What does brown vaginal discharge in a 87 year old indicate?

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Posted on Sat, 11 Jun 2016 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I am 87 years old in general good health. Today I noticed a brown stain on my incontinance pad. What could this indicate beside bleeding--the stain is more brown than red.

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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please see your doctor -

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Blood can look brown if it has been sitting in the reproductive tract for awhile, such as the brown discharge woman may have at the beginning or end of a menstrual period. For that reason, and assuming you have not had a complete hysterectomy, it is important for you to go to a gynecologist as soon as possible. There may be a benign polyp but there may also be something more concerning. The doctor should look inside the vagina with a speculum, do a bimanual exam to feel for the size of your ovaries and uterus, and also do an endometrial biopsy. The biopsy can be done in the office and the specimen will be sent to the pathology lab for evaluation. It will tell whether the lining of the uterus is healthy.

The other possibility is that it is from the urinary tract, but that usually shows as bright red blood.

And I imagine that if you had any fecal incontinence you would be able to tell that yourself.

So - make an appointment with either a gynecologist or your family physician as soon as possible. Preferably a gynecologist.

And if you start to have a lot of bleeding, go to the ER. But I don't expect that to happen.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3131 Questions

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