Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 05:50 pm
Question: what causes brown discharge after period has ended? Is it pregnancy or something else?
Vaginal spotting after period has ended can be scary, especially if it’s happening for the first time.
During a woman’s period, menstrual pain and emotional symptoms are common, and in some girls, these symptoms may be very severe, affecting daily activities for few days.
At the end of your period, you quickly want to get into your missed activities and return to your academic, business or other social events.
Having a dark brown discharge from your vagina right after period will cause you to think something’s wrong, or possibly you are pregnant.
If you are worried about your brownish discharge after a period, you are not alone. Here’s an email I received from Sandra (one of my readers)
Dunn, Good morning,
I’m wondering if I could get some help too. This may sound strange but I feel something is wrong with me.
I had my normal menstrual period that started on the 18th and lasted for four days. As usual, I experienced abdominal cramps too.
Surprisingly, yesterday, which is five days after my period, I noticed black discharge from my vagina.
Is this normal?
Just like Sandra, the first thing that comes to your mind is a medical problem or pregnancy. While it’s possible a dark brown discharge after period may be due to a medical issue; For most women, it’s nothing serious.
Your uterus is made up muscles, which during your menstrual period, contract to release blood from your womb.
After the end of menstruation, some left-over endometrial tissues are expelled to your vagina forming a brown discharge. Brownish vaginal discharge occurs because blood mixes with your vaginal discharge, and most times, you don’t need to panic.
Having said that, a brownish discharge after period may be due to a serious health issue. Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, vaginal infections, birth control medications, hormone imbalance, and sexual intercourse can cause you to experience a mild or heavy vaginal bleeding.
This article explains the causes of brown discharge after period has ended, and when you must see a doctor right away.
What causes brown discharge after period is over?
If your period is over and you notice brown spotting, here are possible causes
1. Weak contractions during menstruation
During menstruation, your body produces hormones that stimulate your uterus to contract and push-out thick endometrial blood through your vagina as period.
This usually is accompanied by pain you will experience at the back, lower abdomen, and your pelvic area.
If your uterus fails to remove “thickened endometrial cells” from your uterus completely, the leftover blood comes out later as brown discharge.
Usually, old endometrial blood that stays in your uterus loses oxygen and become dark, black or brownish. This is the reason you will notice brown spotting when you wipe.
It’s also normal that you will experience mild lower abdominal pain for a few days. Don’t panic; In few days, you will feel okay again.
One common concern for young women that had sexual intercourse without the use of a condom is the risk of an unplanned pregnancy.
If you are experiencing brown discharge after the end of your period, it could be as a result of implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding results from the attachment of your baby (medically referred to as embryo) to the wall of the uterus (endometrium).
During this process, and after successful fertilization, the embryo burrows into the endometrial blood thick layer that covers the inside of your womb. This causes blood to come out of your vagina slowly.
Usually, it takes some hours to days for implantation blood to be seen on your panties, and therefore becomes deoxygenated and turns brownish.
The truth is, you should be concerned about pregnancy if you experienced a somewhat shorter than normal menstrual period”. This could already have been implantation bleeding, and it’s best you take a pregnancy test.
What to do?
Spotting after period that lasted 5 – 7 days is likely because of removal of old endometrial tissues. However, if you suddenly experienced a light period that only lasted for 1 or 2 days, it’s probably because of pregnancy.
If you are pregnant, breast pain, mood changes, breast swelling, vomiting, nausea, and excessive vaginal discharge are common.
It’s best to take a pregnancy test. If you are negative, it could be due to
3. Birth control medications
With millions of women in the United States using birth control pills for different reasons, if you are just starting out, it could result in brown vaginal discharge.
Birth control pills are commonly used by women who want to avoid pregnancy. Other uses are the prevention of cancer, to lighten a heavy menstrual period, and to make an irregular period regular.
These pills work primarily by blocking ovulation from occurring through the release of synthetic estrogen and progestin.
During your first 3 to 6 months after you commence these pills, spotting is not unusual. It’s normal that your body will adjust to these synthetic hormones, and in few months time, symptoms resolve.
Another reason you could be spotting on birth control is the dosage of estrogen in your pills. Estrogen works by stabilizing your uterine endometrium, and if levels are low in your medications, it means will spot in between your period.
Nevertheless, long-term spotting or heavy vaginal bleeding means something is wrong. Talk to your doctor.
4. Ovulation spotting
Ovulation is the release of one or more eggs from your right or left ovary.
During ovulation, that occurs about one week after your period, some women will experience vaginal spotting that last hours or a few days. Also, if you can tell your next period date, ovulation will take place about 14 – 16 days from your next period.
The truth is, ovulation spotting is usually brown in color and it’s not unusual for women to experience a pink, dark, black spotting from the vagina.
This guide explains all signs of ovulation you should know.
Apart from drugs (birth control pills), pregnancy, and ovulation, your brown discharge after period has finished may be due to endometriosis.
In simple terms, endometriosis means endometrial tissues that are commonly located inside your uterus becomes displaced to your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and abdominal areas.
If this occurs, you may or may not have symptoms. If you are symptomatic, severe pain in your abdomen that is worse during menstruation is common.
Other endometriosis symptoms are
- Brownish discharge after period
- Painful menstruation
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
6. Uterine fibroid
Fibroids are an overgrowth of soft tissues on or within the uterine muscles.
Fibroids symptoms are rare, and it’s likely you will have a fibroid without even knowing. In fact, some women discover about a fibroid after an incidental finding by their doctor’s ultrasound scan.
If you have a fibroid and become symptomatic, frequent spotting and brown discharge in between periods can occur.
Other symptoms of a fibroid are explained here, though you will experience difficult urination, abdominal distention, irregular spotting, prolonged and heavy periods.
7. Vaginal infections
It’s common for young women to explore the act of sexual intercourse. If you do, and you are not consistently using a condom, there is a risk of catching sexually transmitted infections (STDs).
Very common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and HIV. These infections, when untreated, spread upwards through your cervix to your fallopian tubes causing widespread inflammation.
This widespread infection that affects your cervix, fallopian tube, and the uterus is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
PID symptoms are
- Vaginal spotting
- Pain in the lower part of your tummy
- Waist pain
- Painful urination
If you have these symptoms and brown discharge, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.
8. After an abortion
If you recently had an abortion, you may be worried why you have light vaginal spotting. Sometimes, it may take a while for bleeding to stop.
Also, you should inform your doctor if you are bleeding heavily with blood clots after an abortion. This is likely because of retained products of conception or complications from surgery.
9. Emergency contraceptive like Postinor pills
If you routinely take emergency drugs after sex, it’s possible you could experience vaginal spotting.
How to stop brown discharge after period
First of all, you don’t need to worry if you experience light spotting after the end of your menstrual period. The truth is, most times, your discharge will improve in a few days.
Smelly brown watery discharge after menstruation is a sign of vaginal infection. Other infection symptoms are itching, painful urination, lower abdominal pain, and fever. Talk to your doctor for early treatment.
Finally, if you are on birth control medications, you will need to be patient for a few months. Usually, within your next six months after starting your pill, you will feel okay. Talk to your doctor if you have heavy bleeding for days. It could be something serious.
Brown discharge 3 days after period, Why?
It’s possible your womb is cleaning itself by expelling endometrial tissues. It’s nothing to worry about.
Brown discharge 4 days after period, why?
If you experience brown discharge 5 days after your period, it may not mean anything serious. In fact, if it subsides in few days time, there is nothing to worry yet.
Brown discharge 10 days after period, why?
Brown discharge 9 days after ovulation is likely because you are ovulating. Mild cramps and back pain are common in some women.
Still worried? Ask Us!!!