What Could Be Causing That Black Discharge? Seven Likely Factors & Related Symptoms

Black vaginal discharge may be concerning to some, but it is actually quite common and may occur at any time during your cycle, not just during your period.

What kind of worries does this raise?

While black vaginal discharge may raise red flags, it's not always serious. This hue may persist throughout your cycle, though it's most common right before your period.

When blood has to travel further than usual to leave the uterus, it becomes oxidized. Because of this, it may appear brown, dark brown, or even black. It might even look like ground coffee.

However, there are situations where black discharge is cause for concern and medical attention. The signs to look out for are listed below.

At the start and finish of your period, you may notice a decrease in menstrual flow. Blood in your uterus may take longer to change from its normal red color to a dark brown or black as a result. There is a chance that the black spots you see in the days leading up to your period are actually remnants of your last period.

If your vagina is doing this, it's just doing some routine housekeeping.

If you have a black discharge, it could mean something is stuck in your vagina. This can occur if you forget to remove a tampon at the end of your period or if you put in two tampons at once.

Condoms, contraceptive devices (like caps or sponges), and sex toys are also common items that can become lodged in the vagina. Vaginal irritation and possible infection can result from prolonged exposure to the foreign object.

Some additional symptoms you might have:

  • a noxious-smelling feces
  • irritation or pain in the vaginal area
  • Genital itching or swelling
  • Urinary retention
  • fever

No items can disappear or make their way to the belly button. Your cervix, or vaginal opening, is quite small. Still, you should visit a doctor if you notice black discharge or other symptoms and worry that something is lodged in your vagina. Toxic shock syndrome is a potentially fatal infection that can occur in extremely unusual circumstances.

Some STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, have been linked to abnormal bleeding and discharge. Black vaginal discharge could be an indication of clots or old blood leaving the uterus. These infections can also cause a heavy, foul-smelling vaginal discharge of any color.

Additional symptoms consist of:

There is no natural cure for STIs. PID can develop if the bacteria in the vagina spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes if the patient does not receive antibiotic treatment.

PID shares signs and symptoms with other sexually transmitted diseases, and you might even have a fever or chills. Consequences, such as chronic pelvic pain and infertility, may develop if PID is not treated.

Early pregnancy bleeding is common and often coincides with a late or missed period. When the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining around 10-14 days after conception, some women experience bleeding as a normal part of the implantation process. If the flow of blood from the vagina is slow, the discharge may appear dark.

Additional indicators of an early pregnancy include:

Normal implantation bleeding is minimal and only occurs in a small percentage of women. Visit a medical professional if your light menstrual bleeding becomes heavier or persists for more than a few days.

A missed miscarriage, which can be indicated by black spotting and bleeding, occurs when an embryo stops developing but is not expelled from the body within four weeks. Pregnancy loss occurs in 10–20% of cases. Most occur before 10 weeks into a pregnancy.

Some missed miscarriages don't cause any noticeable symptoms. In some cases, the miscarriage won't be discovered until the patient has a routine ultrasound.

Some people report the opposite, experiencing none of the typical pregnancy symptoms at all, including cramping and a lack of energy.

Four to six weeks after giving birth, some women experience bleeding known as lochia. Heavy, red bleeding with small clots may initially occur, but then gradually subside after a few days. The lochia turns from red to pink or brown starting around day 4. The blood's color can even become black if the circulation is too sluggish.

It should fade back to a creamy or yellow hue over time before finally stopping.

In the days and weeks after giving birth, you should see a doctor if you notice any bright red blood, clots larger than a plum, or a foul-smelling discharge.

When the uterus, cervix, or vaginal openings are blocked, a condition known as retained menses (hematocolpos) occurs. Therefore, the blood's color may change to black as it is stored. It's possible that a congenital problem with the hymen or vaginal septum, or even the absence of a cervix (cervical agenesis), could be to blame for the obstruction.

Symptoms may not manifest themselves in some people. While for others, the symptoms occur in cycles that mimic a regular menstrual cycle,

If the obstruction is severe enough, you may stop menstruating altogether (a condition known as amenorrhea). Apart from these, pain, endometriosis-adhesions" target="_blank">adhesions, and endometriosis are also possible complications.

Cervical cancer can occasionally be indicated by the presence of black discharge. Despite the fact that many people with invasive cancer show no symptoms, the most common symptom is abnormal bleeding between periods or after sexual activity.

Early-stage vaginal cancer can cause a variety of symptoms, including odorless or foul-smelling, watery or white discharge. Even blood, which has been outside the body for some time, can leave brown or even black streaks.

Symptoms of cervical cancer's later stages may include:

  • A reduction in body fat
  • fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • the symptoms of leg swelling
  • Problems passing urine or feces

There may be no need for medical attention if black discharge is simply a normal part of your menstrual cycle. It's best to see a doctor when the discharge is excessive and accompanied by other symptoms like fever, pain, or a foul odor.

What should be done about black discharge, if anything? For instance:

  • If you have symptoms like black discharge, pain, or fever, a doctor should remove any foreign objects from your vagina.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat infections like PID. Carefully comply with your physician's orders and take precautions to prevent reinfection, such as engaging in safe sexual behavior.
  • In some cases, a miscarriage that goes undetected may end up healing on its own. Your doctor may recommend a dilation and curettage (D&C) if this is not the case. Under general anesthesia, your cervix will be dilated with the aid of medical tools and medication. Any extra tissue is then cut away with a curette, a surgical instrument.
  • If the cause of a retained menstrual cycle can be determined, surgery may be recommended.
  • Cervical cancer treatment options include both surgical and non-surgical methods.

Having black discharge at the beginning and end of your period is typically not a cause for alarm.

The average duration of a period is 3-10 days, and it occurs every 3-6 weeks. In a given month, periods may vary. Outside of this window, any bleeding or black discharge should be discussed with a doctor.

Seek medical attention if you notice black discharge during pregnancy or after giving birth. Additional symptoms, such as fever or cramping, warrant prompt medical attention.

Black discharge or other abnormal bleeding should also prompt a visit to the doctor, even if menopause has already been diagnosed. Depending on the severity, this could indicate a more serious medical issue.

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