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 white or transparent with slight personal smell. Depending on ovulation, vaginal discharge could become thick and creamy or thin and watery. Sometimes women could experience dark brown or black vaginal discharge which could appear on different days of menstrual cycle. Black vaginal discharge before period is common condition – in most cases it is remains from previous menstrual cycle (old uterine lining and oxidized old menstrual blood). Commonly black vaginal discharge before menstrual period is very light and short (1-2days).
There could be different causes of black vaginal discharge and in most cases it is harmless.
Black vaginal discharge before period – puberty
During puberty some girls could experience black vaginal discharge before first period. It may happen because of slow increase of female hormones which could trigger uterine lining shedding partially (at different time) and the amount of “partial menstruation” is not enough for sliding out from uterus. In these cases collected partial menstruation become oxidized and change color (becoming brown or black). As a result girls could experience black vaginal discharge before period.
Black vaginal discharge before period – uterine cleansing
Black vaginal discharge before period
Shedding of old uterine lining is common condition. Black vaginal discharge can appear mostly due to the presence of old endometrial tissue and it usually occurs when menstrual periods are late. Old blood and old uterine tissue usually has black or dark brown color. When this happens just before menstrual period, it should be considered as female body’s way of cleaning out the reproductive system.
During monthly menstrual cycle women body eliminates various different types of waste in reproductive tract. So if women experience black vaginal discharge before period, it is simply old endometrial cells from previous month, which were not properly eliminated from the body.
Black vaginal discharge before period – late period
Every month women experience menstrual period only in cases when pregnancy fails to occur and the uterus expels the internal lining which was prepared for embryo implantation. Menstrual flow consists of old blood, endometrial lining, nutrients and tissue remains. Sometimes this monthly flushing (menstrual period) is not complete, leaving behind small amount of menstrual tissues (dead cells and old blood) which can remain in the uterus during whole menstrual cycle (one month). Later body expels this old uterine discharge which appeared as black because it is already oxidized. This is why women could have black discharge after late period.
Black vaginal discharge before period – implantation
Usually implantation occurs when fertilized embryo gets burrows (embedded) into the uterine lining causing rupture of small blood vessels. Not every woman who conceives experiences black discharge before expected menstrual period. However, it can happen in about 10-15% cases.
Black vaginal discharge before period – hormonal disturbances
Female monthly hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycle are very complicated and controlled by hypophysis. Any hormonal disturbances triggered by stress, illnesses, depression, intensive sport, travel or emotional situations can cause unexpected uterine lining shedding and following premenstrual black vaginal discharge.
Black vaginal discharge before period – endometriosis
Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial cells (similar to those that form the inside lining of the uterus) in unusual locations outside of the uterus. Endometrial cells are the same cells that are shed each month during menstruation. These cells of endometriosis attach themselves to tissue outside the uterus and are called endometrial implants.
Very often endometrial implants could be found on ovaries, Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines and on the surface lining of pelvic cavity. They can also be found in vagina, cervix, on bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis.
Endometriosis of vagina and cervix can be a reason for black vaginal discharge before and/or after period.
Black vaginal discharge before period – stress
Women could have different types of stress – acute or chronic, severe or mild, positive or negative, emotional or physical, biological or chemical. All types of stress trigger release of stress hormones from adrenal glands. At the same time, stress hormones have a direct effect on female hormones, which regulate normal monthly menstrual cycle. Usually stress hormones mess with female hormones causing menstrual dysfunctions and damage of normal ovulating menstrual cycle.
Stress hormones cause endometrial lining to thin down and delay periods. The blood oxidizes over time, making it brown in color and results in irregular menstrual periods and/or black vaginal discharge before periods.
Black vaginal discharge before period – contraception
Contraception is an important part of women life. In reality, all contraceptive methods have side effects which could include unexpected black vaginal discharge. In most cases that kind of discharge could appear during hormonal contraception (often birth control pills and emergency contraception). It can be triggered by hormonal changes triggered by hormonal contraception. Birth control pills cause hormonal changes which results in thinning of uterine lining, unexpected shedding in small amounts. Missed pills can also affect women hormonal balance.
Besides hormonal contraception some intrauterine devices (IUDs) can also cause black vaginal discharge before period during first few months because of mechanical damage of uterine lining.
Black vaginal discharge before period – perimenopause
After 40-45 women experience naturally occurring transition period of women life called “perimenopause”. It is the stage of women’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause – it is time when ovarian functions slow down and the production of estrogen is gradually reduces. It is the period of natural shift from regular menstrual cycles to irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation and natural infertility. Duration of perimenopause could be different in different women (depending on genetic and hormonal status). Decreased levels of hormones could cause black vaginal discharge before period combined with hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disruption, vaginal dryness.
Black vaginal discharge instead of period is always alarming. Many women could experience black vaginal discharge before or after regular menstrual period but absence of menstrual flow combined with black…
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.