There are many causes of brown vaginal discharge, most of which are not dangerous. You can have brown spotting instead of period. The brown discharge before period represents blood that has disintegrated and comes out brown instead of red. Often spotting after period is also from old blood leaving the uterus at the end of a period. Brown period blood can be found throughout the period but when you get this type of spotting, period blood tends not to be very significant.
Spotting after period is usually brown in color. When you have spotting, the period is often nearly over with. If you have brown discharge instead of period bleeding, you may ask yourself why is my discharge brown. It can be from various types of vaginal infections, including bacterial vaginosis or Trichomonas infections. What does brown discharge mean in the presence of infection? It usually means you need to see your doctor to get on some type of antibiotic therapy. In an infection, there is usually thick brown discharge associated with burning pain or itching of the vaginal area.
There are many types of discharge you can get before, during, or after your period. Clear discharge after period is usually normal and is the result of estrogen stimulation of the vaginal tissues. There can be white discharge after period, which is completely normal. As long as you have no other vaginal symptoms, even light brown discharge before period can be normal. As the period becomes closer, it can become reddish brown discharge. If you are on birth control pills, you can get brown discharge but no period because the hormones have suppressed the thickening of the uterine lining.