Written by Yoppie
22 Nov 2021
What should my period blood look like?
My discharge is brown after my period. What’s going on?
What about brown discharge before my period? Is that normal?
Could it be anything more serious?
Oh yes, we’re getting into the reeeally good stuff in this one. If you’ve ever experienced brown blood or discharge and been too embarrassed to ask what the heck is going on, we’re spilling the beans. Here’s your guide to brown-looking blood and discharge before and after your period, why it happens, and if there’s anything to watch out for.
There’s no one-colour-fits-all when it comes to period blood, nor is there a consistency that you ‘should’ see. Your bleed will change depending on where you are in your cycle and could look different each month. Discharge is common throughout, and can vary in colour from classic bright red, to the dark brown that we’ll be talking about here, but it can even be black, grey, green and many other shades.
If you’re interested in what the colours of your period rainbow could mean, we’ve got a guide on that here, and a blog post about what the consistency could be telling you. Here, we’re focusing on the brown stuff. (No, the other brown stuff.)
Brown discharge or blood is pretty common after your period ends. Pink blood is fresh, darker red means it has oxidised, and brown means it’s usually older. After your period ends the leftover blood will leave your uterus via discharge, and can be brown in colour.
If you tend to have a slow flow each month the same thing could happen, as blood takes longer to pass through your system and therefore has more time to oxidise. In rare cases brown discharge can be a sign of an underlying problem if accompanied by other symptoms, but mostly it’s nothing to worry about on its own.
In most cases brown discharge is super normal, but it tends to happen after your period. If it happens before, it could be due to hormonal changes that affect both the colour and texture of your period blood. Some reasons for this could be:
Though brown discharge is usually nothing to worry about, there are certain conditions where this can be a symptom, so it’s good to know about them just in case you need to seek advice from a doctor. Some other reasons for brown blood and discharge include:
Got questions about discharge or period blood? There are no embarrassing Qs here! Join our Full Stop FB group to chat about all things periods, or DM us on Insta at @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised menstrual cycle care box covers everything from organic tampons to hydrating face masks (and plenty more!) delivered regularly through your letterbox - so however your cycle is acting, we've got you covered.
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