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Brown Discharge After Period Top 10 Causes

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Brown discharge after period is a fairly common occurrence and is experienced by a lot of women. Regular vaginal secretion changes in appearance, color, thickness and consistency, as per the time and stage of its occurrence. There are several causes for this variance. If the cause is serious, the secretion is usually accompanied by various other symptoms such as vaginal burning sensation, itching inside the vagina, pain during intercourse, vaginal dryness, frequent urination, skin rash, loss of appetite, mood swings, depression and uterine bleeding. Maintain a monthly diary to track your menstrual cycle and pattern. This will help you to determine if the discharge is normal or should you call your doctor.

Brown Discharge After Period – Top 10 Causes

It is a normal part of the menstrual cycle. Many women tend to experience a light or dark brown secretion after their menstruation cycle. The reason for the same varies from woman to woman. In fact, there is a good chance that a perfectly healthy woman also experiences this type of a discharge during, before, and/or after her period.

1. Hormonal Fluctuations

This is an extremely common cause for a brown color vaginal discharge. If you have recently stopped birth control, you may notice some spotting caused by hormonal changes within your body. However, if you are experiencing consistent spotting while on birth control pills, it may be a serious issue. Call your doctor just to ensure everything is okay.

2. Delayed Period

Quite often, a delayed period could result in brown spotting after a menstruation cycle. This is caused by the shedding of the endometrial tissue lining of the uterus. This is a cleaning process of old blood and tissue out of the uterus. In most situations, there is nothing to worry about. However if the flow gets heavy and continues for several days, get it checked.

3. Implantation Bleeding

If you have noticed brown spotting 3 to 4 weeks after your last menstrual cycle, especially if you have recently indulged in unprotected sex or stopped taking birth control pills, it could signify implantation bleeding. This type of a spotting is an indication of an early sign of pregnancy.

4. Repeated Yeast Infection

The worst type of yeast infection is usually accompanied by pain, burning and irritation along with brown spotting. Few of the infections will also vary in color and smell. You will know that there is a sign of infection due to the foul odor accompanying the discharge.

5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

A pelvic inflammatory disease infection is a condition affecting the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes. Many girls develop PID due to a range of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as gonorrhea, vaginal warts, chlamydia, etc. Abnormally colored and foul-smelling discharge, spotting after periods, pain during sexual intercourse, tenderness and pain in the lower abdomen region, should be looked into by a physician.

6. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis infections can be treated with the help of antibiotics. A patient usually responds within just a few days of the treatment. This infection is not caused through a sexual partner but more due to a weak immune system or a lapse in vaginal hygiene.

7. Cervical Cancer

Bleeding after periods that lasts for over three menstrual cycles, may be something more serious than a normal brown spotting. If you experience heavy bleeding after intercourse, you must contact your gynecologist immediately. In few extreme cases, any unusual bloody secretion, whether red or brown, could indicate cervical or uterine cancer.

8. Damage To An Internal Part

In a serious case, a brownish discharge could be altered blood. This means it could be a symptom of some type of damage in the internal part of the reproductive organs. This will require a detailed examination. It could be caused by a polyp, an erosion or an injury on the mouth or the surface of the uterus. This could be a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention.

9. Early Stages Of Menopause

Several phases of a menstrual cycle such as menopause or perimenopause may result in vaginal spotting after the period. Often spotting after a menstrual cycle may be an indication of an early menopause stage. This is a transitional stage that occurs between an active menopause stage and your fertile years. If the bleeding isn’t heavy and you are not cramping more than usual, there is no reason for concern.

10. Too Much Stress

This could cause disruption in your period cycle and interfere with your fertility. As a result, you will notice fluctuations in your period cycle accompanied by severe menstrual cramps and spotting. If you are under a lot of stress and have noticed some amount of spotting, it may be time to bring some lifestyle changes.

Timely Treatment Of the Condition

You must never overlook any unusual symptoms of post menstrual bleeding. Call a doctor right away to discuss and resolve the issue at the earliest. Treatment for brown color discharge after menstruation can be done in accordance to the cause diagnosed for the same. Your physician may prescribe simple medication, lifestyle changes or small dietary alterations to tackle this problem.

For serious conditions, your gynecologist might recommend supplements, pap smear tests, other medical tests, surgery, chemotherapy etc, as required. Keep in mind, most of the time, this is not a potentially risky situation. However, if the problem prolongs, it is best to visit a gynecologist. Early detection is the best way to resolve any serious condition.

Brown discharge after period that turns bright red or prolongs for more than three to four days, could be a serious matter. Contact your physician to rule out the possibility of an indication of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an ectopic pregnancy or ovarian cysts. Always keep an eye on any prolonged changes in the consistency and color of the vaginal discharge. Finding out the cause and starting treatment at the earliest, can save your life.

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