When you are pregnant, you become extra aware of your body and very careful of what you eat and about the discharge that happens. Your gynaecologist might have told you that white discharge during pregnancy is a normal thing. What about when you have a coloured discharge?
When suddenly you have that pinkish brown or brown discharge, you become tensed and your mind wanders to thinking if that might be a miscarriage. Experiencing any coloured discharge during pregnancy can be quite alarming. But remember, that all coloured discharge does not mean there is a miscarriage.
Healthy vaginal discharge is thin and clear or white and has only a mild odor. It is called leukorrhea. This discharge increases in volume throughout pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of vaginal and uterine infections. The most heavy discharge happens during final weeks of pregnancy, when it may contain pink mucus.
The mucus is typically sticky in consistency, and it indicates that the body is preparing for labor.
Brown discharge can also be called spotting. It happens when the blood levels increase and move towards the cervix during your pregnancy. This makes the area extra sensitive, leading to the discharge. Brown discharge is a discharge tinged with old blood. There can be many reasons for this brown discharge but some blood in your uterus takes longer to come out. Thus this is old blood which has turned brown.
Note: Brown discharge during pregnancy is mostly nothing to be alarmed about. It may happen due to some irritation in the inner parts of the body.
If you’re very early on in your pregnancy, you may notice some light spotting around week 4, but not always. This can be implantation bleeding, or the bleeding that occurs when the fertilized embryo burrows into the highly vascular lining of your uterus. This means when the embryo attaches or implants itself with the uterus.
Brown discharge can happen during your last weeks of pregnancy as well. This can happen because you might be approaching your due date or labour soon.
Since your cervix becomes extra sensitive during pregnancy, any kind of intercourse could lead to irritation and some brown discharge. Also read: 5 Questions About Your Vagina You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask
Not all brown discharge can indicate miscarriage but mostly having continuous spotting to heavy brown discharge may mean that you might have miscarried. This happens in the initial weeks of pregnancy. It could indicate old blood, which has been in the system for long and is being expelled only now.
This is the case when the fetus is unable to develop any longer, the heartbeat stops and the fetus dies in the uterus, unable to grow. This leads to brown discharge and you will have to get it evacuated.
This can be life threatening if not treated soon. Here the embryo attaches itself in the fallopian tubes, instead of the uterus and causes brown discharge due to internal hemorrhage.
Placenta previa and placenta abruption both are placenta abnormalities which cause brown discharge to happen. In Placenta previa your placenta will cover the opening of your cervix causing brown discharge but no pain. In placenta abruption the placenta separates from the uterus, causing brown discharge and pain.
Polyps are small, abnormal growths on the cervical surface and can cause brown discharge with the increase in estrogen levels. Also read: Vaginal Hygiene Do’s and Don’ts
To be on the safe side, pregnant women are always advised to inform their doctors about any kind of coloured discharge. Only an examination or an ultrasound can reveal the exact reason for your discharge. If your healthcare provider does find any signs of a problem, she can take appropriate steps to treat you.
\Treatments might include giving you an antibiotic or other medication to clear up an infection, recommending bed rest, or inducing labor (in case of an emergency).
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