Why Is My Period Blood Brown: The Colors, Reasons & Much More

Why is My Period Blood Brown

It is important to evaluate your period blood in order to keep a check on yourself. Your period blood hue can vary in many colors such as bright red, orange, pink, brown, deep brown, and even black. Over the course of the menstrual cycle which is usually twenty-eight days, the color of the period blood may change.

This is a natural phenomenon and it is not a matter of panic. Although, different color period blood signifies different things. You must not get anxious and try to consult your gynae if there is a major change in your period blood color.  Most of you may go through this question: Why is my period blood brown? Well, do not worry because we have got you covered. In this article, we will be discussing the brown color of the period, its causes, and remedies. We will also be talking about the different colors of period blood and their causes.

Why is My Period Blood Brown

Why is My Period Blood Brown?

Usually, brown color period blood signifies old blood. Since the blood gets oxidized, it turns brown from red. Let us see the various kinds of factors that can lead to the brown color of period blood:

1. It marks the beginning and the end of your period

This means that before starting your period, you may get a brown color discharge. Some women may also get a white color discharge before their periods start. As the brown-colored period blood reaches inside our body first and exits last, it gets changed to its oxidized color over time. Hence, red period blood changes into brown color.

Also sometimes, all the period blood is not discharged and some of it is left behind. That period blood will be discharged at the beginning of your next month’s period. Therefore, this blood that comes out during the beginning and the end of your periods is brown in color.

2. Pregnancy

The brown color discharge may not be your period blood, but that could be spotting. Spotting is a sign of implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding is caused around ten to fourteen days later after conception. The spotting or bleeding takes place because the fertilized egg gets attached to the uterus. There is no need to worry because spotting does not cause any harm to the mother or the baby. It is usually discharged during the early days of pregnancy. Some other symptoms of pregnancy can be:

  • Missing periods
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breasts will become swollen
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Cramps and backaches
  • Food cravings

3. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

This is a hormonal disorder that forms cysts or non-malignant tumors which cause ovaries to enlarge. PCOS can cause the uterus lining to build up and accumulate and not let it shed at the right time. As a result, women suffering from PCOS may get frequently missed periods. So, next time when the period arrives, it gets oxidized and changes its color from red to brown. Here we have some symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome:

  • Irregular menses
  • Excess hair growth
  • Acne
  • Obesity
  • Infertility
  • Dark patches of skin in folds and creases

We should be aware of how to overcome PCOS in the most natural way possible:

  • Practice physical exercise and weight loss
  • Drink plenty of water

4. Lochia

Basically, lochia is a discharge of blood and mucus after giving birth. It is also termed as postpartum bleeding. In most women, lochia lasts about six weeks after giving birth. It is a quite natural phenomenon in a mother’s body. At first, the discharge blood is bright red in color. But slowly, it turns into brownish and then dark brown in color as it keeps on getting old. Hence if you have been through a delivery recently and you are worrying about the brown color vaginal discharge then take a chill pill!

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Why is My Period Blood Brown

5. Perimenopause

This is caused when there is a persistent change in the length of the menstrual cycle. Usually, it is more than seven days at the beginning. This is the time when your ovaries gradually stop working. There may be some changes in the levels of estrogen in your body at that time which can affect the uterus lining.

This, in fact, changes the frequency and color of your period blood. Your menstrual cycle may change. The brown blood of your period is caused by your menses getting delayed. The period blood gets oxidized before it gets out of your body. Hence, during perimenopause, you will not know a specific time when will you be getting periods. You may even get late periods because of perimenopause. Some of the symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings

6. Missed abortion

It is also known as missed miscarriage or silent miscarriage. Usually, abortion or miscarriage is associated with bright red blood discharge, but missed abortion is experienced by fewer women, where there is a discharge of brown color period blood. This is known as missed abortion or missed miscarriage.

What really happens is the fetus of the baby stops to form and it does not pass through the uterus for about three to four weeks. Typically, there is no heavy bleeding, women just tend to get brown spotting. Keep in mind, that you should always consult a gynecologist or any healthcare professional if any type, color, or pattern of bleeding occurs during the time of pregnancy.

7. Extended-cycle birth contraceptive pills

This is also termed breakthrough bleeding. It usually happens when a woman just starts to use any contraceptive pill. Typically, during the first month of consumption of the contraceptive pill, brown spotting can occur. Do not confuse it with periods or implantation pregnancy. It is better to take the pregnancy tests in this case.

Breakthrough bleeding is caused due to birth contraceptive pills. Your body would take time to adjust to the hormones present in the pills. It is also caused when the endometrium layer of the uterus gets thinned so that pregnancy is not possible. Breakthrough blood is usually brown in color because it is made up of old blood cells present in the endometrium layer. Here are the factors that can cause breakthrough bleeding:

  • If you miss a 28-day contraceptive pill, you are likely to experience breakthrough bleeding
  • If you start a new medicine, such as an antibiotic that interferes with contraception.
  • If you become sick with diarrhea or vomiting, it may impair the absorption of the contraceptive pill and hence cause breakthrough bleeding.

Different Colors of Period Blood and Their Causes

Why is My Period Blood Brown

Let us now know about the different colors of period blood and their causes:

Color of period blood Causes
Red This is the typical color of period blood. If you are having a red discharge of blood that means your flow is completely healthy and fresh. It may become deepened towards the end of your bleed.
Deep red This type of blood is likely to come at the beginning or the end of your bleeding. It may signify old blood. It may also be a symptom of lochia.
Bright red Sexually transmitted infections can cause bright red vaginal blood. Some other symptoms of STIs include foul-smelling discharge, pain during sex, etc. Some common STIs are chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Bright red vaginal discharge is also present when the woman goes through a miscarriage. Another factor that causes this color of the blood is uterine polyps or fibroids. Adenomyosis can also make you bleed bright red blood.

Pink Usually, pink blood is denoted by cervical fluid. Some other things that are associated with pink color discharge are lochia and low estrogen levels of the female. Keep in mind, if you are consuming a birth control pill, it can cause pink blood as these pills contain estrogen-free hormones. During ovulation, there can be an increase in cervical fluid, which at the end of the day can cause pink color discharge. Pink color period blood can also be a sign of miscarriage. Some other signs and symptoms of miscarriage are:

–        Lots of cramps

–        Pain in abdomen

–        Loss of pregnancy symptoms

Orange Implantation of the uterus can be a result of orange color period blood. Implantation spotting is usually seen ten to fourteen days after conception. However, everyone does not get implantation spotting. Hence, it is always better to take a pregnancy test. several infections can cause orange color period blood. These include STIs like gonorrhea.
Grey Period blood is rarely grey. But if you are discharging grey or off-white color blood during your menses, consult your healthcare professional immediately. This can be a sign of infections growing inside your vagina or uterus such as bacterial vaginosis. Some other symptoms of this infection include:

–        Itching in the vagina and the clitoris

–        Four odors coming out of the vagina

–        fever

–        pain while urinating

Miscarriage can also lead to grey vaginal discharge. This is because the tissues that get broken and pass through the vagina are grey in color.

Black This color of period blood is very uncommon. This happens when you insert something inside your vagina and maybe forget to remove it, for example, menstrual cups. Over time, bacterial infections grow inside it and may discharge black period blood. Infections such as pelvic inflammatory diseases and sexually transmitted diseases can cause a black color of the period blood. Some other symptoms of these diseases include:

–        bleeding while or after sex

–        painful urination

–        itching in the vagina and the clitoris

–        pain in the pelvis

–        spotting in between periods

Sometimes missed miscarriage can be a sign of a black discharge of blood.

Green It is the rarest case. Blood mixed with green discharge can be a sign of BV or trichomoniasis.


Conclusive Insights

It is normal for the color of your period blood to be different at the beginning and the end of your period. But you must keep in mind, that these colors do not cross the extremity, for example, orange, black, or even green. In that case, contact your health professional or gynecologist. Also, if you are missing your periods and getting brown color period blood, consult your gynecologist. So, your question has been answered: Why is my period blood brown?


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

a) What does brown period blood mean?

Ans) Usually, brown color period blood signifies old blood. Since the blood gets oxidized, it turns brown from red.

b) What does bright red period blood mean?

Ans) Sexually transmitted infections can cause bright red vaginal blood. Bright red vaginal discharge is also present when the woman goes through a miscarriage. Another factor that causes this color of the blood is uterine polyps or fibroids. Adenomyosis can also make you bleed bright red blood.

c) Does brown period blood mean I am pregnant?

Ans) Brown discharge or spotting before a period may be a sign of early pregnancy.


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