At times, you may experience brown stringy discharge. While this may be alarming at first, it is most likely a normal sign. Many women experience this system at different stages of their reproductive years. For many individuals, it is not a sign of anything wrong with the body. If you experience at the middle of your menstrual cycle, instead of your period or accompanied by other symptoms, it could be a sign of something else. Whenever you experience brown, stringy discharge with other symptoms, you should always go to your doctor for a complete medical exam to make sure that there is nothing to worry about.
Possible Causes of Brown, Stringy Discharge
When you see a brown color in your discharge, it is often the sign that there is blood in your vaginal discharge. While blood is often red in color, it turns brown if it is older. Fresh blood is red, but older blood may look brown or slightly black in color. When you see a brown color, it means that the blood took longer to lave the body. For most cases of brown in your discharge, you are perfectly fine. Most gynecologists say that a slight brown color is not a problem unless your flow is so heavy that you need to use a pad.
If this symptom occurs around the start or end of your period, it is a perfectly normal sign. The brown blood may be leftover from your last period if it occurs at the start of your new menstrual cycle. At the end of the cycle, it could be just the final remnants of your current menstrual cycle. Brown discharge that is caused by your period, however, will never be stringy or stretchy. If it is stringy or stretchy, you should go to your doctor to find out the problem. Your doctor may do a pap smear and a pelvic exam to see what is the problem. In some cases, he or she may also want to perform an ultrasound.
What Causes Stringy Discharge?
Stringy vaginal discharge occurs normally during certain times in the woman’s menstrual cycle. Stringy discharge between periods is often a sign that ovulation has happened. When the egg is released, your body tries to make an environment that is favorable for fertilization. The stringy discharge appears to make it easier for the sperm to reach the egg. In addition, you will most likely have an increase in the amount of cervical mucus.
Ovulation occurs about 12 to 18 days after you last menstruated. Most women do not notice any signs that indicate ovulation. In some cases, the woman may develop stringy discharge, stomach cramps or breast tenderness.
Other than ovulation, stringy discharge can be caused by your sex life. When you are aroused, the amount of discharge naturally increases. The color and consistency of the discharge can also change based on the types of lubricants you use. If you are using a lubricant, you may even have an allergic reaction that causes change in the texture and color of your discharge. When you have an allergic reaction, you may also develop redness or itching around the vaginal area as well as a foul odor.
Ovulation and sex can both cause your discharge to temporarily appear stringy. In these cases, the discharge will generally look white or clear in color. It may have a slightly yellowed color, but it generally does not turn brown. Brown discharge is a sign of deoxygenated blood, so you need to figure out the cause of this breakthrough bleeding. Track when this occurs in your menstrual cycle so that you can tell your doctor what is going on with your body.
Other Possible Causes of Brown, Stringy Discharge
While brown, stringy discharge is generally nothing to worry about, there could be another cause at play. If you develop this type of discharge in the middle of your cycle, it could be a sign of menopause, hormonal changes or other health problems.
As mentioned before, stringy discharge often occurs during ovulation. It will look like egg whites and will generally be clear or white in color. Some women experience slight spotting during ovulation, so a very slight brown color could be normal. Unless you experience a foul odor, burning sensations or pain, ovulatory bleeding is not generally a sign of a problem.
2. Menometrorrhagia or Dysmenorrhea
Both of these disorders cause extreme pain as well as prolonged bleeding. If you experience pain and blood clots, go to your doctor to figure out if either of these conditions could be at fault.
3. Brown Discharge Before Menstruation
Before teenage girls have every had a period, they may experience a brown discharge with stringy clots. This occurs because the young female body is preparing to start menstruation. Until her body has developed a consistent menstrual cycle, she may have irregular periods, missed periods or brown, stringy discharge instead of periods.
When the egg is fertilized, it travels down to the uterus to implant on the uterine wall. When this happens, the woman may experience slight bleeding because some of the uterine wall is shed as the egg implants. In these cases, slight spotting is perfectly normal. You should only be worried if you have severe bleeding or if you continue to have brown, stringy discharge during your first trimester. This type of bleeding during your first trimester could indicate an ectopic pregnancy, a threatened abortion or a missed miscarriage.
5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Anyone who is sexually active has a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. This is especially true if you do not use protection during sexual intercourse. Abundant brown discharge, pain, itching, foul odors or burning sensations can be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease. Make sure to immediately get a pap smear and a blood test from your doctor to find out the cause. If you do have a sexually transmitted disease, make sure that your partner is tested and treated as well.
6. Gynecological Conditions
Some conditions like uterine fibroids, yeast infections, hormonal imbalances, bacterial infections and uterine polyps can also cause brown, stringy discharge. If you cannot figure out the cause of your brown, stringy discharge, it is important to talk to your doctor and discuss these possible conditions.