Brown Discharge Before Period 72

Brown discharge before a period is entirely normal and almost never cause for concern. In fact, period blood color or texture changes rarely are. Brown discharge in particular is a just result of older blood mixing with cervical mucus, but to ease your mind, let’s look at the most common causes of brown discharge before a period.brown discharge before period

Causes of brown discharge before a period:

Ovulation: Sometimes ovulation will cause slight spotting which takes time to reach the vaginal opening resulting in it appearing brown by time it exits. Ovulation is normal in those who have hit puberty and occurs on average mid-cycle. Not all women experience ovulation spotting.

Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal imbalance such as low progesterone can cause spotting periodically throughout your cycle. Any cause of spotting or very light bleeding can result in brown discharge before a period. Minor hormonal imbalance is fairly normal as even small lifestyle changes in diet, activity level, sleep, stress, and more can cause fluctuations. Teens and those over 35 are also more prone to hormonal flux. These minor imbalances tend to resolve on their own. A difference in hormone levels from cycle to cycle is also normal. Continued imbalance or signs of a more severe imbalance (multiple missed cycles, very heavy periods, etc.) may require a visit to your care provider. Birth control or herbal options such as vitex may help balance hormones.

Implantation bleeding: When a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall sometimes a small amount of bleeding occurs which can present as brown discharge before a period. If you’ve had unprotected sex and pregnancy is possible, you can read more about telling implantation bleeding from spotting here.

Cervical or vaginal damage: Damage to the cervix or vaginal wall may also cause light bleeding. The cervix is located at the end of the vaginal canal and serves as an opening to the uterus. Sex or PAP smears can cause this sort of damage.

Infection: Certain infections including yeast infections, bacterial vaginsosis, and sexually transmitted diseases can cause inflammation to the cervix which also causes bleeding. In this case, it’s likely you would see other symptoms as well such as odor, itching, or rash. Continuous brown discharge should be mentioned to your care provider.

Beginning or end of your menstrual cycle: Finally, depending on your personal hormone balance, your cycle may start or end slow with a day or two of light spotting before what’s considered a true flow. This light bleeding may appear brown or bright red, but is still entirely normal.

Hopefully one of the causes above clicks for you, and you have the relieving ah-hah-moment where you finally know what’s going on with your cycle. If not, we always welcome comments and questions here at Life with Gremlins, and do our best to respond to questions within 24 to 48 hours.

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72 thoughts on “Brown Discharge Before Period

  • Eva

    Hello. Please can you help? I noticed stretchy slippery egg white cm on the 8th and 10th of April and by the 11th, it changed back to thick creamy white cm. Had sex (withdrawal) on the 15th. My period is supposed to be on the 23rd. So I took a blood pregnancy test yesterday on the 21st and it was negative. Did I test too soon? Is the result accurate?

    • unwirklich admin

      Egg white CM is fertile and usually indicates ovulation, where as thick and creamy means you’re either headed into ovulation or headed out (as yours was after, it would be heading out.) So by the 15th, you should no longer have been fertile. It’s likely the test was accurate and you aren’t pregnant.

  • Daphne

    I have had brown spotting a whole week before my next cycle.. I googled this issue and found it could be because of hormonal imbalance. I have been taking birth control, but I missed a couple days which kind of screwed up my schedule. Also, this is my very first time using these pills ever. My doctor suggested that I take them because I’m “still young” (17-18) and there’s a high risk of pregnancy. I’m worried can this cause infertility forever?

    Me and my partner want more kids, and I hope I didn’t do anything to make that not happen. I ruin everything with my inconsistency. 🙁

    • unwirklich admin

      Starting BC can cause some irregularity as you adjust, as can missed pills, as far as infertility, it can take a few months for fertility to return to normal after stopping the pill, but no, there should be no long-term infertility.

  • Leann

    Hi there,

    I have been on birth control for a while, but sometimes forget a few and then try to catch up. This last month I missed two pills in a row and then had unprotected sex with my husband. About a week later I was due to have my period, but instead had an unusually light and brown period instead. My periods are normally pretty heavy, but this one was practically spotting. Could I be pregnant and when would be the earliest I could take a home pregnancy test?


    • unwirklich admin

      You could be pregnant yes. BC is sufficiently less effective if pills aren’t taken consistently. You also can’t really “catch up,” taking multiple pills on a day is more likely to cause hormonal imbalance (which could also explain your weird bleeding). A test is most accurate 4 days after a missed period, though any day after a missed period is usually pretty accurate.

        • unwirklich admin

          Technically, a period involves the shedding of the uterine wall, and it sounds like you only had some light spotting, so I’d say yes, it sounds “missed” to me, but it’s also possible you didn’t ovulate at all, in which case the period isn’t missed, it just hasn’t occurred yet, because a full cycle involves the development of an egg, the drop of that egg, and then the period. If no egg drops and the uterine wall doesn’t shed, It’s still the same cycle, just a really long one.

  • Tiffany

    So i just got my period but a couple days before i was expecting it, at first it was light spotting brownish and now its like a normal period. I’ve been having mostly all the symptoms of early pregnancy and me and my boyfriend had sex on my fertile days, we are trying to have a baby. Im really worried about the blood could this mean i am not pregnant? Or what is wrong pls help

    • unwirklich admin

      It could mean you aren’t pregnant yes, though some women do get bleeding during pregnancy. If so, it would be unusual to get a second period while pregnant, so next month would tell.

  • FiFi

    This is my first time that my period on the 3rd day ends with brown spottings which is so liitle. My first day starts with brown spotting and when it comes to 2nd day it was a heavy flow. And what i was worried is ive never ends my menses so soon which falls on my 3rd day.

    • unwirklich admin

      The occasional light cycle isn’t usually cause for concern, but if it continues or your cycle stops altogether, you may want to see a care provider.

  • Abbt

    My period comes about once every two or three months and when it does it has a dark brown gooey discharge/blood clot for 2-3 days and then slowly gets to normal blood. I have adhd so I have to take a medicine called adderall and one of the side effects is weight looks and that results in me being only 90 pounds at the age of 13. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it but if it does please tell me. Also during my period, my vagina can sometimes get irratated but only for a couple minutes. And when I am not on my period my discharge is normal for the most part but sometimes has a tint of yellow in it and can have an odor. Can you please tell me if this is normal and if it isn’t what do I need to do to fix it????

    • unwirklich admin

      The infrequent periods are likely a result of your low body fat, that will cause ovulation to cease for most. The dark brown clots are from the infrequent periods. If you are getting yellow discharge with a foul odor (not just any odor) it is probably an infection of some sort. Vaginosis is a common culprit. Bringing your body weight up will help, but a its a result of a medication, I would speak with a care provider.

  • Andrea

    So my period came 2 and a half weeks late and then when it came it was very heavy bright red bleeding but that only lasted about 2 days tops then it stopped for exactly a total of 7 hours no bleeding no nothing but then there was itchiness and I started noticed this weird thing I will wipe and get brown stuff and sometimes I’ll get small little brown black clump like texture idk how to explain it and this never had happened before I’m known for irregular missed periods due to my anorexia and bulimia which is my guess of why it came late this time can I just get some advice on what this brown black stuff is and what I can do about it the major concern I have is wh am I getting like these clump like things it’s not like the jelly looking stuff either

    • unwirklich admin

      My first thought was clots, old ones, but you say they aren’t jelly-like. What texture are they? Stringy, more like tissue? Chicken-skin like? If so it could be part of the lining of your uterus. Search decidual cast. They can be normal. If that isn’t it, honestly I don’t know. I would speak with a care provider if it keeps up.

  • Karen Burke

    I was taking 100mg Minocycline for acne for about 2 months, which I stopped about three weeks ago because I noticed hyper pigmentation above my lip. I’m 33, so maybe tan-stache is part of aging? Idk. Currently, my period is odorless, painless, very light flow, but has stayed alarmingly dark. I’m not sexually active and haven’t taken any other otc/script in months. I do have high anxiety, which I seek professional treatment to manage. This period is on time, but I’ve had no predictable symptoms. No cramping, no bloating, no munchies or cravings…just enough hormones to give me routine pimples and require a crinkling maxi all the time. It’s like I’m stuck on stage 1 of my cycle, like my ovaries think every day is Monday…

    Should I call my physician about this before it gets painful or odorous? It doesn’t seem to be stopping, but I’m only on day 8-9. Should I ask for hormonal blood work or will this pill (if the cause) work itself out? Is it just stress? I’m always stressed, but the new brown skin and brown cycle kinda freak me out, especially since my periods are typically very heavy. What do you think?

    Many Thanks!

    • unwirklich admin

      Minocycline is actually an antibiotic, so keep in mind if you are using hormone-based birth control, it can affect its efficiency. I did check into Minocycline side effects a bit, and skin discoloration can be a side effect. It is described as a “muddy brown pigmentation in sun exposed areas.” Unfortunately, that variety is described as staying around definitely, so if that sounds like what you have going on, I would speak with your doctor.

      Now the cycle changes are not a listed side effect, but antibiotics in general are suggested to cause issues (hence making BC less effective). From what I’ve read antibiotics reduce estrogen and progesterone in particular. Estrogen builds the lining up to prepare for pregnancy, while Progesterone maintains that lining. Low estrogen can cause lighter, delayed periods periods, and low progesterone can cause frequent spotting. Light spotting often results in brown blood. (This page has a bit more info on how that works.) So, it is entirely possible what you have going on is normal, and a side effect of the antibiotic.

      Once you stop a medication it can take several weeks for it to leave your system, but as the skin discoloration is listed as being kind of a forever thing, I’d, again, still recommend speaking with your doctor.

  • Emmy

    I’ve just got my period for this month and it’s come out brown and stringy, but there is also red mucus…is that something I should be worrying about?

    • unwirklich admin

      By “stringy” if you mean kind of like thick, stretchy kind of snot-like, yes. That’s a fair amount older blood mixing with cervical mucous. Fresh bleeding often looks orange or comes as red mucous, where as older blood is often brown or black.

  • Katie

    Last month my period started our light and very brown. It got a little heavier by the 3rd day, but with only a little dark red blood mixed in. It lasted 4 days with 2 more days of spotting. This is not normal for me because I normally have a 4 day period with the first 2 days heavy and red blood. I also did not experience any cramps at all, which I normally do the 1st day only. My husband and I are trying to conceive and I took many HPT and all were negative. This month, low and behold I started cramping and bleeding on day 24 of my cycle! I am never ever that short. I average 29-31 days. So far it has been very light-medium bleeding and hardly had to use a tampon or pad any of these days. My cramping is still going on sporadically and I’ve had some tenderness in my breasts and fatigued. Is it possible I could be pregnant?? The bleeding I’ve had has been pretty textbook period, other than it coming like 8 days early and very light. Btw, took a HPT at 9 days post ovulation and I got a negative. Confused….

    • unwirklich admin

      You could be pregnant, yes, is it highly likely, no. Irregular cycles do occasionally happen (and oddly they seem more common when you’re ttc, but that’s just my own personal experience). Short periods with light bleeding and pregnancy-like symptoms could be an estrogen/progesterone imbalance (high estrogen/low progesterone). You can read a detailed post on this topic here. I also have more detail on bleeding during pregnancy and missed periods with negative tests. That first one explains types of bleeding that can occur in early pregnancy that may be mistaken for a period, which could be the case here, but with a negative test I wouldn’t call it a strong chance.

      A side note, DPO 9 is fairly early to test. You’re more likely to get an accurate result after DPO 12, though I know its hard to wait when you’re trying. 🙂 Good luck and baby dust.

  • Lizzie

    I am in recovery from anorexia. I’ve only been a healthy weight for three months, but I’ve only had one real period. I’ve been noticing some dark, either brown or black blood, nearly every day for at least two weeks now, though, but it’s not heavy at all. And a few years ago I was on birth control for really heavy periods. I don’t know whether it’s just old blood clearing itself out or if I should be concerned about it. I’m only 19. I’m just not really sure what to do…

    • unwirklich admin

      If the flow is slow and you have abnormal periods, I’d bet its just old blood. Blood will change from red to brown to black over time. Now that its been daily for 2 weeks is probably because anorexia upsets hormone production. As that production begins to shift back to normal you’ll likely have spotting and general weirdness. You could end up with all sorts of symptoms. If it gets bad, or lasts several months, I’d recommend seeing a doc.

  • Alison

    After 4 month of not having a period since December I finally got my period the 25 if April and still on so im 11 days on it was very light the first 2 days but then got extremely heavy it got to the point were I was changing every 2 hours and I have been clotting two days ago I noticed a clot the size if a 50p every time I went to the toilet it only been since yesterday when the clotting stopped I did have a blood test back in January to see if I was pregnant as me and my partner are trying for a baby also I have had spotting of blood now and again after sex I was on the pill but beeb of it a year now got an appointment with the doctor tomorrow but just wanted some advice beforehand thanks

    • unwirklich admin

      The spotting after sex is often from cervical trauma, the rest, sounds like something hormonal as hormones trigger menstruation to stop and begin. Talking with a doc is definitely a good idea. I do know that sort of irregular time before periods, then heavy bleeding is common with PCOS.

  • Clo

    Thanks so much for all your help! I think you have practically saved my life today.. I have been so worried as soon as I read about

    • Clo

      *as soon as I read about implantation bleeding. I wasn’t sure when my fertile window was because I am new to all of this. Thank you so very much for your help! You don’t know how much I appreaciate it

  • Clo

    I am on microgynon 30 (bcp) and have been for about a year and a half. I have took every single pill in the pack up this month (and every other month). I have only just recently became sexually active (never had sex before) however my partner has not finished inside me. We last had sex on Wednesday (it’s now Saturday) and my period is due this monday (Night) However today I’ve noticed some brown discharge, not a lot, but not a little either. Is this something to be concerned about? Is it because of me losing my virginity? Is it my birth control? Or something more serious.. Please someone help me, I need some reassurance.

    • unwirklich admin

      If this was your first time having sex, its very likely this was from the breaking of your hymen. There is some minor bleeding after losing your virginity. As long as you have not missed any pills, your chance of pregnancy is less than 1%. Birth control can also cause irregular spotting, but its most common when beginning or ending use.

      • Clo

        Thank you for telling me this! However I heard that breaking your hymen happens as soon as you lose your virginity, as in the same night? Could it be old blood that hasn’t came out when I lost my v? And also I have read about implantation bleeding and have been very very very concerned about this.. I need all the reassurance I can get

      • Clo

        I lost my virginity last saturday, then had sex on the Wednesday. The brown discharge has now turned to blood, I take my last pill in the packet tonight, is this normal still?

        • unwirklich admin

          Yes, brown blood is old blood. As to why you’ve started actually bleeding now, in your first post you mentioned you should start your period Monday, it’s Sunday, so that sounds perfectly normal to me. As to reassurance, implantation bleeding takes a minimum of 5 days, and that is exceptionally uncommon, the average is actually 8-10 days. Sat to Weds is 4 days. Next, If your period should start Monday (and has) assuming you have a 28 days cycle your fertile period was probably between the 16 and 21st making your intercourse the 29 well, well outside your fertile window (when pregnancy is possible). Couple that with the fresh bleeding and birth control, I’d say there is virtually no chance you’re pregnant. I’m not a pregnancy test of course, but the facts point to no. lol

    • unwirklich admin

      Hi Nikki, heavy clots are usually just a result of infrequent or heavy periods. Though if they are the size of a quarter and happening often, you should see your doctor.