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Women's Health

Dark brown discharge during period

08/02/2007

Question:

Ok first of all. My normal vaginal discharge is quite heavy and I secrete a lot more than the average woman. I`ve been told this is normal by my doctor and I have my yearly pap smears. To give you an idea of how much I secrete daily, I have to wear a panty liner if I don`t douche every day. And by douche, I mean I just clean out the vaginal tract with my finger and just water when I`m in the shower. So I don`t use soap or any products with that. As for the dark brown discharge. I`ve had it for years and years and only during my period. I`ve read many things on it and most info says that the discharge is normal before and after your period. I have it through out my whole period, from the day I first get it till the day it ends. And it`s not the blood that`s dark brown. It`s my normal white creamy discharge that turns brown while I have my period. So to give you an idea, on my tampons you can see that it`s soaked in a pinkish/redish blood but on the outside of the tampon the creamy discharge is on it and it is dark brown.

Is this normal? I`ve mentioned it to my doctor and he didn`t seem concerned at all.

I`m 24, 113 pounds. I am Still a virgin. I have my yearly pap smears, and all tests come back negative. And I am on the pill but only for the past few months. And this discharge has been present for years anyway. And I`m not on any other medications.

Do you have an answer as to why I have this? Anything will help. thank you.

Answer:

Vaginal discharge can be from different causes. First and foremost would be that it's a normal body function. Next step is to make sure it's not infection - bacterial vaginosis, yeast, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) like gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas. Since you are a virgin, STD should not be an issue. Bacterial vaginosis is usually smelly (like fish), some itching. Yeast is like curdled yogurt. There's significant itching.

A normal vaginal discharge can vary form one person to another. This depends on the body's response to the hormonal changes day to day. Since Pap smears have been normal - there seems to be no concern for cervical cancer. If this concerns you still, have a second or third opinion and see what the consensus is. I wish you well.

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Response by:

Riza T Conroy, MD Riza T Conroy, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University