A variety of different medical conditions can cause a dark brown discharge from a woman’s vagina. While medical attention may be essential in certain cases, most of them are caused by normal body processes and are generally harmless. A light brown discharge often disappears within a few days on its own.
What Are the Causes of A Dark Brown Discharge
There are as many as seven common reasons as to why a woman experiences a dark brown vaginal discharge.
#1: Pregnancy: Implantation can cause the discharge from a woman’s vagina to have a dark brown color. This is referred to as implantation bleeding. While the discharge can last for about 3 to 4 days, the color of the discharge may range from pink to red to light/dark brown.
#2: Ovulation: Women commonly experience spotting or a dark brown vaginal discharge as the egg gets released. Generally, it lasts only for a few days.
#3: Menopause: In general, a woman who is close to menopause often experiences a vaginal discharge that is dark brown in color when compared with that of the normal menstrual flow.
#4: Endometrial Bleeding: If some part of the wall of the uterus was not discharged at the time of the menstrual cycle, then endometrial bleeding can occur. Endometrial bleeding may occur either immediately after the end of the menstrual cycle or immediately before the start of the next menstrual cycle. As the blood that is being discharged is old, it can be dark brown in color.
#5: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: This medical condition occurs due to an infection in the fallopian tubes, lining of the uterus, cervix, ovaries and/or the vagina. It causes a lot of pain during intercourse and if left untreated, it can lead to abdominal pain and infertility. As the Pelvic Inflammatory disease can be a very serious medical condition, it is important to schedule a visit and consult the gynecologist.
#6: Cervical Cancer: By far, this is the most serious medical condition that may cause a dark brown vaginal discharge. Human papilloma virus or HPV is responsible for the spread of cervical cancer. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include weight loss, pelvic pain, loss of appetite, leg pain, and fatigue.
#7: Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Another reason as to why women experience a dark brown vaginal discharge is STD or sexually transmitted diseases. STDs that are capable of causing this problem may include genital warts, chlamydia and gonorrhea. In addition, women may experience other symptoms such as pain, a burning sensation, infertility, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Other aspects related to a dark brown discharge include foul odor, itching, pain around the vaginal area, burning sensation, swelling around the vaginal area and pain during intercourse. It is always better to visit a gynecologist who will be able to diagnose the reason for the dark brown vaginal discharge. A gynecologist may do a pelvic examination and recommend some tests if the pelvic examination does not indicate a reason for the discharge.