Vaginal discharge acquires brown coloring in case there is blood in it. Physiologically determined brown discharge after periods can testify to ovulation, implantation or adjustment to hormonal contraceptives. In pathological cases brown spotting amidst the cycle usually goes in line with other admixtures present in vaginal mucus, as well as vaginal discomfort, pain, irregular menstrual cycle and other concomitant symptoms. Finding out their origin can be best done with the help of a gynecologist.
A little amount of blood, appearing in vaginal discharge can explain its brown coloring and may be observed both in completely healthy organism and in complex of symptoms, typical to certain diseases.
When is dark-brown spotting after period considered physiological?
In case of a regular cycle, which lasts 28 days, appearance of brown spots on the underwear two weeks following the start of periods can be indicative to the emergence of the ovum from the follicle (ovulation bleeding). It is observed exactly in the middle of the menstrual cycle, is rather short (no more than 3 days) and can be accompanied by dragging abdominal pain, caused by the ovulating ovary.
Another form of bleeding, that is considered physiological, is brown vaginal discharge between periods, which appears in the first stages of taking hormonal contraceptive drugs. The acceptable period of bleeding, associated with the intake of hormonal contraceptives, is no more than six months.
Sometimes women observe preterm or scanty periods. In fact, such brown discharge after the previous normal period can quite possibly be associated with implantation, in case unprotected sexual intercourse had taken place a few weeks prior. This type of bleeding is marked with the following characteristic features.
- It starts a few days earlier than the expected period;
- Lasts no more than 3 days;
- Causes no pain;
- Precedes early pregnancy symptoms (sickness, taste disturbance, etc.)
What symptoms never go in line with normal brown mucous discharge after periods?
In case, apart from blood, the discharge contains other admixtures (such as matter, foam, bubbles) and/or it smells bad – such a process cannot be considered physiological. Besides, non-threatening spotting after periods is never interchanged with other types of irregular bleeding and does not cause vaginal discomfort. It also shouldn’t go in line with acute pain or deterioration of general well-being.
One should be alerted in case such discharge is observed in combination with substitution of normal periods by spotting (except for the adjustment to hormonal contraceptives). Brown mucus between irregular periods, as well as brown mucous discharge after sex, makes up another unfavorable symptom, all the more so in case these conditions accompany unsuccessful efforts of conception.
Among general symptoms of diseases, that may provoke brown discharge after periods, special attention should be given to chronic fatigue, intense sweating, obesity and coagulation failure.
All the above mentioned symptoms are obviously indicative to certain pathologies and should be examined by a specialist.
Specific diseases that cause brown discharge after periods
We distinguish between a number of pathologies, namely:
- Sexually transmitted diseases;
- Hormonal dysfunctions (ovarian polycystic syndrome, insufficiency of thyroid hormones);
- Disorders of endometrial development: its proliferation out of the uterine cavity – endometriosis; in-growth into the muscular wall – adenomyosis;
- Uterine or cervical oncological pathologies;
- Blood disorders, specifically disorders of the coagulation system;
- Idiopathic uterine bleeding (of which the etiology was impossible to establish).
These conditions can be accurately distinguished and diagnosed only in a clinic. Therefore, in order to preserve your health and peace of mind, it is recommended to inform your gynecologist about brown mucus between periods.