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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Brown before flow?

 emm - Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:26 pm

I am experiencing brown (sometimes really dark) 'guu' like substance for at least 1 day, sometime 2-3 days, prior to normal redish spotting of my period. Any idea what could cause this? My body has been doing this for roughly 6-8 months now; I take no perscribed birth control and am a sexually active married woman. Thanks.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:44 am

User avatar Hello,
"Spotting" refers to unexpected bleeding that does not require the protection of a sanitary or a tampon.[1] Normally it doesn’t reach the underwear, but rather is swiped with toilet paper after a bowel movement or urination. The blood can be pink-tinged mucus, rusty brown or bright red. Brown discharge usually indicates "old blood".

Normal spotting may occur at the very end of your bleeding days. A day or two of spotting after 3 to 5 days of “bleeding” is normal, and just the end of the bleeding period. This is also known as post-menstrual spotting. Normal spotting can also occur in the middle of the cycle and is related to ovulation. This is known as mid-cycle spotting. Implantation spotting is another form of spotting that is considered normal. It is related to implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus. This occurs about a week before the cycle is due – and only lasts for less than one day.

It’s abnormal to spot days before your menstrual cycle is due.

The causes of abnormal spotting vary.

One common cause of spotting is low progesterone. It’s the hormone progesterone that helps to maintain the uterine lining for pregnancy and when progesterone level drops, the menstrual cycle occurs. In women who are deficient in progesterone, they will see spotting several days to a week before their cycle is due. This can also cause minor infertility and early miscarriage.

Another reason spotting may occur could be uterine fibroids, which are fairly harmless, but need to be kept an eye on. Endometriosis, birth control pills are a few other reasons spotting may occur. The most harmful reasons for spotting are possible sexually transmitted diseases and some cancers.

It is advisable if you have recurring spotting each month to have your healthcare provider to exam you, just to rule out possible harmful reasons for it and to help you to deal with and/or cure the reasons behind the spotting.

After you visit your doctor please keep us updated.

Best regards.

1. Thorneycroft IH. Cycle control with oral contraceptives: a review of the literature. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999;180(2 pt 2):280-7.

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