≡ Menu

Brown Discharge Instead Of Period 7 Common Causes And Preventive Measures

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Brown discharge instead of period can raise several doubts in a woman’s mind. Almost all women will start thinking about the dreadful medical conditions, key reasons and consequences, of brown vaginal discharge instead of a monthly menstrual cycle. However the real question that remains to be answered, is whether dark brown menstrual bleeding really dangerous? It is vital that you determine when a condition is potentially unsafe and in which situations you must consult a doctor.

Brown Discharge Instead Of Period – 7 Common Causes And Prevention

Interested in finding out why a woman could get a brown discharge instead of a normal period? You should remain aware of your own body and if things appear to be different, be sure to get it checked. In some instances and special conditions, a woman may experience brown vaginal discharge instead of a normal regular period. Here’s why.

1. Delayed Periods

– A brown vaginal discharge instead of a period usually occurs due to late periods.

– Sometimes if the lining is not eliminated, the residual can remain within the uterus for almost a month.

– In this condition, a woman’s body expels an old uterine lining.

– These discharges are normally observed for nearly three days after which a woman should get her usual period.

– If the menstrual flow does not follow the discharge, you must seek immediate medical help.

– In majority instances, a brown discharge is just the remains of a delayed period.

2. Hormonal Imbalance

– In nearly 25% of all cases, hormonal imbalance is regarded as the key reason for discharge that occurs instead of periods.

– Brown discharge instead of a regular period can also be a symptom of hormonal dysfunction and/or hormonal imbalance.

– This imbalance can be experienced due to Polycystic Ovarian Diseases (PCOS), Ovarian Premature Failure and Endometriosis.

– Other reasons for hormonal dysfunction could be the use of birth control pills, hormonal contraception, Hyperprolactinemia etc.

3. Implantation Hemorrhaging

– After fertilization, the zygote and a fertilized ovum travel through the fallopian tubes up to the womb.

– The zygote becomes an enlarged embryo during this travel and burrows inside the uterine coating.

– This burrowing causes brown vaginal discharge instead of periods.

– This can be an early signal of pregnancy and is also called “implantation bleeding”.

– Implantation bleeding is different from a normal period since it is lighter and lasts for only up to 3 days.

– Implantation bleeding occurs nearly 6 to 12 days post fertilization and a week before your period is due.

4. Birth Control Pills

– A birth control pill is a synthetic form of the progesterone and estrogen hormone and is taken by a woman to prevent pregnancy.

– Often, birth control pills are also used for treating acne, ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, etc.

– The progesterone and estrogen hormones work to inhibit the natural cyclical hormones and prevent pregnancy.

– The progesterone in the pills change the lining of the uterus and help prevent the sperms from reaching the egg.

– This change in the cervical mucus brings a change in the lining color as well and is responsible for brown vaginal spotting instead of a period.

5. Serious Diseases / Health Conditions

– Sometimes brown spotting instead of a period can be a symptom of serious health issues or diseases.

– Brown discharge during periods may be caused due to cervical cancer, chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis.

– In general, brown discharge is safe but any infection in the vagina characterized by large amount of discharge and unpleasant smell should be checked.

– Some other signs of serious problems include itching, vaginal dry skin, burning and distress during sex.

6. Menopause Or Perimenopause

– One of the initial stage of perimenopause leads to brown discharge instead of periods as estrogen levels continue to drop.

– The ovaries produce less estrogen and the entire reproductive system slows down.

– This condition is associated with irregular ovulation and cycle leading to a permanent natural infertility.

– Discharge is noticed along with night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disruption, hot flashes, confusion and mood swings.

7. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

– Pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID) are serious infections of the upper genital tract and female reproductive organs such as fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries.

– PID can be a vital reason for brown secretion instead of periods.

– PID can be naturally occurring or sexually transmitted.

– At times, PID develops from a bacteria that has traveled through the cervix and vagina from an intrauterine device (IUD).

– If left untreated, it can cause infertility, chronic brown discharge and chronic infection.

Top Prevention Measures To Get Relief From Brown Discharge Caused Due To An Infection

Wondering why does one get brown spotting instead of a regular period? Remember, Vaginal infections are fairly common and majority of women will experience some type of a vaginal infection once in their lifetime. On the other hand, any abrupt change in color or the amount of discharge could be a sign of vaginal infection. Here’s what you can do to prevent the infection from spreading further.

a. Do not scratch the inflamed or infected area as it can cause further infection and irritation.

b. If using a medication cream inside the vagina for an infection, it is a good idea to use it during your menstrual period.

c. During an infection, avoid tampons if menstruation occurs. Use a pad instead.

d. Consult a doctor at the earliest. Avoid any unnecessary delays.

e. If symptoms persist even after completing your treatment, a detailed examination is indicated.

f. Call your gynecologist for a follow up appointment,

g. Do not use petroleum jelly, cream, spray or anything else in the vagina for a minimum of 48 hours prior to your exam.

h. Avoid having new sexual partners.

i. Wear a cotton underwear.

j. Avoid using anything that could cause vulva or vaginal irritants such as a deodorant or a perfumed soap or any other body washes.

There are many worrisome thoughts that can cross your mind for getting a brown discharge instead of period. It is vital that you practice safe sex. Additionally, you must keep any stressful conditions in check, since stress is a major contributor of brown vaginal spotting. Always follow the simple rules of hygiene and consult a physician on an ongoing basis.

Read also:

Brown Discharge After Period Top 10 Causes

Brown Discharge Before Period Top 7 Things To Do

Brown Discharge From Vagina Top Causes And Prevention Guidelines For Abnormalities