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Black discharge – what it could mean ?

Black vaginal discharge can be disturbing. Some women experience very short brown or black discharge before or after menstrual period which should not be a subject for concern. But sometimes black discharge could be early sign of several infections and diseases. In most cases the dark discharge occurs due to the old blood left over after menstruation or embryo implantation.

In general, vaginal discharge is useful healthy phenomena because it is the way how body cleans vagina from dead cells and bacteria. In many cases, black discharge also means vaginal cleaning – body is getting rid of old blood (remains from last menstrual cycle or remains of shaded uterine lining). In general, healthy vagina emits normal secretions that regulate and keep it clean.

In cases of vaginal infections and diseases, still vagina is getting rid of damaged old bleeding tissue, proliferated bacteria and dead cells.

If vaginal secretion suddenly changes the color, it can indicate the presence of vaginal infections, serious diseases and even cervical cancer.

Black discharge after normal menstrual period

Black or brown discharge 1-2 days before normal menstrual period could be just uterus clearing out some old blood and uterine lining. It is also normal to have dark discharge during few days after period (old menstrual blood may be the cause).

During menstrual irregularities, some black or brown or pinkish discharge could appear randomly which could be a sign of hormonal disturbances and result of uterine lining dysfunction – it means bleeding has occurred at some point. The darker is the color of vaginal discharge, the older is the blood.

Black discharge triggered by implantation bleeding

Black discharge – what it could mean?

If black, brown or pinkish vaginal discharge or spotting occurs 6-12 days after egg fertilization, it could be a sign of embryo implantation (attachment) to the uterine lining (uterine wall). As uterine lining is full of blood vessels, implantation itself could trigger small local bleeding – as the fertilized egg burrows, it can cause some bleeding. This type of vaginal discharge called “implantation bleeding” which usually appears in 30% of all pregnant women.

Black discharge caused by miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most dangerous and emotional complication of wanted pregnancy. Heavy clotted bleeding is more typical for miscarriage but very early stages of miscarriage could trigger pinkish, brown or black vaginal discharge. At this moment, it is still possible to save the pregnancy and urgent medical care would be recommended.

Black discharge triggered by vaginal foreign objects

Missed tampon or condom or any other foreign object could be the cause of vaginal infections, inflammation, old bleeding, black or brownish stinky vaginal discharge. The most dangerous rare complication could be toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Black discharge during PID

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) are usually triggered by sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, Chlamydia, etc. Usually inflammation starts in vagina and spread to uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Typical symptoms of PID include irregular black or brown vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, fever, painful urination and vaginal burning sensation.

Black discharge triggered by cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a slow spreading cancer that begins as precancerous condition (so called “dysplasis”). Undetected cervical cancer can spread (metastasize) to other organs. Early detection can save women lives. The only early cervical cancer sign is dark brownish or black vaginal discharge with foul-smelling odor.

Black discharge during retained menses

Sometimes girls’ hymen cover entrance to the vagina almost fully. It is rare condition called “retained menses”. Retained menses occurs when menstrual blood is trapped in the uterus/vagina and cannot exit. Usually it is happening during first menstrual period. In these cases, girls could experience dark discharge (old blood coming out from small open holes.

Black discharge triggered by cervical stenosis

Cervical stenosis is also rare condition which is happening in older women – it is narrowing of the cervix which can slow the flow of menstrual blood. Because of cervical obstacles the blood remains longer in the uterus and come out like brownish or black vaginal discharge.

Black discharge – time to visit your doctor

Black or brown vaginal discharge during menopause could be the first sign of cancer.

In most cases few days black discharge is not a subject for concern (especially if it happened before or after normal menstrual flow). But if suffer from unexpected irregular black vaginal discharge combined with foul odor, pelvic pain, fever, dizziness, vaginal itching or burning sensation, you better visit your doctor.

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