Hi Mrs. Andrews
I will list some of the possible cause of a second period or brown discharge [assuming it was very light] -
Reasons for a period every two weeks could be:
• Dramatic weight loss or gain -- This changes the hormones in the body and these are responsible for directing when the period will start.
• Excessive exercise -- This too disrupts hormones.
• Stress -- Exams, family argument, financial worries, divorce, even a holiday can cause a temporary change in your menstrual cycle.
• Illness and/or medications -- Some medications can affect your cycle. Talk to your doctor about altering or stopping your medication if you think this is happening.
• Uterine problems such as polyps, cysts, fibroids or tumors (either benign or cancerous).
• Sexually transmitted infections -- These can cause bleeding in between periods which can be mistaken for a period.
• Thyroid problems -- Thyroid disease could cause a thickening of the uterine lining, resulting in more bleeding than normal.
• Reactions to contraceptive methods -- Sometimes the pill, depo provera injections or the copper-only IUD can result in a change in your cycle.
~ The pill and IUD can make you bleed in between periods, known as "breakthrough bleeding" and this may be mistaken for a period.
~ The IUD can also make your periods heavier.
~ The depo-provera injection can make your cycle irregular, however, it often stops your period altogether instead of making it more frequent.
Dark Brown Discharge & Endometrium
Endometrium is a mucous membrane which lines the uterus and thickens so that a fertilized egg can attach itself to this lining. But if partners use contraception and if pregnancy does not occur, this lining disintegrates and is thrown out of the body in the form of menstrual blood. These endometrial tissues have different layers and are completely shed during menstruation. However, sometimes due to some reason, certain parts of the uterine lining may not be able to shed completely. Due to this, the person may experience dark brown discharge after period or may be before the beginning of the next periods. As the blood is a little old, it becomes dark brown in color.
Dark Brown Discharge during ovulation
Some women experience dark brown discharge just in the middle of the menstrual cycle. If you experience dark brown discharge between periods, it is most likely because of ovulation. In most cases women with average 28-30 days menstrual cycle have ovulation on 14th – 16th day – as the mature egg releases from the ovary, some women experience a little bleeding which is usually called “ovulation spotting”. In most cases the combination of dark brown discharge with short abdominal cramps indicate ovulation day.
Dark Brown Discharge during stress
How many time we are facing stress! – Love, danger, fear, abuse, exams, conflicts, work, personal relations, misunderstandings, fight, sadness, diseases, death, etc.
Eating disorders, dieting, drug use, and reliance on stimulants like caffeine and alcohol are also interpreted by the body as kinds of stress. Poor nutrition seems to physically change the proteins in the brain so they can no longer send the proper signals for normal ovulation.
When we are under stress, our adrenal glands are designed to produce the hormone called stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline) which have direct impact on the sex hormones (mainly estrogens and progesterone). Estrogens and progesterone are responsible for development of the endometrium (internal lining of the uterus). Sex hormones are also responsible for normal regular menstrual cycles.
When a woman is subjected to extreme stress and depression, the inner lining of the uterus becomes thin. This thin lining means that there is a delay in shedding the endometrial wall. This delay will cause the blood to oxidize and become discolored – often like dark brown discharge. Scientists discovered the correlation between chronic stress, irregular periods and dark brown discharge. It was hypothesized that women with higher stress levels would be more likely to experience abnormal cycles and unexpected dark brown discharge. Many women after stress could have irregular periods and/or dark brown discharge instead of period, and/or irregular dark brown discharge.
Dark Brown Discharge during pregnancy
Dark brown discharge during pregnancy is always alarming symptom and special attention should be paid to it. Although many pregnant women could have dark brown discharge during whole pregnancy without any serious reason but sometimes the dark brown discharge during pregnancy could be a signal of some serious conditions.
Dark brown discharge in early pregnancy is very common and can be an indication that one has conceived. This usually occurs a few days after conception (when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine lining) – it is called implantation bleeding. This type of dark brown discharge during pregnancy lasts for 3-4 days and is usually very light.
Dark brown discharge during pregnancy could be observed if woman have cervical sensitivity, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and/or genital HPV.
Sometimes during pregnancy dark brown discharge could be a signal for serious threats such as ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and/or molar pregnancy.
However, if you experience dark brown discharge any time during pregnancy, it is better to contact your doctor.
Besides these, there are several other reasons. It will be prudent to visit a doctor and get yourself evaluated.