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What to do if the blood of your period begins to look dark brown

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by (3.9k points)

The blood of the period can come in a range of different colors and consistencies and be completely normal, but if you still feel some curiosity (and you know you are), this is what is really happening if your menstrual blood looks a little more brown than red.

In short, the brown blood is just old blood. As the blood and tissue that lines your uterus decompose and leave the body, they are exposed to the air. When that happens, the blood goes through a process called oxidation, which turns brown, hence its period of brown blood.

Often, you will find brown period blood at the beginning of your cycle, when there might be some blood from your previous cycle. Other times, you will see it at the end of your cycle when your flow is on the lighter side. In those cases, the blood sits a little or comes out more slowly, allowing it to oxidize and turn brown. (Conversely, when blood flows faster and heavier, it is more likely to be bright red or dark).

But, while oxidation is the most common culprit, it's not the only reason you can see brown blood. If you have consumed a lot of iron, either by supplements or by eating a lot of red meat or leafy vegetables, your blood could be biased. That's because having more iron in the blood can improve the oxidation process.

Your hormonal birth control could also be the culprit. Birth control options that do not contain estrogen (or low-dose estrogen) can make the uterine lining less stable, which can cause significant bleeding during your cycle and, because progressive bleeding is usually light, also It may appear brown, again, due to oxidation. But keep in mind that this is also completely normal when it is related to your menstrual cycle.

So, should you worry about the period with brown blood?

Most of the time, when the blood of the brown period is linked to your menstrual cycle, such as a few days before or after your period, or even significant bleeding, it is completely normal.

But when you start to see brown blood that is not related to your cycle, it can be cause for concern. Blood from the brown period outside of your typical cycle or after intercourse, for example, could be a sign of a yeast, bacterial or sexually transmitted infection, or even a problem related to early pregnancy, such as miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

It can also be a sign of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder when the ovaries do not regularly release an egg. PCOS also often causes women to skip cycles for a prolonged period of time, which allows the uterine lining to become increasingly thick and unstable, which can cause irregular spots or darker discharges between periods (as well). known as brown discharge or blood), in addition to abundant and irregular bleeding.

If you are worried about your blood period, or if that brown blood is not linked to your menstrual cycle (as when it appears completely without warning), it is important that you see your gynecologist as soon as possible to find out what is happening.

But most of the time, when you notice a little brown, either because you're nearing the end of your period, or because you're a fan of green shakes, it's not related to a regular cycle. 

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