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Birth control discharge brown

Birth control pills are most popular modern contraception which has several well known unpleasant confusing side effects. Most common birth control pills side effects include changes in menstrual cycle, brown discharge, weight gain, sore breasts, bloating, nausea or vomiting. Birth control discharge brown is the most common typical embarrassing side effect that many women deal with regularly (every month). Sometimes brown discharge could be a sign of normal body adaptation to new birth control pills and can occur only during first 1-3 months. Birth control discharge brown can be triggered by several factors including hormonal disturbances, missed pills, vaginal infections, uterine cleaning from old blood, fibroids, etc.

Before discussing main causes of brown discharge during use of birth control pills, it is important to mention the mechanism which insures contraceptive effect of pills.

Birth control discharge brown – Birth control pills – mechanism of action

Birth control pills contain two hormonal components – estrogen and progestine. Both hormones work together and prevent pregnancy through few mechanisms:

First, pills block ovulation every month and prevent release of egg from mature dominant ovarian follicle. Estrogen and progestine components reduce levels of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, change monthly rhythmic hormonal fluctuations and make impossible adequate development of follicles and suppress ovulation.

Second, birth control pills alter cervical mucus – making hard for spermatozoids to penetrate through cervix in direction to uterus and Fallopian tubes.

Third, hormonal components of pills change also uterine internal lining – making almost impossible implantation of possibly fertilized egg.

Fourth, birth control pills change also internal lining in Fallopian tubes – making very difficult movements of active spermatozoids.

Birth control discharge brown – hormonal disturbances

Birth control discharge brown

While birth control pills are insuring all above actions, they are changing normal rhythmic hormonal fluctuations by reducing levels of several hormones which are responsible for normal development of uterus internal lining (endometrium). As a result, endometrium becomes thin and fragile. That type of transformation makes possible partial endometrial disconnections which could trigger unpleasant brown discharge. According to health experts, this type of brown discharge during birth control pills can be considered normal during first 1-6 months of use. It is kind of body adaptation and adjustment to new synthetic hormones received with birth control pills.

Birth control discharge brown – missed pills

Common reason for brown discharge during birth control pills could be missed pills. It is well known that pills should be consumed every day approximately at the same time without any interruptions. Missed pills can disturb whole hormonal contraceptive cycle and upset uterine internal lining and cause brown vaginal discharge.

If you miss pills, better read next article “Missed pills” and learn how to compensate missed 1-2-3-4 pills and how insure effective contraception during this period of time.

Taking pills according to instructions (every day at precisely the same time) could eliminate episodes of brown discharge.

General rule

If you missed one active (hormone) pill, just take it immediately as soon as you remember and continue as it was scheduled or just take a double dose the next day.

Birth control discharge brown – doses

Most modern birth control pills contain two hormonal synthetic components (estrogen and progestin). Different types of birth control pills from various pharmaceutical companies contain dissimilar combinations of both hormones. In most cases the concentration of estrogen component can vary and different types of progestin component may be used in several birth control pills. In general, concentration of estrogen, type of progestin and combined doses can play crucial role in contraceptive effect, in frequency of side effects and in personal sensitivity to pills. This is why certain pills could trigger unpleasant brown discharge.

If you experience brown discharge during use of pills and if you never miss pills, better change the type of birth control pills with different hormonal combinations.

Birth control discharge brown – ovulation

One of most important mechanism of pills action is suppression of ovulation but sometimes birth control pills (expired or bad quality) don’t work properly and are not able to eliminate ovulation. In this cases women could experience mid cycle brown discharge. Only solution is to change the type of pills and check expiration dates.

If pills didn’t work, you could have ovulation and you can become pregnant. In this cases women could experience so called “implantation bleeding” – bleeding correlating with the period of time when fertilized egg burrows into the uterine internal lining. It could trigger brown discharge or brown spotting on average between 6 to 12 days after ovulation.

Birth control discharge brown – vaginal infections

Sometimes birth control discharge brown could occur not because of pills but because of vaginal infections. Women could get vaginal infections any time of active sexual life (especially not protected). Most common vaginal infections include yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted infections (trichomoniasis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea). In cases of vaginal infections women would experience not only brown discharge but also vaginal itching, burning sensation, vaginal odor, green discharge, cottage cheese discharge, frequent painful urination, etc.

Birth control discharge brown – personal sensitivity

Modern people have too many allergies and sensitivities to different components. As it was mentioned earlier, birth control pills could have different hormonal components, different strengths of hormones and different hormonal combinations. Some women could be sensitive to certain hormones or to certain concentrations or to certain combinations. If you experience on-going non-stop brown discharge from beginning of pills, better change the type of pills.

Birth control discharge brown – fibroids

Small benign “sleeping” (without symptoms) uterine fibroids are not a subject of concern. In general fibroids are estrogen sensitive and if you start using birth control pills, they could “disturb” fibroids and could cause not only brown discharge but also uterine bleeding. At the same time, estrogen component of pills could stimulate growing of fibroids.


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