What Causes a Brownish Vaginal Discharge?

Brown vaginal discharge can result from irregular menstrual cycles, although it can be an ominous sign of cancer of the cervix or endometrium, notes WebMD. However, most instances of brown vaginal discharge are not caused by cancer.

Vaginal discharge is the natural method that the female reproductive system uses to dispel fluids, dead cells and bacteria that accumulate or are produced inside the vagina and cervix, as noted by WebMD. Discharging these fluids from the body keeps the vagina clean and prevents infections from occurring.

The color of vaginal discharge is usually indicative of its cause. Yellow or cloudy yellow discharge accompanied with bleeding between periods, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence may indicate gonorrhea. Yellow or green discharge that smells bad and is frothy and accompanied by pain and itching during urination can indicate trichomoniasis. Cheesy, thick, white discharge with pain and swelling around the vulva, painful sex and itching indicates a yeast infection, while yellow, gray or white discharge that smells fishy and is accompanied by swelling of the vulva or vagina and burning or itching can be symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.

Women experiencing vaginal discharge should seek medical evaluation to rule out any conditions that require treatment or medication.