Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Dark Blood Light flowing Period
heatherperkins1988 posted:
I have one tube, and ovary due to an etopic pregnancy back in August of 2012. Since then my periods have been normal. My period was 3 days late and it is dark brown and very light flowing I am having alot of back pain and lower stomache pains what could possibly be going on?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear heatherperkins: Given your history of a prior ectopic pregnancy the first thing to do is to rule out an undetected, current pregnancy. The best place to have the test done would be at a GYN or your local county family planning clinic.

If the test is negative (which I would hope and expect) then the most likely explanation of a late flow that is "too scant" is a missed/late ovulation. In a normal cycle, estrogen is produced all month. Estrogen is responsible for building up the lining of your uterus so you have something to shed each month.

In a normal cycle, progesterone production increases following ovulation and release of an egg.. Progesterone "stabilizes" the uterine lining in preparation for a possible implantation of a new pregnancy. If you are not pregnant that month the levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, triggering the release of the uterine lining—your period.

So, if you do not ovulate, the estrogen build up of the lining continues, but without the usual ovulation associated progesterone. Thus, the hormone levels don't decline, and the lining stays up inside the uterus—your missed period. Alternatively, the built up lining can begin to shed on its own creating erratic bleeding patterns which are usually "too-light" or super heavy and prolonged.

Causes for not ovulating are multifold: low thyroid problems, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (problems with boyfriends/girlfriends, finances), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc. In your specific case heatherperkins, the abdominal pains MIGHT be from an ovarian cyst. An in office ultrasound should be able to visualize an ovarian cyst if this is the case.

Bottom line, you should get checked out because of the pain and the prior history of ectopic. I would not suggest that you self monitor and wait to see what happens.


Helpful Tips

Be the first to post a Tip!

Expert Blog

Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

From HPV to irregular periods to PMS to fibroids, Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, is here to share her knowledge and insight...Read More

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.