Brown Discharge Before Period: Major Causes and Its Treatment

Experiencing brown discharge before periods is a common occurrence. Usually, it is not a reason for panic; however, in rare cases, it may be an indication of a health problem. This article will clear your doubts about vaginal discharge before period.
Dealing with those 5 days of a month is a hassle in itself. Moreover, any discharge prior to those days may cause you concern. However, the good news is that in most instances, brown discharge is not something to worry about. Although it may seem unusual, this discharge is fairly common and can happen due to several reasons. Endometriosis, polyps, infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), hormonal imbalance, contraceptive pills, implantation or trauma are a few reasons behind the brown discharge. The color of the discharge may also differ in shades, from light brown to dark brown.

Causes of Brown Premenstrual Discharge

Menstrual flow often consists of several layers, which include old blood, endometrial lining, nutrients, etc. This discharge is usually the old endometrial tissue that failed to make a timely exit. This may happen before or even after a period. This is also termed as a cleaning process. This process may be accompanied with pelvic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, cramps, heavy periods or pain while urinating.

Polyps are abnormal growth of tissues, inside the vagina or uterus. Mostly, they are of benign nature, therefore they aren't a cause of concern. However, these cells tend to bleed slowly, causing a brown discharge before periods.

Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts (HPV), etc. can cause brown discharge. Pelvic inflammatory disease and vulvovaginitis can also be one of the reasons.

Hormonal Imbalance (Perimenopause)
The first stage of menopause is known as perimenopause. This occurs between 2 to 8 years before menopause. Perimenopausal women often have fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, the two most important female hormones. This variation from normal hormone levels can lead to brown discharge. Weight loss and stress can bring a change in hormones too.

Contraceptive Pills
It is a well-established fact that contraceptive pills interfere with the hormones in the body. It also changes the level of hormones involved in the cycle of menstruation, causing an imbalance in the natural flow. This is how the consumption of contraceptive pills can result in brown discharge.

The cervix might abrade during intercourse, causing it to bleed. Bleeding caused by this damage might be very minor, hence it may take longer to travel down the vaginal canal. As old blood tends to appear brown, brown-colored spotting might be a result of this trauma.

Other Reasons Behind Brown Discharge

Implantation bleeding or spotting is a sign of early pregnancy. It is a sign of the fetus implanting itself in the uterine lining. This lining is also known as the endometrial lining. The embryo burrows itself inside the lining, it leads to rupture of the lining. This causes implantation spotting which is either pink or brown in color. However, implantation spotting is very light and occurs for about 2 - 3 days. It occurs at 6 to 12 days post ovulation or a week prior to your impending period.

A miscarriage often leads to bleeding or spotting. Abdominal cramps, lower backache, and discharge of tissue-like material, are some of the accompanied symptoms.

Spotting - Light or Dark

Light brown spotting is mainly caused due to the hormonal changes that take place in the body. Spotting after a surgery or vaginal injury also results in light brown discharge before periods. However, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer, cysts, fibroid tumors, cervivitis or ectopic pregnancy can also be the reasons behind premenstrual bleeding/spotting.

Darker the blood, the longer it has taken to pass through vaginal canal. This can also indicate that the bleeding is abdominal and not vaginal. Other reasons include injury to the fallopian tube or ovaries, cysts, blood clots along the uterine wall, etc.

If you have been experiencing brown discharge before every period, there might not be a cause for worry. However, if you notice a sudden change in the color, volume or any kind of appearance, you should talk to your gynecologist.

The fluid that is discharged during menstruation is not only blood, but a composition of cervical mucus and vaginal secretions. Therefore, in times of a slow menstrual flow, a brownish discharge is not a very unusual happening.


As already mentioned, brown discharge is usually not an issue to worry about. However, if the spotting is unusual, it is safer to consult a gynecologist. If you have been on contraceptive pills and they are found to be the cause of brown discharge, then your doctor may ask you to switch to a different brand.

A pap smear test may be required to affirm the possibility of polyps or other abnormal growths inside the uterus. Treatment may be initiated depending upon the test results. Though most polyps can be controlled with medication, surgery may be required in rare cases. Brown discharge due to pregnancy obviously does not need any treatment. However, you must confirm your pregnancy with a relevant test and then go in for a proper prenatal care.

Brown discharge before periods rarely leads to complications. However, to regulate your menstrual cycle and cure all the irregularities, it is important to stay healthy. Proper diet, exercising, and drinking a lot of water can cleanse you from within; thus alleviating the possibility of any menstrual problems.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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