When you see brown discharge, you may feel distressed. But no worries, brown discharge is usually harmless and there are many reasons why it may happen in the first place. Sometimes brown discharge can be an indication of pregnancy or perimenopause. Very rarely is brown discharge an indication of an underlying health condition.
Below we will look at the various causes for brown discharge and when it is time to see a doctor.
What is Brown Discharge?
Women have vaginal discharge on a relatively normal basis. Usually, vaginal discharge is thin and clear or white in color. When the vaginal discharge is brown it indicates that there is a small amount of old blood. If there is blood still in the uterus and it takes a longer time to come out, it may be brown.
If you have brown discharge while you are not pregnant you may be experiencing the start of your period just at a lighter flow or ovulation spotting. You may also be having a reaction to a Pap smear test or a reaction to having sex.
If you happen to be pregnant, pink or brown discharge is sometimes an early sign of pregnancy. Not every pregnant woman will experince this symptom, but it does occur in a few women. The discharge occurs due to implantation bleeding. The bleeding may occur one to two weeks after the egg has been fertilized. Brown discharge during your pregnancy isn’t anything to be concerned over, but if the discharge is a dark brown, be sure to speak with a doctor.
For women who are approaching their 40s or 50s and experiencing brown discharge before their period, it may be a sign of perimenopause. Perimenopause is a transition period that happens before menopause begins. Along with brown discharge, women may be experiencing mood swings, hot flushes, night sweats, a hard time sleeping, and vaginal dryness.
Serious Causes of Brown Discharge
There are a few other more serious causes of brown discharge and can occur at any age and will be accompanied by other symptoms. Pelvic inflammatory disease, a sexually transmitted disease, a retained foreign body (tampons, condoms, vaginal contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, etc.), polycystic ovary syndrome, and cervical cancer.
When to See a Doctor
As mentioned before, brown discharge isn’t something you usually have to worry about. Although it can be a symptom of something more serious, it won’t require you to go to the doctor. However, if you are experiencing brown discharge that continues for several weeks, happens after sex, smells bad, is accompanied by pain, cramping, or vaginal itching.
from Dr. Lori Gore-Green | Gynecology and Obstetrics https://ift.tt/2tbjRox