Is Brown Discharge the same as a period?

Brown Discharge
Brown Discharge

What is brown discharge in women?

Seeing brown discharge on your underwear or while wiping can be scary and make you worried. The first time it happens, you might get scared or think if it’s a sign that there is something wrong. But, relax, brown discharge is just old blood coming out. Fresh blood is bright red in color. Blood gets darker in color after it spends a long time outside the blood vessels. When blood comes into contact with air, it undergoes oxidation and the color of blood gets darker. The hemoglobin and iron ( Fe ) in the blood when interacts with air, the blood takes a brownish color.

In most cases, brown discharge is normal. It can be a sign of many things, from the implantation of an embryo to an impending period. Nevertheless, there are some warning signs and symptoms that a female should keep in mind when it comes to vaginal discharge. And if you’re worried about experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge, it is time to get an appointment with a gynecologist. 

Why is there brown discharge?

There are various reasons why you could be having brown vaginal discharge on your underwear. The reasons behind brown discharge range from absolutely normal to serious cause for concern. That is why every female need to be aware of all the symptoms that can cause abnormal brown discharge. Some of the common reasons why the discharge is brown include:

  • Periods
  • Implantation bleeding
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Ovulation
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Use of Hormonal birth control
  • Sexually transmitted infections od STIs
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs 
  • Perimenopause

Is brown discharge the same as a period?

Many females experience brown discharge before their period. It is the time when the flow is still very light and there not much blood is coming out. This is common to have brown discharge about 2 days before the period cycle. It is also normal to have brown discharge after the period cycle has ended. This is perfectly normal, and it’s just the uterus’ way of cleaning itself out when the regular flow is light. The discharge can also last for a couple of days after the period is over. This discharge is usually dark brown in color and lightens over time.

Brown Discharge During Ovulation?

Although it is rare, some females also can experience very light brown discharge during their ovulation time. After the mature egg bursts out from the ovary, it can lead to a small amount of bleeding and even cause minor abdominal pain. Females who take contraceptives also experience brown discharge instead of a period on birth control. Hormonal birth control can cause the uterine lining (inner lining of the Uterus ) to become thinner, which can ultimately cause brown discharge or no period at all.

Does brown discharge indicate pregnancy?

Brown discharge can also be a sign of implantation bleeding. This can also occur once the fertilized egg attaches the uterine lining. That can cause a small amount of bleeding.

Brown discharge during pregnancy is normal. Rarely, brown discharge during pregnancy can be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. A pregnant female should immediately consult her gynecologist if experiencing brown discharge.

Can infections cause brown discharge?

Brown discharge is usually normal, but there are some infections that can cause it too. Below are the most common conditions or diseases that can cause brown vaginal discharge:

· Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID )

· Gonorrhea

· Foreign bodies such as an intimate wash, vaginal gels or creams, tampon, condom, sex toy, or contraceptive ring

· Bacterial vaginosis or BV

· Chlamydia


If you’re having foul-smelling or itchy brown discharge or any other abnormal symptoms, it’s time to go to the gynecologist. Such conditions require medical attention and should not be avoided.  Early diagnosis can prevent complications and help treat the condition while its time. 

All you need to do is get in touch with us and book yourself an appointment with the best gynecologists in town! Intimate health should not be avoided and make sure you do not avoid the symptoms that are not normal.

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