What causes light pink spotting?

Updated February 21, 2017

The term "light pink spotting" refers to trace amounts of blood that are released from a woman's reproductive organs, often coinciding with ovulation, pregnancy or menstruation. Light pink spotting is rarely found in the panties; often the amount is so light that it is seen on the tissue a woman wipes with after using the bathroom. Spotting of this nature usually lasts one to a few days; if it continues, it typically changes into a heavier, reddish flow.

Pregnancy (Implantation)

One cause of light pink spotting is implantation, an early sign of conception. Implantation occurs between one to two weeks after a woman's egg has been fertilised by a man's sperm, when the fertilised egg implants itself into the blood and nutrient-rich lining of the uterine wall. According to, approximately 20 per cent to 30 per cent of women experience this phenomenon; a small amount of blood released from the uterine wall as a result of implantation makes its way through the cervix and out of the vagina, to appear as dark brown or light pink spotting.


Light pink spotting due to ovulation can occur approximately two weeks after a woman's last menstrual period. The ovarian follicle ruptures when the egg is released, causing a hole that allows the egg to make its way into one of the Fallopian tubes. When the rupture occurs, a small amount of blood may escape through the vagina, but typically only lasts a few hours. Another cause of ovulation spotting may be hormone related. During ovulation, the female body increases its output of oestrogen, which causes the uterine lining to shed slightly. According to, slight spotting during ovulation is a sign of fertility.


In the very beginning of a menstrual period, when a woman's body is beginning to release the unfertilised egg, the blood flow can show up as light pink or brown spotting. It is easy to confuse the beginning of a period with implantation bleeding. Only time can tell the two apart. Implantation spotting rarely lasts longer than a day, while premenstrual spotting will evolve into the heavier flow of a period.


A rarer cause of light pink spotting is infection of the vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, cervix or ovaries. Infections of this nature are typically caused by STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). If you are experiencing light pink spotting, and you have ruled out pregnancy, ovulation or menstruation as possible causes, you should see your physician.

Other Causes

Other causes of light pink spotting include the following: cervical, vaginal, uterine or ovarian cancer, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), uterine fibroid tumours, birth control, stress and sexual abuse.

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About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.