The menstrual cycle is as natural in a woman’s life as breathing.It occurs between the ages of 10 and 14 and ends between the ages of 40 and 55. The purpose of this female sexual cycle is to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, which occurs thanks to the development of the female gametes and a series of physiological changes that occur each month.
The first menstruation is known as menarche, which occurs during the puberty stage and shows that the female body is already able to fertilize its eggs and give rise to a zygote that will become a fetus and later become a human being. From this moment on, the menstrual cycle will occur monthly, but there are some cases where the frequency and amount of bleeding varies.
Flows during the menstrual cycle
We all know that in the menstrual cycle, women have a constant flow of blood and dead tissue remaining from the unfertilized egg, accompanied with other endometrial tissues to clean the intimate area, which is, for obvious reasons of dark reddish color. Even at the end of menstruation it is possible to perceive some spots of a more subtle tone, indicating that the cycle is coming to an end.
However, other types of vaginal discharge do not occur during your period because they are indicative that something else is going on inside the female organ. Therefore, if you notice any type of discharge during your period, take a moment to analyze it and see your gynecologist, so that you can avoid any future complications.
That is why in this article we will talk about brown discharge during the menstrual cycle and what its appearance means.
Brown vaginal discharge: what does it mean?
One of the most common vaginal discharge during and even before and after the menstrual cycle is brown coloration, why does this happen? Very simple, This is due to traces of blood that is already dry, but is still inside the vagina.but is still inside the female organism and the body tries to clean itself. So the appearance of brown discharge during menstruation can be considered normal.
Blood acquires this dark hue due to the natural process of oxidation, which occurs when the blood is no longer fresh, is not inside the blood vessels and in turn comes into contact with air. So, the longer the blood remains, the more oxidation it will have and the browner it will look.
Causes of brown flow
Although it is considered normal, if the presence of dark discharge is accompanied by recurrent discomfort and is present for several days it may be due to different situations as you will see below.
In women who are beginning their pregnancy, the presence of a pinkish discharge is very common. However, the appearance of a dark liquid very similar to menstruation may indicate blood loss, which should be evaluated immediately by a medical specialist as it may indicate an ectopic pregnancy.
It happens to many women that, between days 14 and 16 of the last period, they may experience the presence of brown or brown discharge. This is due to the expulsion of a mature egg.
3. Emotional disturbances
When women are under high levels of stress, the uterus narrows, causing the endometrial cells to delay their shedding. This causes oxidation of the blood and results in the presence of a brownish discharge.
4. Contraceptive methods
Both oral contraceptives and implants can cause hormonal alterations that have an impact on the appearance of a dark discharge. This is due to the amount of hormones they contain.
5. Eating disorders
A good diet helps the body to have good defenses to fight diseases, if you have bad eating habits menstruation is affected, and may become uncontrolled and even disappear. Brown discharge may also occur due to lack of nutrients.
6. Sexually transmitted infections
Gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause degradation in the color of menstrual blood, turning it brown or brown. This is accompanied by other discomforts such as foul odor, belly pain and high fevers.
Small parts of the tissue that lines the uterus grow into other organs such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries, causing endometriosis. This produces a dark discharge and intense pain in the pelvic region.
8. Polycystic ovaries
When suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, one of the symptoms is the evidence of dark secretions, which are produced due to the presence of blood.
9. Cancer of the uterus
This is accompanied by a series of stronger symptoms, such as discomfort, pain and swelling in the intimate area. However, the presence of constant brown discharge may also be an indication of this disease.
When menopause occurs, the cervical canal narrows due to decreased estrogen levels, causing the appearance of a dark brown discharge.
When is brown discharge normal?
Normal discharge is considered normal when, in its appearance, it does not cause any discomfort to the woman, as in the following cases.
1. In adolescence
It is common that after the first menstruation, adolescents may have a brownish discharge. This is because the body is adapting to this new process, but if this is accompanied by other symptoms it is necessary to see a medical specialist because it may present a disorder or disease.
2. After sexual intercourse
If the intimate contact is accompanied by somewhat abrupt actions, it may cause the presence of a small dark bleeding. It also occurs due to lack of adequate lubrication or other conditions such as vaginal infections, polyps in the cervix, etc.
3. Before and after menstruation
This is the most common scenario of all and is due, as mentioned above, to the expulsion of oxidized dried blood retained in the body.
4. During and after breastfeeding
At the end of pregnancy, the presence of menstruation usually occurs gradually, until it returns to its regular rhythm. Some women during breastfeeding may have a brownish discharge, which is due to the expulsion of placental debris and accumulated blood.
Characteristics associated with brown discharge
Dark bleeding may present with the following characteristics and this is indicative of its severity or normality.
1. Sandy consistency
If the brown fluid has a gritty texture it means that endometrial tissues are present. This is very common in women of any age and usually occurs a few days after menstruation.
When the bleeding is accompanied by a strong odor, it is an indication of the presence of an infection. So keep an eye open for this symptom.
3. Jelly-like appearance
The presence of a jelly-like discharge may be a sign of a polyp in the uterus. As a precaution, see your gynecologist if this symptom is present in your case.
You have a discharge with a cream-like consistency, it may be due to an infection or vaginal inflammation. Remember that the normal consistency of discharge is almost liquid and light.
So what to do if I have brown vaginal discharge?
The main thing is not to be alarmed or fall into despair, as already mentioned, this is a natural process of the intimate organism and you only need to change your grooming routines during the menstrual cycle.. But what you should be aware of is the time and conditions in which this vaginal discharge occurs, as these may be indicative that something else is going on.
So it is important that you are attentive to the cause that originated it. For example, if it occurs after a sexual encounter, before or after the menstrual period or after controlling it with a contraceptive method, it is considered normal and will pass in a couple of days. But if it persists for longer, it may indicate something else, and if it is accompanied by a foul odor and pain and/or itching, it is time to go for a medical check-up.
Tips to avoid the appearance of this discharge
Although it is considered normal, it is not entirely pleasant to see a brown discharge during the menstrual period or on any other day of the cycle.. So change a few things in your daily routine.
1. Reduce douching
Since their use promotes the elimination of the vagina’s protective bacteria, only cleaning the vulva with water and intimate soap is recommended.
2. Keep the intimate area dry
This in order to avoid the appearance of bacteria, since they proliferate in humid environments.
3. Use odorless vaginal creams or powders.
Products with odor for the intimate area can cause alterations in the vaginal flora due to the chemicals and compounds they contain.
4. Use cotton underwear
This is so that the intimate area can breathe and stay fresh.
5. Avoid tight clothes
Following the previous advice, the use of looser clothing can help avoid and reduce the appearance of irritation, inflammation, chafing or redness in the intimate area.
Knowing your menstrual cycle, assessing your intimate care, diet and overall health can help you not only avoid or eliminate the appearance of brown discharge during menstruation, but also take care of your intimate area.