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 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 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.
BROWN DISCHARGE RELIEF
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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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.