Healthy vaginal environment is an important part of women reproductive health. Normal vaginal cleansing processes are necessary – this is why women experience vaginal discharge which is actually is a combination of vaginal fluid (secretions from the cervix and vagina), dead cells, some bacteria and remains from previous menstrual period. Healthy vaginal discharge is normally clear or white with specific female smell but not colored and not smelling foul. During menstrual cycle the quality and quantity of vaginal discharge can be changed depending of hormonal fluctuations but in healthy women vaginal discharge is always clear without strange color and without unpleasant smell. If woman experience black vaginal slotting at any time of menstrual cycle, it should be evaluated and checked – it could be a sign of several health conditions. In general, black vaginal spotting is a sign of old bleeding – the darker the color, the older the blood.
Any changes in vaginal discharge (color, texture, smell, volume) could indicate specific problems. Changed vaginal discharge combined with other symptoms such as vaginal itching, fishy vaginal smell, vaginal rash or vaginal burning sensation could be the indication of certain vaginal infections.
Black vaginal spotting during menstrual cycle
Black vaginal spotting
Some women could have black spotting or brown spotting before or after normal menstrual period (during few days). Nothing to be worried – it is most likely uterus is clearing out some old oxidized blood and uterine lining. But if black spotting sticks around for more than few days, it could be a sign of something else.
Irregular unexpected black spotting could be the result of several hormonal dysfunctions including polycystic ovarian syndrome, premature ovarian failure, Turner syndrome, adrenogenital syndrome, etc.
Sometimes girls could experience black spotting caused by so called “retained menses” – when menstrual blood is trapped in the uterus and cannot exit because of fully or partially covered entrance of vagina by hymen (abnormal situation).
Black vaginal spotting – implantation bleeding
During implantation the fertilized egg attaches (implants) itself to the uterine lining which can cause little local bleeding. Later this bleeding comes out from vagina like pink or brown or black spotting (depending on how long it took to exit through the vagina). Usually the implantation occurs between 6 and 12 days after fertilization and short black spotting during this period could be the first sign of pregnancy.
Black vaginal spotting – forgotten or foreign objects in vagina
If you have black spotting combined with unpleasant foul smell, most probably you forgot about some foreign object left in the vagina (forgotten tampon, pieces of condom or other vaginal contraceptives or other objects). Black smelly spotting can be combined with fever or toxic shock syndrome (TSS), pretty rare but serious life threatening condition.
Black vaginal spotting – miscarriage or tubal pregnancy
Black, brown or pinkish vaginal spotting is always a subject for concern during first trimester of pregnancy. It could be considered as threatened symptom of possible miscarriage. If you had missed period and positive pregnancy test and following black spotting, better to visit your doctor for miscarriage prevention.
Irregular unexpected on-going black spotting could be also a sign of tubal pregnancy (especially if combined with missed period, abdominal pain and dizziness).
Black vaginal spotting – pelvic inflammatory disease
Irregular black or brown vaginal spotting combined with foul smell, pelvic pain, painful urination, painful sex and fever could be symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – most commonly caused by sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia. During PID usually inflammation spread into the Fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries causing black spotting.
Black vaginal spotting – cervical abnormalities
Sometimes black spotting could be triggered by cervical abnormalities such as cervical polyps, cervicitis, vaginitis and cervical infections. In most cases it is happening because of damages cervical vessel, local limited bleeding and oxidized blood.
Most dangerous cervical factor which could cause black vaginal spotting is cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is slow spreading type of cancer. Black vaginal spotting could be the first sign of cervical cancer. Special attention should be paid and urgent visit to your doctor would be recommended. Early diagnosis can increase the survival rate dramatically.
Some women (commonly after 40-45) could experience black or brown spotting because of cervical stenosis – the narrowing of the cervix, which can obstruct or drastically slow the flow of menstrual blood.
Black vaginal spotting – what to do
Black vaginal spotting during few days could just be old oxidized blood being expelled from the body. Any time you experience unexpected irregular on-going black spotting, it should be discussed with your doctor, especially if it is combined with vaginal foul odor, pelvic pain, fever, frequent urination and vaginal burning sensation.
Special attention should be paid to black discharge during menopause because it could be a sign of cancerous transformations.
Any time you experience any big changes in the color, texture or smell of your vaginal discharge, it could be a sign of infections or other abnormalities. The best solution is to visit your doctor for clarifications and in-time treatment.
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.