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Brown Discharge Between Periods Need For Prompt Intervention

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Brown discharge between periods will imply the time length and pace of blood within the cervix. In general, the menstrual cycle ranges anywhere between 22 to 34 days and averages at 28 days. Spotting between periods is typically a result of old vaginal blood flow after or before your periods. It occurs after the last day of your menstruation cycle and before the start of your next menstrual cycle. There are some cases of vaginal bleeding in between the period cycle that signals towards a more grievous underlying medical condition. These will require prompt intervention.

Brown Discharge Between Periods – Is There A Need For Prompt Intervention?

Depending upon the quantity and duration of blood flow, prolonged duration of spotting in between the menstrual cycle, requires critical intervention. The menstrual blood discharge differs in color at specific intervals. Brown spotting in between your periods signifies that the blood has dried to a certain degree and was confined within the cervix for longer periods of time. It is not exactly an unusual occurrence, yet it may cause worry and raise an alarm for some women. Here’s why you must see a doctor for the below listed brown spotting conditions that may otherwise seem normal.

1. Birth Control Devices

Certain birth control methods could result in spotting between periods. Birth control injections or intrauterine device (IUD) birth control methods are likely to cause light bleeding. However, since vaginal spotting in between periods can also be manifested in medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, uterine polyps, vaginal infections, malignancies of the reproductive organs, diabetes and thyroid disorders, visit a doctor for instances of prolonged heavy bleeding.

2. Vaginal Warts

These are also called genital warts and can be quite annoying depending upon their size and location. Itching and brown discharge is a common symptom. They can range from 1 mm to several centimeters in size. It could also cause vaginal bleeding and itching after intercourse. It is a highly contagious STD virus contracted during intercourse. Do not try to treat the wart with over the counter wart treatments. You should see a doctor for this one and practice safe sex to start with.

3. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

The symptoms of a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can produce a light brown vaginal discharge. PID is a serious medical condition occurring in various reproductive organs within a woman’s body. It could affect the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing nausea, diarrhea, fever, chills or any abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding.

4. Perimenopausal Spotting

Menopause can set in anytime in a woman who is nearing her late forties until her early fifties. The key cause of spotting during the menopausal period, is related to the hormones in a woman’s body who is undergoing an extreme change. The other accompanying symptoms include dryness of the external reproductive parts and reduced sexual desire. However, if perimenopausal spotting is accompanied by varying degree of abdominal or vaginal pain, seek immediate medical attention.

5. Ovulation Bleeding

Ovulation spotting usually lasts for only 1 or 2 days. If you are bleeding longer, it may indicate a serious problem. Do not overlook it as mere ovulation bleeding. You should see a doctor if there is heavy bleeding between periods. Typically during ovulation, a few women only experience light spotting. However if the blood flow appears to be more than usual, you should consider scheduling a visit to your gynecologist and perhaps also get a pap smear done.

6. Yeast, Viruses, Bacteria And Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

Yeast, viruses, bacteria and sexually transmitted diseases (STD), could eventually cause vulvovaginitis. This is an infection of the vagina or vulva and is fairly prevalent in women of all ages. A bacteria called candida albicans can cause this type of a vulvovaginitis infection. You will be able to distinguish a yeast infection due to a mild yeasty odor. At times, there is no odor at all. However, if the yeast infection results in an extreme dark brown and smelly vaginal discharge around the time of your period cycle, get it treated at the earliest.

7. Bacterial Vaginosis (Vulvovaginitis)

The bacterial infection symptoms is another vital cause of bacterial vaginosis. This is commonly detected by a resulting brown discharge with foul odor. The discharge tends to be light to heavy and has a liquid consistency. It has a fishy smell and a foul odor that can be quite strong in instances of a serious bacterial infection. You can easily cure it by following a good program.

8. Incidence Of Implantation Bleeding

Other common cause of spotting includes incidence of implantation bleeding. This type of light spotting between periods is associated with pregnancy. A mild spotting usually occurs a week before the period cycle is expected to start or a week after the ovulation process. If you are feeling feverish, light headed or having increasing discomfort, you should seek medical help quickly.

9. Severe Mental, Physical And Emotional Stress

Stress may also trigger vaginal spotting between periods. Keep in mind, this type of bleeding in between periods is usually light and occurs 2-5 days before or after the start of your period. Different stressors will trigger the brain to change the menstrual process. This in turn will result in a brown color discharge in the first half of a period cycle. In case the ovulation process takes place partially or does not occur, light spotting in between the menstrual cycle emerges during the last half of a period cycle.

10. Cervical Cancer

Continuous foul smelling watery brown bloody discharge can indicate cervical cancer. Any bleeding in between your menstrual cycle or after menopause should be checked out by your gynecologist to be safe.

Several women commonly experience brown discharge between periods at some specific time during their reproductive lives. Spotting between periods hardly poses a major cause for concern. However, it still continues to draw attention from gynecologists worldwide. An extremely dark brown discharge between periods indicates very old blood. The blood color does not necessarily point towards the exact cause of spotting. In order to arrive at a precise diagnosis, a clinical assessment and diagnostic procedure is required to ascertain the cause of vaginal bleeding in between periods.

Read also:

Why Is My Discharge Brown 5 Reasons You Need Prompt Consultation And Smear Test
Brown Discharge From Vagina Top Causes And Prevention Guidelines For Abnormalities
Difference Between Spotting and a Period. Basic Distinctive Features