• Vaginal Discharge
  • Pink Discharge
  • Clear Discharge
  • Green Discharge
  • Brown Discharge

Brown Spotting Before a Period

There are several reasons that you may experience brown spotting before a period. They range from a simple change in hormone levels due to starting or stopping a birth control pill or something as dangerous as ovarian cancer. There are methods of self diagnosis, but it’s always better to get an expert opinion from your physician. A self misdiagnosis could delay treatment for a serious condition.

Premenstrual Spotting

Brown spotting before your period is usually referred to as breakthrough bleeding or abnormal uterine bleeding. This is the most common cause of brown discharge. A small amount of the vaginal wall may release and combine with normal vaginal fluids and leak out into your panties or be present when you wipe after using the bathroom. If you are taking a blood thinning medication, certain antibiotics or have recently changed your birth control method, you could start seeing this type of spotting.


If you have recently had an IUD implanted or have had particularly active sex, the interior of your vagina or cervix may have sustained small cuts or bruising that could result in brown spotting before a period. Trauma to the interior of the vagina is not a common cause of spotting, but extended sessions of intercourse in which there is drying out of the vagina can lead to rips and tears that will occasionally bleed. If the bleeding is severe and the spotting is bright red rather than brown you should seek medical attention immediately.

Infections and Disease

One of the more serious problems that can cause brown spotting before a period is a disease or infection. STDs rarely cause spotting and are often identified by other symptoms, but they can cause irritation to the vagina that can lead to bleeding. The real danger is cancer. Many cancers, ovarian, cervical and uterine, for example, can cause minor bleeding in the area. This is the number one reason to not take brown spotting lightly. In addition to cancer, ovarian cysts, endrometriosis, eptopic pregnancy, fibroid tumors and cervivitis are also potential causes for this type of discharge.

Surgical Wounds

One of the things that you are always told after any surgery is that there may be some bleeding at or around the area of the incision. This is a normal part of the healing process. If the surgical incisions are on the inside of the vagina or any other part of the reproductive system, bleeding could occur that would be discharged along with normal vaginal fluids. This would mean that if you’ve had a hysterectomy, a tubal ligation, urinary tract surgery, or an embryo implantation, you are a prime candidate for brown spotting before a period.

Non Traditional Bleeding

Women still experience a bit of discharge after menopause as a normal part of the body’s cleansing process. Even though there are no periods, per se, there is still the possibility of brown spotting. This usually occurs after periods of strenuous exercise. This spotting should be light brown and very slight. If there is significant spotting and it is a darker brown color, this is a sign that there may a serious issue.