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BROWN SMELLY DISCHARGE

BROWN DISCHARGE

By the end of your menstrual cycle usually the thickened uterine lining and extra blood are shed through the vaginal canal. Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) accompanied by bleeding – menstruation represents the uterine wall being discharged from the body when the woman does not become pregnant. It is well known that normal color of menstrual flow is red and any discoloration commonly causes alarm.

Brown colored discharge during menstrual flow is fairly common among women.
In general, discoloration is commonly a result of the long menstrual period – the long period means that the blood has become oxidized thereby causing the change in color. When this is the reason for the discoloration of menstrual flow, there is no cause for alarm.

But in several cases brown discharge could be a signal for vaginal infections, hormonal dysfunctions, stress, polyps, fibroids, cancer, etc.

Brown smelly discharge

Brown smelly discharge

SMELLY DISCHARGE

It is normal for every woman’s vagina to have a unique smell; it is natural. Even when you notice a recent difference in its smell, it is not necessarily an infection. That change may be linked to a specific moment of your menstrual cycle because the smell of your vaginal discharge can vary depending on the time of the cycle.

Becoming familiar with the healthy discharge smell of your vagina can help you determine when there is a problem. Changes in vaginal discharge smell occur throughout the menstrual cycle but can also result from yeast infections, sexually transmitted infections, Trichomoniasis, Bacterial Vaginosis and some other causes.

Vaginal discharge is clear or milky white when a female is not on her period. During menstruation, this discharge keeps the vagina clean. Healthy vaginal discharge thickens and increases when you are sexually stimulated, when you are breastfeeding, or when you ovulate.

BROWN SMELLY DISCHARGE

If woman have few problems in reproductive system, she could have both brown discharge and smelly discharge.

Main causes of brown smelly discharge include combinations of possible causes of Brown Discharge and Smelly discharge.

Brown Discharge possible causes

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Genital warts (HPV)
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Vulvovaginitis (vulvo-vaginal inflammation)
  • Menopause
  • Hormonal dysfunctions and/or disbalance
  • Endometriosis
  • Missed pills
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Cysts, polyps (of cervix, vagina, or uterus), fibroids.
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Cervical cancer

Smelly Discharge possible causes

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Poor hygiene
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Unusual object in vagina
  • “Losing” a tampon in vagina
  • Recto-vaginal fistula
  • Cancer of the cervix

89 Comments

  1. hey I had an abortion last year December and recently my nipple area is sore I get extremely painful cramps followed by blood and since last week I’ve been getting smelly Brown sometimes clear discharge…wat is going on are there natural ways to clean my vagina

    • Read “Natural Remedies for Vaginal Smell” and “Bacterial Vaginosis Natural Remedies” in this website.

      • I have same problem if could help pls because its giving me stress since after i had an abortion 2012.

        • if you start having brown discharge after abortion in 2012 – better visit your gynecologist

  2. I have been having light brown discharge for a few weeks now before, after and randomly in between my periods. Sometimes it has a strong odor sometimes it is more of a sweet smell. I just got tested for STDs and HIV from my doctor and everything came back negative. I am wondering what else it could be. I have missed taking my BC pills on time lately, I haven’t been taking them at the same time every day. I also stopped taking them for about a month and I didn’t have any of these signs until I started taking them again, could I be allergic to this brand? I have had to switch before because I was having too long of periods.

  3. Ok so I’ve gotten my period at least a week or so earlier than normal. I understand that this could just be my cycle changing, but it’s weird for the simple fact that my period usually last four to five days. I’ve bled pass seven days and now I have this brown smelly discharge. Almost smells like my discharge after I had my daughter in 2013.

  4. I have not started my first period yet and I thought it had come. I have been having white discharge for probably over a year and now it is brown and smelly. It of course is given i am a virgin due to my lack of having started the menstral cycle and I didn’t understand practically any of the causes other than some of the diseases that I know are sexually transmitted. I have no idea what is happening! Anyone care to help me out?

  5. Hi, I have pcos and I’ve been on metformin for 6 weeks now. I have unprotected sex all the times. A few days ago I got a spotting and today i saw a brown discharge. What does this mean?

    • it depends on which day of cycle you had spotting

  6. I am having this brown stinky discharge after my last period this have never happened and I have been going to the doctor’s on and off. Before this unusual discharge I had come to know that I have endometriosis and a 3.5cm cyst on my left ovary. I have very unusual period as well, they don’t usually come after 28 days, in march I had two periods ( first one was on the 5th and the second one was on the 31st).The only thing that I am concerned is what’s this brown discharge that I am having now?

  7. I had surgery both above and below about two weeks ago. I had a tear in my uterus and was stitched up I also had a cyst removed. I am now experiencing this dark brown discharge along with fever and pain this all has come and gone over a couple of days however it is affecting how I feel physically any suggestions?

    • fever+pain+brown discharge – could be infection/inflammation – better visit your doctor

  8. I’ve always had white milky discharge, now for about a month (before and after my period) it’s turned dark brown and stringy? It’s more itchy down there, not all the time and it has a super strong odor. Should I call my dr? Or can it wait till my yearly appt?

  9. I have recently been having a lot of different issues going on. Last month my period was about a week early and this month it is 2 weeks late and still have not started. Last month my period was shorter and this month I had some spotting. but now I have this awful brownish pink discharge and it has an awful odor. Along with this has been some cramping?

  10. I have been getting yellowish/ light brown discharge. Im kind of scared cuss this has never happened to me before, i say this because around the inside like the sides of my vagina it kind of itches at times & burns at the same time. I don’t know if its because my period its on its way or not. I just honestly do not like this.

  11. Hi i have previously posted saying i am bleeding after intercourse and that was on april 10 . So today even still aim bleeding and it sometimes comes in red and brown discharge, and very very bad door. i have even back pain so much tat i shouldn’t sit for more than 5 minutes. i even have abdomen pain and burning sensation in the night time. Can u please help me out.

    • This hasn’t been answered yet, so I would like to tell you, please… these symptoms are very worrisome. Anytime you have unexpected bleeding lasting more than a few days that was caused by rough or unusual intercourse (different from spotting) you should see a doctor for some exams. They will probably do a vaginal ultrasound to be sure your tissues have not been torn and healing incorrectly since it was son long since the intercourse and still having pain and bleeding. In general, whenever your body is preventing you from normal activity – like you can’t sit comfortably – or sleeping poorly, etc… please see a doctor asap.

  12. I started getting some spotting/brown discharge yesterday and am still having it today. I pretty sure I’m ovulating but the discharge smells a little funny. I’m a Virgin so it’s not possible to have an std. Just concerned on what it could be.

    • during ovulation it can happen

  13. Hey. I have been having a yellowish kinda brownish discharge and it doesn’t smell really bad. I have been sexually active but my boyfriend have always used protection. It is possible that it’s a pregnancy spotting?

  14. i had a brown discharge after protected sex. what can be the problem?

    • could be small vaginal trauma

  15. I am extremely concerned about what is going on with me. I have been seeing what i believe is blood consistenly over the past few months. At first it seemed like a never ending cycle with crampinG throughout on and of and then the regular bad cramps around what i believed was my monthly cycle. Some months it seemed like i had 2 cycles, some nonstop as I constantly am in a pad even if its light. As of lately this past cycle i was having cramping but no bleeding. The first day or 2 i noticed a pink like discharge seemed like it was coming from my clitoris. When i wipe i would see a hint of blood as if my period wanted to come. 2 days later i believe it came. Seemee rather lighter not heavy or consistent as usual over the next few days. What alarmed me is the brown smelly sometimes watery and consistently dark brown liquid/discharge or blood directly after that seemed to come from either somewhere above or from my clit. I determined this because of where the liquid would appear on pad and underwear. i would wipe to see if came from the entry of my vagina but it didnt seem to. There was times i thought i was also losing liquid from my anus or elsewhere God knows where. I have also experience lots of itching in my ankles and wrist. Numbness in my toe, nasty taste in my mouth lots oF thick mucus, congestion, migraines and feeling extremely hot/hot flashes when everyone else is cold. Severely Cold feet and hands while the rest of my bidy is warm. I don’t know what is going on with me. I have been under some stress for some time over the oast few months, at my heaviest I’ve ever been 183, haven’t been sexually active in quite some time months though married no external partners. Idk what to do. I have no insurance and dont know where to start or who to see. No income. Please help. Any advice on this constant discharge thats brown smells not fishy but offensive to me with cramping on n off thats seems to come from the top of my vaginal lips somewhere. thank you for your help and time. Sorry for the long post.

    • better to visit your gynecologist

    • Were you able to see a gynecologist ? I have been experiencing the same problems and it is very stressful and makes me feel depressed. I have an appointment on the 26th, but I just wanted to see if you found out anything about it. Please let me know. Thanks.

    • The doctor’s answer is legally what she should say, but it is not helpful to you… I see you have NO INSURANCE, and NO INCOME. I have this problem, too. And whenever I have a problem they say “see your general doctor” or “see your gynecologist”. No, I cannot afford it, and they will not take payments. The best answer in a case when you MUST be seen and cannot pay is to see an Emergency Room (in the United States, at least) and they will treat you for anything that is causing immediate disruption of your body (like you are describing you will probably get just a swab for infections and maybe blood tests) and though this puts pressure on the economy, and you will be billed later (and if you can’t pay it will just go on your credit report) but sometimes it is the ONLY way you can get treatment for something that can get very bad, very quickly. I hope you have already been seen, but if not, please go!

  16. I recently had an abortion. .I also had put in a iud….its going on 3 weeks and I got antibiotics “cephalex” will this help with my brown smelly discharge? I am worried that its something else..do I need to see the doctor?

    • after abortion you could have brown discharge during few weeks; antibiotics are very useful – everything should disappear after 2 weeks of antibiotics; if not – try FEMANOL – http://www.women-info.com/en/vaginal-odor/

  17. i had this discharge after i gave birth at my early age,but it never stopped and now it has turned to brown and now i have some sort of lumps in and out of my vagina now it’s the 4th year i dnt knw wat to do and am scared of going to a doctor .at the same time i dont fall pregnant does this mean i wont have a baby again pls help

    • most probably you have vaginal infection which should be treated – it could be a cause for infertility

  18. i am 18 yrs old i got a baby when i was 14 yrs and since there i’ve had this extremely bad smelng discharge & i developed some small lumps in and out of my vagina and anus.I went to a doctor and i did pap smear he gave some medication together with my boyfriend.The infection seems like going away but it didn’t.so my man sugested a traditonal healing we went to the traditional healer and she said somethings about ma man getng this disease from his ex and she said she is going to help but i dont see any change.My man sometimes have a drop when we had sex because we dont use protection.I am having painfully cramps in my abdomen sometimes feels like something is cutting me and kicking in there.This discharge is too smelly now and so dirty like brownish the worse part is we want a child but i dont get pregnant.Am so confused am even having a rush like in my body and it leaves terrible scars in such a way that i cant wear vests and ma body itches after having a bath ma back aches i cant sit for like 5 mins n it its burning.does this means i wont have a baby again because this things cant go away down there and they sometimes itches and always wet of this smelly discharge pls help what to do am scared of seeing a doctor and to tell parents

  19. Hi, i hope you can help me. I have recently started being sexually active with my partner but we make sure to use a condom every time or make sure he doesn’t discharge anything in me. We started about 10 days before my period, and my period came 3 days ago. I’m quite sure its my period as hte flow is very heavy, nothing out of the ordinary. But today, into the third day theres no more blood just some brown-ness, which is normal. But i noticed a little blood, unlike my usual menstruation blood. It is much lighter and thinner. Not sure if this is what they call spotting. And it smells a little weird too. I’m not sure if it always smells like this tho, never really noticed. Nothing else out of the ordinary so maybe i’m just being paranoid. I’m just worried, hopefully you can advice me! Thank you!

  20. Doctor may u plc tell me where can i get such a good gynecologist ,am at Mpumalanga.And estimations of how much it can cost me to get treated and getng rid of this lumps.something else has happened my menstruation blood is so week and too smelly

    • I know there is a good service for women organized by IPPF Africa Region, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – you can contact them through Internet, Facebook and ask for help – there should be service close to your home place

  21. I have been getting my period but when it comes on it’s a dark brown with a bad smell. It’s been happening for the last 5 months. my last birth control well I will say my last depo shot was back in June of 2014 and ever since then I have not gotten a regular Period. In January that’s when I started bleeding but it was brown with a bad odor. I am very concerned and worried because back in 2009 I had a LEEP procedure done and ever since then I’ve been trying to get pregnant and nothing ever happens. But I did get pregnant once in 2012 and a week later I had a miscarriage, but ever since then things have not been right I can’t get pregnant and then I’m having problems with my period with it being brown with a smell all the time now. Do you think the LEEP procedure has caused this problem. I had LEEP PROCEDURE done because I kept having abnormal test result done during my pregnancy with my son in 2009. Had to have it done after I gave birth to him. so I needed your help on what I should do should I see my OB or go to the hospital for this problem.

    • you definitely need OB professional treatment – most probably you have both vaginal infection + hormonal dysfunctions – and both can be treated and you can get pregnant after proper treatments

  22. I have the most awful smelling vaginal discharge. It is brownish. I’ve had it for three weeks now. It is not itchy and I don’t have any bruises. It became worse just before my period. I’m worried that people can smell it. Are there any home remedies I can use?

  23. I had a colopscopy 3 weeks ago, since then I have had a brown sweet smelling heavy discharge :( I seen a doctor who took swabs to check for infection but I am still waiting on any results. I am worried this charge can mean something bad, it is showing no signs of stopping at all.
    t
    There had been a lot of changes from my last colopscopy she had to take 10 samples so I bled heavy then.
    Also had my 3rd baby 15 weeks ago.

  24. Just recently I went camping for three days and did not shower and was not near any facilities to shower or use the restroom till I returned home. And when I returned home I had some bad news with my mothers health. Which has caused an exrltreme amount of stress on me lately. I recently had sex with my partner as well after going quite sometime with out vaginal intercourse. I am a 21 year old female and my last pap smear came back abnormal a month ago. Do you have any advice for me on this for the reason. Which my discharge is a brown color and sometimes an order.

  25. I haven’t been sexally active for over a year now.I gave been feeling a little cramps for about 2 days now and this morning,there has been some light red discharge which turned brown once it stayed on my underwear.my periods are 2 days late. Could their be a problem.please doc help

    • every woman during reproductive ages can have temporary problems with menstrual cycle because of stress, travel, overwork, loneliness, etc. – if it happen only once, it is not a big deal

  26. I have been having light brown bleeding for almost ten days now I’ve been peeing a lot with headaches almost every day. I have abnormal periods I have one like every three months. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what’s going on

  27. I have irregular periods. (Last had it in march 2015 and October 2014). Not pregnant I have light bleeding in my clear discharge and it has a foul odor. This is the first time this has ever hapoened. I have no other symptoms. What could it be?

  28. I’m 45 yoa and I was on my period for almost 3weeks very heavy..then it stopped but I continued to have a light sometimes dark brown discharge and very smelly never have I encountered that . What could it be?

  29. Im suffering from Amennorhea and im trying to fall pregnant, however I have recently been having a brown smelly discharge what could be the cause?

    • brown discharge during amenorrhea means your endometrium (internal line of uterus) is growing (not enough!) and getting out from uterus; with that kind of hormonal dysfunction you cannot get pregnant without treatment

  30. I’m 20 years old and for a few years now I’ve been having irregular cycles of my period. And many times I have brown discharge randomly. I’m still a virgin but I do masturbate. I don’t have any other problems with my body so I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

  31. I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks in dec and then a ‘suspected’ very early miscarriage aprox 2-4 weeks in early April. I didn’t get a period at the beginning of the month in May, which would be in keeping if I did indeed miscarry; my period this month is over 2 weeks late. Yesterday however I had a very light bleed which has got heavier, I believe this is finally my period except it has a strange smell and is darker than usual, almost brown. Other symptoms I’ve had include a very hard abdomen and stomach, light cramping, sensitive nipples and pain during sex. I’ve also experience pain in my abdomen when I’ve needed to use the toilet for a poo.

    Any advice? Could this be an infection from the miscarriage or a cyst of some sort?

  32. I am 5 years past my menopause.and lately i had some strange symptoms that got me worried. I all started with a dime size pimple on the right side close near my pubic line still within the hair area.
    Then i experienced swollen nipples and a very swollen Vagina that got itchy when in contact with soap ,accompanied a clear odorless discharge that seemed to flush out the irritants….the swelling went away after two weeks.It was followed by and odorless brown discharge and now every third day or so I have a smelly brown discharge and I feel like I was on my period again.I must add that I have been consuming dairy products.with have always caused me to experience some pm similar symptoms.

  33. On the day of my lmp I had clear smelly discharge. A few hours later I started feeling uterine contractions. A few more hours and I have extremely light bleeding for 3 days straight(but getting heavier each day). I then noticed a dramatic change on the third day. I suddenly bled more to compensate. By the fifth day it was really light again.

    Is this clear smelly discharge normal several hours before menstruation?

  34. I had a yeast infection and started bleeding and there is brown discharge , how long can this last?

    • during 5-10 days (if you had correct proper treatment)

  35. I had a pill abortion 2 weeks ago this is my 3rd week. I had heavy bleeding for a week and a half then it turned to light pink but it didn’t smell, now the discharge has turned dark brown and it has a strong bad smell. What can it be? It has never smelled before.

  36. Hi I’m a little concern about my discharge 2 days ago I notice I was spotting sort of brownish with a tint of red, thought it may be the starting of my mentrual which it was suppose to start by the end of this week, thinking the next day I’d start my heavy flow but didn’t and continue with this brownish discharge, today was a bit heavier but still brown if I wipe I can see red tint but more brown, I wanna mention I’m breastfeeding for almost 8 months prior to pregnancy I was very regular if I missed a period it always was due to pregnancy but this is my first long term breastfeeding (4th child) I’m exclusively breastfeeding and my first period was around 5 months missed a period then got it in June very normal as usual so since not only am I new to long term breastfeeding but to this irregular menstruation, should I worry? Help

    • during breastfeeding women have hormonal fluctuations; once prolactin (hormone for lactation) will go down, your hormones will jump up and it could be the explanation of some unusual brown discharge (reaction of endometrium)

  37. I’m a 37 yr old mother of three. All are teens now, and I’ve been happily involved for 17 years, in a stable, monogamous marriage. Neither my husband, nor myself, have any history of STD’s or infidelity. My last well woman’s check up revealed all normal, including breast exam & PAP smear. However, I started my menstrual very, very young (8). I was told around 10 years ago, I was perimenopausal, and confirmed this past February, I’m nearing the end of that time and getting ready to hit menopause. I experience nightsweats, hot flashes, mood swings, concentration issues, fatigue, insomnia, & on. I’ve closely tracked my period for years, and never been late unless pregnant.

    Last month, I was a day late for the first time in years. It did start the next day with typical 7 day flow, heavy at first as always, and light at the end with a week of brown discharge. This month, my period was on time, BUT the last day of my period, I had oral surgery, removing all 4 wisdom teeth & a hard recovery after. It’s been almost two weeks since my period. I’m on no birth control (haven’t been in years), and currently my cycles shows I’m at medium risk for pregnancy, so we are refraining from intercourse. For the first time though, during my ovulation time..it’s far thicker, sweeter smelling, and at times even a light brown coloring.

    Is this due to the surgery, the week long use of hydrocodone for the pain, my change coming, stress from the surgery & healing, or part of my ovulation cycle that just happens to be a bit funky this month? Or is it a weird combination of everything? I feel silly asking, but I’ve always been very intune with myself, and this has me curious now. Thank you so much for thoughts, advice, and you time.

  38. hi…m 21 years pls.i last saw my period on 29 of may and i had unprotected sex on the 7th of may.felt i was pregnant and i took an abortion pill But didnt bleed.But i v been feeling irritated nd Tired in my stomach.i often wake up wit pains on my bck nd legs.i ovulated two weeks ago and it was painful but since then i hvnt seen my period. i keep feelong like Its coming But all i see is brownish discharge wit offensive odor.pls i need ur keep.

  39. So i had protected sex 3 days ago & my period is due on the 11th but came today(the 8th)
    I realized during the day that it wasn’t quite like my other periods but instead the flow was slightly heavy but was brown & very watery with a high odor.
    I am getting all my menstrual symptoms (Nausea, fatigue, cramps, constipation, tender breasts, bloating).
    My boyfriend & I are very worried.
    Can i be pregnant ?

  40. It is not a huge problem, but I have been having some PMS symptoms, and my normal, clear discharge now smells like my period normally does (coppery like blood, but not foul) and I even tried having a little intense sex to provoke my period but nothing is coming yet. I have very unusual cycles and cannot predict at all when the next period will start. have taken pregnancy test (negative) and basal temp is normal. Is there a reason to smell like a period but not have one? Should I be worried when I can smell the blood but nothing is coming out no matter how long I am waiting? Thank you.

    • smell is very subjective, I would not pay attention – you better discover the real cause for irregular periods and get proper treatment – it is important for future reproductive function – see all possible causes for irregular periods in – http://www.women-info.com/en/irregular-periods/

  41. Hi, I took the morning after pill about a month ago now and since then I have had At least two periods and have had brown discharge almost every day. It was thick and pinky brown but now it’s liquid brown and its smelly! I don’t know who to see to get an answer!

    • sometimes morning after pills can mess the cycle; your gynecologist can answer all your questions

  42. Im 36. Thick brown discharge daily and a really fowl smell of old BO and blood for the last 4 years (you can smell it outside of my clothes after a shower). I have not had intercourse for the last three years and was married for 10 years before that. The smell is not present while bleeding on my period after first day. The smell is stronger after I use my vibrator though. I have the paragard IUD in for last 5 years. I have gone to several Dr’s. They see the discharge and the smell but can not find anything wrong with me-no infection present and tested for everything a couple of times. They have tried treating it like a PID, vaginal creams, changes in my diet…nothing has helped. Any ideas (please)???

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