Although in most cases brown discharge is harmless and natural, it can be scary for some women. Most often, vaginal discharge can either be brown or light brown, which is a result of old blood mixing with discharge and leaving your body. This can happen before or after the period, or during pregnancy. The timing of the brown discharge is important to track though, as it can be indicative of other issues that should not be ignored. Let’s try to understand what are its causes and when it is best to consult a doctor.
Causes of Brown Discharge?
It can be a result of various factors such as age, sexual activity, use of birth control, menstruation, ovulation bleeding, infection or pregnancy. Paying attention to any discharge that you have and when you have it is essential to know the cause for it.
Before and After Period:
If you notice brown discharge before your period, then it can be either because you have low progesterone levels or because you started using a different method of birth control. Sometimes, in case you have got your period later than usual, you might observe a brown discharge rather than red.
On the other hand, if you notice brown discharge after your period, it can be related to the fact that your vagina is evacuating remaining blood or old cells. It might also be due to an irritation that is causing bleeding, which turns brown before it gets out of the body.
The increase of hormones in the body and blood flow to the cervix can lead to brown discharge during pregnancy. Listed below are some other causes of discharge during pregnancy:
- If you have reached the last month of pregnancy, having brown discharge can be a sign of approaching labour time
- If the brown discharge becomes persistent and is accompanied by severe pain in the lower abdomen, it can be a symptom of miscarriage, which is the loss of the foetus before the second trimester. If you are in doubt, it is advised to visit your doctor immediately.
- Although unlikely, brown discharge can also result from an ectopic pregnancy. Be aware that this type of pregnancy is an urgent case; as it means the implantation did not happen in the right place and may cause severe bleeding. However, brown discharge may also be due to detachment of the egg. It is, therefore, crucial to exercise caution to avoid the risk of complications
If your brown discharge is related to hormonal disturbances, you must find a balance. This may involve a change in your method of birth control or simply a change in your lifestyle or nutrition.
If your brown vaginal discharge is caused by a disease, only your doctor can direct you to the most appropriate treatment.
When is Brown Discharge a Cause for Concern?
Brown vaginal discharge in certain cases, however, might indicate health conditions that may require immediate medical attention. It is best to consult your doctor if you notice any of the following signs:
- Unpleasant odours
- Pain and itching in the area of the vagina and pelvis
- Abdominal pain
- High body temperature or fever
- Discharge during intercourse
- Dryness of the vagina
- Increased need for urination
The doctor will then perform a vaginal swab and will suggest a proper treatment depending on the results or will ask you to undergo more detailed check-ups.
Tips for Dealing with Brown Vaginal Discharge:
Brown discharge is, in most cases, normal and there is no treatment for it in particular. Yet, treating the cause will help you eliminate it.
The best way of managing any vaginal discharge is using panty liners daily. Panty liners are designed to protect panties and make you feel clean and fresh down there every day. They come in different sizes and shapes and can help you feel more comfortable.
Another recommendation is to shower daily using an intimate wash. The right intimate was is pH balanced and specially designed for your intimate area. This helps keep you clean and fresh every day.