Brown discharge before period is usually old blood from the uterus. Each month, the uterine lining gets filled with blood and builds up to receive a fertilized egg. If no fertilized egg enters the uterus in any given month, the hormonal levels in a woman’s body drops. This causes the shedding of the the uterine lining. As a result, you may notice a pink or red spotting in most instances. However at times, old blood comes out of a woman’s uterus and she notices brown spotting before her period is due. In case this type of spotting is not quickly followed by a period, you should consider setting an appointment with your doctor at the earliest.
Brown Discharge Before Period – When Should You Seek Immediate Medical Attention?
The fluids and tissues expelled during a menstrual cycle are composed of not just blood but also cervical mucus and vaginal secretions. Therefore it is possible that on the first day of a period or during a weak menstrual flow, the fluid could appear brownish in color. Similarly, spotting prior to menstruation is only indicative of a lighter or a weaker menstrual flow. If the spotting continues for a considerable number of months before your monthly menstruation, you must consult a gynecologist immediately. Here’s a list of premenstrual spotting conditions that need urgent attention.
1. Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB) – If a woman gets moderate to heavy bleeding before her periods are due, it could indicate Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB). This is caused by conditions such as post coital bleeding, metrorrhagia, polymenorrhea and menorrhagia. These require immediate attention from a doctor.
2. Benign Polyps And Uterine Fibroids – Often, prolonged spotting is also indicative of uterine fibroid. Hence, it should be given urgent attention. The inner uterine lining needs to be normal. Any irregularity or extra tissue can make this lining fragile and result in an unusual spotting at any time.
3. Presence Of Blood In The Urine Or Bleeding From The Rectum – If you experience spotting before your period cycle, there is no reason to be too worried. Occasional spotting is quite normal. However, you need to ensure that the bleeding is from the vagina only and not from the urine or the rectum. You could use a tampon to check this.
4. Incomplete Or Skipped Ovulation Spotting – The ovulation spotting condition is absolutely normal and is in fact considered to be a healthy sign of fertility in women. If the ovulation has been left incomplete or skipped, inadequate progesterone could be the cause and spotting could occur.
5. Progesterone Deficiency – It is vital that you seek medical advice for prolonged spotting or an unusual cycle as it could be symptomatic of a serious disorder such as a deficiency of progesterone leading to regular spotting.
Spotting is normal when it occurs few days prior to the onset of a monthly menstruation or during ovulation. However, spotting before a menstrual cycle that continues for several consecutive months, needs to be checked by a doctor. Also, if you feel pain and discomfort during intercourse or while urinating, you should immediately seek medical help.
Top 7 Things To Do About Brown Spotting Before Periods
Even if the blood spotting from the vagina does not signal any significant health problems, there is no reason to inconvenience yourself due to the premenstrual spotting. Your doctor can help you to prevent or reduce vaginal bleeding before your menstrual cycle by suggesting the following:
1. Start Taking Your Prescribed Birth Control Pills – Skipping these pills could be a common reason for spotting. Stopping it and then restarting the same could cause premenstrual bleeding. It is recommended that you try taking your pills at around the same time daily to reduce spotting.
2. Limit Your Aspirin Intake – Aspirin is a blood thinner which can result in bleeding. Hence, it should be avoided when spotting is an issue.
3. Get Regular Pap Smears – Cervical cancer screening can help detect serious diseases and stop the symptomatic bleeding by curing it in its early stage.
4. Maintain A Healthy Weight – This reduces the risk of uterine cancer especially in menopausal women.
5. Switch Your Birth Control Method – Spotting is commonly found in women using intrauterine devices (IUDs). Switching to another form of birth control could end the inconvenience.
6. Manage Stress – Excess stress can cause irregular periods and spotting. Try to reduce stress with relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, aerobic exercises and visualization.
7. Keep A Menstrual Diary – Keep a note of your menstrual period dates and track any spotting occurring before your cycle. This will help you explain a few significant points to your doctor.
Spotting for just one cycle is not really a cause for panic but if it becomes a nuisance to you, it is recommended that you see a medical provider.
7 Reasons For You To See A Doctor
It is best to get premenstrual spotting diagnosed by a gynecologist at least once in order to rule out any grievous possibility. This is especially vital if the spotting is light or dark brown in color. See a doctor if:
1. There is vaginal bleeding between your menstrual cycles lasting for more than three days;
2. There is excessive vaginal bleeding;
3. Light spotting continues for three consecutive menstrual cycles;
4. Any unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting is noticed that is different when compared to the usual pattern;
5. Frequently occurring vaginal bleeding that returns in less than three weeks;
6. Heavy bleeding after sexual intercourse;
7. Any vaginal bleeding after completing your menopause.
A one time occurrence of brown discharge before period could be a normal occurrence caused by factors such as ovulation process, hormonal imbalance, implantation spotting, birth control pills etc. In instances where spotting before menstruation is caused by a serious condition such as uterine fibroid, ovarian cysts, a polyp or in a worst case, cervical or ovarian cancer, then these conditions require urgent medical treatment.