Brown Discharge Before Period 81

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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81 thoughts on “Brown Discharge Before Period

  • Dina

    I’m 35 and I’ve been having brown discharge for almost a week now but it’s soon time for my period to start. I’ve looked online about symptoms and how long it’s supposed to last. I’m just wondering when is it suppose to stop. Will it stop before my period actually starts?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It should, yes. It sounds like you may be having a low progesterone cycle. In most cases this sort of thing self-resolves, but if you begin to see a pattern of it, it may be worth seeing your health care provider.

      • Dina

        Oh ok. I appreciate you taking the time out to answer my question it gave me a sigh of relief. I feel a lot better I will definitely see my doctor if it continues to be a pattern.

  • Sushi

    I have pcod and have been on norethindrone meds for past 3 years.
    I had intercourse on 14th August and then my periods on 17th Aug. My next cycle starts from 13-14 Sept. Today(9th sept) I had dark brown spotting. No heavy flow only bit of spotting and clots when wiped on a pad. Despite this I had intercourses (with protection). There is very mild pain.
    I don’t know what to make out of it. My periods are generally very regular because of the meds.
    Please help out

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Birth control does generally make you less prone to hormonal flux, but outside factors can still cause issues. Things like dietary changes, stress, activity level changes, and lack of sleep are common culprits. If intercourse was painful, infection is also a possibility. In most cases though one incident of weirdness like this isn’t cause for concern. It’s a pattern of irregularity that’s worrisome.

  • Anonymous

    I am worried something is the matter with me. For the last year my cycles have shortened to about 25 days. For the last 4 months I have been getting some brown discharge 2-3 days before proper bleeding starts. It is often only there when I wipe. I am 45 years old.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      At 45, a likely cause is either pre-menopause or menopause. In this time your egg reservoir has gone low (or depleted) and the hormone balance that controls your cycle begins to go off balance, as a result things like irregular, short, or long cycles, spotting, hot flashes, mood swings, nausea, and bloating are pretty much the norm. You could see a care provider to confirm, and they may be able to offer options to alleviate symptoms.

  • stephanie

    have been having brownish discharge few days to my period for over a yr now i dnt knw what is wrong and i am really worried. please i need help urgently

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If it’s happening just before your period, it’s likely progesterone related and nothing to worry about. You might try vitex if you’d like it to stop though. It has good results as far as balancing progesterone levels.