Read more for all the details and information you need to know, but the most common reason that you may have brown, clumpy discharge and itching is that it’s at the end of your menstrual cycle, and you also have a yeast infection.
Introduction to Brown Clumpy Discharge and Itching
Okay, so you have some brown, clumpy discharge going on, and it’s also itchy or burning? This can be a little bit distressing and perhaps even make you feel like never leaving your house!
That said, if your vaginal discharge is clumpy and accompanied by itching, this is not normal and should be checked out by a doctor! You should also seek medical advice if your vaginal discharge is NOT clear and watery or white.
There are treatment options for vaginal discharge, but which one is right for you depends on a proper diagnosis from your doctor.
For example, you may have a yeast infection, or it could be an STI. It could also be some other kind of infection, but it’s hard to diagnose this stuff yourself.
Home remedies are only effective up to a point in this area, and medical treatment is usually the preferred option. There are some very effective medicines used to treat vaginal infections and STIs.
Let’s find out more about brown itchy discharge!
Clumpy Discharge and Itching and Brown: Maybe not Related?
Let’s find out what can cause brown discharge along with itching and burning.
Brown Discharge: Is it Around your Period?
Brown Discharge is not so uncommon around the time of your period, especially towards the end of it. It’s usually just old blood that has oxidized (been exposed to air) and is taking a long time to leave your uterus. It may even seem like you have black vaginal discharge around this time of the month.
For most people, it’s not really a big deal, and it’s usually not a reason to see your doctor. Of course, you should have no other unusual things going on with your period, or with your vagina! This, along with clumpy discharge and itching is certainly a reason to check in with your doctor.
Itchy Clumpy Discharge: Yeast Infection?
The most common cause of clumpy discharge that’s itchy is a yeast infection. The clumps resemble cottage cheese and besides itching, there can also be burning and pain. That’s why around your period, you may have brown discharge and itching and burning at the same time.
Remember: clumpy white discharge that’s not itchy is the most common sign of a yeast infection.
Signs of a Yeast Infection
Brown Clumpy Discharge: Period + Yeast Infection?
So, brown clumpy discharge and itching may not even be related to each other. But, you could just have two things going on at the same time. Are you towards the end of your period, and you also have a yeast infection? This is our best guess for what’s going on.
Is Brown Discharge a Sign of Pregnancy?
Some people may experience some brown spotting during the early stages of pregnancy. It can be a little bit scary, but it’s usually nothing to worry about it, as long as it’s very light and not like your normal period. Check in with your doctor to make sure that everything is okay.
If you have a yeast infection along with some spotting during early pregnancy, it could result in brown, clumpy discharge.
There are some people who think that spotting is a sign of pregnancy. It’s commonly referred to as implantation bleeding.
However, there are a number of reasons why you might be spotting, or have some brown discharge so it’s not recommended to heed this as a sure sign of being pregnant. Take a pregnancy test to be sure.
Again, if you have a yeast infection at the same time you’re experiencing some implantation bleeding, you could have brown clumpy discharge and itching.
Brown Itchy Discharge and Perimenopause
Perimenopause is the period of time leading up to menopause when menstruation officially ceases. It’s characterized by changing hormone levels and this can result in things like weight gain, depression and headaches.
However, the most common result of these changing hormones is an irregular period. Your cycle may get shorter or longer, and your periods may be lighter or heavier. However, as you get closer to menopause, it’s quite normal that your period will get lighter and you may have periods that actually resemble spotting.
If you have a period that is very light, or slow in coming out, it may be more brown than red. Combine this with something like an itchy yeast infection and you may have brown discharge and itching.
See your Doctor for a Proper Diagnosis of Brown Clumpy Discharge
There are a number of reasons why you may have vaginal discharge. Some are serious, and others aren’t. For example, many people have some clear discharge around ovulation which is totally normal.
However, you should see a doctor if your vaginal discharge:
- Is chunky or clumpy
- Is accompanied by itching, burning, or other things that cause you discomfort
- Looks unusual from what you normally experience
- Smells bad
- Happens quite often after sex
- Is yellow or green
- It happens every day
There are a number of relatively simple treatment options you can explore with your doctor.
What about brown discharge and itching? You should certainly see your doctor. An itchy vagina is not a happy one and you may require some treatment.
Signs that your Vaginal Discharge Isn’t Normal
Other Reasons for Brown Discharge Besides Yeast Infection + Period
Some of them include the following.
#1: New Hormonal Birth Control
When you begin a new course of hormonal birth control (pills, or an IUD), it’s normal for your body to go through an adjustment period. You may experience spotting, or other kinds of irregular periods (shorter/longer, light/heavier, etc.).
Talk with your doctor about this to help figure out the correct dosage, or perhaps consider another kind of birth control method.
#2: Ovulation Spotting
Some women experience some spotting that may resemble brown discharge around the time of ovulation (when the egg is released). It can be brown, light red or pink.
#3: Bacterial Vaginosis
One of the most common reasons a woman visits her doctor about vaginal discharge is because she has BV. It’s characterized by a fishy smelling discharge that can be whitish-grey, green or brown.
If you suspect that you have BV, or a yeast infection but aren’t 100% sure which one, it’s best to visit your doctor. Over the counter treatment for a yeast infection that’s actually Bacterial Vaginosis can actually make it worse.
So if this occurs, please visit a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.
#4: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Brown disharge, along with weight gain, acne, irregular periods and facial hair are symptoms of PCOS.
If you experience brown discharge along with severe pelvic pain and very heavy periods, then you may have endometriosis. It’s when tissue that normally grows in the uterus grows ouside of it. During your period, your body will shed this tissue, but if it’s outside the uterus, it may have nowhere to go, which is what can cause pain.
#6: Infection (Usually Sexually Transmitted)
Brown discharge, or any unusually coloured discharge for that matter may be a sign of infection. You may also have pain, itching, burning, rashes, pain when urinating or during sex, or foul-smelling discharge.
One of the sexually transmitted diseases that you should be aware of is Chlamydia. It can result in thick yellow, or milky white vaginal discharge, which may appear brown during, or towards the end of your period. You may also notice some itching (as with most STIs).
Another possible STI is Gonorrhoea. Many women experience no symptoms at all, but you may have increased amounts of discharge, which may appear brown, depending on where you’re at in your cycle.
Be sure to get these things taken care of because they can turn into a much bigger problem and even lead to infertility.
Treatment is typically antibiotics for a number of days. Be sure to finish the entire course.
#7: Cervical Cancer
Although it’s very are, cervical cancer can lead to some usual vaginal discharge. You may also experience weight loss, pain during sex, heavier or longer periods, and bleeding between periods.
This is a very serious condition, which is why it’s important to always visit your doctor if you suddenly have some unusual vaginal discharge going on.
If your doctor suspects this, the first thing they’ll do is a pap test which can detect unusual cells in the cervix. This tissue is sent to the lab for tests.
Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
#8: Foreign Object in the Vagina
Although not that common, a cause of abnormal discharge is an object left in the vagina. It could be a bit of tampon, condom or other sex toy, etc. You’ll most often notice a bad smell along with brownish discharge.
I Get White Discharge Right Before my Period
Right before your period starts, it’s quite normal to get some milky, white discharge. This is due to a spike in Progesterone during the Luteal phase of your menstrual cycle.
You can learn more about it here: Does White Discharge Mean my Period is Coming?
How to Maintain Optimal Vaginal Health
Okay, so you’ve got some vaginal discharge issues going on. It’s maybe a strange color, smells bad, or is accompanied by itching, burning or pain.
In almost all cases, you should check in with your doctor to find out what’s going on in order to get the proper course of treatment.
However, the best thing to do is keep your vagina in tip-top shape from the start! Here are a few tips for vaginal wellness!
#1: Use Condoms
You should always use condoms, especially with new, or casual sexual partners, even if you’re using another form of birth control. STI’s are one of the most common reasons for unusual vaginal discharge.
#2: Air it Out
Your vagina does best when it gets some air-flow going on! Consider going commando under your PJ’s while you sleep and try to avoid things like pantyhose or tights for long periods of time.
#3: Use Antibiotics Sparingly
Antibiotics do a great job at killing all the bad bacteria in your body. They also kill lots of the good ones too, including the ones in your vagina. This can lead to things like yeast infections or BV.
Use them sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.
#4: Shower and Change Clothes after Workouts
Be sure to not keep your sweaty workout clothes on for hours after a workout. Take a shower, or change your underwear and shorts at the very least.
#5: Avoid Douching or Vaginal Soaps
These kinds of things can throw off the pH balance of your vagina and lead to problems with vaginal discharge. Just use regular old water to keep things clean around your vagina.
#6: Wear Cotton Underwear
Your vagina likes to breathe! Wear cotton underwear to help it do that.
#7: Wash New Underwear Before Wearing
Be sure to wash off all the toxic chemicals from manufacturing before wearing new underwear.
#8: Consider Switching to a Menstrual Cup
Here’s something you might not know. It’s that tampons often contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them from the pesticides used on the cotton, as well as the manufacturing process. This stuff isn’t great for your body, even in small amounts.
Brown Clumpy Discharge and Itching: Have your Say!
What are your thoughts about brown, clumpy vaginal discharge that’s also causing itching? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.