June 21st, 2012 by Hasham
Dark brown Menstrual Discharge
What Causes Black Blood In Menstrual Cycles
What may be the causes of brown or dark menstrual blood
Your menstruation cycle is a monthly phenomenon that is dependant on a number of emotional, physical and hormonal variables. All of these act together to ensure that you have a constant supply of mature eggs ready for reproduction at certain times of the month. Your reproductive system also makes sure that the monthly menstrual flow removes the inner lining or endometrium from the womb once it is not required. Sometimes, this menstrual blood remains in the uterus for a day or two before being passed out. In these cases, you will have noticed a flow of particularly dark blood that could even appear black or brown. In the absence of any other symptoms or complications, this is completely natural and is not a source of concern.
Home Remedies For Dark Menstruation
In case you also suffer from an irregular menstrual cycle, portions of the uterine lining may be shed erratically. Some of this tissue may flow out only with the next period, making the blood appear darker. However, if you are experiencing pain in your pelvis, painful periods and pain during intercourse, you could be suffering from a condition called endometriosis. In this case, the uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus instead of inside, causing discomfort and a darker discharge during menses. If you experience similar symptoms, you are advised to visit your gynecologist immediately, since one of the complications of endometriosis is sterility. In such cases, an early diagnosis and careful treatment is essential. Another reason for darker menstrual blood can be an infection or a sexually transmitted disease. If you experience any foul odor, unusual tenderness or an explained fever, please arrange for a complete check-up.
If irregular periods are causing your menstrual blood to be darker than usual, there are a few home remedies you can try out. Some women feel that parsley can increase menstruation and regularize the monthly periods. This probably occurs due to the presence of apiol in parsley, which is also a constituent of the female sex hormones. You can drink about 75 ml of parsley juice, along with similar quantities of beet, carrot, and cucumber juice. Unripe papaya is also believed to help the muscular contractions of the uterus, ensuring a timely and proper menstrual flow. However, there can be other causes for the dark color of your menstrual blood. It is recommended that you consult with a gynecologist to ensure that these home remedies are all that you require for your specific condition.
Causes of Brown to Black Vaginal Bleeding
It is important to ascertain whether the bleeding is related to a menstrual bleed or not. The presence of other symptoms like pain, discharge preceding or during the bleed, blood clots or pieces of tissue in the blood are all significant in identifying the most likely cause. Remember that a small quantity of brown blood towards the end of a menstrual period is not abnormal and is just degraded blood (“old blood”) being expelled.
Retained menses is not a common phenomenon. It may be due to the menses being retained with the uterus or even in the vagina. An imperforate hymen is where the hymen fully rather than partially covers the vagina and at the onset of menstruation during puberty (menarche), the menses cannot pass out of the vagina. In older women, cervical stenosis which is narrowing of the cervix (or more correctly the endocervical canal) either obstructs or drastically slows down the exit of menses from the uterus. There are other possibly causes relating to anatomical abnormalities of the uterus, cervix or vagina but these are usually present from birth (congenital).
A miscarriage is a more common cause of brown to black vaginal bleeding. While it is a consideration in every pregnant woman’s mind, not all woman realize that they are pregnant until there is an abnormally heavy bleed particularly when it is laden with large clots or the color varies significantly from the normal menstrual blood. The products of conception are eventually ejected but sometimes it is retained. This is known as a missed abortion and arises when the cervical os does not dilate to allow for the products of conception to pass out. Over time there is a scanty brown to black bleed that is often foul smelling. This symptom is less common with an elective / induced abortion if it is done by a medical professional since the cervix is dilated and the products of conception may be removed with a D and C.
Infections of the vagina, cervix or uterus may cause brown to black vaginal bleeds at the proteolytic enzymes of the bacteria rapidly degrade the blood. These infections may be sexually transmitted like gonorrhea and chlamydia, commonly caused by rectal bacteria like E.coli or due to overgrowth of the naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina (vaginosis). It is typically associated with a foul smelling discharge, pelvic pain with pain during urination and intercourse and sometimes a fever.
Cancer is a fairly common cause of vaginal bleeding that is not related to menses – intermenstrual bleeding. It is, however, not a common cause of brown to black vaginal bleeding. An ulceration of the reproductive tract may cause bleeding and if the outflow is restricted or complicated with pelvic inflammatory disease (infection) then there may be a dark brown to black vaginal bleed usually presenting as spotting.
Dark Brown Spotting Before Menstruation
If the spotting occurred in the heels of your last menstrual period, then the condition is considered to be normal, regardless of the nature of the discharge. On the other hand, if spotting occurred fairly in between menstruations, it can be an indicator of uterine fibroids. This type of ailment affects the uterine walls, making it easier to discharge menses.
You may also experience similar brown spotting during ovulation.
Another reason for spotting ahead of your scheduled menstrual cycle could be due to the hormonal changes in your body prior to menstruation. This happens when there is a rise in the level of estrogen in the body with a corresponding drop in progesterone levels. This is the result of the fertilized egg cells which signals the start of pregnancy. When this is the case, there is really no need to worry. But this is precise reason why a woman experiencing spotting must consult a doctor to check if she is pregnant.
Another common cause for spotting between periods is stress. Not only physical stress but emotional stress can likewise trigger spotting. If the spotting is particularly heavy, bed rest is recommended. Women experiencing spotting due to stress must undertake stress relief activities like yoga, meditation and some light exercises.
Women who regularly take oral contraceptives may also experience spotting early on. On the other hand, spotting may also occur if a woman misses taking her oral contraceptives regularly.
Another reason for experiencing spotting is due to the insertion of objects into the vagina. In some cases, spotting may persist a long time after sexual intercourse. Physical movements may be contributing to the bleeding. You need to extra cautious when dealing with harsh, physical movements in and around the vagina.