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BROWN DISCHARGE instead of period

In some cases and special conditions women could experience brown discharge instead of normal regular periods. What is brown discharge instead of period and why women could have brown discharge instead of period?

In most cases brown discharge is just remains of delayed period. Actually the vaginal canal is a specific self-cleaning system. Each month it clears the particular thickened endometrium by the end of the menstrual cycle just in the event that there has been absolutely no fertilization of egg cell. Female body expels this kind of coating as menstrual flow – monthly periods. In case the whole lining is not really eliminated throughout menstruation, this resides within the uterus until the following month.

When women get late period or following period with old cellular lining actually removed together with other blood cellular material, they actually experience brown discharge instead of period. Brown discharge is normally just “old blood” that has been oxidized and left uterus and/or vagina late or later.

Brown discharge instead of period could be also the symptom of hormonal imbalance and/or hormonal dysfunctions which women could experience during Polycystic Ovarian Diseases (PCOS), Endometriosis, Ovarian Premature Failure, Hyperprolactinemia and sometimes during use of hormonal contraception including Birth Control Pills.

Sometimes brown discharge instead of period could be a symptom of several health conditions and/or diseases.


Brown discharge instead of period

Brown discharge instead of period

Implantation Bleeding

Brown discharge instead of period could be early signal of pregnancy – so called “implantation bleeding”. After the fertilization occurs the fertilized egg or zygote travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus – during this journey the cell division takes place and the zygote develops into an embryo. The embryo burrows into the uterine lining (so called “endometrium”) which results in brown discharge instead of period. You can easily tell implantation bleeding from a normal period, as it is far lighter than a normal period and does not last for more than a couple of days. Implantation bleeding occurs 6 to 12 days after fertilization. If you have been tracking your ovulation time, implantation bleeding should occur a week before your due period. This brown discharge instead of period could be an early signal/symptom of pregnancy.

Late Period

In many cases the brown discharge instead of period could happen during late periods – actually the female body expels “old” oxidized uterine lining as late menstrual flow. You may only get it for a couple of days after which you may have your normal period. Sometimes, you may get this discharge for a day or two, then nothing, followed by your normal period.

Birth control Pills

Birth control pills are most popular contraception pills used by girls and women in many countries. In many cases birth control pills are used not for contraception but also for treatment of acne, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, etc.

Birth control pills are synthetic forms of the hormones progesterone and estrogen taken by women to prevent pregnancy. These hormones (progesterone and estrogen) work to inhibit the body’s natural cyclical hormones to prevent pregnancy. Pregnancy is prevented by a combination of factors. Birth control pills usually stop the body from releasing an egg from the ovary. The birth control pill prevents ovulation by maintaining more consistent hormone levels. Without a peak in estrogen, the ovary doesn’t get the signal to release an egg, which eliminates the possibility of fertilization and pregnancy. The hormones in the pills prevent pregnancy by suppressing your pituitary gland, which stops the development and release of the egg in the ovary (ovulation).They also change the cervical mucus to make it difficult for the sperm to find an egg. Birth control pills can also prevent pregnancy by making the lining of the womb inhospitable for implantation. The progestin component of pills helps to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg and changes the lining of the uterus.

As Birth Control Pills always suppress female hormones, they could be responsible for brown discharge instead of period (rare side effect – super-suppression by pills).

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious infection in the upper genital tract which called female reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries). PID can be sexually transmitted or naturally occurring. In most cases PID is caused by a type of bacteria, often the same type that is responsible for several sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. In some cases, PID develops from bacteria that have traveled through the vagina and the cervix by way of an intrauterine device (IUD.

PID can affect the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or the ovaries. It can lead to pelvic adhesions and scar tissue that develops between internal organs, causing ongoing pelvic pain and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. PID could be a reason of brown discharge instead of period, infertility (untreated cases). In fact, PID is currently the leading cause of female infertility. If left untreated, PID can also lead to chronic infection and chronic brown discharge instead of period.

Perimenopause or menopause

Perimenopause is a naturally occurring transition period of women life which is happening before menopause – it is the time when your body begins its transition into menopause. Perimenopause is the stage of women’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogens. It usually starts in women’s 40s, but can start in women’s 30s.

Perimenopause is a transitional stage of 2-11 years before complete cessation of the menstrual period. Perimenopause develops when women’s reproductive system begins slowing down, resulting in decreased production of hormones (mainly estrogens and progesterone). Perimenopause is the interval in which women’s body makes a natural shift from regular menstrual cycles and regular monthly ovulations to irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation and natural permanent infertility.

In general, brown discharge instead of period is common symptom for starting perimenopause. In early perimenopause women could also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disruption, vaginal dryness, and a lot of confusion. Perimenopause symptoms including brown discharge occur as estrogen levels continue to drop leading up to menopause.


  1. Hello there I have been trying to conceive for 14 years now
    Last months cycle short light blood
    This month no period spotting 3 days before cycle due and no spotting brown I had tender breasts for 51/2 weeks easing off now please help

  2. i have had brown discharge for the past 2 months for 3-4 days. not a steady flow like a normal menstrual cycle and i have not had a normal menstrual cycle for 2 months.. not sure what to do about this… ?? any help would be great

  3. I am 37, and have a very brown discharge for a few days and no period. My periods are usually irregular, heavy but not much pain. I recently got a migraine combined with vomiting which has never happened before. I do get really hot at night and have a little trouble sleeping.

    • if you have irregular periods, it means you have hormonal dysfunctions – brown discharge could be kind of menstruation because of lack of estrogen BUT sometimes it could be a symptom of pregnancy. Hot at night = lack of estrogen – discover in –

      • Hi! I am definitely in perimenopause. I’m 43 and have experienced change in period, currently I’ve had brown discharge for 3 days and cramping, but no period. So far I haven’t missed a period until this month. I get night sweats a few days before cycle and wakeup with soaking wet hair. Migraines, nausea, vaginal dryness, anxiety and confusion. I’m taking black cohosh, but would like some recommendations on what might ease these symptoms. I’m eating pretty healthy and exercising. Thank you.

  4. Hello..I have just turned 41 and have been ttc for just over a year. My periods are normally between 28-32 days but this month I had only a very small amount of brown discharge on days 35/36. No other fresh blood has appeared. My last period was 9 april. A pregnancy test showed negative. Should I be concerned its more serious? Or should I do another test?
    Many thanks.

    • check your basal temperature which will show everything –

    • Hi I’m 25 and in March 16 2015 i had a miscarriage my periods after that were normal.My period come every 30 to 40 days My flow is usually heavy and last 4 days …Until I was 16 days period was due June 22 so I took a home pregancy test and I went to a pregnancy care office to get tested but we’re both period came on July 8. It was pink and slowly turned dark brown then light I have cramps and I get easaly irritated and tired. What should I do?

      • after miscarriage you need proper tests and treatment – you should know the main cause of your miscarriage and proper treatment before thinking for next pregnancy; you also need relaxation (no stress!) – good holidays could be useful; you should be absolutely healthy before thinking about next pregnancy

  5. I’m 31 years old, haven’t had a period in 6-8 months. I have had brown discharge VERY lightly for 3 days. Should I be concerned?

  6. I have the explanon implant and haven’t had a period since March of 2012 which is normal for me while on birth control (I switched from Depo to the implant). For the past few days, I’ve had some heavy brown discharge and I’ve never had this before. Not sure what to think or do.

    • it is just a side effect of hormonal contraception

  7. I am 21 so I am too young to go through menopause I haven’t had a period in a couple of months and then the last 2 months I just have a little bit of brown discharge it just looks like old blood and normally only last for 2 or 3 days and it’s very light I’m starting to get a little concerned

  8. I am 18 and today is the day I would begin my period for this month. However there is a brown disharge with very little blood and it is very light. Should I be concerned?

    • if you are not sexually active, nothing to be concerned; if sexually active – exclude pregnancy

  9. I’m 19 and have never had regular periods. They can range from being 1-6 months apart. Lately, they have frequently only consisted of brown discharge for about a day or two. I’m not sexually active. Do I need to see a doctor?

  10. I am 25 and ttc, I did 4 first response tests the end of last week and got very faint positives, over the weekend got negative on 2 different brands then another faint positive on first response that night! I went to the doctors on Monday and their urine sample came back negative, I started bleeding (started dark brown which it never has before) 2 days after my period was due this varied in colour from dark brown-pink-red and was extremely light, mainly there when I went to the toilet, this seemed to stop the next evening then on the 3rd day back to very light reddy/brown spotting- I took a Tesco own brand 1 minute response test yesterday afternoon within 30 seconds there was clearly a 2nd line but at around 1 minute mark the 2nd line had disappeared! I am so confused and any advice would be great! Thanks

  11. I am 17 and I’ve been taking birth control, having regular periods for the past 5 or so months. This month I am currently on the placebo pill where I should be getting my period and I am 3 days late. The only pill I “missed” or was late on was with one of the first week pills but I took it in the morning as soon as I realized I was supposed to take it the night before. I only experienced light spotting yesterday (should have started period on Monday) and at night it started looking more on the brown side. I am very worried because in the last week or 2 I had unprotected sex and it was for my very first time, his penis never fully entered, he did not ejaculate, Im not even sure he broke my hymen but pre-cum is only thing that worries me. How could I be late on period if it’s always been regular since I started being regular towards the end of last year ? Should I worry about the brown discharge?

  12. Hello, I’m 12 and I’ve had brown discharge instead of a late period for about a week. Just now it’s changed Into a regular blood flow today. I was wondering why I got his? And how long will the red (not old/brown) blood will be flowing? Like if it’s a regular flow then how long do you think it will last (and can I go swimming at the beach like this? I’m staying there for a week and I’m scared)

  13. Hey I’m back and again and a little worried. So I thought I had gotten my period back but the bleeding only lasted about 3 days (usually 5-7) and now I am really starting to worry. It was heavy the day before yesterday, just like my regular period but it got short yesterday, how is it possible. Could I pregnant, when should I take a pregnancy test because I’m on birth control to help keep my periods regular, but after I had sex for the first time this happened ( no cum just precum and never when all the way in, happened last month on 24th and 31st) what are the chances of me being safe. 17 years old

  14. Hey, really worried, late on my period by three days, negative pregnancy test, brown slight discharge only, no blood, could I be pregnant and it be too early to show up?
    Normally have regular periods.

  15. Could this be related to endometriosis?

  16. Hi, I’m 18, and I am currently on my period. I have had brown discharge instead of my period. I’ve seen things from miscarriage to cervical cancer. I am still having menstrual cramps and bloating as normal, but my flow is shortened and it’s also a shocking brown. I’ve only had my period for 3 years now; and I have never seen anything like this before. Please help.

    • could be stress or hormonal hypo-function (reduced hormones)

  17. I have had that brown discharge for 3 days now no blood. I am on th mini pill. I am 36 yes old. There is no offensive odour with it, no itching my body feels like I am having a normal period but no blood. Should I be worried? Cause I am almost there!

    • nothing to be worried – just pills’ side effect

  18. It’s day 4 and no period yet. The brown stuff has even become less to nothing. Please help

    • High dose progestogen-only contraceptives (as you are using) completely inhibit follicular development and ovulation and your endometrium (internal line of uterus) becoming thin and atrophic – this is why you could have just brown spotting and not normal periods. You can check more in –

  19. Still no period

  20. Hi I’m 15 and I got my period when I was 11. I’ve always had an irregular period but it’s been worrying me lately. I haven’t had a period in about 9 months and I’m not sexually active. Recently I’ve been getting the smallest amount of what I think is brown discharge. Any ideas on what it may be?

    • I hope it is not anorexia – 9 months absence of periods called “amenorrhea” and it is not normal – should be serious cause – check all possible causes in –

  21. Hi my period has been brown the last few times. It was brown during the time I was taking birth control pills and I’ve had two switch pills a lot but now I’ve been off the pill for a few months and my period is still brown. I have a strange scent coming from my personal area and I’m not sure if I should be concerned or not. I know I can’t be pregnant because I’m not sexually active, I recently turned twenty and I’m on medication for different things. Should I be worried or is it possible some of my other medicines or the fact I did use birth control caused this?

    • if you have regular periods but brown, you should not be worried; if you are on “medication for different things” check their side effects

  22. Hello am 20years old,am having this brown discharge for the past 3 days.I took 4 months pills last year and am having my period normally until this month a saw a brown discharge instead of my period could i be pregnant?? I need help

    • your message is not clear; if you stop birth control pills and had unprotected sex, pregnancy is possible; if you are still on pills, it could be just pills’ side effect

      • What i mean is that i got married last year and so i took a 4months birth control pills and am having my normal period every month until this month when i saw a brown discharge for 2 days followed by menstruation.Could i be pregnant?

  23. I am 16 years old and I have not had a normal period in 3 1/2 months. The first 2 months all I got was brown discharge for a few days then nothing else. Then I had brown discharge for 2 weeks straight. I started my period when I was 11 years old and ever since then I have had 10-11 periods a year. I am in the first class of obesity, 5’2 and 167 pounds.I am not sexually active, so I know I am not pregnant. What do you think is causing this to happen?

  24. Hello am 20 years old.ever since i got married i have been taking birth pills and i stop after 4 months, now it has been a year and i didnt conceive and i realy wanna get pregnant can u help me with some advise? Or pills that will burst my fertility

  25. Hi, my periods usually come in the late end of the month right about this time. For the past few days I have had light brown-brown discharge and still with the symptoms of a period. My weight has changed slightly lately as well and also I have diagnosed anxiety. What could this be?

    • stress, extra-weight and anxiety could change your menstrual cycle but always useful to exclude pregnancy

  26. Hi, I’m 17 years old I’ve never started my period and last I started having brown discharge but after about a week it started turning bloody and then it got light and lighter and eventually turned clear I’m really scared cause I’ve looked up symptoms of cervical and ovarian cancer and a bunch of other symptoms as well I have a lot of the symptoms what should I do

  27. Hi, I’m 17 years old I’ve never started my period and last I started having brown discharge but after about a week it started turning bloody and then it got light and lighter and eventually turned clear I’m really scared cause I’ve looked up symptoms of cervical and ovarian cancer and a bunch of other symptoms as well I have a lot of the symptoms what should I do

  28. Hi i’m 32 years old. I had this brown menstruation instead of red period. This is the first time that happened to me. I’m expecting my period to come on June 20, 2015 but on the 26th day of June brown discharge occurred and until now July 2, 2015. my breasts were firm.. after i ate i feel like vomiting. What does it means? Thank you

    • check pregnancy

  29. i was due to have my period 28 June. I had some mucous with a streak of blood on July 1st. Now have very light period like brown/dark blood. Could it be stress, negative pregnancy test

  30. Does fasting and illness also attribute in this? I just started fasting mid-June and my period is supposed to come last week of June or first week of July but I just got the brown stuff yesterday, I’m also down with a cold and has been fatigued since I started fasting. Does this attribute to the late period? Thank you

    • there is certain normal weight (for each person) which is necessary for normal menstrual cycle; if you don’t have enough weight and plus fasting, it could be a cause of late period

  31. Hi I’m Kell, 19 years old. Do fasting and being sick affect this? I’ve been fasting since mid-June and have been fatigued from everyday life. I was supposed to get my period on the 26th according to my period tracking app, but I’ve only gotten the brown since about 2 days ago. Is this normal? Thanks

    • no, it is not normal – may be your fasting is not healthy for you

  32. Good day! I am just a bit concerned about my period. My last period started on May 28. It is July 06 already and my period isn’t starting. I had a negative pregnancy test and I had a brown discharge last night and today.

  33. Thank you so much DrDoly! On the 6th of July my period finally came after having only brown stuff for five days. Your advice was amazing! You really helped put my mind at ease. And you were right! Thank you!

  34. Hello I’m 27 years old and I had an paraguard IUD installed on 8/2014. Since that I had a my period regularly but little bit heavy. But my last period was on 5/2015 and past 2 weeks I’m having this brown discharge. Yesterday went to my doctors office and they took PT it was negative.
    Should I be concern this pregnancy or something else?

  35. Hi my 22 years old and I’ve always had a regular period. But this month was different I’ve had nothing but a brown mucus for 3 days then it stopped out of nowwhere. Also pregnancy test was negative. Should I be concerned.

  36. Hey there I’ve been ttc for just over a year now after being on the depo After finally getting my period back I’ve had short cycles between 16 days long have been for blood tests and hormones come back normal . my period was due 3 days ago but since then I’ve had brown discharge no red blood on and off mostly only when I go toilet. could I be pregnant

  37. I am 31 with very regular period. It comes every 26-27 days and lasts 5-6 days like clock work. I’m wondering what kind of affect the morning after pill can have on your cycle. I took it on 6.6, 5 days after my May period ended (5.30-6.1). June my period was supposed to start 6.26, but it didn’t come. After being 16 days late, I started spotting brown discharge for a couple of days then intermittently across the day there was a little fresh blood, but very pink. The brown spotting lasted 4 days and is now done. I do not think I’m pregnant- I’ve already had 2 negatives on a HPT and a blood test I had done around day 6 of being late. I was feeling exhausted, cramping and lower back pain and gas the whole time leading up to the spotting. I had no cramping while spotting, the low energy level has remained. I can hardly stay wake after 2pm at work anymore. This is not normal for my body. I do not understand why, or if it’s a delayed period. Or if I should still expect my next period on its normal date… or if I have to update my calendar with a new cycle. I’m confused, this has never happened before other than my 3 pregnancies.

    • First possibility – in most cases morning after pills mess menstrual cycle because it is high doses of hormones which interfere in your cycle and change all levels of hormones; it can take 2-3 month to become normal again
      Second possibility – false pregnancy test – check in –

  38. Hi I am 38 years old and I have been having brown discharge since March on the days that I should be having my regular period. I also experience some pelvic pain and back pain with cramps. I have taken pregnancy tests and they are always negative. I am not using any Birth Control because my fiancee and I are trying to have a baby. Please advice on what could this be. Might I be going through premenopause? Or something else?

  39. Hi, I’m a little worried, I have been on the pill for 3 years now and since being on it my periods have been regular lasting 4-5 days and mostly heavy bleeding. Last month I was on holiday so took two packs of pills back to back (not having a period for 2 months) but when I had my period after the second pack it was two days late and was brown discharge for the full 4 days and very little bleeding almost none (only twice when I had been to toilet and wiped and noticed fresh blood) Other than this it didn’t last longer than usual but was just brown discharge which panicked me, should I be worried?

    • 2 packs of pills without interruption decreased your hormones (double) and you had “little and strange period”

  40. Had unprotected sex in the middle of May

    At end of May had late period that was bright red

    June and July instead of period only had brown discharge

    Went to gynecologist in June and was tested for pregnancy and result was negative. Taken 2 home pregnancy tests since and both have been negative as well.

    I have also been on lo loestrin for over 4 years and these are the first time having an irregular period.

    Could I be pregnant and these tests are wrong? What could be causing these issues very nervous.

    • birth control pills are reducing hormone levels; if you use it long, sometimes the level of hormones are going down (not enough for menstruation) – this could be your situation; may you can stop pills for few months and let your body to recover

  41. Hello
    I have seen this brown discharge for like 3 years. sometimes after that I had normal period, but about 3-4 months I had just brown discharge which are similar to red brown flakes. I used Spironolactone for my hair loss, and know that it decreases the intensity of bleeding, but I stopped using it. I am very concerned, am I prone to early Perimenopause? also, I am 31 years old, and do not have baby yet.

    • most medications have side effects and some disturb your hormones – if you stop all medications, your body will start producing normal hormones and you will have normal regular periods and you would be able to have children

  42. i were having exams during my period and after my period last month could this be the case of me being stress and will delay my period because it hasn’t come for 4 days now

  43. check all possible causes for late period in –

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