Brown Period, Heavy Flow, and Other Menstruation Quirks

Sometimes irregularities in the menstrual cycle, such as a brown period, changes in flow or period duration, missed, period, and other oddities can crop up. For the most part, the changes are minor and sometimes even go unnoticed, but other times a change so drastic can occur in the menstrual cycle and can be a very unnerving experience, regardless of a woman’s age. If you’ve recently noticed that your period isn’t sticking to the norm, then take a look at some of the following menstruation irregularities. If your issue is listed here then you might be able to take comfort in understanding what is going on inside your body and why it is acting out of the usual.

Brown Period

A brown period sounds really…dirty…but it’s actually a pretty common occurrence in women of all ages. What most of us just call a “brown period” is actually a cleansing process that your body goes through in order to flush out some of the excess blood left from your last period or that did not make completely make it through the cervical canal. The blood takes a brownish tint as the result of a process called oxidization. Have you ever cut your skin and gone without knowing for a while? By the time you noticed the cut, the old blood around the wound was likely a brownish color. This is pretty much the same thing that goes on inside your body with the blood that failed to be flushed out last month. You may notice brown period blood at the beginning of menstruation followed by normal blood color, or the blood may simply remain brown throughout the duration of your period. This is not usually a cause for concern and shouldn’t cause any other symptoms.

Light Flow and/or Short Period

Over the years, most women gain a pretty good expectation of what their period will be like. For some, the pattern may start out light the first day or two, heavy in the middle, and then light towards the end. For others, it may begin heavy and lighten towards the end of the week. To experience a light blood flow out of the norm—it can be a little disconcerting. Fortunately, there usually isn’t a problem with having a light flow as long as your period is occurring around the time that you expect it. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to how much blood gets produced during the menstrual cycle, and one of those factors is stress.

Stress can also cause irregularities such as a shortened period duration or a missed period altogether. Stress, depression, and other hormonal fluctuations can take a typical five to seven day period down to a duration of three days or even less! The idea of a short period (or no period at all) may seem pretty enjoyable, but in most circumstances it just causes a gal to worry. If your problem falls into this category, then you ask yourself what your life has been like over the last month. Have you suffered any excess stress such as moving to a new house, losing a loved one, getting a new pet, or starting a new job? Life hiccups like these, even if they are positive ones, can cause a lot of havoc inside your body on a hormonal level, resulting in some pretty big changes in your menstrual cycle. If your period hasn’t resumed normality in the next month or two then you might want to see your gynecologist or doctor just to be on the safe side.

Spotting Between Periods

Spotting between periods is one of the most worrying menstrual irregularities for a girl (except maybe for missing a period). Spotting usually occurs in the form of a brown period. In most cases the spotting will be quite light in flow and lasts a day, maybe two. As mentioned earlier, this is simply the body’s way of flushing out the excess blood from your last period, and is not considered true bleeding because the old blood is usually accompanied by natural discharge. Spotting between periods may also be in the form of a light pinkness that happens once or twice when you wipe, or it could be a heavier flow similar to what you might have on a proper period. Spotting around the time that you are due to ovulate—about 14 days before you expect your next period—is actually not uncommon. This is caused by a rapid drop in the estrogen hormone. Spotting that occurs a few days or even five days before your period is due is really no cause for alarm. In fact, you shouldn’t be surprised if this spotting leads you into a full-fledged early period.

Although it is rare, spotting shortly before your cycle is due could also be a sign that you are pregnant. It is referred to as “implantation bleeding” and is the result of a fertilized egg attaching itself to the uterus wall. If implantation bleeding does occur—and it usually doesn’t in most pregnancies—then it typically happens around six to ten days after your suspected ovulation date.