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Brown discharge: first day of my period?

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lsrmearly Posted: 02-22-2011 10:31 AM

I usually experience 5-7 days of brown discharge before I see fresh blood.  Sometimes, there is a bit of dark red with the brown discharge.   It's more than a panty liner worth of brown goo.  I could get away with 1 pad during the day and 1 pad at night, but more than a panty liner (not absorbent enough for the amount of brown goo).  Compared to the HEAVY flow during my period, the brown discharge is comparably less.  After 5-7 days of brown discharge, I have heavy flow of fresh, red blood with quite a few clots of fresh blood. 

I have received contradictory advice from medical professionals in regards to what day is the first day of my mentrual cycle.   Do I start counting from when I see any discharge?  Even if it's brown discharge? Or do I wait until I see fresh blood?

If I start counting from day 1 of brown discharge, then my temp doesn't rise until Day 21.  If I start counting on first day of fresh, red blood then it rises around day 14. 

My doc thinks I am not ovulating...but I do see a spike in my temperature (around Day 14 if counting from RED blood, around Day 21 if counting from brown discharge).


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nell replied on 02-22-2011 10:45 AM

I have a week of brown discharge too with odd red spots (usually when wiping after toiletting) before my period. I wait for the heavy red flow and consider that CD1.

If I didn't my luteal phase would be as short as 4 days!

Do you chart? It might be helpful to share them, but i'd say the thermal shift is a good indication you are ovulating.

Me 31yrs, OH 36yrs,  BCP for 15 years until May 2010, TTW in 2010, TTC January 2011.

Chronic spotter from 4DPO and DOR. - FS advises straight to IVF, Cycle started mid June '11

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kohlerjen replied on 02-22-2011 11:03 AM

I often have the same experience.  I have learned from my ob that you don't count day 1 until you see fresh blood and it is a flow.  Otherwise it is just spotting.  

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lsrmearly replied on 02-22-2011 3:07 PM

Yes, I do chart.  And I thought the thermal shift would be a good indication of ovulation as well, but my ob/gyn doesn't seem to pay much attention to the spike in temp. 

I was counting CD1 as the first day of fresh red blood, but my ob/gyn says this is wrong.  He says it is the first day I see any discharge at all.  He is making me question everything that I had previously been told (and thought was right).  So confused...

He put me on 10 days of Provera in the hopes if jump starting my period and getting rid of the spotting, but it didn't matter.  I started with the brown discharge on Day 7, which apparently wasn't supposed to happen.

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stockka replied on 02-22-2011 3:14 PM

I usually spot 5-7 days before AF as well.  Mine doesn't seem quite as heavy as yours, but still enough to use several pantiliners per day.  My ob/gyn told me to start counting my cycle at the beginning of the red blood, so that is what I have been doing.  I am sorry to tell you that, so far, nobody has been able to figure out why I have this spotting.  Unless you are really attached to your ob/gyn, I would consider getting another opinion.

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Mopie replied on 02-23-2011 10:45 AM

Your first day of your period is dependent on the flow, not the spotting.  All that spotting you're having before for a few days is just that, pre menstral spotting.  I think your doctor's opinion of when your CD1 happens is not of the general opinion of most OBGYN's and nearly all of us who are on the TCOYF forms posting.

I am a chonic spotter, you'll see if you look at my chart how much I spot throughout my cycle.  But it isn't until I get the actual flow of blood that requires a tampon for absorbing it that I count as my period.  I am a spotter with dark brown 'goo' too but the color and volume of 'goo' has nothing to do with the count of the first day of my period.

I would potentially seek out another OBGYN if you aren't attached as the other poster said.  I'd just wonder what their opinion on other potential issues you may have down the road is and if they don't fall within the general guidelines of the OBGYN community.

Me - 34, Worlds Best Hubby - 41

TTC #1 since 11/2010

Issues:  unicornuate uterus (got two ovaries, one tube on right side and half a uterus with two kidneys), not ovulating, short LP & chronic spotting all thru cycle (apparently related to my ovuation issues).  PCOS ruled out :)   

What is a unicornuate uterus - a rare congenital abnormality (1 in 4000) diagnosed during a routine HSG , of the mulerian duct that failed to form during my embryologic stage.  I have one fallopian tube (right side) instead of two, and half a uterus.  Fortunately I have both my kidneys which isn't always the case for those with UU.  Pregnancy is considered high risk with increase chance of miscarriage, weak cervix and premature labor due to uterus size.  Pregnancy that is anything other than a singleton is extremely risky and dangerous.  Most likely women with UU will have c-section delivery due to uterus size/shape because a baby cannot shift positions.

Tests performed:  Jan 2011 - Ultrasound = all good, Feb 2011 - Hydro saline sonogram = clear, April 2011 blood drawn around CD50 = normal, May 2011 - Hubby SA = great, June 2011 - CD3 & other blood word done, HSG shows unicornuate uterus, June 2011 MRI on abdomen, kidney's and uterus = great news I have two kidney's (yeah!) and no rudimentary horn

Next steps: all clear to start IUI next cycle

June 2011 - first RE appt, ultrasound revealed polycystic ovaries, and a unicornuate uterus (extremely rare, .25% of women have it)

July 2011 - follow up RE appointment, good news on my MRI results and given the go to start IUI next cycle

My chart

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