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Dark brown spotting instead of period

Dark brown spotting instead of period can be a subject of concern and stress. The main question is why women could have dark brown spotting instead of period?

Dark brown spotting is the indication of old blood remains – it is sometimes a symptom of “old blood” from uterine lining which did not left the uterus at right time (during regular menstrual period). Often the dark brown spotting is just remains of delayed period – most often associated with old endometrial tissues (remains of last period).

When women get late period, they can experience the dark brown spotting instead of period. Brown spotting is normally just “old blood” that has been oxidized and left uterus and/or vagina late or later.

Sometimes dark brown vaginal spotting could be a symptom of endometrial “damages” by infections or other diseases. Dark brown vaginal spotting could be also a symptom of early pregnancy/

Medical experts mention that there are only few causes of dark brown spotting which should be considered as a serious – cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Dark Brown spotting instead of period – Implantation Bleeding

Dark brown vaginal spotting instead of period could be early signal of pregnancy – so called “implantation bleeding”. After fertilization fertilized egg (zygote) travels through Fallopian tube to the uterus – during this journey the cell division takes place and the zygote develops into an embryo. The embryo burrows into the uterine lining (so called “endometrium”) which results in dark brown vaginal spotting instead of period.

It is easy to clarify the implantation bleeding from a normal period – it is far lighter than a normal period and does not last for more than 1-3 days. Implantation bleeding occurs after fertilization during following 6-12 days

Dark brown spotting instead of period could be an early signal/symptom of pregnancy.

Dark Brown spotting instead of period – Late Period

In many cases the dark brown vaginal spotting instead of period could happen during late periods – actually the uterus expels “old” oxidized uterine lining as late menstrual flow. It could happen during few days after which you may have your normal period.

Dark Brown spotting instead of period – Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are most popular contraception pills used by girls and women in many countries. In many cases birth control pills are used not for contraception but also for treatment of acne, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, etc.

Birth control pills are based on different combinations of synthetic female hormones (progesterone and estrogen). Mechanism of action of this type of contraception is complicated and includes the following:

  • Birth control pills suppress hormone production in pituitary gland and totally change hormonal menstrual cycle;
  • Birth control pills stop ovaries from releasing an egg by maintaining more consistent hormone levels – actually preventing ovulation;
  • Birth control pills also change the cervical mucus to make it difficult for the sperm to find an egg – the progestin component of pills prevents the sperm from reaching the egg;
  • Birth control pills can also prevent pregnancy by making the lining of the womb (endometrium) inhospitable for implantation by changing the lining of the uterus.

As Birth Control Pills always suppress female hormones, they could be responsible for dark brown spotting instead of period (rare side effect – super-suppression by pills).

Dark Brown spotting instead of period – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Dark Brown spotting instead of period

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious infection in the upper genital tract – in uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. In most cases PID can be triggered by different type of infection including several sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia. In some cases, PID develops from bacteria that have traveled through the vagina and the cervix by way of an intrauterine device (IUD.

PID could be a reason not only of dark brown vaginal spotting instead of period but also infertility (untreated cases). PID can damage endometrial development making normal menstrual period impossible.

Dark Brown spotting instead of period – Perimenopause

Perimenopause is a naturally occurring transition period of women life which is happening before menopause – it is a transitional stage of 2-8 years before complete cessation of the menstrual periods, it is the time when female body begins its hormonal transition. It is a period of life (after 40) when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less female hormones (mainly estrogen).

Perimenopause is the interval in which women’s body makes a natural shift from regular menstrual cycles and regular monthly ovulations to irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation and natural permanent infertility. While hormones are going down, menstrual periods can be replaced by just dark brown spotting.


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