Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 05:12 pm
Are you worried about black discharge before or after your period? Do you feel your black discharge may be due to an infection, medical health issue or pregnancy?
Black discharge occurs in women for many reasons. If you’ve had unprotected sexual intercourse, it could be pregnancy. Other causes could be cervical narrowing and obstruction, uterine fibroids, endometrial cancer or vaginal infections.
But don’t panic; Most women get black discharge once in a while. It does not mean you have any medical issues. In some women, it lasts for a few days and could signify your uterus is not contracting very well during menstruation.
This article explains the causes of black discharge and signs that indicate serious health concerns.
Why is vaginal discharge color black?
Black discharge occurs because your vaginal discharge that is usually white gets mixed up with deoxygenated blood.
If blood contains oxygen, it is bright red in color while blood without oxygen is dark or brown colored (deoxygenated blood)
Any vaginal bleeding that occurs in your uterus and stays back for a while becomes deoxygenated and black in color. This may eventually result in black discharge.
What causes black discharge?
1. Pregnancy or implantation bleeding
To get pregnant, sexual intercourse should be perfectly timed during your ovulation period. Should you have sex without using any protection, it’s possible you can get pregnant, if it occurs during your fertile days.
After sexual intercourse, sperm moves up through the genital tracts, straight into the fallopian tube where it fertilizes the egg released during ovulation.
After fertilization, the embryo still had to be moved into the body of the uterus, where it starts growing.
Within the uterus, the embryo embeds into the blood thickened endometrial lining that covers the inner part of your womb. This may result in bleeding and black vaginal discharge.
So how can I identify implantation?
Black discharge due to pregnancy will occur some days before your period. Should you have an unexpected bleeding before your period that is brown or black with mild cramps, it may be an early sign you’re pregnant.
Some women will have abdominal pain before period occurs. However, both bleeding and cramps do not last for a long time.
Any other pregnancy symptoms?
Before missing your period, it may be difficult to tell if you’re pregnant or not. However, these symptoms can indicate you may be pregnant
- Black discharge that lasts for 1, 2 or 3 days with light abdominal cramps
- Food aversion
- Getting weaker easily from light activity
- Loss of appetite
- Increased demand for food
- Nausea and vomiting
- Change in mood and your normal activities
- Breast tenderness and swelling
Black discharge before period with some of these symptoms may mean pregnancy.
However, you may test negative depending on the sensitivity of test strip used, when the test was carried out and if early morning urine was used or not.
If you suspect you’re pregnant and test negative, it is advised to check at least a week after your missed period.
2. Normal menstrual period as it ends
Black discharge may typically occur during your period. In some women, not all endometrial cells are expelled by uterine contraction during menstruation. Some blood may stay longer in the uterus, get deoxygenated and turn black leading to black discharge.
You should not worry if you notice dark discharge right after your period has ended as it clears out in few days.
3 Your vagina is closed up
Normally, women who haven’t had sexual intercourse EVER will have a hymen that partially covers the opening of the vagina. It allows blood to be expelled during menstruation.
If you’ve never had a period with cyclical pain, it could be because of an imperforate hymen.
4. You have a fibroid or uterine polyp
A fibroid or a polyp may grow within the uterus, extend down into the cervical region and prevent menstrual period blood from coming out.
If blood stays inside of your womb for hours to days without coming out, it becomes dark or black in color forming black discharge.
Fibroids, depending on where it is located, may not cause any bleeding at all. Symptoms and types of fibroids are listed here.
5. You possibly have a vaginal infection
Vaginal infections commonly occur from poor sexual practices and bad hygiene. If you notice your vaginal discharge has a different odor and color, it’s likely you have an infection down there.
Common causes of infections are chlamydia, gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and sometimes a yeast infection. Though not all vaginal infections are transmitted through sex, improved sexual health by using a condom may prevent common sexually transmitted diseases.
Chlamydia or gonorrhea may progress into more devastating complications, and result in pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you have black discharge between your period with a smelly vagina, itching, and pain, you should inform your doctor. Basic investigations will be carried out and will include a specimen from your vagina and urine.
In most cases, bacteria vaginal infections can be treated very easily. SO DONT PANIC!!!
When should I worry about black vaginal discharge?
In most cases, there is no reason to panic if you see a dark discharge. It’s a normal way your body works to clean up the uterus.
However, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your doctor
- Persistent low abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Smelly vaginal discharge
- Vaginal itching
- Persistent spotting between periods
- Signs of pregnancy
How to get rid of Dark discharge | Home remedies
These are some easy ways you can get rid of your black discharge
Improve vaginal hygiene
Poor toilet practices and not changing your underwears may cause infections down there. It is important you use cotton panties and change your underwear at least two times in a day.
Use protection during intercourse
Not using a condom while making love has many risks. You could easily contact sexually transmitted infection – Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and HIV. These infections may result in black discharge before period.
Taking feeds that improve your health will help your body push out black blood. Food like coconuts, vegetables, nuts, and avocado can contribute to improving your symptoms
Having a regular exercise helps you keep fit and healthy.
Have regular sex
Regular sexual intercourse could help ease your black period blood or discharge. This is because women do have orgasms while making love that may help your uterus to contract and release old menstrual blood.
Frequently asked questions:
1. Is black discharge before period a sign of pregnancy?
Yes. Black discharge before period may be one of the earliest signs you may have if pregnant. It occurs because of implantation blood that turns black and mixes with your discharge.
If you already missed your period with increased discharge, fatigue and cramps, then it’s likely you are pregnant.
You should tell you health care assistant to confirm or use a pregnancy strip at home.
2. What causes black discharge instead of period?
If you were expecting period and now have black discharge coming out, it’s a sign you may be pregnant.
However, it could also be caused by endometrial cancer, uterine polyps, cervical cancer, vaginal infections and side effects of contraceptive pills you are taking.
3. What Causes black discharge before periods?
The truth is most women will have black discharge before period starts or right after period ends. If you experienced dark discharge between periods, it might be due to
- Hormone imbalance
- vaginal infections
- Retained tampoons
- Uterine fibroids
- Bleeding disorders
- blood thing medications
4. I have a black discharge after Period, Is it normal?
Yes, black discharge after period in most women is normal. If it occurs immediately after period, it is most likely due to uterine contractions pushing out old blood.
If you notice black discharge a week after the end of period, it could mean you’re ovulating. During ovulation, different follicle develops with rupture of the most dominant follicle. This may cause black discharge and usually occurs 2 weeks before your next period.
5. I have dark discharge on birth control pills, Is it normal?
It’s okay if you have black discharge in the first few weeks and months after starting birth control pills. It will take some time for hormones in these medications to adjust. However, a heavy bleeding is not usual. Talk to your doctor.
Still worried about black vaginal discharge? Ask us.