Endometrial Or Cervical Cancer
In very rare cases, brown discharge could be a sign of cervical cancer if it occurs with unusual weight loss, painful intercourse, heavy or more prolonged periods, breakthrough bleeding during periods, or weakness.
This is the most severe cause of brown discharge, but it is also quite rare.
And after menopause, spotting or bleeding that occurs irregularly or after sex is the most common sign of endometrial cancer.
Regular pelvic exams and checkups with your healthcare provider are important for early detection and prompt treatment of cancer.
When To Go To A Gynecologist
Go to a gynecologist when the brown vaginal discharge:
- Lasts more than 3 days
- Is accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, foul smell or itching
- Occurs with bouts of bright red bleeding.
In these cases, the doctor will diagnose the problem by examining the discharge and inserting the vaginal speculum to check the inside of the vagina to then recommend the appropriate treatment.
Changes To Your Hormone Levels
Young women often spot, or bleed very slightly, when they ovulate . It happens about 10 to 14 days after their period and is usually caused by a temporary drop in levels of the hormone oestrogen. This is quite normal.
As well as reduced oestrogen levels, you may also experience other hormonal imbalances, which are completely harmless. This could be as a result of stress, or a recent change of diet.
Girls who have just started their periods and women going through menopause are more likely to have irregular periods, which can be confused with bleeding between periods.
Your doctor may take a blood test to investigate your hormone levels and will advise you on possible treatments.
Signs Of Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Abnormal vaginal or uterine bleeding occurs when you bleed:
- Between periods
- The contraceptive injection
- Contraceptive implants
- The vaginal ring
Bleeding between periods is a common side effect of all forms of hormonal birth control, which may include brown discharge. Although it can be worrisome, this bleeding is rarely dangerous and should subside after three months.
With birth control pills, you may experience irregular bleeding if you don’t take it at the same time everyday. Other side effects of hormonal birth control may include:
- Breast tenderness
- Changes in sexual desire
After one of are some blood vessels that break down. For some women, this can lead to brown discharge consisting of old blood. As opposed to a regular period, bleeding from implantation is light and only lasts a couple of days.
3. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are nonmalignant growths of muscle and tissue that grow on your uterus. Many women who have fibroids have no symptoms, and may only be found by a doctor during a pelvic examination. In rare cases, fibroids can grow out from your uterus, twist, and cut off the blood supply. This can cause pain and brown vaginal discharge.
4. Vaginal infections
There are several different vaginal infections that may cause brown discharge before your period:
Bacterial vaginosis causes an overgrowth of bacteria in your vagina.
Trichomaniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite and is spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
What Is Brown Vaginal Discharge
Finding brown discharge in your underwear or when you wipe can be disconcerting. The first time it happens, you might feel scared or wonder if its a sign that somethings wrong.
Normally, vaginal discharge is clear or white. Brown discharge is simply old blood. Fresh blood has a bright red color. Blood gets darker the more time it spends outside your blood vessels. When blood comes into contact with air, it goes through a process called oxidation. As the hemoglobin and iron in your blood interact with air, your blood turns a brownish hue.
Brown discharge may be a sign of many things, from the implantation of an embryo to an impending period. However, there are some warning signs that you should keep in mind when it comes to vaginal discharge. And if youre worried that youre experiencing abnormal discharge, its always wise to go see a health care provider.
Recommended Reading: What Can Make Your Period Late
How To Stop Brown Discharge While On Birth Control
Doctors say that breakthrough bleeding, or spotting between periods, can happen more often in women who smoke cigarettes, or who don’t take their birth control pills consistently. Spotting also happens more often for women who use birth control pills to skip their periods or have recently taken emergency contraception like Plan Bâ¢ or My Way.
If your brown discharge is connected to breakthrough bleeding, then the following may help:
Taking birth control pills everyday as directed
Scheduling your period to come every few months if you’re taking active pills continuously to skip your periods
Waiting it out
Note that most minor side effects of hormonal birth control go away after two to or three months.
Why Am I Getting A Brown Discharge
In many cases, brown discharge is old blood that’s taking extra time to leave the uterus. This is especially true if you see it at the beginning or end of your menstrual period. Brown discharge at other points in your cycle may still be normal but be sure to take note of any other symptoms you experience.
You May Like: Signs Of Starting Your First Period
Not Sure What To Do Next
If you are still concerned about bleeding between periods, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .
Why Is My Period Blood Sometimes Brown
Brown blood can look alarming if youre expecting it to be you know, bright red. But if youve ever looked at a wound or cut thats a few days old, you can see that the blood has changed to a dark brown color. This is due to a process called oxidation, where oxygen binds with hemoglobin . This changes the color of old blood from red to brown. So, if your menstrual blood takes a few extra days to exit your vagina, it might be brown by the time you see it.
Recommended Reading: What Is Due Diligence Period In Real Estate
You Just Started Stopped Or Switched Birth Control
Though men cant seem to handle the side effects as well as women can, birth control is still such a great invention. Especially for those of us who dont want children , dealing with the side effects is well worth it if it means preventing pregnancy. One of those side effects is spotting.
If you just got an IUD, spotting is a normal symptom that can last several months. Thankfully, many IUD users eventually have lighter periods or no periods at all. Similarly, starting, stopping, or missing a dose of an oral contraceptive can cause pink or brown spotting. This is due to your estrogen, which keeps the lining of your uterus in place. Doing anything that alters your estrogen levels can cause spotting.
What Are The Different Types Of Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is the fluid that comes out of the vagina as a result of the bacteria and fluids secreted by your vaginal cells. During different phases of your menstrual cycle, you may notice different consistencies and colors. The amount and frequency of discharge can vary from woman to woman.
Here are the different types of discharge:
- Brown: This is most common during your period usually its just cervical mucus tinged with blood. It can also sometimes occur during early pregnancyaround the time that you expect your period
- Thick and white: This type of discharge is common just before or just after your period. If its accompanied by itching, you should talk to your doctor because it may indicate a yeast infection.
- Clear and stretchy: Usually seen in the middle of your cycle, this type of discharge indicates that you are approaching ovulation and are highly fertile.
- Clear and watery: Similar to clear and stretchy discharge, clear and watery discharge also indicates peak fertilityespecially if there are copious amounts of it.
- Yellow or green: Can be a sign of infection, especially if its chunky like cottage cheese, or has a foul smell. Talk to your doctor if you notice this type of discharge.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Still Having My Period At 54
What Does Black Period Blood Mean
Black period blood can be a sign of oxidation combined with heavy bleeding. If it occurs around the same time you usually menstruate , its usually nothing to worry about. Black blood that occurs outside the window of your period, combined with a foul odor or abdominal discomfort, could be a warning sign of an STI.
Is A Brown Discharge A Sign Of Pregnancy
Pink or brown discharge is not an early sign of pregnancy. Bleeding or spotting outside of your menstrual cycle is more likely to occur when youre not pregnant than when you are.
While brown spotting can occur during early pregnancy, it shouldnt be considered a sign that you are pregnant. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence thatimplantation bleeding really exists. There are not any apparent symptoms of implantation that are in any way distinguishable fromsigns of your impending period.
For some women, brown spotting does occur during early pregnancy. It can be scary when this happens, but most of the time,spotting during pregnancy is nothing to worry about .
If you think you might be pregnant, the most conclusive way to really know is a positive pregnancy test .
You May Like: No Period On Patch Free Week
The Likeliest Cause: Ovulation
You ovulate about day 14 of your cycle. For many women, the day around ovulation goes completely unnoticed. But for some, ovulation is an event they may feel and notice other symptoms around. Those symptoms can include light spotting.
During reproductive ages, the ovary releases an egg every month. This event occurs when the ovary follicles rupture and release the oocyte which travels to the fallopian tube and becomes an ovum or egg. The rupture of the ovary follicles can cause some light spotting and some women can even feel it happen.
That feeling usually manifests as a slight twinge or pain on one side of your abdomen. This pain is called Mittelschmerz. It translates literally as middle pain. Its the name for the slight twinge or cramp that some women experience when the follicle releases the egg.
Learn more about what happens when you ovulate.
The best way to understand whether your bleeding corresponds with ovulation is to track your cycle using an app or diary. If youre experiencing bleeding that does not coincide with ovulation, there are many other possible causes.
Should I Be Worried About Brown Discharge
All content within this page has been reviewed and endorsed by
Dr Tariq Miskry, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician
On a visit to the loo, you may have noticed some brown discharge in your underwear or on the toilet paper. Although it can be a little disconcerting, it is usually perfectly normal and no reason to worry.
Whether itâs an entirely new experience for you or it happens every so often, read on to get of the rundown on the ins and outs of brown discharge, what causes it, and when to worry
Read Also: Can Fibroids Come Out During Period
When Should I Talk To My Healthcare Provider About Brown Discharge
If you notice occasional brown discharge, you probably dont need to do anything. But its a good idea to jot down when you see it so you can track how frequently it occurs and see if it is associated with a specific phase of your cycle or a particular activity.
If the brown spotting lasts more than a couple weeks, frequently happens after sex, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as vaginal itching, weird smells, or cramping, then its a good idea to call your doctor to make sure its not a sign of infection.
If you notice any of the following, call your doctor:
- Bleeding or pain during/after sex
- Pain while urinating
When Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Brown Discharge
As you can see, there are so many potential causes for brown discharge that it is impossible for us to say for certain what is causing yours. If you are concerned about vaginal discharge, it is always best to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
I recommend that you speak to your doctor just to make sure everything is okay if you notice brown discharge along with any of these other symptoms:
- Pain or bleeding during/after intercourse
- Lower abdominal pain
- Any abnormal bleeding between your menstrual cycle that lasts for three days or more
- Any abnormal spotting that occurs for three or more consecutive menstrual cycles
- Any abnormal abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting after completing menopause
Occasional brown discharge is normally nothing to worry about. However, it is a good idea to take note of when it has occurred and what other symptoms you may be displaying. This way you will know what is normal for you and have all the information you need if you do decide to buy or test or go to the doctor.
Abnormal discharge can happen as a result of an STI but thatâs not always the case. Other infections such as Vaginitis, which is an inflammation or infection in the vaginal area, may also be the cause. If you suspect that you are experiencing vaginal discharge as a result of either, you can get checked with your doctor or test from home with LetsGetCheckedâs range of at-home STI tests or Vaginitis Test.
You should consider taking a test if:
- You become sexually active
Read Also: Does Birth Control Help Your Period
Reaction To A Pap Smear Test Or Gynecological Exam
Its normal to experience some light bleeding or spotting after a Pap smear or vaginal exam. OB/GYNs work hard to be careful in these situations, but sometimes their tools can cause slight irritation inside the walls of your vagina or cervical lining. If you experience this without any other symptoms, you dont usually need to worry about it.
First Things First: Brown Blood Is Not A Cause For Concern On Its Own
Though brown blood can be a surprise, it is not out of the ordinary. In fact, this kind of blood can be common toward the end of your cycle. While your blood is normally red in the first few days of your cycle when your body sheds its uterine lining, discharged blood at the end of your period is oxidized and can be discolored.
You May Like: How Long After Your Period Is Ovulation