Brown Discharge Between Periods, Spotting, Causes, Reasons, Treatment

Brown discharge between periods can be a sign of an underlying diseases, natural body activities like ovulation and hormonal imbalance or gynecological activities.

Brown vaginal discharge before, after or between periods may be stringy dark mucus, light, thick with blood spotting depending on the underlying cause. Cause may also include the type of birth control pills that one is using. It is important to seek medical advice in cases were prolonged unusual discharge is experienced.

dark brown, reddish brown vaginal discharge, spotting instead of periods
dark brown, reddish brown vaginal discharge, spotting instead of periods

Continue reading bellow for causes of brown discharge between periods, what to do know and what tyo do at home.

A normal healthy woman always has clear or white discharge that has a little bit of cervical mucus. The color of this discharge may change between periods for a reason. Brown vaginal discharge is discharge that has been tainted with a little amount of blood.

Brown discharge and cramps between period

After you are done with your period, some blood from the uterine line can stay in your endometrium for some time before it comes out as brown discharge between your periods.

This blood is usually brown because usually brown because it is old blood that has been stagnant for a while in either the uterus or cervix. The body performs self-cleaning and this process can be accompanied by mild cramps.

In other circumstances, brown discharge with cramps can be a sign of serious conditions like pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Ectopic pregnancy, Endometriosis, Cervicitis and or presence of uterine fibroids.

Brown spotting between periods

Spotting refers to light bleeding between periods. It is caused by hormonal fluctuation between your periods. According to NHS, “Irregular bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, is common during the first three months of starting hormonal contraception”. Hormonal fluctuation also happens when you skip your pills or use progesterone implants.

It is also caused by sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. Most sexually transmitted disease or infections can lead to spotting between periods. Implantation bleeding (the attachment of a fertilized egg to the lining of the uterine wall) that occurs during pregnancy can cause spotting.

According to Joyce  Gottesfeld, MD, an ob/gyn at Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver. “Spotting is never normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad is going on, but it’s not normal.”

It is important to seek medical advice when you notice spotting between periods. You need to know the possible cause of your spotting and get treatment as soon as possible if necessary.

Readers may also look at:

  1. Why is my period dark brown?
  2. Can I have period while pregnant?
  3. Pad rash

Causes of brown discharge between periods, reasons and what to know

Brown discharge between periods is caused by both natural and natural circumstances. It may be an indication of an underlying health issue or abnormal body functions. The following is a list of some of the most common causes of brown discharge between periods;

1. Contraceptives

Most Contraceptives suppress the hormones progesterone and estrogen and interfere with their normal levels in the body. This hormonal imbalance affects a woman’s menstrual cycle and may cause brown vaginal discharge between periods.

They even have more adverse effects if the dosage is skipped. The following are some of the hormonal contraceptives that may cause hormonal imbalance and lead to brown discharge between periods;

  1. Combined oral contraceptive pill
  2. Progestogen -only contraceptive pill
  3. contraceptive patch (transdermal patch)
  4. contraceptive implant or injection
  5. intrauterine system (IUS)
    Brown discharge between periods
    Brown discharge between periods

2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Below are some related STD that may be linked to brown discharge between periods. Not that this may also causes brown discharge after or before period depending on the infection cycle.

a). Genital warts

Genital warts are sexually transmitted infection caused by Human Papilloma Virus. The following are symptoms of genital warts;

  1. Brown vaginal discharge between periods.
  2. Vaginal lump
  3. Cauliflower-like mass that forms on the genitals
  4. Vaginal itching
  5. Rash on genitals

It is important to visit your doctor if your brown discharge between periods is accompanied by the above symptoms. If left untreated the HPV virus may lead to cancer. The warts can only be removed by laser surgery. It is important to vaccinate against this virus. Examples of these vaccines are Gardasil, Gardasil-9 and Cervarix.

b). Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is sexually transmitted diseases that can be transmitted through having unprotected sex, oral sex, anal sex or kissing an infected partner. It has gone the following symptoms;

  1. Brown discharge between periods
  2. Sore Mouth lesions
  3. Pain during sexual intercourse
  4. Sore throat
  5. Fever
  6. Inflammation in the vulva
  7. Burning sensation while urinating
  8. Pelvic pain
  9. Frequent urination

c). Chlamydia

It is transmitted through having unprotected sex with an infected partner. It exhibits the following symptoms;

  1. Brown discharge between periods with mucus or pus that has a foul smell
  2. Pain when engaging in sexual intercourse
  3. Infertility
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Inflammation of the labia
  6. Weight loss
  7. Pelvic Inflammation
  8. Anal discharge
  9. Eye infection like conjunctivitis
  10. Fever
  11. Pain during intercourse
  12. Frequent urges to urinate (much more than usual),
  13. burning sensation or pain during urination,
  14. Abdominal and/or low back pain,
  15. Nausea

3. Vulvo-vaginal inflammation

Symptoms – Pain in urethra, Yellow vaginal discharge, vaginal dryness and Brown vaginal discharge between periods.

4. Premenopause

Premenopausal is a stage that a woman goes through before she reaches menopause. Brown discharge between periods is an indication that you are approaching menopause. You should not be worried if the brown discharged is not accompanied by cramps, pain in the urethra or foul smell.

5. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a very painful disorder whereby tissues that normally lines the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) happen to grows outside your uterus.

It affects ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. It causes brown discharge in between periods.

These displaced abnormal cells and tissues will continue to thicken, break down and bleed on your every period, causing brown discharge between periods. If left untreated, this condition can cause infertility or ovarian cancer.

6. Pregnancy

During early pregnancy Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg that has turned into a blastocyst implants itself in the uterus lining. During this process the walls of the uterus rupture. These endometrial cells may leave the body and come out as brown discharge in between periods.

7. Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is caused by human papilloma virus which causes abnormal changes in the cervix. There are two strains of the HPV virus namely HPV 16 and HPV 18 that cause 70% of all cases of cervical cancer.

The virus is spread through unprotected sexual intercourse or skin to skin contact of the genital area. Using condoms may not totally prevent the virus.

Cervical cancer is asymptomatic in its early stages. As it develops you will begin to notice the following symptoms;

  1. Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge in between periods
  2. Pain during intercourse
  3. Vaginal pain

It is important that you visit a gynecologist and ensure that you get a proper diagnosis on the cause of your brown discharge in between periods. If it is cancer, then proper treatment should be administered as soon as possible.

8. Polyps

Polyps are a group of cells with abnormal growth inside the uterus due to hormonal dysfunction.               The cells of these polyps bleed with time. If they bleed between your periods, then you will have vaginal discharge that is stained by blood

9. Injury of the vagina

Your vagina maybe bruised or injured during gynecological operations and hence your discharge gets coated with a tinge of blood making it look brown. Having rough sex can also damage the internal tissues lining your cervix.

10. Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself on the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix instead of the uterus.it is associated with the following symptoms;

  1. Light brown vaginal discharge or spotting
  2. Sharp waves of pain in the abdomen, pelvis, shoulder, or neck
  3. Severe pain that occurs on one side of the abdomen
  4. Dizziness or fainting
  5. Rectal pressure

11. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory diseases are caused by sexually transmitted diseases. It causes foul smelling brown vaginal discharge between periods. Other symptoms may include; pain during sexual intercourse, itchy vagina or tender stomach

12. Ovulation

Ovulation is the release of fertilized eggs from the ovary to the fallopian tube in readiness for fertilization by a sperm. Ovulation occurs between periods and during this time some women get light brown vaginal discharge that is mixed with stringy or thick mucus.

If you experience such a discharge on the 12th – 14th day of your menstrual cycle, you should know that you are ovulating. In case you have been trying to get pregnant, this is the most ideal time to have sex with your partner and try your luck.

Dark Brown mucus discharge between, before, after periods
Dark Brown mucus discharge between, before, after periods

Brown discharge between periods after giving birth

Period take time to return to their regular cycle after giving birth. It varies from one woman to another. Women who do not breastfeed can take around 6 months while women who exclusively breastfeed take 12-18 months for them to have a stable cycle.

  • This is caused by hormonal imbalance. During breastfeeding, the body releases the milk-producing hormone prolactin, which suppresses the levels of progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones responsible for signaling ovulation and menstruation.

This hormonal imbalance may lead to fluctuation in the periods and hence make you have brown discharge between periods or some form of spotting.

Types of brown discharge between periods and reasons

Brown discharge between periods can be light brown or dark brown with mucus or without mucus.

  1. Light brown discharge in between periods that has got thick or stringy mucus is a sign of onset of ovulation or early pregnancy. Light brown discharge with no mucus and a bad smell is a symptom of sexually transmitted disease like genital warts and gonorrhea
  2. Dark brown discharge in between periods in most cases is old endometrial tissues that did not come out of your uterus or cervix during the last period.

Causes of dark brown discharge between periods, light brown, Reddish brown, discharge, mucus

Vaginal discharge varies in color depending on the status of your body. Normal discharge is always clear or whitish but this color may change. Dark brown or reddish brown discharge between periods may indicate that the vagina is being cleaned up and the old endometrial tissues from your last menses are being washed off.

It is not associated with any smell or complications. Light brown discharge in between periods is a symptom of implantation bleeding during early pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and genital warts.

Another condition known as atrophic vaginitis also causes light brown discharge between periods with other related symptoms like pain, itching in the vaginal area and a bad smell.

Brown discharge between periods on pills, birth control

Birth control pills suppress the hormones progesterone and estrogen hence imbalance their levels in the body. This hormonal imbalance may cause brown vaginal discharge between periods. It takes your body time for your body to adapt to the hormones in birth control pills.

Until this adjustment takes place, you may experience random brown discharge between periods. The following are some control measures that you can practice in order to avoid having embarrassing brown discharge in between periods;

  1. Ensure that you take your birth control pills regularly as prescribed. Do not miss a dosage. Try and set an alarm clock to remind you in case you forget. In the event that you miss your dosage, just follow instructions how to cover it up. Failure to follow instructions cause hormonal imbalance that makes you have embarrassing brown vaginal discharge between periods.
  2. Consult your doctor before you decide to use any type of pills or change your birth control pills. If you take any type of birth control pill without knowing if it is suitable for your body or not, you are likely to interfere with your hormones and body functions hence get brown discharge in the middle of your period.
  3. Drink enough water every day. Keep your body well hydrated using other fluids too like pomegranate or cranberry juice. Hydration cleanses your body and prevents brown discharge.

Home remedies for brown discharge between periods

Brown vaginal is not a pleasant sight to see. You can use the following home remedies to get rid of it quickly.

Change your pads regularly to avoid infections
Change your pads regularly to avoid infections
  • However, it is important to note that brown vaginal discharge before, between or after periods may be a sign of a serious underlying problem and if it persists or won’t go away, see your doctor immediately.

Home remedies should be used on short term basis. Remember to keep an eye on the Trent and brown mucus, spotting that may be reddish brown and won’t go away. Below are some suggested ways on how to stop and get rid of brown discharge between periods.

1. Yoghurt

Natural yogurt is able to fight vaginal infection. It is rich in good bacteria called lactobacillus that maintain the acidic pH level of the vagina. This remedy recommended only for people who are not allergic to dairy products

Requirements

  1. Natural yoghurt
  2. Honey
  3. Cotton ball
  4. Clean water
  5. Clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Soak a cotton ball in natural yoghurt
  2. Apply the yoghurt directly to your vagina using the soaked cotton ball by squeezing it so that the yoghurt spreads in the vagina
  3. Let the yoghurt stay in the vagina for a few minutes
  4. Pat the region around the vagina dry with a clean piece of cloth
  5. Wash it off with plenty of water
  6. Repeat this three time a day
  7. Mix a cup of natural yoghurt with 3 table spoons of honey to sweeten
  8. Drink the yoghurt regularly, at least once a day

2. Fenugreek seed

Fenugreek seeds are able to lower the pH levels of the vagina back to the normal slightly acidic environment it usually has. They also correct hormonal imbalance. These seeds also boost your immune system.

Requirements

  1. Fenugreek seeds
  2. Clean water
  3. Sieve
  4. Natural Honey

What to do

  1. Soak a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight
  2. Eat the soaked seeds in the morning in an empty stomach
  3. Alternatively
  4. Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to half a liter of water
  5. Boil the seeds for 5 minutes
  6. Sieve the juice to separate the seeds
  7. Use the juice to wash your vagina once a day
  8. You can also choose to drink the juice
  9. Add natural honey to sweeten the juice
  10. Drink the juice on an empty stomach in the morning.

3. Apple cider Vinegar

Apple Cider vinegar is able to restore the pH level of the vagina to its normal acidic condition and prevent any infection causing microorganisms from multiplying and allows good bacteria to exist in the vagina.

Requirements

  1. Apple cider vinegar
  2. Clean water

What to do

  1. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water
  2. Use mixture to wash your vagina twice a day for 3 days
  3. Alternatively mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with drinking water and consume it once a day.

4. Garlic

Garlic is an antibacterial agent. This property makes garlic an ideal agent for getting rid of most bacterial infections that cause brown discharge. It has got antifungal properties that can fight fungi that cause infection in the vagina.

Requirements

  1. Garlic cloves
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A Knife
  4. Clean water
  5. Honey

What to do

  1. Peel off the back cover of garlic cloves
  2. Swallow it with a glass of water in the morning on an empty stomach
  3. Alternatively dice them into cubes using a knife
  4. Place them in the mortar
  5. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  6. Boil the garlic paste in water
  7. Add honey to sweeten and drink the juice
  8. It is also advisable to include garlic in your diet by adding the paste it in your food
  9. You can also insert a clove of garlic in your vagina and let it stay in there few hours and then get it out and rinse your vagina

5. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice has gone medicinal properties that are capable of treating brown vaginal discharge.

Requirements

  1. Pomegranate seeds/leaves
  2. Clean water
  3. Pestle & mortar
  4. Sieve

What to do

  1. Pound half a cup of pomegranate seeds/leaves using a pestle and a mortar
  2. You may also use a blender to grind the seeds/leaves
  3. Add water to the crushed seed/leaves and their juice
  4. Sieve off the seeds
  5. Drink two cups of this juice everyday

6. Neem

Neem has got antiseptic properties that fight off vaginal infection; it also eliminates the bad odor that comes with the brown vaginal discharge.

Requirements

  1. Neem
  2. Clean water
  3. Sieve

What to do

  1. Boil a handful of neem leaves in two cup of water
  2. Strain and allow it to cool
  3. Use it to rinse your vagina once a day for 2 weeks

7. Cranberry

Cranberries have anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant agents that help in fighting microorganisms that cause brown vaginal discharge.

Requirements

  1. 1 liters of water
  2. 4 cups fresh cranberries
  3. 1-1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1/2 cup lemon juice
  5. 1/2 cup orange juice
  6. Sieve

What to do

  1. Add 4 cups of cranberries to a liter of water
  2. Boil the cranberries in the water
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the cranberries pop
  4. Sieve the juice using a fine strainer
  5. Let it cool or chill it in the refrigerator
  6. Drink the unsweetened cranberry juice 3 times a day for a week

8. Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds are capable of correcting the pH levels of the vagina and prevent harmful pathogens from thriving. They also restore hormonal balance.

Requirements

  1. Coriander seeds
  2. Clean water
  3. Sieve
  4. Natural Honey
  5. A glass of water

What to do

  1. Soak a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a glass of water overnight
  2. Eat the soaked coriander seeds in the morning in an empty stomach
  3. Alternatively
  4. Add a teaspoon of coriander seeds to two cups of water
  5. Boil the seeds for 5 minutes
  6. Sieve the juice to separate the seeds
  7. Use the juice to wash your vagina once a day
  8. If you don’t want to wash your vagina with it then you can drink it.
  9. Add natural honey to sweeten the juice
  10. Drink the juice on an empty stomach in the morning.

9. Tea tree oil

It prevents fungal infection that may occur due to dampness around your vaginal due to sweating.

Requirements

  1. Tea tree oil
  2. A Cotton Ball
  3. Water
  4. Clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Dilute tea tree oil with water in equal parts
  2. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture
  3. Apply the tee tree oil on the vagina by squeezing the content of the cotton ball on it
  4. Let it settle for a few minutes and rinse it off
  5. Pat dry your vagina with a clean piece of cloth
  6. Repeat this process daily until you see a change

You may read more about brown discharge before period and brown discharge after period in case you condition is not only based on brown vaginal discharge between periods.

Treatment

Brown virginal discharge that occurs in the middle of your discharge should be treated depending on its cause. Consult your doctor in case you notice brown vaginal discharge between periods.

Your doctor should be able to conduct a proper diagnosis and determine the root cause of your problem. Some of the causes are not serious and can be treated by antibiotics that are bought over the counter from chemists.

Below is a video on brown spotting discharge between periods;

Reference;

  1. http://www.women-info.com/en/brown-discharge-periods/
  2. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/976.aspx?CategoryID=60
  3. http://theleakyboob.com/2016/01/normal-postpartum-bleeding-and-discharge-and-the-return-of-your-period-after-giving-birth/
  4. http://www.women-info.com/en/brown-discharge-birth-control-pills/
  5. http://www.theaccessproject.org/brown-spotting-between-periods/
  6. http://www.searchhomeremedy.com/home-remedies-for-vaginal-discharge/

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