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Brown Spotting Between Periods – What Does It Mean?

Brown stuff in your panties

Brown spotting between periods is experienced by about thirty percent of women at some time in their reproductive life, and is generally nothing to be alarmed about. The spotting is caused by blood, and may be red, pinkish or brown in color, and will have no distinctive smell. The spots are usually brown because by the time the blood has reached the outside of the body, it has oxidized to a dark red or brown color. Generally a woman will notice a few spots on her underwear, and the quantity wouldn’t be enough to warrant the use of any sanitary protection.

What causes brown spotting between periods?

Well, if you’ve had sex within the past two weeks, brown spotting might be caused by the implantation of an egg in your womb. When the egg attaches itself, a tiny bit of blood is produced, and this could be the cause of the spots. So if you have reason to think you might be pregnant, now is a good time to get a pregnancy test.

Brown spotting can also be caused simply by ovulation, as the egg is released from its containing follicle. This may be accompanied by mild pain, and is nothing to worry about.

Another cause of brown spots could be the contraceptive pill. If you have missed a pill, or been a little inconsistent with the times you take your pill, your body can interpret this as a signal to start menstruating. If you think this might apply to you, then tighten up your pill taking regime, making absolutely sure you take it exactly as prescribed, and at the same time each day.

Can brown spotting between periods be a sign that something is wrong?

Brown spotting can be caused by significant physical or mental stress, leading to hormonal upsets which in turn can in turn lead to changes in menstruation patterns. General, once the stressful situation goes away, so will the brown spots.

The sexually transmitted disease chlamydia can cause brown spotting, but this will usually be accompanied by other symptoms such as other vaginal discharge, pain in the back or abdomen, and pain when you pee. Symptoms of chlamydia characteristically occur one to three weeks after a sexual encounter with an infected person. If you suspect chlamydia, you should go immediately to your doctor, as this condition is both common and serious, and can lead to infertility.

In rare cases, brown spotting between periods can indicate a more serious condition such as endometriosis, cancer or uterine fibroids, but these conditions would also generally cause menstrual irregularity and pain, so unless you have other symptoms, light brown spotting is unlikely to be an indication of any serious underlying condition. As always though, if you have any concerns, do go and see your doctor, who will be able to examine you properly, conduct appropriate tests, and give you the reassurance or treatment you need.