Vaginal discharge can be normal or pathological. Therefore vaginal discharge becomes cause of concerns for most women. Instead of being panicked, it is wise to be informed and seek out the cause and solution of this problem.

“Brown colour” in discharge indicates presence of red blood cells (therefore blood) in the discharge. Small amount of blood mixes with normal vaginal secretion and appears as brown discharge.


  • During pregnancy, placenta of the fetus is attached with the wall of uterus. In some conditions, this placenta might separate from the wall (abruption placenta), which will release blood. This blood may age and come out as brown discharge. This condition requires serious attention by a obstetrician.
  • Miscarriage in early stage may also produce brownish discharge from vagina.At the time of ovulation, due to hormonal changes; the wall of uterus becomes more vascular and soft. Some of these blood vessels may break and release blood which causes brown discharge.
  • Oral Contraceptive pills containing hormones, interferes with normal duration and frequency of menstrual cycle. It may cause unwanted irregularity of menstrual discharges (especially the pills containing progesterone only).
  • Often during menstruation, some endometrial tissue (inner wall of uterus) remains left behind, which comes out much later than menstrual blood. This tissue creates brown colour in discharge.
  • When a woman is near to the age of menopause, it’s common to see discolored discharge from vagina.However blood containing discharge following menopause should never be ignored!
  • Apart from the above causes, bacterial vaginosis, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), cervical cancer and certain sexually transmitted diseases also cause this condition.

One way to differentiate pathological discharge from normal discharge is the smell! A foul smelling discharge is always pathological and requires urgent treatment.



Brown discharge in early menstruation

If you observe brown discharge at the beginning of the menstruation or due menstruation, you may think of two things. First, it may be some old endometrial tissue. Second, you may be pregnant. Check for the pregnancy and consult your obstetrician!

Brown discharge during menstruation

No need to worry at all! If blood has been contained in the uterine cavity, it ages and becomes brown. This along with old endometrial tissue gives brown appearance.

Brown discharge following menstruation

It is absolutely normal as discussed earlier. It may be old left tissue of endometrium.  In rare cases it may be due to implantation, hormonal fluctuations, fungal infection or carcinogenesis.

In certain conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), pregnancy and dysmenorrhoea you may see brown discharge instead of menstruation.

Sometimes, during sexual intercourse, the vaginal secretion increases. If the time of intercourse is around ovulation, the bleeding may occur and cause brown discharge. Even little trauma to the vaginal wall can also produce this discharge.

Brown and viscous discharge

The vaginal discharge becomes thick when it mixes with mucus. Brown mucoid discharge can occur for a number of causes. It might be a indication of ovulation, or an early sign of labor In the last trimester of the pregnancy. It may also happen due to hormonal imbalance.

Brown, viscous discharge may also be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. This might be caused by your diet, birth control or even stress.

If you are not sure about the cause of the discharge, consult your doctor immediately.