The occurrence of vaginal discharge is a topic of many discussions as it can be perfectly normal, but also the sign of certain changes happening inside uterus and vagina. Vaginal discharge has its purpose and that is to clean vagina and eliminate dead cells from its surface, thus keeping it protected from bacterial infections.
Normal vaginal discharge should be transparent or white, with white flecks and its amount can vary depending on the phase of the cycle.
If brown discharge is associated with other symptoms such as itching, lower abdominal pain, redness of vagina and vulva, and painful urination, you may have a bacterial or fungal infection of vagina and/or cervix - vaginitis and cervicitis. Uterine polyps can cause this kind of discharge, but they often include occasional unusual bleeding, especially after intercourse as well as painful sexual intercourse.
Late Period and Brown Discharge
If your period is several days late, you are having lower abdominal cramps and occasional brownish or red vaginal discharge different than usual, pregnancy is a very probable cause of those symptoms. Typical early symptoms of pregnancy occur 8 - 11 days after conception and include pink or brown discharge, usually in much lower amount than during normal period and lower abdominal cramps followed by nausea. That characteristic discharge is called implantation bleeding, and is caused by the embryo adhering to the wall of the uterus. Most women do not get all these early signs. You can easily check if you are pregnant by purchasing a home pregnancy test which detects the presence of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by placenta. These tests are very sensitive and some of them can confirm pregnancy even before the missed period. However, if the results come back negative, try purchasing a new test and try again after a few days, or simply visit your gynecologist.
Brown vaginal discharge occurring after period or between periods is not very common, but nevertheless, in most cases it is not serious. Stress, oral contraceptives, and many other factors can cause hormonal imbalance, thus inducing changed color and increased amount of discharge after a normal period. It can also be the remaining part of the last period appearing a bit late.
However, if the color turns to light red, you should contact your doctor for further examination.
First Period and Brown Discharge
First period can appear in different forms, and vaginal discharge may start with brown spots. As the properties of vaginal discharge mostly depend on hormonal status, it is not unusual for young girls to have periods of irregular length and various changes in vaginal discharge until the hormonal status is well established. Brown or bloody discharge in childhood, before first period, is called premenarchal discharge and can be caused by infections or foreign bodies in vagina.
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