria in your vagina ensure an acidic vaginal environment. This prevents yeast bacteria, among others, from multiplying. A weak immune system or the use of antibiotics can affect your vaginal environment. If the number of lactic acid bacteria is reduced, a vaginal fungus can quickly spread.

Typical signs of a vaginal fungus:

  • Lumpy, white discharge.
  • Reddened mucous membrane.
  • Itching.
  • Pain when urinating.

Virus Infections

Viruses can also infect your genital area. These viruses cause increased discharge and other symptoms:

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Herpes Simplex Virus

This viral infection is responsible for genital herpes. Typical signs are blisters in the area of your vagina, labia, and mucous membrane. Itching, heavy discharge, and fever can also be accompanying symptoms.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

This virus causes genital warts. Symptoms of infection include a reddish-brown discharge. Some subtypes of this virus can cause cervical cancer. Ask your gynecologist about HPV vaccination.

What Are The Causes Of Bloody Discharge?

Bloody discharge can have many different causes. These can be completely harmless, but they can also indicate an infection or illness. Although in most cases there are no serious diseases behind a bloody discharge, you should know the causes:

Hormone Fluctuations

A hormone fluctuation is when the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen are out of balance. This can happen for no apparent reason and is no cause for concern.

It can happen that you notice a bloody discharge independently of your period. Hormone fluctuations are often triggered by taking the pill or another preparation.

If you take the pill or postpone your period, hormone fluctuations can also occur.

Metabolic Diseases

If you have a metabolic disease, you are more prone to bloody discharge. These metabolic diseases can have an impact on your discharge:

  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
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These conditions can mess up your cycle quite a bit and cause a bloody discharge.


A fibroid is a benign growth in the muscles of the uterus. Women 35 and older are more prone to developing them. Myomas are relatively inconspicuous and show few symptoms other than a bloody discharge.

Tip: Have regular check-ups with your gynecologist. They can lead to complications during pregnancy.


Endometriosis is also a benign but painful growth in the tissue of the uterine lining. In addition to the severe pain caused by endometriosis, there may also be pain or bleeding during sex.


A bloody discharge can also be triggered by sex. How During sex, you may quickly injure the blood vessels in your vagina. However, these heal quickly and are absolutely no cause for concern.

However, if bleeding occurs frequently after sex, this can also indicate an infection or an STD.

Bloody Discharge Is A Sign Of Cancer – Is That True?

As you already know, harmless causes are often responsible for a bloody discharge. If, for example, bloody discharge occurs very frequently or especially after menopause, you should definitely see a doctor.

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However, it is a misconception that blood in discharge is an indicator of cancer. In a few cases, frequent bloody discharge, especially in combination with other bothersome symptoms, can actually be an indication of cancer.

If you notice a bloody discharge frequently and notice other changes in your body, you should definitely see a doctor.

How Can I Avoid Bloody Discharge?

It depends on the cause of your bloody discharge. Serious diseases rarely announce themselves and can hardly be avoided. However, you can use these tips to prevent it in the best possible way.

  • Use a lactic acid cure: Ensures a good vaginal environment.
  • Proper intimate hygiene: Prevents infections.
  • Use condoms: To prevent STDs.
  • Underwear made of cotton: Is more breathable than synthetics.

How Bad Is Bloody Discharge Really?

A bloody discharge can indicate an infection or disease. However, in most cases, it is actually harmless causes. To be on the safe side, you should always observe your discharge. What color is it? Is it unpleasant? Has the consistency changed?

Occasional bloody discharge is no cause for concern. However, if it occurs more frequently in combination with other complaints, you should have yourself examined by a doctor.


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