Having more vaginal discharge is common among pregnant women. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy occurs to you, as your body produces more oestrogen. This hormone triggers the vagina to discharge. A light brown discharge or dark discharge can be problematic for you. Most of the time, you need not to worry about your vaginal discharge.
What is brown discharge?
Vaginal discharge is brown when it is tinged with old blood. As blood dries, it turns brown. It happens to you when some blood in the uterus takes time to come out.
Different types of brown discharge
Brown discharge has some differences in its colour and allied things. Here are some significant types of brown discharge during pregnancy:
- Light brown discharge
- Pinkish brown discharge
- Dark brown discharge
Causes of brown discharge during pregnancy
Here are some causes of having brown discharge, brown stringy discharge, or brown spotting during pregnancy:
- Sex - After having physical intimacy, you might have some brown blood-tinged discharge. Friction during sexual intercourse causes some trauma to the cervical or vaginal tiussues. It happens when your vagina is not well lubricated. And this friction might cause some spotting. With deep penetration, the cervix can be bruised.
- Pelvic exam - During pregnancy, your cervical tissues are delicate. Due to this, you notice some brown discharge after the pelvic exam done at a doctor’s clinic.
- Bloody show - It is another symptom indicating labour is on the way. You might experience bright-red blood or a pink discharge as your cervix begins to dilate or soften. It happens independently. The mucus might be tinged with blood when it occurs with mucus plug.
- Mucus plug - From the cervix, it is a collection of gelatinous secretions. These secretions fill your cervical canal during the early days of your pregnancy and build a protective barrier. As you are getting close to your delivery time, your cervix starts to efface and dilate. These secretions might come out of the vagina and seem like a glob of thickened mucus. It is brownish, pinkish, clear, or tinged with blood. It can be a symptom of early labour.
- Hormonal changes - During pregnancy, your body experiences changes in the level of hormones. Due to this, the area around your vagina and cervix is very itchy and irritable. The fluctuations of hormones make the area very sensitive.
Is a brown discharge normal during pregnancy?
Vaginal discharge is healthy and it shows that the reproductive system in a female is functioning well. It is healthy if it makes you have no discomfort. The colour of your vaginal discharge might differ as per the changes taking place inside your body.
Brown discharge is totally normal. It happens usually in the first trimester, especially early weeks of conception. It is not good for you if it continues more than a few weeks and causes discomfort for you.
When do you see a doctor?
You should see a doctor for brown discharge when you have:
- Miscarriage - Rush to a gynaecologist as you have bleeding during your pregnancy. Usually, vaginal bleeding or spotting is the primary sign of a miscarriage. You might experience abdominal pain too. However, bleeding in early pregnancy is not a bad sign. Around 1 in 4 pregnant women have some spotting in early pregnancy.
- Ectopic pregnancy - An ectopic pregnancy might be a cause of spotting or bleeding during pregnancy. It occurs when the implantation of a fertilised egg happens outside of the uterus. The blood might be brown or red. It is similar to the colour of dried blood. The spotting may be light, heavy, continuous, or intermittent. In the case of continuous or heavy bleeding, you must see a doctor.
- Molar pregnancy - It takes place when a fertilised egg develops into a mole in place of a normal embryo. In the early days, you might have typical pregnancy symptoms. However, bleeding is the one when you must see a gynaecologist. The discharge might be brownish, bright red, intermittent, continuous, heavy, or light. It can start in the 4th or 12th week of your pregnancy. You may experience abdominal cramping, vomiting, abdominal swelling, and severe nausea.
Brown discharge is common during pregnancy. It is good until it doesn’t cause any discomfort to you. If it lasts for more than a few weeks or is heavy, doctor consultation is a must for you. Knowing the types, causes, and the time to consult a doctor will be beneficial for you. It will help you make a wise decision during pregnancy.