Brown Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is natural. It helps to keep the female reproductive system clean and healthy by carrying away dead bacteria and cells. Depending on the exact phase in a woman’s menstrual cycle, normal vaginal discharge is usually colored whitish to clear. Women who are ovulating, pregnant or breastfeeding may have larger amounts of discharge than normal. All of this is natural. However, if the vaginal discharge is colored brown, medical attention may be required.
Brown vaginal discharge is often caused by the residual presence of old blood. It may be something harmless such as the residual blood from a woman’s period or it could be an indication of some deeper condition. Some of the symptoms commonly associated with vaginal discharge include itching around the vagina, pain while urinating, abnormal bleeding, and painful intercourse. Such symptoms should not be ignored. Early treatment can help in preventing them from worsening.
There are different possible causes of brown vaginal discharge. Some women may experience colored discharge during their ovulation period. Unlike the clear vaginal discharge that occurs naturally during ovulation, the brown discoloration may be because of a little bleeding. Brown vaginal discharge may also occur after sex. This is often an indication of internal bleeding. This type of discharge, especially if it is accompanied by pain, should be brought to the attention of a medical professional.
Infections can also cause brown vaginal discharge. This can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea or a pelvic inflammatory disease. To identify the cause of the infection, doctors may recommend a pelvic examination.
The treatment of vaginal discharge will be determined by the cause of the problem. If the brown discharge is caused by a bacterial infection, doctors will prescribe an antibiotic for its treatment. Yeast infections are treated with antifungal medication. Most cases of vaginal discharge can be treated with medication and simple lifestyle changes if it is detected early. Surgery may be required to treat cases caused by more severe diseases. During the diagnosis period, a doctor will take your history and ask you questions connected to your symptoms. The doctor will want to know:
- If the discharge is accompanied by a strange smell
- If you have currently have one or multiple sexual partners
- How long has the discharge remained colored
- If you are you pregnant—and for how long.
- If you are you on any special medication or herbs
- If there is any pain, itching or burning sensation
The information you provide will help the doctor make a more effective diagnosis of your condition.
You can take several preventive steps to avoid infection. Some of these include;
- Always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom. This will prevent bacteria from reaching the vagina and possibly causing an infection.
- Avoid using bubble baths or feminine sprays.
- Do not wear tight underpants. Choose underpants made out of breathable fabric.
- Wash your vagina regularly, using warm water, and mild soap.
- Do not use douches or scented soaps.