Question To The Gynecologist: What Does The Strange Brown Secretion Mean If It Doesn’t Coincide With The Menstruation

Date September 11, 2018 15:57

Did you notice the strange brownish spots appearing on the underwear without coinciding with the menstruation? Many women have probably come across this phenomenon.

Luckily, you should hardly worry about it. In most cases, there are quite reasonable explanations for their appearance! The best weapon in this matter is the knowledge.

So, what exactly causes the brown secretion appear on your underwear?

Grunge brown spot.Oaurea /

Everyone knows that recurring bloody secretion from the genital tract is an indicator of women's health. Usually, it appears regularly, at almost equal intervals, lasts approximately the same number of days, and you know how much will appear. It is about normal menstruation during the reproductive age.

However, most women have bloody or brownish secretion, which doesn’t coincide in time with the expected menstruation date. So, what’s the deal?

The appearance of such secretions means that menstrual blood was exposed to oxygen for a sufficiently long time to change its color. In this case, brownish secretion is caused by weak bleeding.

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If the menstrual flow is very weak, the blood will stay longer in the genital tract and, therefore, interact longer with oxygen, resulting in a darker shade.

In some cases, this phenomenon is completely normal, while in others, it is an alarm, meaning a woman needs a consultation with a gynecologist.

When brownish secretion between menstruations is normal

Cartoon cute style, vector illustrationOlga Yatsenko /

If you have brown secretion before or after intense menstrual flow, most likely you shouldn’t worry about your health. There are periods in a woman’s life when it is absolutely normal to see brownish spots on the underwear.

1. The formation of the menstrual cycle in adolescent girls. The immaturity of the ovaries in the first years after menarche often leads to irregular menstruation at the end of the period.

2. Ovulation. Sometimes women notice dark brown secretion 12-14 days before the start of the next cycle. In this case, it can be associated with ovulation. When a mature egg leaves the ovary, it may be accompanied by mild bleeding. Some women can even determine the day of ovulation due to scarce secretion about two weeks after the end of menstruation, which is accompanied by mild spasmodic pains in the abdomen.

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3. Pregnancy. Brownish or pink secretion before menstruation may be an early indication of pregnancy. Such bleeding occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted into the uterine mucosa. It usually occurs between the first and second weeks after fertilization.

4. Perimenopause. Bloody secretion between menstruations can be a sign of perimenopause, especially in women aged 40 to 50. It is a transitional period immediately before menopause when menstruation is about to stop.

5. Hormonal contraceptives usage. Brown secretion between menstruations is often one of the side effects when using birth control pills.

Usually, this phenomenon is harmless. However, in some cases, the appearance of brown spots on the underwear may indicate certain health problems.

When you should raise the alarm

Period PainYuriy Maksymiv /

1. Inflammatory pelvic disease. Uterine infection and inflammation of the cervix can be accompanied by the appearance of bloody secretion.

2. Venereal diseases. For some sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, the appearance of brownish secretion is quite common.

3. Forgotten foreign body. If you accidentally leave a foreign object in the vagina (for example, a condom, a tampon or a contraceptive ring), you may soon notice brown secretion with a bad smell.

4. Polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS is usually accompanied by a hormonal imbalance, which, causes irregular bleeding.

5. Endometriosis. One of the symptoms of this gynecological disease is a violation of the normal menstruation course (the appearance of smearing brown secretion 1-3 days before and 1-7 days after menstruation).

6. Cervical cancer. In extremely rare cases, spotting can be a symptom of cervical cancer. According to statistics from the National Cancer Institute, this cancer is diagnosed in only 0.6% of women.

When should I see a doctor?

Woman consulting with gynecologistOlena Yakobchuk /

Brown secretion is a rare cause of concern and usually doesn’t require an unscheduled gynecologist visit.

However, in some cases, you should definitely consult a doctor. You should be alerted if secretion:

  • has a bad smell;
  • continues for several weeks;
  • accompanied by spasms or pain in the abdomen;
  • often occurs after sex;
  • accompanied by vagina itching;
  • accompanied by increased body temperature;
  • accompanied by dizziness, headache.

Be sure to contact a gynecologist if you have spotting in the genital tract, which doesn’t coincide with the menstruation or accompanied by new symptoms. The doctor will find out the cause and, if necessary, prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Source: Ayda, New Kids-Center, Positive Med

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.