Brown Downtown


She has been experiencing brown discharge since she began using the birth control six months ago. She has also been spotting after sex. This never occurred until she began using birth control. What is happening to her?

Case #: 
1407

Concern:

I have been on the birth control patch for about 6 months and I have noticed that there is a very dark brown discharge before I start my cycle and when I have sex there is a stage when I bleed and after that it will go back to dark brown. I never did this until I got on the patch. Is there anything you can do to help me realize what is going on?

Discussion:

Don’t worry about this problem. It’s a very common issue for women who have recently gone on birth control. The problem is the interaction between your body’s hormones and the hormones added to your body via birth control. Your brown discharge is simply old blood from your uterus. It shouldn’t be there, but it’s nothing to stress over.
 
Hormone Havoc
You can solve this problem by rebalancing your hormone levels. The hormones that control your menstrual cycle are estrogen and progesterone. These are also the hormones that are used in hormonal birth control to prevent you from becoming pregnant. Progesterone plays a large part in these proceedings. It thickens your cervical mucus to allow less sperm to pass through your cervix and possibly make their way to your fallopian tubes or eggs. Progesterone also causes your uterus to build thinner and less stable epithelial layers.
 
A Hot Bed of Issues
The epithelium is what a fertilized egg clings to after it drops down into the uterus. It is a nutrient-rich bed lining the uterus. The epithelium is built and shed each month, if not used. The time when it’s being shed is your period. Progesterone tells your body to build a very thin epithelium, a place that wouldn’t be able to sustain a fertilized egg, should one occur.
 
Estrogen is the hormone that encourages the production of the epithelium. Unfortunately, the increased levels of progesterone can tend to cause issues with this process. Your body needs adequate levels of estrogen to prevent your reproductive system from constantly shedding. Without this, you can experience constant spotting—from true blood red blood rushes to dark brown smudges and clumps.
 
The Women’s Problem
It seems that many women’s bodies aren’t able to balance the levels of progesterone and estrogen to functionally prevent pregnancy without some irritating side effect, such as the brown discharge you’re having. That’s why hormonal birth control is such a tricky thing to balance and maintain.
 
How to Help
In your instance, I recommend beginning an herbal formula rich with phytoestrogens. These plant chemicals can help your body to supplement its levels of estrogens, resulting in a more balanced hormonal system. Beyond directly acting as estrogens in the body, phytoestrogens encourage your body to normalize its hormone levels, which helps you to level out over time. These powerful helpers can be found in such herbs as Chasteberry, Mexican Wild Yam, and Black Cohosh.
 
The formula I have in mind for you features two of these herbs, as well as some herbs that are included to help your body process the excess hormones to prevent their buildup, and to strengthen and tone the entire female reproductive area. (TRY: Herbal Formula for Vaginal Bleeding Relief) I’m sure that by beginning this supplement, you will soon see positive results!

What to do


Natural Relief Formula for Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding can occur at any age. Stress, birth control pills, endometriosis, prescription drugs, abuse of recreational drugs, or uterine fibroids can all lead to hormonal irregularities which can cause bleeding. Read more
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