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Brown or black (bloody) vaginal discharge. What are the causes and what can be done?

Black discharge

Brown vaginal discharge can occur in healthy women, but sometimes are an indication of possible health problems such as menstrual disorder, metritis, and even cervical cancer. This article discusses the causes of discharges only in non-pregnant women.

When is a brown (bloody) discharge normal?

The dark color (brown or black) of vaginal discharge is caused by the presence of blood. Brown discharge sometimes occurs in healthy women in the following situations:

Some hours or days before a woman’s period – these are the first signs that menstruation will soon begin

A few days after a woman’s period – this is also normal because the uterus is getting rid of the old blood left in the cervix from the previous cycle

In the middle of a menstrual cycle in women taking hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, hormone plaster, hormone ring)

After rough sex, brown discharge occurs due to small lesions of the mucous membrane of the vagina. Bloody discharge is also possible if the woman was not aroused during sex and her vagina did not produce enough natural lubrication

If you are just beginning a sexual life. Brown discharge can occur not only after losing one’s virginity but also during and after some subsequent sexual intercourse.

When is a brown (bloody) discharge a symptom of disease?

Dark vaginal discharge can be a sign of disease if:

The discharge is not associated with a woman’s period, appears in the middle of a menstrual cycle (if the woman is not taking hormonal pills)

Discharge occurs every time after sex

If during a brown discharge, the woman has high body temperature, abdominal pain, itching in the genital area, dryness and burning in the vagina, and pain during sex

If the woman is in a menopause (climax) for a long time, and you have not had your period for more than a year

I have a light brown discharge. What is the cause?

Before a woman’s period

Light brown discharge before a woman’s period is normal. Such discharge is a sign that full menstruation will soon begin.

After a woman’s period

Light brown discharge a few days after the end of a woman’s period  should also not lead you into a state of panic. This is normal and is due to the fact that your uterus is getting rid of old blood left in the cervix from the previous cycle.

In the middle of a menstrual cycle

Light brown discharge in the middle of a menstrual cycle is considered normal if you are using hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, hormone ring or hormone plaster). If you are not taking hormones, the following may be possible causes:

Menstrual disorder

Inflammation of the vagina (for sexually transmitted diseases)

Inflammation of the lining of the uterus (endometritis)

Cervical erosion

Cervical cancer

Black vaginal discharge

If a light brown or pink discharge appears frequently or every time after having sex, it may be caused by cervical erosion and cervical cancer.

If a light brown discharge appeared in sexually active women, this may indicate sexually transmitted diseases. In this case, the discharge is accompanied by itching in the genital area, dryness and burning in the vagina, pain during sex and when urinating.

If you have sex without using contraceptives, your light brown discharge may indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. In this case, the woman usually feels severe pain in the lower abdomen. HOWEVER, if you had brown discharge, and then came a delay, it is very possible that you are pregnant.

If vaginal discharge is accompanied by a dull ache in the lower abdomen, the possible cause is endometritis (inflammation of the lining of the uterus).

I have a dark brown discharge. What are the causes?

Dark brown discharge is caused by the same reasons as light brown discharge. The difference lies only in the quantity of blood contained in these discharges. It is often unimportant to the gynecologist whether a bloody discharge is light or dark, because in any case, they contain a certain amount of blood, and this is an occasion to reflect on their possible causes.

Brown discharge instead of my period. What are the causes and what can be done?

The cause of a brown discharge instead of menstruation depends on whether you lead a sexual life and whether you had sex for the previous 1-2 months.

I lead a sexual life

If you are sexually active, bloody spotting instead of your period may indicate you are pregnant.

If you did not have your period on time and instead a brown discharge appeared a few days later, it is most likely you have hormonal disorder and your normal menstrual cycle will start in a few days time. If it does not, and the discharge lasted only a few days, you need to go for a pregnancy test.

If you have recently had unprotected sex, menstrual disorder and appearance of brown discharge instead of your period can indicate sexually transmitted diseases. In this case, in addition to the discharge, the woman will also experience itching, dryness and burning in the vagina, and pain during urination. You need to see a gynecologist if you have these symptoms.

I do not lead a sexual life/I have not had sex in the last 1-2 months

Spotting instead of menstruation is often as a result of hormonal disorders. These disorders can be caused by stress, excessive physical exercise and some diseases. The following diseases can cause brown discharge instead of a period:

Ovarian cyst.

Endometriosis.

Endometritis – inflammation of the linings of the uterus (endometrium).

Sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and others.

If you are over 40-45 years old, spotting instead of menstruation may be the first sign of the onset of menopause (climax).

When you have a poor spotting instead of your period, and it does not turn to a classical period a few days later, we advice you see a gynecologist.

Brown discharge after sex. What are the causes and what can be done?

If after having sex, you constantly have pinkish or brown discharge, it may indicate the following diseases:

Cervical erosion

Cervical Cancer

Vaginal tumors

Spotting after sex may be accompanied by pain during sexual intercourse, but the absence of pain does not mean that everything is in order. If dark discharge appears every time during or after sex, you should go and see a gynecologist.