brown discharge

What Causes Brown Discharge?


Having brown discharge instead of your period may cause concern as you are expecting a regular period routine. The brown discharge may arise several questions in your mind such as Is this a regular thing? Is there any serious problem? Or am I pregnant? Here are some of the answers to your concerns.

Is it Normal Having Brown Discharge?

In most of the cases having brown discharge is a regular thing and not a matter of concern. The brown discharge is same as the proper discharge, but the only difference is it is brown, and discharge can be creamy, watery or dark/ light brown. Since the consistency and color of blood can change during one menstrual cycle and it’s a normal change.

During the first few days of the period’s mostly red colored blood is discharged as the body drops the uterine lining at this time. While women may release brown colored blood towards the end of the menstrual cycle as at that time usually old blood, which left inside is released since blood changes its color from red to brown when it gets older.

Sometimes this blood discharge or spotting happens in the middle of two menstrual cycles than it may be a matter of concern as it can be a result of perimenopause, birth control pills or any infection. You must visit your doctor to ensure that it is not an indication of any problem

Causes of having Brown Discharge

There are several causes of having brown discharge in the middle of two menstrual periods or before starting a new menstrual cycle such as:

Brown discharge for a few days just before the menstrual periods might be an early sign of pregnancy and implantation bleeding causes it. Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg joins itself to the uterine lining.  It is recommended to have a pregnancy test if you face brown discharge after having a sexual conception after 9-10 days.

But it is a matter of concern if you are pregnant and brown discharge accompanies symptoms like abdominal cramps, feeling dizzy and weak, shoulder pain and not feeling common symptoms of pregnancy like nausea than it might be a case of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. You must visit your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms to ensure your child’s health.

  • Perimenopause

Perimenopause is a stage before menopause, or it’s a time when the body is switching into menopause. This is the stage when the reproductive cycle of a woman starts slowing down, and chances of getting pregnant are rare. Brown discharge is common and usual during this period only if you haven’t experienced any additional abnormal symptoms. The average age of reaching menopause is 45 to 55, and it officially begins once, you haven’t had the period for approximately 12 months.

After reaching menopause if you observe any brown discharge then it’s not an issue in most cases. However, brown discharge can be linked to the tenderness of your vaginal lining, noncancerous cysts in your cervix, or further concerns in the cervix or uterus such as cancer. So if you have observed bleeding or brown discharge post-menopause consult your doctor as many causes of this type of discharge can be treated if diagnosed soon.

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) might be another cause for having brown discharge during your period, but it includes other symptoms also such as irregular cycles, obesity, abnormal hair growth, acne breakouts, numerous cysts on the ovaries and patches of condensed and smooth dark skin. PCOS can be a genetic syndrome and may lead to cardiovascular disease, infertility or type-2 diabetes if not diagnosed and treated timely

  • Delayed Period

There is a probability that you will notice brown discharge while you have delayed period. Various women sometimes undergo late periods, and during that time the body might blow out the leftover uterine tissue from the last period. You have the late period if your periods start two-three days later than your expected date of the menstrual cycle. But if your periods had not come even after 6 to 7 days of the planned date, then it’s time to do a pregnancy test.

  • Birth Control Pills

If you observed brown discharge instead of a period and are on birth control pills, then it might be the probability that your body is adjusting to the transformation done by birth control pills. Since birth control pills alter your body’s hormone levels, performs similarly like menopause. The body’s hormones get covered up due to the consumption of the pill, and it mainly targets the pituitary gland. While you are undertaking birth control pills, there is also the probability that your period might stop as it takes time to adjust the hormonal levels. As a result, you might have a short period of about two days, or it may expel the old blood, which might have been left during the previous menstrual cycle.

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Brown discharge can occur if you are suffering from PID. PID is a severe infection of the woman reproductive organs as well as it is one of the most worrying results of an STD (sexually transmitted disease). You may suffer lifelong damage in the uterus, ovaries or Fallopian tubes if you are infected with PID. It is caused when bacteria enter the vagina, and the main reason for entering bacteria in the vagina is STDs.

As an STD mainly gonorrhea and Chlamydia weaken the wall of the cervix by infecting it. This grounds a reason for bacterial infection as the cervix defends reproductive organs by forcing out and making it hard for bacteria to come into the vaginal organs. Brown discharge, if caused by PID, is a cause for proper concern treatment required to stop the infection as it may cause permanent infertility, everlasting reproductive system injury,  pain in lower abdomen, pain while urinating, green or yellow discharge, nausea, and vomiting if you don’t seek medical treatment immediately.

When Having Brown Discharge is Abnormal?

If brown discharges accompany additional symptoms with it, then it can be the indication of a problem and time to call a doctor if you are experiencing following symptoms:

  • Brown Discharge is abnormal if your periods start before 21 days of your menstrual cycle or after 35 days of the previous cycle.
  • You haven’t had a period for more than three to six months.
  • Bleeding amid two menstrual periods.
  • Your periods last more than seven days.
  • You bleed after having sex.
  • Bleeding occurs after the menopause.
  • Feel itching or burning sensation while urinating. It might be a case of STDs or any other infection.
  • Pain in your vagina or cramping in lower abdomen, then it’s time to consult the doctor you might be suffering from STDs.
  • Suffering from high fever during brown discharge might be an indication of PID.
  • Feeling exhausted or tired
  • Heavy bleeding than regular period flow
  • If you feel brown discharge after the inclusion of an IUD (Intrauterine Device)
  • Observing brown release while you are under a breast cancer treatment and taking tamoxifen.
  • You notice abnormal hair growth than it might be a case of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

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