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What causes brown vaginal discharge?

What causes brown vaginal discharge? I''ve been having this problem just for a few days, but obviously I find it very alarming. It looks like the brownish color COULD come from blood, but wouldn't that still indicated a pretty serious problem? Should I see a doctor?
Many women have questions about vaginal discharge, which can sometimes be normal and sometimes not. Normal daily vaginal discharge is clear to white in color and sometimes is present in sufficient quantities to moisten but should not soak the undergarments. Sometimes, midcycle with ovulation this discharge can become thicker and darker in color. Finally, just before frank menstruation, sometimes there is a thick dark brown discharge which corresponds to sloughing off of uterine cells just prior to bleeding. All of these variations are basically normal, and it sound like what you are seeing might be the dark discharge just before frank menstruation. However, if the discharge is present in large quantities, soaking undergarments, or has a very bad smell to it, you should get it checked out by your doctors">primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor. This is especially the case if you have any pelvic pain or pain or burning with urination. All of these symptoms (pain, burning with urination, copious vaginal discharge) might be signs of a vaginal infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. These infections can be diagnosed by simple tests in your doctor's office and can be easily and promptly treated.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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