Brown stringy discharge is a symptom that bothers many women of different ages throughout their reproductive years. It can appear because of different reasons and is diagnosed depending on the accompanying symptoms, relative to the menstrual cycle, age, living conditions and certain medical tests. In this article it will be explained, why you may have this discharge in the middle of the menstrual cycle, instead or after your period. If you have more specific questions, the answers to them can be given only by a highly skilled specialist after further medical examinations.
Brown Stringy Discharge: What Can It Be?
Generally, brown color of your discharge means the presence of old blood in your vaginal secretions. Fresh blood is bright red, like when you cut your finger. Sometimes a few drops of it mix with vaginal discharge and it becomes pinkish. This color is also reported as normal. On the contrary, old deoxygenated blood is brown. Such color of cervical mucus means, that it took some time for these secretions to appear. Gynecologists agree, that slight bleeding doesn`t need any special treatment until it becomes more heavy and forces you to use a pad.
Women usually have brown secretions of lighter or darker shades at the end of their period and possibly at the beginning of it, which is normal in most cases. However, remember that brown discharge, associated with period, is never stringy. If your cervical mucus before or right after menstruation becomes bloody and stretchy, you need to make some tests to ensure everything is right with your reproductive system. Usually the pelvic examination, internal and external, and a pap smear help to eliminate all the worries. Sometimes the ultrasound check is also needed.
Generally speaking, stringy vaginal discharge is a normal thing, inherent to the female reproductive cycle. However, everything depends on the time it appears. Stringy discharge between periods, for instance, can be a sign of ovulation. When an egg comes out of the ovary, the organism tries to create the most favorable conditions for future fertilization. The amount of cervical mucus increases a lot. If you are at the middle of your cycle (12-18 days after the last menstruation) and additionally feel abdominal cramps or breast tenderness, stringy discharge can signify the time you are most fertile.
Another reason of stretchy cervical mucus is connected with your sex life. Remember, when you are sexually aroused, the amount of your vaginal discharge increases. Moreover, its consistency and color can change because of additional lubricant substances you use. Some of them can even trigger allergic reactions, which can result in itching and redness in the vaginal area, foul odor and unusual consistency of the discharge.
In both cases, mentioned above, vaginal secretions can be stringy, but they are normally clear and white, sometimes slightly yellowish, but not dark. If your stretchy vaginal discharge is brown, it means that your cervical mucus is mixed with the deoxygenated blood. So, you need to determine the cause of this scanty breakthrough bleeding. During which part of your cycle it usually happens and how often also matters a lot. So, better discuss your bothersome symptoms with a specialist to get professional recommendations.
Brown Stringy Discharge: Possible Causes
Previously we found out, that brown discharge is absolutely normal only at the beginning of your menstruation or right after it. If dark stretchy vaginal secretions appear in the middle of the cycle, they can be caused by various health problems, body age transformations or changes in hormone levels.
1. Brown discharge, preceding menarche.
Before first menstruation teenage girls may have brownish discharge with stringy clots. This is a way how a young female organism prepares for menstruation. Moreover, such discharge can appear from time to time until the cycle will be stabilized completely. Some periods may be missed and brown stringy discharge may appear instead of them.
Stringy discharge is typical for ovulation. It looks like egg-white cervical mucus, clear and usually white. Sometimes it can be with brownish admixture, but without odor or such symptoms as burning sensations and acute pains.
3. Sexually transmitted diseases.
If you are sexually active, and your brown discharge seems abnormal, i.e. too abundant, with unpleasant odor, accompanied by itching, burning or painful sensations, this can be a symptom of one of the STIs. Do a pap and blood tests, and they will show precise results. If it is possible, persuade your partner to do the same tests.
4. Implantation and pregnancy.
Remember also that missed period can be the first sign of successful conception. You may have the so-called implantation spotting approximately a week after ovulation, several days before menstruation or even instead of it. In such case be careful, as brown stringy discharge during the first trimester can signify a lot of abnormalities, including threatened abortion, ectopic pregnancy or missed miscarriage.
5. Dysmenorrhea or menometrorrhagia.
Retained brown and stretchy blood clots may appear due to one of these menstrual disorders. Dysmenorrhea and menometrorrhagia are always accompanied by severe pains and excessive prolonged bleeding. They can be evaluated only after additional diagnostic studies.
6. Other gynecological conditions.
Brown stringy discharge can be caused by the hormonal imbalance, uterine polyps, fibroids, bacterial or yeast infections, especially if it occurs instead of a period.
Brown stringy discharge should be necessarily discussed with your gynecologist if it’s abundant, painful, with an unpleasant odor or tendency to reoccur. If you are not a specialist, it’s very difficult to evaluate whether your symptoms are common or abnormal. So, don’t lose your time and schedule an appointment with a good gynecologist.