Birth control pills are most popular method of family planning and contraception. Usually birth control pills (combined oral contraceptives) contain two different hormones (estrogen and synthetic form of progesterone). Mentioned hormones could trigger birth control pills discharge which sometimes can be disturbing. In most cases estrogen component of birth control pills causes gradual increase in vaginal discharge because estrogen stimulates and increases the amount of vaginal lubricating secretion from vaginal glands. Progestin component of birth control pills could cause heavy vaginal discharge due to the hyper stimulation of cervix by excessive progesterone. In general, birth control pills discharge is not harmful as long as it does not change the color of vaginal discharge, does not trigger vaginal itching or vaginal burning sensation or irritation.
Some women welcome birth control pills discharge and increased vaginal lubrication (in cases of dry vagina) but sometimes it causes discomfort and concerns. In certain cases increased vaginal lubrication welcome vaginal infections causing unpleasant symptoms such as vaginal itching, vaginal burning sensation and vaginal smell (foul odor).
Birth control pills discharge causes
All women have certain amount of vaginal discharge – it is a result of normal healthy vaginal self-cleaning. Vaginal discharge is a mixture of vaginal secretion (lubrication), mucous, dead cells and local bacteria. Color, texture, volume, consistency and smell of vaginal discharge depend on several factors including vaginal bacteria, menstrual cycle (rhythmic hormonal fluctuations), type of birth control pills, nutrition, vaginal infections and period of life (age).
Normal vaginal discharge is usually white, clear or yellow without foul smell.
Birth control pills discharge could be triggered by several causes:
Hormonal components of birth control pills (not adequate doses for certain women),
Increased sensitivity to chosen birth control pills,
Vaginal infections (appeared unexpectedly during use of birth control pills – not correlated with pills).
Birth control pills discharge brown
Birth control pills discharge
Hormones of birth control pills could cause spotting from the uterine lining. When the amount of uterine spotting is very small, it usually stays inside the vagina and mix with cervical mucus. When uterine spotting blood remains inside of uterus, it is oxidized resulting in brown vaginal discharge. In all cases, brown discharge or brown spotting or black vaginal discharge is a result of old oxidized blood.
If you experience brown discharge on birth control pills, it could be normal body reaction (adjustment) to artificial (synthetic) hormones. This type of discharge could occur during first 6 months after beginning birth control pills. Usually it happens because birth control pills influence normal (biological) female hormonal levels which affect cyclic endometrial development. Low levels of birth control pills hormones can thin the uterus lining which sloughs off and presents as brown discharge during use of pills.
If you experience on-going brown discharge on birth control pills, it could be vaginal spotting due to too low doses of hormones in selected pills. In these cases you need to discuss the issue with your gynecologist and change the type of birth control pills with higher doses of hormones.
If you miss birth control pills (one or more), it will disturb your hormonal balance, thus upset your endometrium (uterine lining) causing unexpected expelling and brown discharge. Missed pills should be immediately compensated.
Different types of birth control pills contain different composition of hormones and different strength of hormonal components. Women could be sensitive to specific types of pills.
Main contraceptive effect of birth control pills is ovulation suppression but sometimes pills don’t do the work properly which could trigger brown discharge in the middle of menstrual cycle (between 10-14 days of cycle).
Birth control pills and vaginal infection
Women could have vaginal infections at any time of active reproductive life. Sometimes use of birth control pills could coincide with different kinds of vaginal infections including sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis). Main symptoms of vaginal infection include:
Colored intensive vaginal discharge (green or yellow or cottage-like or brown),
Vaginal burning sensation,
Pain or burning sensation during urination.
Birth control pills – side effects
Women still find birth control pill convenient and effective, even though there are some side effects including on-going vaginal discharge or brown spotting between periods. Before you start birth control pills, it is strongly recommended to learn all possible side effects:
Nausea – occurs when you first start taking birth control pills and will often go away in a few days;
Weight gain – appears in women with specific metabolism type;
Sore or swollen breasts – breasts may become tender and/or get larger;
Brown vaginal discharge or spotting – can occur during the first 1–3 weeks of starting the birth control pills, or if you miss pills;
Lighter periods – as a result of suppression of hormones and normal ovulation;
Mood changes – feeling up and down emotionally;
Headaches can occur because of stress or lack of sleep or some infections and birth control pills can make headaches better or worse.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.