Normal discharge in color and consistency is clear and yellowish or cloudy and white. These natural secretions maintain the cleanliness of the vaginal area. Sometimes there is a variation in this type of discharge due to reasons like changes in the menstrual cycle, improper nutrition, early pregnancy and birth control pills intake. Any strange symptom regarding vaginal secretions could indicate infection or disease, so it definitely mustn`t be ignored. Remember, that prevention is always better than cure!
Common Causes of Black Vaginal Discharge
Black vaginal discharge cannot be called a common phenomenon. In most cases it occurs due to the old blood left over after menstruation or embryo implantation. It is normal to have dark discharge right before period or several days after menses. However, black vaginal secretions in the middle of the cycle must always alarm you. Dark discharge can be caused by any foreign object in vagina like a condom or a tampon. Moreover, if secretions suddenly change their color, they can indicate the presence of serious diseases and even cervical cancer. Such symptoms should be reported to the doctor without any delay.
Dark vaginal discharge can start:
- several days before period and signify the beginning of the normal menstrual blood flow;
- several days after period, in such a case it means that some blood has remained in the cervix and now it came out, nothing more serious;
- in the middle of the cycle: mid-cycle black discharge can appear due to the hormonal therapy, ovulation, implantation, inflammations or STDs, after sex and vaginal traumas, after defloration.
Here are the most common causes of black vaginal discharge:
If the black vaginal discharge is continuous and the menstrual period is delayed, such secretions could appear due to the implantation process. Dark brown or even black color discharge can occur 6 to 12 days after egg fertilization. The newly-formed embryo begins its attachment to the uterine wall. The uterine lining is rich in blood and regularly sheds once in a month, if fertilization does not occur. If conception is successful, some blood vessels can be ruptured by the embryo in the process of its implanting. Discharge during the egg-attachment is rather a common symptom. It appears in 30% of all pregnancies and is called implantation bleeding. Moreover, its color can also vary: it can be brown, black or pink. This factor depends on how old the blood from the uterine lining is, i.e. how much time it took for this blood to pass out of the body.
To diagnose implantation bleeding you need to contact your doctor and pass several tests. Remember, that the home pregnancy test (HPT) will be positive and accurate only if your hCG level is enough to be detected in the urine. If implantation has occurred and your test is negative, in some time other pregnancy signs will appear. Anyway, if you suspect conception and experience black vaginal discharge, try to discuss this matter with your ob-gyn. Cervical mucus with black drops of blood is the first symptom of the premature placental abruption. Dark secretions during pregnancy can also indicate a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. In such a case a woman can feel lightheadedness and palpitation.
Foreign Object in Vagina
Another major cause of black discharge is the presence of any foreign body in the vagina. It can be, for example, a part of the tampon or broken condom. These foreign bodies may slip off and hide in the vagina. When this happens and passes unnoticed the discharge not only changes in color, but also triggers other symptoms. First of all, vaginal secretions are accompanied by an unpleasant odor. Secondly, you may feel a strong discomfort in the vaginal area.
For removal of foreign objects, the patient should consult a doctor. It is necessary to schedule an appointment with the ob-gyn within two-three weeks. Any delay may result in serious inflammation and such symptoms as fever and sickness, acute abdominal pain and tingling feelings in the stomach, painful urination. Once the foreign object is removed, the discharge will stop soon after that. In the majority of cases all the manipulations are carried out without surgical intervention.
The cervix is the upper portion of the vagina that has its opening into the uterus. The main symptom of cervical cancer is the change in the color of vaginal discharge, but it is not necessarily black. This type of cancer is slow-spreading and begins with a precancerous symptom called dysplasia (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). This disease causes abnormal vaginal discharge between periods, after intercourse or after menopause. Such secretions are usually accompanied by a foul odor.
Regular pelvic examinations and Pap smear procedures will help to diagnose cancer. It is important to detect it as soon as possible, as it might metastasize to other organs. The problem is that this cancer is not easy to diagnose at early stages as it does not display any specific symptoms. Black vaginal discharge with foul smell can be one of them.
Abnormal Black Vaginal Discharge
Abnormal vaginal discharge may be caused due to other reasons like pelvic infection after surgery, yeast infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, vulvitis, vaginitis, cervicitis, endometritis, salpingitis, and many more. Logically, the treatment of this discharge problem varies depending on the cause.
You definitely need to contact your doctor:
- if black discharge is abundant;
- if scant dark discharge lasts more than three days;
- if such vaginal secretions appear every time after sex;
- when you have additional symptoms like fever, strong abdominal or back pains, dryness, burning and itching sensations in the vaginal area;
- if you have black discharge in the postmenopausal period;
- in case you started to intake hormonal medications and dark discharge appears from time to time during more than three months.
Dark vaginal secretions can be normal only before period or after menses, in other cases they are a serious matter for concern and a reason to talk with a doctor.