Brown Discharge After Menopause? What to Know

Brown Discharge After Menopause? What to Know

So, it’s been twelve months since your last period.

You’ve made it to menopause, and your body’s gone through some major changes.

While the symptoms of menopause may last a little longer (unfortunately, yes, that brain fog and those hot flashes might just hang around), you’re certainly not expecting any more bleeding or irregular periods.


So, what causes brown discharge after menopause?

First up, brown discharge after menopause is actually very common.

And there are many reasons for it.

But even though some reasons are benign, bleeding after menopause is not typically normal and should be taken seriously.

It’s always worth booking an appointment with your doctor.

Until then, we’ll take you through the details.

In this article: 📝

  • What causes brown discharge after menopause?
  • Can stress cause brown spotting after menopause?
  • Is it normal to have discharge years after menopause?
  • When should I be concerned about brown discharge?

What causes brown discharge after menopause?

Brown discharge after menopause usually contains small amounts of blood.

Fresh blood is bright red, but it turns dark brown or black as it mixes with oxygen when it leaves the vagina.

The lining of the vagina walls gets thinner during menopause (because of reduced estrogen), meaning it’s more sensitive to irritation and dryness.

These symptoms, along with others that affect the general area, are known as the Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).

And yes, they can make irregular spotting or bleeding a possibility.

But there are a number of other causes of brown discharge to keep in mind:

  • Sexual activity: Brown spotting may occur after sex as the friction causes some bleeding due to the thinning of the vaginal wall. You might also feel pain or discomfort.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia: This is when the endometrium (the tissues lining the uterus) becomes thicker. In some cases, the cells can change and become abnormal, leading to cancer. This is what the OBGYN usually wants to rule out.
  • Infection: A range of vaginal infections might cause off-color discharge, as well as itching, pain, and irritation.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Some STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, might cause vaginal bleeding, often after sex.
  • Exercise: Brown spotting after strenuous exercise is pretty common.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Because HRT can thicken the uterus lining, vaginal bleeding is a possible side effect.
  • Medications: If you’re on blood thinning medications (for instance, Tamoxifen, used to prevent breast cancer), you might also experience vaginal bleeding.
  • Polyps: These are growths attached to the uterus or cervix.
    They’re usually non-cancerous but can cause some nasty cramping, bleeding, or brown discharge.
  • Cancer: While very rare, sudden brown discharge is a possible sign of uterine cancer.

The bottom line?

There’s a lot that may be causing this symptom.

So if you’re experiencing unexpected bleeding or brown discharge after menopause, it’s best to get checked out to see what may be bringing this about.

All the better to get to the bottom of the real cause behind the bleeding

Can stress cause brown spotting after menopause?

Now, this is a tricky one.

Many people say severe stress triggers spotting after menopause.

Stress affects our menstrual cycle — so why wouldn’t it do the same with bleeding after menopause?

Even so, there aren’t many medical studies or evidence on the subject.

So, for this reason, it’s not included as a medical cause of brown discharge after menopause.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a possibility.

And either way, paying attention to your stress levels can’t hurt.

Meditation, yoga, and spending time with loved ones are just some ways to do this.

Is it normal to have discharge years after menopause?

Bleeding after menopause isn’t par for the course.

So if you’re experiencing even intermittent brown discharge after menopause, book a consultation with your doctor.

Even with HRT, where spotting is a known side effect if spotting or bleeding happens regularly, it’s worth raising this.

In most cases, vaginal bleeding is nothing to worry about.

But there are some serious conditions that could cause it.

And it’s always best to get a diagnosis earlier than later so you can get any treatment you might need.

When should I be concerned about brown discharge?

Brown discharge after menopause really shouldn’t make you feel worried.

It’s relatively common, and while it’s always worth checking out, it usually isn’t cause for concern.

We feel you, though — it can be disconcerting after you thought you were finally done with periods.

So if you’re wondering how to stop brown discharge after menopause, it really depends on the cause.

Things like thin sanitary pads, sensitive soaps, breathable cotton underwear, and loose-fitting clothing can all help make it more manageable — but won’t get to the root cause.

The best thing to do is talk to your doctor.

And touch base with your Peanut community.

You don’t have to go through this alone.

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