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Black discharge and cramps

During reproductive period some women experience black vaginal discharge combined with cramps. In most cases black vaginal discharge can be associated with menstrual period and old endometrial tissues. It could be seen when menstrual flow has taken longer than usual to exit reproductive organs (uterus, cervix and vagina). Sometimes black discharge is just vaginal self-cleaning. Black discharge and cramps could be very unpleasant combination.

Black discharge combined with cramps can be a symptom of several health conditions in women – it could happen during menstrual period, ovulation, miscarriage, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, cervicitis and fibroids.

Black discharge and cramps during menstrual period

Normal menstrual period involves the shedding of the uterine lining and menstrual flow (bleeding) during few days. It is a sign of the beginning of next menstrual cycle and it usually occurs every 28-36 days depending on the individual. Some women could experience short black discharge (1-2 days) before and/or after menstrual period which should not be a subject of concern. Menstrual cramps during mentioned period also can be just temporary (as a symptom of uterus contractions). But it would be useful to check all possible causes for menstrual cramps on next page.

Black discharge and cramps during ovulation

Some women can experience short cramps during ovulation and sometimes it can be combined with black vaginal spotting. It could be just response of uterus to increased levels of hormones during ovulation. If you had short cramping (30-60 minutes) and slight black discharge in the middle of your menstrual cycle, just consider it as a sign of ovulation.

Black discharge and cramps during miscarriage

Black discharge and cramps

Black discharge and cramps could be symptoms of spontaneous pregnancy interruption (miscarriage). It is well known that about 15% of fertilized eggs are lost before the egg even has a chance to implant in the uterus wall. During very early miscarriage (before or during menstrual period) women could have black vaginal discharge or light spotting or bleeding combined with uterine contractions and abdominal cramps.

Most common causes of miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy could be hormonal dysfunctions, infections, stress, uterus abnormalities, chromosomal abnormalities, collagen vascular disease or diabetes.

Black discharge and cramps during pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is very specific inflammation triggered by infection which can affect reproductive organs (uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries). It can lead to pelvic adhesions and scar tissue that develops between internal organs, causing ongoing pelvic pain, infertility and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. PID can be triggered by sexually transmitted infections. Sexually active women between the ages of 20 and 31 are at the greatest risk of acquiring the PID through sexually transmitted bacteria. During PID women could have cramps and black discharge between periods.

The most common symptoms of PID include spread pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen, pelvic pain, bleeding between periods, specific smelly vaginal discharge, fever and chills, nausea and/or vomiting, discomfort during sex.

Black discharge and cramps during ectopic tubal pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when fertilized egg attaches outside of uterine cavity. In most cases ectopic pregnancy appeared in Fallopian tubes (so called “tubal pregnancy”).
Usually ectopic pregnancy is not surviving and in most cases the embryo stops developing at early stages. Before and during tubal miscarriage (pregnancy interruption inside of Fallopian tubes) women could experience black discharge and cramps.

During tubal pregnancy women could have also other symptoms such as lower abdomen pain, period delay, vaginal bleeding or spotting, dizziness or fainting (caused by blood loss), low blood pressure (also caused by blood loss).

Black discharge and cramps during endometriosis

Endometriosis is the growth of cells similar to those that form the inside of the uterus (endometrial cells) in atypical places (outside of uterus). Endometrial cells are the same cells that are shed each month during menstruation – they called “endometriosis implants”.
These implants are most commonly found on ovaries, Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They can also be found on bladder, liver, surgery scars, lungs and even brain. When endometrial implants appear in vagina and cervix, they trigger black discharge and cramps.

General symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, pelvic pain and infertility. Pelvic pain in women with endometriosis depends partly on where the implants of endometriosis are located – usually deeper implants and implants in areas with many pain-sensitive nerves could be more likely to produce cramps and pain.

Black discharge and cramps during cervicitis

Cervical inflammation called “cervicitis” which is one of common conditions in sexually active women. In most cases cervicitis develops as a result of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Cervicitis could occasionally be caused by exposure to chemical irritants, the use of a diaphragm and/or allergies to condoms.

Women with cervicitis could experience unpleasant irregular black vaginal discharge and cramps. Other symptoms of cervicitis include black or brown spotting between periods, pain during or after intercourse, unusual vaginal discharge and pressure in the abdomen and pelvis.

Black discharge and cramps during fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the lining of the uterus, inside of uterus or outside of uterus. Fibroids can have various shapes and different sizes. The main reasons for development of uterine fibroids are hormonal dysfunctions and genetic predispositions. It was noted the increased frequency of uterine fibroids in obese women and older women (after 35-40).

Women with uterine fibroids often could experience cramps and irregular black vaginal discharge. Other symptoms of uterine fibroids include reddish or dark spotting between periods, pelvic pain, frequent urination, pain during sexual contacts, lower back pain and abdominal fullness.

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