Spottingor brown discharge after the period or during, when to worry? The spotting of brown colour vaginal discharge is due to the presence of blood, being in relatively small quantities within the vaginal secretions.
Brown discharge after a period does not generate a natural menstrual flow. For this reason, it remains longer inside the vagina, encountering oxidation phenomena and thus assuming a dark color. Spotting usually does not occur in conjunction with menstruation but between one menstrual cycle and another or just before the start of the flow.
Why do we see brown discharge after a period?
A brown discharge after a period is a widespread symptom in women, which in the majority of cases is not worrying but attributable to a physiological moment in the life of the patients (fertile period, pregnancy, ovulation, and menopause). More rarely, it is possible to trace the phenomenon to underlying pathological conditions, as well as periods of severe stress, hormonal imbalances or incorrect eating habits, which have repercussions on female well-being.
In any case, in the presence of brown discharge after a period, it is always good practice to consult us at USA Fibroids Center so that this disorder can be framed and managed correctly.
Spotting vs. light period
When blood loss is limited, leakage through the vagina is slackened. Spotting occurs during this time haemoglobin, the protein contained within red blood cells and responsible for the ability to bind oxygen, undergoes an oxidation process that changes its color from bright red to black.
The color is not an index of the severity of the symptom. But it only indicates that a certain amount of time has passed between the blood leakage and expulsion. Hence, a light period.
Brown discharge in pregnancy
The appearance of brown discharge after a period is a frequent finding during the first weeks of gestation or in the ovulatory period. In this case, the phenomenon is likely of a physiological nature. Still, it is always advisable to receive confirmation from a doctor also investigating any coagulation disorders and other pathologies that could induce similar symptoms.
What does the brown discharge after a period indicate?
The presence of brown discharge after a period is attributable to numerous clinical conditions, both pathological and non-pathological, which can be divided into:
Dysfunctional changes, usually reversible, such as:
- Periods of stress, emotional tension or psycho-physical tiredness, in conjunction with which there are increases in the levels of cortisol (stress response hormone) and adrenaline (the neurotransmitter responsible for the body’s state of reactivity);
- The increased production of these substances can affect the activity of the hypothalamus, a structure of the central nervous system, also responsible for the regularity of the menstrual cycle (in this case, the brown discharge will tend to appear just before the menstrual cycle, which will generally be ahead or behind the norm).
- Bad eating habits can represent a rare phenomenon due to the adoption of an unbalanced diet, or they can be part of more severe pathologies, such as eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, obesity).
- The production of brown discharge after a period can be a side effect related to the use of different hormonal contraceptive methods, such as the pill, ring, coil or patch, especially during the first months of use. Spotting tends to be present only in the first months of taking hormone therapy and then resolves spontaneously.
Organic alterations such as:
Ovarian cysts: can be isolated or in the context of polycystic ovary syndrome. In this case, brown vaginal discharge will appear more often in the period between one menstrual cycle and another or in conjunction with ovulation.
Uterine fibroids or polyps: benign tumors of the female genital tract, which can cause natural spotting or a brown discharge after a period. However, if it persists beyond that, it is necessary to consult our specialists at the USA Fibroids Center and diagnose if fibroids may be causing the spotting.