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I'm 15 and I got my first period a couple months ago, but all of my periods so far have been brown and clotty and I sometimes just bleed when I wipe. I know I got my period pretty late in the game so I don't really know much but if someone could please give me an answer that would be nice. I'm a very worrisome person. Thanks

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Hi there

The color of vaginal blood is usually expected to be a bright to dark red  and a brown vaginal bleed may be concerning since it is not the norm. Brown vaginal blood, either light or dark in color, usually indicates that the blood is not fresh and has been contained in the vagina or uterus for a period of time before being expelled. It is important to identify any vaginal secretion because brown vaginal discharge is often mistaken for brown vaginal bleeding.

Causes of Brown Vaginal Blood

Brown vaginal secretions may at times be a vaginal discharge streaked with ‘old blood’ – blood that is breaking down and has taken a period of time before it exits through the vagina. At other times, a brown vaginal discharge may occur on its own with no signs of bleeding and this may seen in vaginal infections or pelvic inflammatory disease. Any of the causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding may appear as brown vaginal blood if the bleeding occurs slowly thereby allowing the blood to degrade over time. Some of the causes of brown vaginal bleeding include :

  • Retained menses. The sloughing of the inner wall of the uterus (endometrium) is usually expelled during menstruation  but at times a small portion of the uterine contents may be retained. If expelled after a couple of days or more, it may appear as brown vaginal bleeding. In the case of retained menses, this is usually a small amount that may occur a few days after you finish your period.
  • Retained menses is not a common phenomenon. It may be due to the menses being retained with the uterus or even in the vagina. An imperforate hymen is where the hymen fully rather than partially covers the vagina and at the onset of menstruation during puberty (menarche), the menses cannot pass out of the vagina. In older women, cervical stenosis which is narrowing of the cervix (or more correctly the endocervical canal) either obstructs or drastically slows down the exit of menses from the uterus. There are other possibly causes relating to anatomical abnormalities of the uterus, cervix or vagina but these are usually present from birth (congenital).
  • Infections of the vagina, uterus or fallopian tubes may cause slight bleeding that degrades before it exits the vagina. If it is a slight bleed and the infection is limited, a brown vaginal bleed may be noticed for a short period of time. Other symptoms like pain and a fever may also be present. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) may also be responsible for brown vaginal bleeding with/without a discharge and this may occur over a long period of time.

May I suggest that you visit a healthcare provider who can diagnose you properly and suggest medication

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Yes, Aushi is right. I too suffered from an imperforate hymen - which means it did not have holes to allow menstral blood to exit from the vagina and I too faced similar issues. However I realized later that I had impenetrable hymen - my hymen was thicker and more tight than any other woman - had to struggle a lot to loose my virginity.

My suggestion - visit a gynec who can examine you

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Thank you Anars - imperforate hymen is altogether another issue, which is quite rare
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