A menstrual cycle occurs monthly but depends on various emotional, physical, and hormonal factors. These factors together ensure that there is continuous supply of egg for reproduction at time of evolution. These factors work together to make sure that the endometrium is removed. At times, some menstrual blood can remain in uterus for a couple of days before it is released outside. The brown period blood is usually the old blood, which was not released completely during the previous period, and is now being released thereby appearing as dark brown period blood.
Therefore, brown period blood is that blood that has delayed coming out. When you have brown period blood, this is completely natural and normal. It can happen most of times. It shouldn’t be an issue of concern unless it is accompanied by other complications and symptoms. A brown period blood is due to old blood that is being released— this is because, as blood gets older, it turns brown.
What conditions result in brown period blood?
It is estimated that about 5 percent of women experience brown period blood or dark brown menstruation, and this is considered normal. A dark brown vaginal discharge may occur between periods at around the 14th to 16th day of the menstrual cycle. A menstrual cycle has an average 28 days and the brown period blood is mainly due to ovulation.
When a mature egg is released from ovary, some little dark brown color bleeding occurs, but in some women. This is known as spotting. Another phenomenon that is associated with brown period blood is pregnancy. A discharge of brown blood is experienced is early pregnancy and this is an indication of conception.
The brown blood discharge occurring in early pregnancy occurs a few days after a woman has conceived, and it lasts for about 3 to 4 days. The blood is usually very scarce. It is referred to as implantation bleeding, and is usually the vaginal discharge, which occurs at the time when fertilized ovum embeds in inner lining of uterus or endometrium. This is why it is referred to as implantation bleeding. Another phenomenon that may cause brown blood in periods is an enlarged uterus.
At times, having a larger uterus may result in a dark brown period. The stretching of uterus in time of pregnancy may result in a situation where the uterus does not return to its normal size after delivery of baby. The enlarged uterus may result in a period with brown blood. An enlarged uterus allows for adequate time for menstrual blood to collect and clot before being released from body. This may lead to thickening of the menstrual flow or dark brown color.
Some other times, there may be a cyst in uterus and when it raptures; it affects the color of menstrual flow. Whenever there is an obstruction of menstrual flow, it may cause a dark brown blood in period. Anything that causes blockage or hinders the normal flow of blood in menstrual period from uterus to cervix, and out through vagina, may cause the formation of clots and other symptoms like thickness of menstrual blood or other changes such as color.
When there is a benign polyp occurring in uterus, it may alter the flow of blood in menstrual flow. At time of menopause, menstrual flow may reduce due to the narrowing of cervical canal when the estrogen levels go down, and this could cause the dark brown period. Blood clotting can cause a discharge of dark brownish blood. However, after the discharge, the normal color of menstrual flow should return to normal in a few days.
Emotional disturbances may contribute to this change of blood color in time of period. When a woman has stress or is depressed, she may experience thinning of the inner lining or uterus of the endometrium. This causes delayed shedding of endometrial cells. The delay may result in blood oxidizing, which then turns brown in color.
In case the uterine lining did not completely exist in the previous menstrual period, it would mean that there is old endometrial tissue coming out in form of delayed periods. This causes the color of the delayed period to be dark brown.
As blood gets older, it tends to turn brown. It is not uncommon to have brown discharge at least for a few days following menstruation. The old blood is making its way out. Unless there is a complication occurring with this discharge, it may not need treatment. It is normal and expected. However, a discharge may come with other symptoms for example, when the pelvic inflammatory diseases affect the cervix. This brown discharge comes with pain during sex.
It may be accompanied by usual smell of vagina and a burning sensation. An ovarian cyst may also rapture and cause the discharge to be brown. In these causes, treatment is needed to address the complications or associated infections and diseases. A serious cause of brown discharge is cancer of the cervix or cervical cancer. These conditions need treatment.