What Does Brown Menstrual Blood Mean? Ten Pathological Causes

Dark coloring of menstrual discharge is typical to scanty bleeding. It can be determined by a range of congenital and acquired conditions. In some cases, brown blood during periods is a variant of norm. Pathological spotting can be accompanied by pain, other forms of irregular bleeding out of the cycle, menstrual cycle disorders and infertility.

Physiological causes of dark-brown menstrual discharge

Spotting can replace normal periods during a year prior to the menopause and within the first year of the establishment of the menstrual cycle. That is to say, in the so-called transient periods, when transformation of the regular endocrine profile takes place in the organism. The third cause of acceptable brown spotting instead of periods is medically induced anovulatory cycle, precipitated by the intake of hormonal contraceptives. Substances, that are contained in them, alter the menstrual cycle so that the preparatory (secretory) phase of the endometrial lining is maximally reduced, thus proportionally decreasing the volume of menstrual discharge.

Ten factors, explaining anomalous brown vaginal discharge during periods

  1. Genetic trisomy X pathology. This deficiency involves a wrong number of chromosomes, which is a congenital pathology, accompanied by scanty periods against the background of absence of ovulation.
  2. Asherman syndrome – a disease, associated with the presence of synechias (adhesions) in the uterine cavity. This is also an inherent condition. In such cases, endometrial growth is greatly restricted by adhesions, leading to its underdevelopment. Consequently, there is little menstrual blood and it has a brown color.
  3. Acquired adhesions in the uterine cavity. The set of symptoms of this disease is analogous to the previous one. However, it can develop in the result of passed endometritis or complications, following surgical intervention, such as abortion.
  4. Inherent cervical stenosis.     Uterine cervix is a border-line organ between the uterus and the external environment, which starts from the vagina. It is the place where filtration control of cycling fluids takes place. Normally, sperm cells are “allowed in”, while menstrual blood flows out. In case of contracted external os this process is rather complicated, thus leading to brown spotting instead of periods. It is usually rather painful.
  5. Acquired cervical stenosis. This anomaly is formed in the result of passed inflammation or surgical manipulation, when the cervical os narrows down critically, blocking the blood outflow. Periods, in such cases, are also very painful. Pain attenuates along with the discharge of blood.
  6. Ovarian polycystic disease. This hormonal disruption is instantiated by anovulatory cycles against the background of chronically irregular periods. Periods frequently have the form of discharge of a little amount of brown blood.
  7. Thyroid dysfunctions. This endocrine pathology is often marked by coexisting gynecological pathology. The fact is that the levels of all hormones are interrelated. Deficiency of thyroid hormones involves disruption of sex hormones’ balance, which also affects the intensity and persistence of periods.
  8. Nervous asthenia. Exhaustion of psycho-emotional recourses results in humorous disorders, specifically decrease of gonadotropic hormone level, which is vital for the reproductive system. Such a misbalance explains scanty periods in women, who are in permanent stress.
  9. Change of the climatic zone. It is marked by short-term (up to 2 menstrual cycles) adjustment period and is not a reason for concern.
  10. Brown menstrual blood, induced by rapid weight loss, also points to hormonal dysfunction. This situation can be prevented through controlling one’s body weight. At that, one should be guided not only by beauty standards, but also by doctors’ recommendations. For example, “perfect” weight is easy to be calculated, based on the body mass index, which equals to weight in kg divided by the square of height in meters. Its “normal” range is 18,5 – 25.

Thus, brown spotting instead of periods, which involves pain, other forms of irregular bleeding, disturbance of periodicity of periods and/or inability of conception, is a pathological symptom, which should serve ground for a visit to a doctor.