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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Brown Discharge and Dry...pregnant??


 does anyone know - Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:00 am

I have had fairly regular periods for the past year of 28 days or so, however I began to exercise extrenuously lately and my last period was after 33 days. It started on Oct. 1st and ended on the 6th. I had protected sex, (condom) with my boyfriend on the 7th and 8th. Yesterday however, Oct. 12th, I noticed that I have some brown thick vaginal discharge, very minimal, and it resembles the lining of an organ. My vagina is also very dry and has been that way for the past 5 days. I shouldn't have my period for about another 15 days and so I'm wondering why this is happening. I know it's just old blood probabaly but why is it comming out now?? Why the gap between my period and this?? Could I be pregnant?? I have also exercised more than ever in the past week and a half, (running, swimming, crunches, ect.) and am wondering if that could have anything to do with this. Please respond promptly with whatever you know about this. Thank you.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:22 pm

User avatar Hello,
I apologize for the delay in answering this question. Please allow me to go through the possibilities of your condition.
Brown discharge usually indicates "old blood".
It may happen right after periods, and is just "cleaning out" your vagina.This may be caused from the uterus not completely shedding the products of menstruation, minor vaginal/cervical trauma during intercourse, hormonal imbalances. This is also occasionally be experienced by women on oral contraceptives.
This may occur when you are ovulating/mid-cycle.
Sometimes early in pregnancy you may have spotting or a brownish discharge at the time your period would normally come. If you have spotting at the time of your normal period rather than your usual amount of flow, and you have had sex without using birth control, you should check a pregnancy test.

Once you have ruled out pregnancy, and given the fact that you are not taking any medications that are known to cause abnormal uterine bleeding and do not suffer from any chronic illnesses, then a diagnosis of dysfunctional uterine bleeding can be made.

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is a diagnosis of exclusion. In the vast majority of cases, it is secondary to anovulation (lack of ovulation). If you do not experience cramps or other premenstrual symptoms this could be a manifestation of anovulation.

Some common causes of hypothalamic anovulation are weight loss or gain, eating disorders, stress, chronic illness, and excessive exercise. Women with chronic anovulation that is not attributable to any of these causes are considered to have idiopathic chronic anovulation.[1]

Anovulatory bleeding can be thought of as estrogen breakthrough bleeding. This type of bleeding is related to the levels of estrogen stimulating the endometrium. For example, high levels of estrogen for prolonged periods result in amenorrhea followed by acute intermittent heavy bleeding, and continually low levels of estrogen availability result in intermittent spotting.[2]

References:
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1. Oreil KA, Schrager S. Abnormal uterine bleeding. Am Fam Physician 1999;60(5):1371-82.
2. Speroff L, Glass RH, Kase NG, eds. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In: Clinical gynecologic endocrinology and infertility. 5th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1994:575-93.

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