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What Does Brown Vaginal Discharge Mean?

What Does Brown Vaginal Discharge Mean?

Not all cases of brown vaginal discharge are cause for concern. As a woman, you are probably aware of the general condition of any discharge ‘down there’. The range of discharge runs the gamut between annoying, embarrassing, or inconvenient. Every once in a while, however, what you notice in your private hygiene moments can be concerning. This is the case for most women when they discover not the red or clear discharge that is normal, but a dark ruddy brown colored discharge.

Key Points

  • Brown vaginal discharge is often old menses from a previous period.
  • In rare cases, brown vaginal discharge can be indicative of other problems.
  • Always consult a doctor if your brown vaginal discharge doesn't go away, or comes with other symptoms like pain or abnormal bleeding.

What Causes Brown Vaginal Discharge?

As uncommon as this is it may not be cause for great concern. Brown vaginal discharge is most often associated with old endometrial tissues. In other words, if your period is late you might get a brown, rather than red, discharge. It could also mean that for whatever reason during your last menses the entire uterine lining failed to make a timely exit. What you are seeing now is the fashionably late exit.

In some cases however there is cause for concern. Brown vaginal discharge can also be a symptom of a medical concern that is much more sinister than leftover endometrial cells.

Some common conditions causing brown vaginal discharge include: cervical cancer, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), perimenopause, menopause, or sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, Chlamydia or vaginal warts.

When is it Serious?

How are you supposed to know when this is no big deal, or possibly a really big deal? The purpose of this article is to educate and ease your mind, not incite general panic. As with any medical concern it always best to visit with your doctor. If you are hesitant to make an appointment for what is obviously a personal issue, try calling your doctor's office and talking your symptoms over with a nurse. This will help you to make up your mind whether or not you need an appointment.

If the brown vaginal discharge is a result of dysfunctional endometrial elimination your symptoms would likely be a later than usual period, if that.

Each of the other conditions mentioned have much more noticeable symptoms of their own in addition to brown discharge. Just a few are: pain, discharge that is watery or yellowish, depression, vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, frequent urination, infertility, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, burning, itching, rash, mouth ulcers, and loss of appetite.

Find Relief from Brown Discharge

Certainly a visit with a qualified health care provider will provide much relief and a clear treatment course.

If the cause of the brown vaginal discharge is simply old uterine cells, then the treatment may be simple life style suggestions such as better nutrition, regular exercise and drinking more water. If, however you discover the discharge is a result of another condition treatments will be aimed at curing that particular disease. For more detailed information study your diagnosis. A brief list of treatment options for other causes of brown vaginal discharge include: prescription medication, chemotherapy, surgery, dietary supplements, a pap smear, and other medical testing and repeat visits to the doctor.

What Other Colors Can Vaginal Discharge Be?

Vaginal discharge can be a lot of different colors. Typically, vaginal discharge should be milky or white. Clear vaginal discharge is associated with ovulation. If your discharge has a little blood in it, this is often a normal part of the menstrual cycle. Consult your doctor if it worsens or is accompanied by any other symptoms.

White discharge that is particularly thick can be indicative of a yeast infection. Yellow, green, or gray discharge is often a symptom of some type of infection. If you experience any of those colors, consult your physician. They can run tests to determine what is going on.

The color of your vaginal discharge is an important indicator to your overall reproductive health. Pay attention to it at all times, and don't hesitate to consult a professional if you have any questions or concerns. In many cases, the causes of oddly colored discharge are simple and completely treatable. Sometimes, though, they can be more severe. For that reason, it's important to take care of the issue.

Do not take the content of this article as professional medical adviceIt's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.

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