It is well known that normal vaginal discharge is clear yellowish or cloudy white without any unpleasant odor. Vaginal discharging is natural vaginal cleaning process which is controlled by body protective mechanisms. Normal vaginal discharge can be changed depending on menstrual cycle phases, hormonal disturbances, stress, contraception or early pregnancy. Bur sometimes women experience black or brown vaginal discharge which is a sign of old blood which can be considered normal before or after menstrual periods but it can also be a symptom of several diseases. Big changes in vaginal secretion could indicate vaginal infections, inflammation or other diseases. Sometimes black vaginal discharge could indicate the presence of serious diseases including cervical cancer. Black discharge causes could be different.
Black discharge common causes
Connected to menstrual periods (uterine cleansing from old blood);
Implantation bleeding (during fertilized egg implantation into uterine lining);
Missed pills (missed birth control pills could cause unexpected irregular black or brown vaginal discharge);
Menopause (dramatic decrease of hormones).
Black discharge causes – connected to menstrual periods
Black vaginal discharge is not common phenomenon; in most cases, it occurs due to the old blood left over after normal menstrual period. It is normal to have brown or black vaginal discharge right before period or several days after menstruation. But black vaginal secretion during other days of menstrual cycle should always alarm you. Sometimes black vaginal discharge could appear after late period which could be a result of blood being oxidized.
Black discharge causes
In following cases the black discharge should not be a subject for concern:
Few days before expected normal menstrual period (less than 3-4 days) – it actually indicates the start of normal menstrual blood flow;
Few days after normal menstrual period (less than 3-4 days) – it is body cleaning up from remained menstrual blood and expulsion of old endometrial tissue;
Just in the middle of menstrual cycle coincided with ovulation – it appears due to short hormonal pick just before ovulation.
Black discharge causes – implantation
If you missed your period and experience black or brown vaginal discharge, it could be so called “implantation bleeding”. It occurs when fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining. Uterine lining is full of blood vessels which can be ruptured by the embryo during implantation (attachment) to the uterine wall. Usually implantation bleeding appears 6-12 days after egg fertilization. Only 30% of pregnant women could experience implantation bleeding.
Black discharge causes – pregnancy abnormalities
Miscarriage is a common cause of abnormal pink, brown or black vaginal discharge. In most cases, hormonal deficit or imbalance triggers pregnancy interruption in small area which could end up with brown or black discharge. It is alarming symptom and medical interventions could prevent full miscarriage.
Sometimes ectopic pregnancy cause abnormal black vaginal discharge. If abnormal unexpected vaginal discharge combines with missed period, pelvic pain, dizziness and fever, it could be ectopic pregnancy.
Black discharge causes – PID
Irregular black vaginal discharge combined with unpleasant vaginal odor, pelvic pain, frequent and painful urination, vaginal burning sensation and fever could be symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is actually spread inflammation in reproductive organs including vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries. In most cases PID triggered by sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, trichomoniasis or Chlamydia.
Black discharge causes – connected to birth control pills
While birth control pills are insuring highly appreciated contraception effect, they are changing the normal hormonal balance of the menstrual cycle through decreasing levels of hormones which are responsible for endometrial normal development. As a result, the uterus lining is becoming so thin that it sometimes sloughs off a little bit and appearing as unpleasant unexpected black or brown vaginal discharge. Missed pills are disturbing the whole hormonal mechanisms and “upsetting” the endometrium more which also could trigger black discharge.
Black discharge causes – menopause
Menopause is a time of dramatic hormonal decrease which could trigger endometrial ruptures and local small bleedings from uterine lining. Black vaginal discharge sometimes could be a symptom of cancer.
Black discharge rare causes
Foreign object in the vagina;
Puberty retained menses.
Black discharge causes – foreign object in the vagina
Any foreign object (tampon, condom, etc.) in the vagina could traumatize vagina and trigger black vaginal discharge combined with foul smell and discomfort in the vaginal area.
Black discharge causes – cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is a possible cause of irregular black vaginal discharge and foul vaginal odor. Actually, this blackish discharge could be the very early sign of cervical cancer (especially in menopausal women).
Black discharge causes – cervical stenosis
Some women (commonly after 40-45) could experience black vaginal discharge because of cervical stenosis – the narrowing of the cervix, which can obstruct or drastically slow the flow of menstrual blood.
Black discharge during puberty – retained menses
Retained menses usually connected to first menstrual period when menstrual blood is trapped in the uterus and cannot exit the body. It happened when hymen almost fully covers the exit from vagina. When first menstruation occurs, the blood cannot exit through the vagina.
It is well known that vaginal discharge can be changed during menstrual cycle (during month) depending on hormonal fluctuations and days of menstrual cycle. Usually healthy normal vaginal discharge is…
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.