What causes brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation? Is it normal to have discharges of different colors? Is it a serious situation? What does it herald? Do you need to see a doctor? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
Is brown discharge and groin pain normal before menstruation?
You look at your underwear and see some small brown spots. Your period hasn’t come yet, you are experiencing premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain , what’s going on here? Discharge, which refers to very light bleeding that occurs outside of your normal menstrual cycle, is likely for many women.
Premenstrual discharge can range from light pink to dark brown. In some cases, brown discharge gets its color from old blood, which may start to leave your body one to two weeks before your period starts. For some, this is just a normal part of their menstrual cycle. For others, it may be a symptom of an underlying health problem.
Brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation: Common causes
Let’s take a look at the possible causes of premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain and other symptoms to watch for.
1. Causes related to the menstrual period
Most of the time, brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation are just a sign that you are ovulating or that your period is about to begin. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Let’s take a closer look at the causes of brown discharge and groin pain related to the menstrual period.
If you have brown discharge that starts two weeks before your period, this may be a sign of hormonal changes related to ovulation. Typically, you ovulate about 10 to 16 days after the first day of your last period. This is when your ovaries release an egg for fertilization.
Ovulation happens when your estrogen levels are high. This level drops after the egg is laid. This decrease in estrogen can cause some bleeding and discharge. But if you’re taking the pill, brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation could be a sign of something else. Because in general, birth control pills prevent ovulation.
- Menstrual herald
Sometimes premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain are just a precursor to your period. Brown blood or discharge may be remnants of old blood that never fully shed from your womb when you last had your period. This is usually not a cause for concern. However, if you have very short menstrual cycles that you experience regularly, it is best to consult an obstetrician.
2. Birth control related reasons
If you’re using hormonal birth control, brown discharge can be a sign of breakthrough bleeding. This is bleeding that occurs between menstrual periods as your body adjusts to the hormones in birth control. In such a case , you may experience premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain . You may experience some discharge and breakthrough bleeding during the first three to six months after starting a new hormonal birth control method.
You are likely to experience premenstrual brown discharge, especially if you are taking an estrogen-free birth control pill or using intrauterine devices. Brown discharge can also occur if you take birth control pills and miss a few doses. Once you start taking your pills back in your normal routine, the discharge should go away.
It may take several months for your body to get used to a new birth control method. However, if your discharge or sudden bleeding continues for more than six months, it is recommended that you consult your doctor about switching to a different method.
3. Reasons related to pregnancy
Sometimes premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain are actually implantation bleeding. This is light bleeding or discharge that happens when a fertilized egg implants in your uterus. It’s also important to note that only some pregnant people experience implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding usually happens a week or two after ovulation and resembles brown discharge. The bleeding tends to only last a day or two. In some cases, it may be accompanied by implantation cramps. Implantation means your baby is trying to implant itself in your womb.
Other symptoms of early pregnancy include:
- breast tenderness
- frequent urination
4. Perimenopause (pre-menopausal)
Perimenopause refers to the time until menopause. During this period, which can begin 10 years before menopause, your hormones begin to fluctuate. In contrast, you may not ovulate or menstruate as often as you once did.
If you’re in perimenopause, irregular menstrual periods and discharge between periods are usually normal. You may experience brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation for what might be called a long period , followed by a relatively light, short period. However, if you have very heavy discharge or bleeding that occurs more often than once every three weeks, it is recommended that you see a doctor.
Brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation: Other causes
Brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation are sometimes a sign of an underlying condition that needs treatment.
5. Sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted infections can cause irritation in your vaginal tissues that can cause bleeding and discharge.
Additional symptoms you may experience with sexually transmitted infections include:
- pelvic pain
- pain when urinating
- pain during sexual intercourse
- Unusual or foul-smelling discharge, such as green or yellow discharge
If you have symptoms of a sexual infection, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid any complications or pass the infection on to others.
Related article: Sexually transmitted disease tests
6. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is caused by an infection in your reproductive system, including some sexually transmitted infections.
In addition to premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain, pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause:
- burning sensation while urinating
- pain during sexual intercourse
- pelvic pain
- unusual or foul-smelling discharge
- fever or chills
It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease. If left untreated, it can have lasting effects on your reproductive health, including fertility. In most cases, pelvic inflammatory disease is treated with a course of antibiotics.
7. Foreign body
Sometimes an object you insert into your vagina, including tampons or birth control devices, gets stuck inside or you forget they’re there.
The foreign body can cause irritation and infection, resulting in an unusually smelly brown discharge. While this discharge does not typically contain blood, it can look very similar to a brown spot.
It is recommended that you be examined for any brown discharge or spotting accompanied by a strange odor. It’s probably a sign of an infection that requires antibiotic treatment.
8. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome , also known as short PCOS , is a condition that causes irregular menstrual periods and excessive levels of androgen hormones, including testosterone. If you have PCOS, you may ovulate irregularly or not at all. Without regular ovulation, you likely experience some discharge between your periods.
Other PCOS symptoms include:
- acne (pimples)
- Oily skin
- Abnormal hair growth on the face, chest, or abdomen ( hirsutism )
- Gaining weight
If you think you may have PCOS, it is recommended that you see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. If you have PCOS, several treatment options are available, including lifestyle changes and medication.
9. Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer can cause vaginal bleeding between periods, even after menopause. This vaginal bleeding can be mistaken for brown discharge. However, it is important to know that such a condition is a small sign of cervical cancer.
In addition to premenstrual brown discharge and groin pain, other symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Back pain
- pelvic pain
- Problems going to the toilet
- unexplained weight loss
It is important for women to go to the doctor regularly. Also, reporting any unusual symptoms to your doctor is crucial to catching cervical cancer early, which is the easiest to treat.
As a result
Brown discharge and groin pain before menstruation can be a completely normal process related to your menstrual cycle. However, it is strongly recommended that you see your doctor, especially if accompanied by unusual symptoms such as fever, unexplained tiredness or pelvic pain.