Dark Brown Discharge is one of common concerns of girls and women. Not all cases of dark brown vaginal discharge are cause for concern. Dark brown vaginal discharge is most often associated with old endometrial tissues. If your period is late you might get dark brown, rather than red, discharge. It could also mean that for whatever reason during your last menses the entire uterine lining failed to make a timely exit. Dark brown discharge may happen right after periods, and is just “cleaning out” your vagina. Old blood looks dark brown.
In most cases dark brown discharge is not a serious condition and can be treated with some dietary as well as lifestyle changes. But sometimes dark brown discharge could be a symptom for serious problems.
There are several causes for dark brown discharge.
It is always better to know all possible causes for dark brown discharge which can be useful for prevention, early diagnosis and in time treatment (if needed).
Dark brown discharge
Dark brown discharge causes:
Dark brown discharge during puberty could be a symptom of hormonal disturbances;
Endometrial pathology can provoke unexpected shedding of the uterus lining and trigger dark brown discharge;
During ovulation (in the middle of your menstrual cycle) mature egg releases from the ovary and some women could experience dark brown discharge – so called “ovulation spotting”. In most cases the combination of dark brown discharge with short abdominal cramps indicate ovulation day;
During stress so called “stress hormones” change the level of female hormones provoking unexpected dark brown discharge;
Dark brown vaginal discharge during pregnancy is always alarming symptom and special attention should be paid to it. Although many pregnant women could have dark brown discharge during whole pregnancy without any serious reason but sometimes the dark brown discharge during pregnancy could be a signal of some serious conditions;
Other reasons that can give rise to the occurrence of dark brown vaginal discharge in women are vaginal infections including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – gonorrhea, genital warts, Chlamydia. However, in this case, along with vaginal discharge, one may also experience other symptoms which include pain, burning sensation, infertility, loss of appetite and/or vomiting;
Dark brown vaginal discharge is typical for cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia is precancerous changes of the epithelial cells that line the cervix;
Dark brown vaginal discharge could be a symptom of cervical and/or uterine polyps. Cervical polyps can bleed when touched during intimacy;
Dark brown vaginal discharge can be one of side effects of birth control pills. Dark brown vaginal discharge caused by birth control is an unpleasant and embarrassing problem that many women deal with monthly – it is just a signal of some hormonal changes developed by birth control pills;
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 dark brown vaginal discharge. A condition during menopause known as atrophy can also cause the dark brown vaginal discharge. Atrophy occurs when the blood vessels within the uterine lining become weak and spontaneously burst, causing dark brown vaginal discharge;
Cervical cancer is surely the most serious as well as the most dangerous cause of dark brown vaginal discharge. This type of cancer is usually caused by the virus HPV which is spread through sexual contacts. Some of the risk factors that can cause cervical cancer include having sex at a young age, having multiple sex partners, weakened immune system, etc. Other than dark brown vaginal discharge, some other symptoms of cervical cancer include unexpected weight loss, pelvic pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc.
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.