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Brown itchy spotting

Brown itchy spotting is not very common condition but many women suffer from it and cannot find the real cause – in most cases the brown itchy spotting has few causes and/or combination of different factors. It is very important to know causes of both itchy spotting and brown spotting as causes could be very different or same.

Itchy spotting

Itchy vaginal spotting can be pretty distressing and embarrassing.

Different types of bacterial infections are the most common cause of itchy vaginal spotting although other allergic and inflammatory factors could be responsible for vaginal itching. The close proximity of the vulva to the anus and the warm, moist environment within the vagina makes it prone to infections from bacteria around the anus.

During whole reproductive period of life the vaginal sensitivity can be changed depending on age, hormones and health status. It is well known that in girls before puberty there is a lack of endogenous estrogen – the lack of estrogen making vaginal lining extremely thin and deficient in glycogen, which makes the vagina highly susceptible to bacterial infections.

Brown itchy spotting

In women of reproductive age the vaginal epithelium matures under the influence of high levels of estrogen and there is a large amount of glycogen present in these cells. This produces lactic acid, resulting in an acidic environment which favors the growth of lactobacillus. From the time of puberty till menopause, the lactobacilli present in the vagina keep the vaginal environment acidic and thus discourage bacterial infection. But some other factors could dramatically increase the sensitivity of the vagina during this period of women life – regular sexual activities, contraceptives, vaginal douching, regular menstruations, vaginal tampons and tight, nonabsorbent, heat-retaining, synthetic clothing/panties.

During menopause the level of estrogen fall which make the vaginal epithelium and skin of vulva thin and atrophic. At the same time menopausal women have decreased vaginal acidity. All mentioned factors acting together and predisposing the delicate vaginal tissues to become prone to injury and infection. Postmenopausal atrophy can trigger vaginal itching and dryness.

Brown spotting

By the end of the menstrual cycle usually the thickened uterine lining and extra blood are shed through the vaginal canal. Actually the menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) accompanied by bleeding – menstruation represents the uterine wall being discharged from the body when cycle ends without pregnancy. It is well known that normal color of menstrual flow is red and any discoloration commonly causes alarm.

Brown colored spotting during menstrual flow is fairly common among women. In general, discoloration is commonly a result of the long menstrual period – when the blood has become oxidized thereby causing the change in color. When this is the reason for the discoloration of menstrual flow, there is no cause for alarm.

But in several cases brown spotting could be a signal for vaginal infections, hormonal dysfunctions, stress, polyps, fibroids, cancer, etc.

Brown itchy spotting causes

In most cases the main causes of brown itchy spotting include combinations of possible causes of vaginal itching and brown spotting.

Vaginal itching possible causes Brown spotting possible causes

Vaginal infections (bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, trichomoniasis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, genital herpes, urinary tract infection)

Infestations (scabies, pubic lice, pinworms)

Allergy and/or irritations (allergy to latex condoms and spermicide gels, chemicals present in bubble baths, detergents, soaps, lotions, sprays, colored or perfumed toilet paper, deodorant pads or tampons, semen allergy)

Hygiene (poor personal hygiene, improper hygiene, wearing tight/synthetic underwear or wet swimwear for long, frequent douching)

Hormones (pre-pubertal and postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis, pregnancy, menstruation; hormonal contraception)

Foreign bodies (forgotten tampons, piece of toilet paper, retained condom)

Trauma (sexual trauma, trauma during sport, any trauma)

Skin diseases (psoriasis, eczema, lichen planus)

Cancer (lichen sclerosus, leukoplakia, cancer of the vulva, vagina, cervix or endometrium)

Other diseases (diabetes, urinary incontinence, radiation, post-surgery, psychogenic, chronic liver and thyroid diseases, side effects of some medicines)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID),

Genital warts (HPV),





Hormonal dysfunctions,



Missed pills,





Intrauterine devices (IUDs),

Cervical cancer.


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