Why is my period blood brown?

Why Is My Period Blood Brown?

If you have ever wondered, “Why is my period blood brown?” then you are at the right place. Although sometimes considered abnormal, many women experience brown or dark brown period blood towards the beginning or end of their periods. Others notice brown-tinged spotting mid-cycle. For most, this is considered normal and is not something to worry about. For some, though, brown period blood or brown discharge after periods may indicate an underlying health condition that requires medical attention.

If you are avoiding the doctor because you fear diagnosis and treatment, we want to remind you that early intervention is often key to avoiding any dangerous or life-altering health consequences. 

At USA Fibroid Centers, our specialists want you to be aware that period abnormalities –– such as heavy bleeding and severe cramps –– can be a sign of something wrong. If you experience brown period blood along with other related symptoms, we recommend talking to your doctor to determine the underlying cause. 

One potential reason for abnormal menstruation is the presence of uterine fibroids, a common type of non-cancerous tumor that can develop in or on the uterus. Fibroids vary in size and number, and can result in a range of painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient symptoms. When left untreated, they can eventually harm surrounding organs and even impact fertility.

Although some women don’t experience any issues at all, common fibroid symptoms include:

  • Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
  • Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation and/or bloating
  • Pain in your pelvis or lower back
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Stomach swelling

Below, we will discuss some of the potential reasons why your period blood is brown, along with additional symptoms to be on the lookout for. 

What Does It Mean When Your Period Blood Is Brown

First and foremost, you should know that any unusual vaginal discharge, including brown or dark brown period blood, should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. We suggest that you take notes on when it occurs during your cycle.

Please note that if you are pregnant and experience any type of discharge at any point, contact your doctor or seek emergency care immediately. 

Brown period blood can indicate a number of different health conditions, including:

The beginning and end of your period: This is the most likely reason for any brown-hued discharge during your period. When your period flow is slow, such as on the first or last day, your menstrual blood has time to oxidize. This can result in brown or dark brown period blood. Older blood, such as that at the end of your period, can also appear discolored.

Hormonal imbalance: One potential cause of brown period blood and breakthrough bleeding is hormonal imbalance. This can occur due to low estrogen levels associated with age or other factors. The use of hormonal contraception can also affect your overall hormone balance. 

Ovulation: A small percentage of women experience bleeding each month when an ovary releases an egg. When this happens, it is typically mid-cycle and can appear as brown or dark brown period blood. Some women also experience implantation bleeding when they first get pregnant. 

Infection: Bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted disease may be what’s behind your brown period blood. Keep an eye out for accompanying symptoms like painful urination, pelvic pressure, vaginal discharge, and spotting. To avoid serious complications like loss of fertility, please see your doctor as soon as possible for treatment.

Endometriosis: This common reproductive condition occurs when the lining of the uterus breaks through the muscular wall. Uterine tissue can then develop on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or intestines. This type of tissue growth can cause significant pain or discomfort, along with abnormal periods and brown period blood.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal condition that involves enlarged ovaries with small cysts that protrude along the outer edges. Symptoms include irregular or missed periods, weight gain, unwanted hair, acne or oily skin, significant mood changes, sleep apnea, depression, patches of dark, thick skin, and infertility. 

Uterine fibroids: By age 50, 70 to 80% of women are impacted by this type of benign uterine growth. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, severe cramps, painful sex, frequent urination, anemia, or any other fibroid symptoms, we recommend visiting a fibroid specialist to explore your full range of treatment options

When to Contact a Doctor About Brown Period Blood

Although brown period blood is most often no reason for concern, keep an eye out for accompanying symptoms that could indicate something more serious. 

Along with symptoms listed in the previous section, we recommend prompt medical consultation if you notice any of the following:

  • Periods that last longer than seven days
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Menstrual cycles shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days
  • Missed periods
  • Breakthrough bleeding and spotting
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Pain or bleeding during or after sex
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Painful or frequent urination
  • Unusual vaginal discharge 
  • Fever

Minimally-Invasive Fibroid Treatment at USA Fibroid Centers

If you believe that your brown period blood, heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, and other symptoms may be due to uterine fibroids, we want you to know that there’s help available. Although many women believe that a hysterectomy –– the complete surgical removal of the uterus –– is the only available fibroid treatment, that just isn’t true.

At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer an outpatient, non-surgical fibroid treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE can eliminate your symptoms, preserve your uterus, and quickly get you back to normal activities. The procedure takes only 30 to 45 minutes and does not involve a hospital stay or lengthy recovery; in fact, you can go home the very same day. Most women are back to their full daily schedules within one to two weeks.

We encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our leading experts. You now have a choice between a telemedicine appointment or an office-based visit. Wherever we meet, we look forward to helping you take back control of your life!

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