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Brown discharge before and after period??

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I am a relatively healthy 25 year old.

I don't have any gynaecological problems, I have blood tests and ultrasounds regularly to monitor my insides and i generally lead a good life (mild exercise, healthy diet, no smoking etc).

There is a certain peculiarity about my period.

It always starts with a light brown-ish discharge that lasts for a couple of days. During those 2-3 days I experience no pain, I just feel kinda bloated and sometimes nauseated. Then there is normal blood flow that lasts for 3 more days. During those 3 days I feel mild menstrual cramps and low back pain. And then there is brown discharge again for 3 more days. Usually during this last phase, there is no pain apart from some mild cramps.

On the whole, I wear sanitary pads for 7-8 days but the real period (the blood flow) only lasts 3 days.

It's been like that forever.

Should this brown discharge thing worry me? Could it indicate something serious like endometriosis?

Also, when is the first day of my period? The day i see the brown discharge or the day i see bright red blood?
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replied October 15th, 2011
Welcome to ehealthforum,
The altered/brown discharge that you describe could be due to various causes that include PID, vaginal infection, cervical erosion/dysplasia, pregnancy (if you are sexually active), hormonal derangements, uterine fibroids, etc. Few women also get this just before their actual periods as a result of hormonal changes and uterine response to these changes. The exact cause can only be made out after thorough hormonal analysis, blood HCG test, vaginal swab/smear test, ultrasound scan, etc. Consider visiting your gynecologist/obstetrician for further evaluation to look for the underlying cause. Get started on appropriate treatment as indicated by examination and investigation results. Be in regular monitoring and follow-up with your treating doctor/gynecologist and report any unusual/new/abnormal symptoms immediately to your treating doctor/gynecologist. Drink plenty of water. Take adequate rest. Avoid vaginal douching, use of harsh soap or perfumes in the area. Use loose cotton undergarments and avoid tight fitting clothes.
Take care.

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