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What causes brown vaginal discharge?

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Dr. Aarti Abraham

OBGYN

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 6004 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 in Women's Health
Question: Hi,



I would like to ask about sex. My girlfriend has her period on the 15th of July. We had unprotected sex on the 21st of July (about 6th/7th day with a little bit of period blood left). However i did not ejaculate inside her vagina, only pre-ejaculation if any, and it only lasted a while. Around 31 July/1 Aug I fingered her and she said that she's experiencing pain. She has been having brownish discharge on the 4th of August, and on the 5th of August with a little bit of what you can call a string of a menstruation blood. Today the 6th of August she's having brownish discharge again.



First of all, do I have anything to worry for having the unprotected sex? What could the brownish discharge means?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 2 days later
Brief Answer:
NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT PREGNANCY

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Thanks for writing to us with your health concern.
In my opinion there is no need to worry about a pregnancy.
Firstly, you had unprotected sex around the 6th or 7th day of her periods, when ovulation is less likely, so it is not a fertile period.
Secondly, there was no ejaculation involved.
Also, please let me know a few more details so that I can guide you regarding the brownish discharge -
1. Does she always have regular cycles ?
2. What is her height and weight ?
3. Has she been experiencing any of the following - stress, late nights, unaccustomed exercise, travelling, irregular eating, weight changes, smoking, drinking ?
4. Did she take any hormonal pills before or after the unprotected sex ?
Please do write back with the details and do not worry about a pregnancy.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aarti Abraham 25 hours later
Hi,

You wrote: Also, please let me know a few more details so that I can guide you regarding the brownish discharge -
1. Does she always have regular cycles ?

Yes, she has period every month regularly. However number of days might vary +- 3 days.

2. What is her height and weight ?

Height: 155cm
Weight: 43.8kg

3. Has she been experiencing any of the following - stress, late nights, unaccustomed exercise, travelling, irregular eating, weight changes, smoking, drinking ?

She's not feeling any of the above, however she lost 2kg in the past 3 weeks.

4. Did she take any hormonal pills before or after the unprotected sex ?

No.

Thank you. Please let me know.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
DO NOT WORRY

Detailed Answer:
I think this is mild spotting, that sometimes happens, and will progress into a full blown period in a couple of days.
Is she still having any spotting / bleeding ?

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aarti Abraham 5 hours later
Hi,

I don't exactly know whether it is still spotting/bleeding or it's her period. She's getting the brownish blood where the amount of it coming out is as if it's her period.

Could you please let me know what could cause the menstruation blood to be dark brown in color instead of red? Usually the color will start dark red --> red --> brownish. It will only turn brown nearing the end of her period.

Thanks.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
REASONS LISTED

Detailed Answer:
See, altered bleeding maybe due to stress, exercise, weight gain, etc.
Just take a pregnancy test to rule out an abortion or an ectopic pregnancy.
Also, thyroid hormone abnormalities or polycystic ovaries can cause altered brownish bleeding.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aarti Abraham 5 hours later
hi, what do you mean by abortion or ectopic pregnancy?

thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
EXPLAINED

Detailed Answer:
Abortion means a miscarriage.
Ectopic pregnancy means pregnancy outside the uterus.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aarti Abraham 8 hours later
hi, didnt you say that pregnancy is unlikely? she has been having headaches often lately, and had a quite bad diarrhea last week. could that be the reason why shes having this brown spots? also its not really that much but just strings of dark brown discharge.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
IT IS JUST A POSSIBILITY

Detailed Answer:
Yes, I said that.
I listed various possibilities, amongst them these two were possibilities.
A simple test at home can rule it out.
Yes, an illness or flu can also cause this.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aarti Abraham 53 minutes later
hi,

so normal pregnancy is not one of the possibility? which of these possibilities to u think have higher chance of causing whats going on? shes had this brown spots for over a week or almost a week now. is it dangerous?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
HAVE AN EVALUATION, DO NOT WORRY

Detailed Answer:
I think she should have a gynaecological evaluation if the spotting is going on for a week.
Normal pregnancy is very less likely with such spotting.
She should have a pelvic transvaginal ultrasound scan , and hormonal levels - FSH, LH, TSH, Prolactin, OGTT, DHEAS, Free testosterone.
I think she is having mild hormonal imbalance, there is no need to worry, but since it is going on for a week, an evaluation is necessary.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aarti Abraham 16 hours later
hi, my girlfriend took a pregnancy test and it is negative. is it dangerous with the brownish discharge? it's been going on since aug 4. sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot. thanks.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 23 hours later
Brief Answer:
NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, HAVE THE WORKUP DONE

Detailed Answer:
As the pregnancy test is negative, do not worry.
Just have the assessment outlined earlier.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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