Brown Discharge Before Period 111

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 Gremlin. We do our best to respond to questions within 24 to 48 hours.

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111 thoughts on “Brown Discharge Before Period

  • B

    Hello, I had protected sex about to 2 weeks ago but I’m close to start my period the (16th) but I’m early but all I had was a brown discharge. The next day it was nothing.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      This could be just a low progesterone cycle for you, so you’re seeing a little pre-period spotting, but it could also be implantation bleeding. If your period doesn’t show in full you might take a pregnancy test. Spotting is more likely since the intercourse was protected, but unfortunately no form of contraception is 100% except abstinence.

  • Anonymous

    Hi. I hadn’t got my period after giving birth to my 4th baby until one year, last month i got periods had heavy flow on two days and ended on the 6th day it was just normal..but this month my period was late by 4days and i cudnt see anything like a blood flow it was just for 4days and just brown and mucusy type stuff just kight spotting .. I am breastfeeding my 1 yr old.. Can u pls tell me is it normal or shld i see a doctor?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      As long as there’s no pain, odor, or itching and you’re sure you aren’t pregnant, it’s unlikely you need to see a doctor. It’s very typical to have irregular periods while breastfeeding.

  • Esy

    Hi. I had mild cramps for two weeks and it got worse on the last day before my period. My period was 5 days late and it flowed for 5 normal days but lighter than usual. I had unprotected sex on the last day of my period and two weeks after my period. I have morning sickness for more than one week till date and a sore painful breast. Could I be pregnant cos I have been TTC for six months now

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      The intercourse 2 weeks after your period would likely be during a fertile time, so yes, you could be pregnant, but then it could just be a slightly late, light period. The occasional one-off cycle is considered normal. The easiest answer would be to just take a pregnancy test. Being 5 days late, one would be accurate now.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I’m 19 years old and I just started using birth control recently (like a month ago). I had some spotting that was a dark brown color that I have never seen before. It started when I am normally supposed to have my period. I also had unprotected sex a couple of weeks before. And although I am on the pill, I haven’t been as consistent with taking them as I should be (I’ve skipped a few right before having intercourse). Normally when I’m on my period I don’t experience any cramping or back pain or sensitive breast or feeling like I’m going to puke but this time I am experiencing it all. I thought birth control was supposed to help reduce pain and since I normally don’t have any I am worried. I have no idea if the birth control is messing with my period or what. I’ve never felt like this on any of my periods even when I first got my period when I was 9 years old.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It’s common to have symptoms of hormonal imbalance (which is what pregnancy symptoms are) as well as irregular spotting when starting the pill, those issues would be more likely if pill usage was sporadic like you describe. It would also decrease their effectiveness, so being there was unprotected sex, you may want to take a pregnancy test to be sure (wait at least 14 days from the last sexual act).

  • kassandra

    hello, I’m 22 years old and I am expecting my period in 7 days. Yesterday as I was going to shower I noticed some brown discharge on my underwear not a lot but I just thought I was starting my period early. I showered put on a pad and went about day, later on I go the restroom and I’m clean and not on my period. I recently went through a breakup so I’m thinking this might be related to stress. However I forgot to mention I did have sex 5 to 6 days ago so it might be implantation spotting? I’m not sure since then I have been feeling a bit light headed, tired, emotional , tender breasts and crampy I did notice the day I found the discharge on my underwear I was feeling a bit nauseas before I ate and before I went to bed. I’m just not sure what to think, it is too early to take a pregnancy test but I did go out and purchased some and find out if I miss my period. I would really appreciate any advice or if anyone has ever experienced something like this id really appreciate any feed back thanks.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      6 days is the minimum for implantation, with 8 to 10 being average, so if you’re pretty sure it was only 5 to 6 days ago, that’s not likely what it was. Stress can certainly cause a bit of hormonal flux though. As far as symptoms, if you were pregnant you wouldn’t see any so soon. About a week after your period is due is when those start to crop up, and even that’s on the early side. PMS is often more severe in times of hormonal flux though, and can mimic pregnancy symptoms. 🙂 I think your current plan to wait, see, and test if you have reason is a good idea.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Extended spotting before a period is often a sign of low progesterone. This isn’t a huge issue unless you’re trying to conceive, though the spotting can be annoying. The most frequent prescription for those not TTC is birth control.

  • Julia

    Hi I am 51, and just recently got my period, it was bright red in colour with mucus in it, I have also noticed recently have had a jelly like substance clear, with no period, could this be a sign of pre=menopause?

  • Anonymous

    Im 15, I’ve had my period for about almost 2years now.. this has never happened before but apart from after my period … for the past 3-4days I’ve been having this dark brown discharge with some bleeding with it? I’ve also been having some cramps here and there but not major ones x I’m a virgin, im not sexually active.. should I be concerned? And I start my period tomorrow: 6/3/18 x Please I’m very concerned and worried right now.. and I’ve tried searching it up and it’s just the same things, saying I could be pregnant or a disease // infection x 🙁

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      While pregnancy and infections (not necessarily just STDs) can cause spotting, most spotting is hormonal. At 15, your hormones are still in flux so the occasional irregularity is to be expected. As long as there’s no itching, pain, or foul odor, there’s nothing to be concerned about.