Brown Period Blood, Causes


Women often encounter problems with their menstrual period, particularly with the changes in color. Normally the color of the discharge is reddish, like that of blood. Yet, there are times when the color is slightly or entirely different from the norm. This is called brown period blood wherein the consistency and color changes with every period cycle. This might pose a problem to some women who are not used to seeing such situations and may alarm them. Most of the time, this occurrence is perfectly normal although there are some cases in which it indicates an underlying condition that needs medical attention.

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What is Menstruation?

The lining of the uterus or the endometrium thickens in preparation for pregnancy. When fertilization and hence, pregnancy does not occur, the body of the woman sheds this lining together with blood during the menstrual period. The amount of fluid and the blood lost during menstruation is commonly between four to twelve teaspoons per cycle. The average cycle of menstruation commonly lasts up to 28 days, although some women have different menstrual cycles; some as short as 21 days, while others take as long as 35 days. Normally, the menstrual period lasts from two days to several days.

Brown Period Blood: Blood Clots and Thick Menstrual Blood

There are some women who have clots in the blood they discharge during their menstrual period. These blood clots vary in color from bright red to dark. Sometimes these clots are released during the heaviest flow of the period. The presence of clots in the flow of your menstruation may make the blood denser or thicker than usual and may appear brownish, hence brown period blood.

The body normally releases anticoagulants in order to keep the menstrual blood from congealing when they are discharged out from the body. But when the period blood flow is heavy and the blood is heavily discharged, there is not much time for the anticoagulants to do their job. That is why there is clotting together with the discharge, which usually characterizes a brown period blood.

If there is excess brown period blood or larger than usual clotting, you will need to seek medical attention as this may indicate an abnormal menstrual cycle due to a more serious underlying condition.

Brown Period Blood: Normal Menstrual Blood

There are some cases of periods wherein the discharge appears dark brown to almost black in color, specifically when the period cycle is almost over. This is considered normal because this occurs when blood is already old and was not released from the body quickly.

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Generally, a heavy, thick discharge is not necessarily a cause for concern, although when regular periods always come with heavy flow, you may need to consult with your gynecologist in order to check the blood count and determine the root cause. With some women, heavy flow is considered normal to them since they are already accustomed to it. But over time, the excess blood loss may eventually lead to anemia which causes fatigue or weakness. There is also a need to see a health care provider if you feel something is not right with your period.

Causes of Brown Period Blood

It is usually normal to see variations in the thickness or color of the menstrual blood. But there are certain health conditions that cause abnormal clots to form in the menstrual blood or result to changes in thickness and color. It is always important to discuss with your health care provider regarding any concerns about your menstrual cycle.

• Changes in the hormones – The body relies on the hormonal balance of estrogen and progesterone. Both of these hormones help regulate the shedding and production of the endometrial lining. When the hormonal balance is disrupted this leads to a change in the endometrium making it excessively thick. This abnormal thickness contributes to the excessive bleeding during period. This also causes brown period blood or clotting in the discharge.

• Fibroids – These are also known as leiomyomas or uterine fibroids. These are benign tumors that formed in the uterus. Most of the time these tumors do not cause any symptoms, especially small tumors which do not show any indications of their presence at all. When a woman has fibroids, she can expect to have more clotting in her menstrual flow than usual.

• Miscarriage – Women experiencing miscarriage may have blood clots or at times gray clumps of the tissues from their vagina. If by any chance you are pregnant it is best to check with your doctor right away when there is excessive clotting or bleeding.

Doctors may order various tests to determine the cause of brown period blood or the problems with your menstrual flow. Some are:

 Biopsy

 MRI

 Vaginal Ultrasound

 Blood Work

Also read about black period blood

Some cases of brown period blood are due to some other factors such as drugs, anxiety or stress. You may need to change your lifestyle and see if there are any changes.

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