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What causes irregular period with abnormal brown vaginal discharge?

Mar 2016
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 4047 Questions
I am one year post partum. I stopped nursing about 4 months ago, and my tubes are tied. I have been taking synthroid (a higher dose than before I was pregnant, but no recent thyroid test- though was normal a few months ago) due to previous partial thyroidectomy. I also recently started taking milk thistle for detox (my dad has liver disease, so this is preventative) and probiotics for general health.

My period ended 11 days ago (normal) and I just started menstruating again after I stopped nursing- so have been through probably 3-4 periods since then. Last month I had a bit of brown discharge mid cycle for a couple of days, then had a period. This month, I started spotting 7 days after my period ended (brown discharge- only when wiping) that is a little clumping. I also feel a bit crampy and bloated, but not as much as when I have my period.

I have never had mid cycle bleeding. I have not had intercourse since the day after my period ended. I know brown is old blood- but it's been going on for 5 days.... mostly after a lot of activity. Everything else, other that the slight discomfort in my pelvic area, is normal. Urination, bowel movements, appetite, weight, sleeping pattern- all normal. Any thoughts? Could it be the milk thistle? It almost feels as the first stage of pregnancy, though with the timing and my tubal ligation and no other symptoms, this seems unlikely to me.

I ao going to go see my dr tomorrow- but anything to worry about? Hormonal imbalance of some kind? I have been on a low glycemic diet for weight control which is working fine, but I am not losing more than 1-2 lbs a week.
Posted Thu, 21 Aug 2014 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. S Patra 35 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing to us.

Irregular period with abnormal brown discharge or spotting may be due to hormonal imbalance, mental stress, pelvic or vaginal infection, endometrial or cervical polyp, over weight, thyroid disturbance etc.

I suggest you to consult with your doctor and proceed one pelvic examination with or without speculum for complete evaluation.

Some investigations like ultrasound scan, Serum TSH, Complete hormone profile, Hb%, Vaginal swab test etc may be required to confirm the diagnosis.

You should continue LOW Glycemic diet, control body weight by regular physical exercise, avoid mental stress by yoga or meditation & maintain genital hygiene properly. Hormonal pill and short course of antibiotic may be added according to test report.

Hope, it helps for your information. Kindly, close the discussion if you don't have any other query.

Wish your good health and take care yourself.

Dr S Patra

For future query, you can directly approach me through
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes irregular period with abnormal brown vaginal discharge? 5 minutes later
I'm back own to my weight before pregnancy, so though still overweight- that part is improving, and I do yoga weekly :) There is no odd smell or weird texture to the discharge, so I don't think it's an infection. Would polyps or hormonal imbalance cause the pelvic discomfort/slight constant cramps along with the brown discharge? I think we are planning on a pelvic exam at our appt tomorrow.
Answered by Dr. S Patra 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for follow up query.

1) Yes, cervical or endometrial polyp may cause irregular spotting or discharge with pelvic discomfort (sometimes). Here, we need to rule out adenomyosis or fibroid additionally. They can give constant abdominal cramp.

2) One pelvic examination and ultrasound scan with complete hormone test will be worthwhile to confirm the diagnosis. You should undergo those investigation after consultation with doctor.

Hope, I have answered your query and it will be helpful. Kindly, visit to your doctor for proper management of the case.

All the best and good luck. Kindly, close the discussion.

Dr S Patra
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes irregular period with abnormal brown vaginal discharge? 4 minutes later
Thank you! But none of these scenarios are particularly harmful or worrisome? Ok, so internal exam/ultrasound/blood panel is the protocol?
Answered by Dr. S Patra 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for your response.

Yes, you should follow above protocol or advice of your doctor. It would help to confirm the diagnosis and determine treatment protocol.

If polyp or adenomyosis is detected, then surgical treatment is the BEST option. Otherwise, it can be treated conservatively with hormonal pill or other medicine.

Hope, I have clarified the things. Kindly, close the discussion.

Dr S Patra
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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