Despite the name of the blood, menstrual blood is not always bright red. The color of the menstrual blood for each woman may vary depending on the level of blood density or volume. However, many women complain that their blood is brown. When this happens, the main question that usually arises is is the color of brown menstrual blood normal?
Brown menstrual blood, is this normal?
In most cases, brown menstrual blood is normal. The brown color indicates that the blood has been in the uterus for a long time, so the color is no longer fresh. Brown blood usually appears at the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle.
If brown blood appears early in your menstrual day, it could be blood from a previous cycle that was released late. Whereas, the brown blood that appears at the end of menses indicates that the blood is at the last point because the work of the uterus to shed its walls has slowed down.
When is brown menstrual blood classified as abnormal?
Brown’s blood menstrual color is generally normal and harmless. However, if you experience brown bleeding accompanied by the following signs and symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately.
- Duration more than 7 days.
- Irregular (very fast distance between two cycles, or even more than 35 days).
- Not menstruating for more than three to six months.
- Vaginal bleeding in the middle of two cycles.
- Bleeding occurs after sex.
- Bleeding occurs after menopause.
- Spots appear at any time, even if they are not stabilized.
- Pain in the vagina or lower abdomen.
- Fever (may indicate infection)
- Brown bleeding occurs after using contraception.
- Brown bleeding when using tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug.
Other Causes of Brown Menstrual Blood
Besides aging blood in the uterus, there are many other things that can cause brown menstrual blood. Some of these are equally normal, while others may need to be consulted with a doctor.
Below are some of the causes of brown menstrual blood:
Side effects of family planning
Dark brown menstrual blood usually indicates excessive estrogen levels, causing the uterine wall to become very thick. Thus, during your period, your menstrual blood volume will be more and more concentrated in color.
Well, birth control pills contain artificial estrogen, so exposure to the body can disrupt natural estrogen and progesterone levels. Side effects from using birth control pills can cause your menstrual blood to turn brown for at least the first 3 months. A KB implant such as Nexplanon also causes brown menstrual blood to appear.
Chocolate stains after feeling late can be an early sign of pregnancy. This bloodstain is known as implantation bleeding. You can only see 1-2 drops of blood, and it usually lasts only a few hours (maximum 1-2 days).
If red or brown bleeding continues for more than 5 or 7 days after a pregnancy test, this is not normal. This can be a sign of a miscarriage, especially if it is accompanied by:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Shoulder pain
- Feeling dizzy and weak
- Doesn’t experience nausea or other symptoms of a normal pregnancy
Perimenopause is the phase before menopause. At this point, you will find a brown menstrual blood color. As long as there are no other abnormal symptoms, it is safe to bleed brown menstrual blood prior to menopause.
If you still have brown vaginal bleeding after menopause, this could indicate swelling of the vaginal lining, non-cancerous polyps in the cervix, or other problems in the uterus, including cancer.
If you are having menopause and are still bleeding, see your doctor right away to find out the cause.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can cause menstrual blood to turn brown. In addition, PCOS is also characterized by symptoms such as:
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Abnormal hair growth on the body and face
- Ovarian cysts
- Fertility problems
If your brown menstrual blood color is accompanied by these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. If left unchecked, PCOS can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, infertility, and cardiovascular disease.
Dilation of the uterus
Women who experience enlargement of the uterus after childbirth is at risk for brown blood during their next menstrual cycle.
This is often because the uterus, which enlarges and dilates after delivery, sometimes does not return to its original size. An enlarged uterus takes longer for blood to collect and clot before it is released.
As a result, blood flow during menstruation is faster than normal, with a rather thick texture and dark blood, both red and dark brown.
Endometriosis and adenomyosis
Endometriosis and adenomyosis is a condition of abnormal growth of tissue in a place that should not be there. Endometriosis occurs when tissue forms outside the uterus and usually occurs after menopause. Meanwhile, adenomyosis occurs when uterine wall tissue grows inside the wall of the uterine muscle.
Both of these conditions can lead to prolonged periods because the uterus takes time to collect and clot blood before it is released. This menstrual blood clog will be accompanied by large brown menstrual blood clots and pain.
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