Brown discharge: Causes and when we have to worry
Commonly the brown discharge or dark brown discharge are those dark blood losses that are not of the menstrual type, and which can be verified either in the intramenstrual period (between one cycle and another, often along with the brown discharge on ovulation), either shortly before menstruation itself, or also brown discharge during the first phase of a pregnancy (in this case, of course, these are normal and determined by the implantation of the egg in the uterus, known as the implantation bleeding).
The causes of “spotting”, this is the term used by gynecologists to define the phenomenon of dark blood loss, are different according to its origin, and in most of the cases there are no worry motive although, of course, there is convenient not to undervalue them, especially if it is a question of repeated episodes. Now let’s try to clarify it, distinguishing between “spotting” losses of dysfunctional or organic origin.
Causes of brown discharge or spotting of dysfunctional origin
This is the most common cause, especially in fertile age, and due not to an organic gynecological pathology (which we will see below), but to unbalanced psychophysical conditions, or to problems of a “mechanical” nature, all solvable.
Cause 1: Stress
The hormone cortisol (whose levels rise when we are stressed) and the hormone adrenaline, work together putting the body in a state of alarm. A state that influences the hypothalamus, the part of our brain that also regulates the activity of our ovaries, just like all the body biorhythms.
Cause 2: Eating Disorders and Obesity
When a woman has problems related to eating, such as anorexia, bulimia, obesity produced by compulsive eating, her menstrual cycle also loses the north. Especially when we talk about bulimia nervosa, it can even lead to an interruption of the menstrual cycle.
Cause 3: Contraceptives
The use of hormonal contraceptives like the pill but also the vaginal ring causes in 10% of women dark blood losses between cycles. In any case, although these are not worrying losses, it is always better to communicate these episodes to the gynecologist. Also, the placement of the IUD and its spiral covered with copper can produce in 12% of the cases.
Cause 4: Organic origin
Among the organic causes are ovarian cysts. Episodes of spotting or brown discharge between periods, also known as intermenstrual brown discharge, checked especially, and are recurrent. Therefore it is better to do a review through a pelvic ultrasound.
Polycystic ovary syndrome can also manifest itself in this way.
Cause 5: Crease of cervix
Called ectopia, it can also produce the phenomenon of spotting. In itself, it is a non-pathological condition because it is usually congenital. And in addition to causing brown losses, it is also characterized by increased production of vaginal mucus and small blood loss after sexual intercourse.
Cause 6: Fibroids and polyps
These are benign tumors that grow in the uterus (these can be cervical or endometrial), and one of its symptoms are these dark blood-colored losses. These can be easily diagnosed by ultrasound, and should be observed and surgically removed. In any case these are harmless.
Cause 7: Precancerous and cancerous lesions
Suffering this type of spotting in a recurrent manner, and more so if you are in menopause, you may have to raise the suspicion that there is something more serious. Performing every 2-3 years a vaginal cytology from the age of 25 onwards is the best way to prevent this kind of pathology.