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The presence of a vaginal discharge of brown in place of the period can raise several doubts in the mind of a woman. Almost all women begin to think about terrible medical conditions, possible causes and consequences; however, the question that remains to be answered is whether a dark brown bleed really is dangerous. It is vital for a woman to know when a condition is potentially dangerous and in which situations she should see a doctor. If you are interested in knowing why a woman may experience a brown discharge, other than the normal period, continue this reading and you will find some answers why there is a brown discharge instead of period.
Brown discharge instead of period:
Continue reading and identify why there is a brown discharge instead of period. The woman should always be aware of her own body and if something seems to be different, make sure a doctor examines it. In some cases and special conditions, the woman may experience brown vaginal discharge instead of a normal period. Here is why.
The periods delayed:
A brown vaginal discharge instead of period usually occurs due to delays in menstruation. Occasionally, the lining is not completely removed and debris can remain inside the uterus for almost a month. In these cases, the woman’s body expels the old uterine lining. These discharges are usually observed for almost three days after the woman habitually sees her period. If this brown flow is not followed by menstrual bleeding in a few days, the woman should seek immediate medical help.
It is said that in almost 25% of cases, hormonal imbalance is considered as the key reason for the presence of a brown discharge instead of the period. This can also be a symptom of hormonal dysfunction. Such imbalance can be experienced due to polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS), premature ovarian failure and endometriosis. Other causes that are related to hormonal dysfunction are the use of birth control pills, hormonal contraception, hyperprolactinaemia, among others.
After fertilization, the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. During that journey, the zygote becomes an embryo and is implanted in the uterine lining. This implantation usually causes brown vaginal discharge instead of menstruation. It is considered as an early sign of pregnancy and is called as “implantation bleeding”. Such bleeding differs from a normal period, as it is lighter and has a maximum duration of only 3 days. It occurs approximately 6 to 12 days after fertilization and one week before the first foul.
Birth control pills:
A birth control pill is a synthetic form of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen, which is used to prevent pregnancy. Often, birth control pills are also used to treat acne, ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, etc. The hormones progesterone and oestrogen work to inhibit natural cyclic hormones and prevent pregnancy. Hence, the progesterone in the pills changes the lining of the uterus and helps prevent sperm from reaching the egg. This change in cervical mucus causes a variation in the colour of the lining and thus is responsible for brown vaginal bleeding, rather than the period.
Serious illness or health conditions:
Sometimes spotting brown instead of the menstrual period can be a symptom of serious health problems, for example, cervical cancer, chlamydia, gonorrhoea or syphilis. Generally, brown vaginal discharge is not to be alarmed thinking about these diseases, but anyhow an infection in the vagina characterized by a large amount of secretion and unpleasant odour should be reviewed. Some other signs of serious problems include itching, dryness of the vaginal skin, burning and discomfort during intercourse.
Menopause or perimenopause:
The early stage of perimenopause causes this type of brown coloured secretion instead of periods, as oestrogen levels begin to decrease. During this phase, the ovaries produce less oestrogen and the entire reproductive tract slows down. This condition is associated with irregular ovulation and leads to permanent natural infertility. Brown vaginal discharge is noted along with night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disruption, hot flashes, confusion, and mood swings.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID):
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is associated with severe infections of the upper genital tract and female reproductive organs, such as fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. This can be a vital reason for brown colour secretion rather than normal periods. PID may be of natural or sexually transmitted origin. It sometimes develops from bacteria that have travelled through the cervix and vagina, using an intrauterine device (IUD). If left untreated, PID can cause infertility, chronic brown vaginal discharge, and chronic infection.
Prevention measures to relieve brown vaginal discharge caused by an infection:
Remember that vaginal infections are very common and most women will experience some kind of vaginal infection at least once in their lifetime. Any sudden change in the colour or amount of discharges could be a sign of vaginal infection. Here’s what you can do to keep the infection from spreading further:
Do not scratch the inflamed or infected area as it can cause more infection and irritation.
If you use a cream inside the vagina to cure the infection, it is a good idea to use it also during the menstrual period.
Before an infection, avoid tampons during menstruation. Use a pad instead.
Consult a physician as soon as possible. It avoids unnecessary delays.
If the symptoms persist even after completing a treatment, you should undergo a thorough examination.
Consult a gynaecologist for a follow-up appointment.
Do not use petroleum jelly, cream, spray or any other product in the vagina for at least 48 hours before receiving an exam.
Avoid having new sexual partners.
Wear cotton underwear.
Avoid using any irritating product or object that may cause the vulva or vagina, such as deodorant, perfumed soap or liquid soaps.
In the presence of a brown vaginal discharge, instead of menstruation, many worrying thoughts can cross your mind. However, there is no need to go through that. It is vital that you practice safe sex and keep your stress conditions under control, as stress can also be an important factor for this type of flow. Always follow the simple rules of hygiene and consult a doctor on a regular basis.