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Brown discharge during menopause

As women approach 45-50 the menopause is also approaching. Women in perimenopause and/or menopause start having irregular periods (often rare periods every 3-6 months). During menopause, women no longer have a period but women could experience light bleeding or brown discharge. Brown discharge during menopause is a common problem. A condition during menopause known as atrophy can also cause a brown discharge. Atrophy occurs when the blood vessels within the uterine lining become weak and spontaneously burst, causing brown discharge.

During reproductive ages usually women experiencing various colors of the vaginal discharge at different points within their menstrual cycles. Once menopause started you no longer have regular periods and therefore do not expect ordinary menstrual bleeding. Many women going through menopause begin experiencing light bleeding and/or brown spotting and/or brown discharge which could be regular or irregular. For the most cases brown discharge is harmless, but in some cases it can be an alarm for some health problems.

Not all cases of brown vaginal discharge are cause for concern during menopause. Brown discharge during menopause or after menopause is actually a mix of blood and discharge.

As actual blood can range in color from pink to brown, the type of brown discharge during menopause also can be different (brown, dark brown, light brown). In most cases brown discharge during menopause could be a natural result of the changes in hormones but sometimes it may signal a medical issue.

Vaginal discharge is normal for menopausal women and vaginal discharge is unique for each woman. Vaginal discharge can actually be cleansing and lubricating – certain amount of discharge prevents vaginal dryness during menopause, which can occur due to low levels of estrogen. In general brown discharge is usually related to old blood and is not necessarily a cause for concern, although a heavy amount and foul odor may signal an infection which should be treated as soon as possible.

BROWN DISCHARGE during menopause

Brown discharge during menopause – causes


Perimenopause occurs few years before menopause begins (2-8 years before the occurrence of menopause). The beginning of perimenopause and its length differ from case to case. During perimenopause (very specific period of women life) several unusual symptoms could appear. Main symptom of perimenopause is menstrual dysfunction (irregular periods). The menstrual cycle becomes lighter, heavier, sporadic or absent, due to the levels of the hormone estrogen decreasing in preparation for menopause. During perimenopause the level of estrogen rises and falls unevenly.
During perimenopause women often experience unpleasant brown discharge, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia and pain during sex.

Uterine Polyps

Uterine polyps are growths that occur on the endometrial wall – inside of uterus. These growths stem from the overgrowth of cells in the wall’s lining. They can range in size from as small as a sesame seed to as large as a golf ball. Uterine polyps are common for women in their 40s and 50s and can vary in number from one to several. Some menopausal women with uterine polyps have no symptoms but some mention irregular brown discharge. These cases should be treated by professionals.

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a very common problem for women going through menopause. Vaginal dryness is also a result of decreased level of estrogens (very typical for menopause). Sometimes the dry vagina could be the only cause of the brown discharge during menopause. During menopause many women experience dryness, itching, stinging, burning, pain and brown discharge during and/or after intercourse. Some vaginal lubrications could be very useful.


During menopause the lack of estrogen can cause the uterine lining to thin, causing the blood vessels inside to become weak. When the blood vessels react in this way they are subject to bursting spontaneously, which is a phenomenon known as atrophy. The endometrial atrophy can easily be the cause of brown discharge during menopause – as it takes a bit of time for this small amount of blood to reach the outside of the vagina from the uterus, it may appear to be dark pink in color, or brown.


Vaginal infection also can be a reason for brown discharge during menopause – when bacteria normally present in the vagina grow uncontrolled, an infection can occur, even after menopause. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and/or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are well known provokers for brown vaginal discharge. Most common causes for brown vaginal discharge during menopause could be untreated gonorrhea, Chlamydia or vaginal warts.


Exercising regularly during menopause is beneficial for your body and it helps you live a healthy lifestyle. However, exercising too much or too vigorously can put stress on the body and provoke brown discharge. It is well know that women could spot or have brown discharge during or after exercise because of vigorous activity.


Brown discharge that occurs after menopause occasionally could signal a more serious health condition that needs to be medically evaluated. If you have never had brown discharge during menopause and suddenly experience brown discharge, if brown discharge combined with vaginal discomfort and/or odor and/or unexpected weight loss – visit your doctor as soon as possible!

How to identify when brown discharge is an alarm for concern?

If during menopause you are experiencing brown discharge in combination with pain, watery or yellowish discharge, depression, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, frequent urination, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, burning, itching, rash, hot to touch, mouth ulcers and/or loss of appetite, it means you need to visit your doctor for further testing.


If you are sure that the cause of the brown vaginal discharge is simply old uterine cells, then you can simple “treat” yourself – just change your lifestyle – choose healthy food, do regular exercises, avoid stresses and drink more water.

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  1. Good information
    Thank you

  2. How long will the drown discharge LAST

    • it depends on your hormones but these episodes could no longer than 1-2 years before final menopause

      • Great info. I am 45 and have had brown discharge and dark blood spotting for 12+ days (every day) generally worse after light exercise, sex and in the morning. I was taking OCP (Levora 28) to reduce monthly blood flow. Will taking estrogen (for apx 2 weeks) help build up the lining and reduce the spotting?

        • all hormonal treatments after 45 have risky side effects; estrogens can provoke several serious conditions in your age – I would recommend to stop hormonal contraception and all hormones, let your body to recover and later use IUD (without hormonal component)

      • I’m 55 yrs old. Have not had a period in 5 yrs. I was told I have HPV & in October under went a test for cancer & came back good. Last 2 days have had discharge. Yesterday slight pink tinge. Today a little heavier, enough to wear panty liner & is more brown today. Do I need to worry since I was just checked in October?

        • better to check again

      • I’ll be 49 in a month. I hadn’t had a period for 11 months. 7/1 I had brown/red discharge. By the 3rd it was gone. Yesterday 7/17, it started again. Should I be concerned. I’m not sexually active & haven’t been for 3 yrs.

  3. It’s been more than 3 weeks that I have had continuous brown discharge, noticeable only after urinating and wiping. How long until I should be concerned?

    • if you are in menopause and had 3 weeks brown discharge, you better visit your gynecologist URGENTLY.

  4. I am 45 but stopped menstruating around 20 years ago. I’ve never taken any medication for it nor have I ever had any spotting. A couple of days ago I began having dark brown discharge. So far it’s very minimal but it does appear to have some “material” in it. I haven’t noticed any other symptoms. Based on the above definitions, it sounds as if it may just be Atrophy. Is it safe to assume that or should I be concerned?

    • if you had it only once, it’s OK but if you would have it second time, better to check and exclude pre-cancer

  5. I am 52 and had my last period appox 3 years ago and have had no problems since then, however I recently started to take St Johns Wort and have now experienced a light brown discharge. Could this have caused it or is it coincidental?

    • sometimes women in menopause could have brown discharge but it is always better to check endometrium (internal line of uterus) – after 3 years menopause brown discharge could be a symptom of some serious diseases – check “Brown discharge during menopause” in – //

  6. I am 54 years old and had a hysterectomy 25 years ago. Last week the morning after my husband and I had sex when I went to wash up I had a dark brown discharge on my wash cloth. After I wiped up there was no more evidence of any discharge. Should I see a doctor?

    • if it happened only once – no worry; but if it will happen few times, better to visit your gynecologist

  7. Im 49 I have had blood test and I’m in menapause but I had thrush and a little brown spotting I hav had a period for14 months I don’t know much about menapause I’m worried

  8. I turned 50 this year in March, had a regular period in April. May and June my periods have been really dark. Should I have this checked out?

  9. Hi. I am 3 years post-menopause and I started having some light brown spotting yesterday. Is that cause for concern?

    • once it is OK but if it become regular or often – better to visit your gynecologist

  10. Hi,
    I am 51 and haven’t had a period for 8 years and recently had pinkish red discharge. This was directly after I ran about 2 miles and about 3 miles the previous day. Just had the discharge today. Should I be concerned?

    • it would be safer to visit gynecologist for pap-test and gyn. examination

  11. I am 52 and had a FSH test showing 48.9 last month. I had a partial (uterus only due to the fact that endometritis had “glued” my cervix to my bowel) hysterectomy 12 years ago. I’m on lots of prescription drugs for rheumatoid arthritis. Several months ago I noticed a black, very thin (really no substance to it at all, just blackness on my underclothes or Poise pad — I have minimal urinary incontinence). Should I be concerned? Thanks!

    • it is safer to visit your gynecologist for pap-test and gyn examination as soon as possible

  12. I am kinda scared a breast cancer survivor 5 years not period for a good part of those years, in menopause, however, recently my breast became tender like symptoms of a period and brown discharge. I have not had any hot flashes during this time.

    • if you are breast cancer survivor, it means you are using every day tamoxifen or letrozol – these medicine could trigger uterine cancer – better to visit your doctor as soon as possible

  13. I had a hysterectomy at 23. I’m now 45. 3 months ago I was a victim of abuse. My boyfriend got up after sex at 3:30 am & decided I needed to go. I was slammed on the hood of my car and then bounced off the ground. After 9 hrs in a trama board and being transferred to a trama unit, I learned that I was temporarily paralyzed and had almost lost my bladder since I couldn’t feel it was full.
    About 2 weeks after the “accident” I began having a brown watery discharge with a horrible smell. I mean Horrible! !
    After 2 rounds of back to back penicillin treatments I still have it. I have no itching or burning like a yeast infection. Can you please tell me what this can be? I’m scared somethimg was damaged in the fall or cancer.
    Please help!

  14. I had to have my uterus and cirvics removed about 4-5 years ago. I am now having a brown discharge that has an oder to it. I still have overies and phlopian tubes. Uterus was removed due to cancerous pockets and alot of them.SHOULD I BE CONCERNED and go get looked at?I have also been having leg swelling numbing of feet and hands and pain shooting through my left nipple scaley dry nipple sometimes tender to the touch. Or am I just panicking over nothing. What do you think?

    • you need urgently to visit your gynecologist

  15. My mother hasn’t had period for several years and suddenly today she saw little blood spots on her underwear .. she had a polyps removed some years ago. As far as I know she hasn’t experienced any other symptom other than these blood spots. Should we be concerned ?

    • vaginal blood during menopause could be a symptom of few health conditions but the most dangerous is cancer; I would strongly recommend to visit her gynecologist