There is no dearth of advice on what to expect when you’re expecting. But while nausea, food cravings, and mood swings are talked about openly, there’s one pregnancy symptom that’s still not discussed enough. We’re talking about vaginal discharge. According to a study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology International, half of pregnant women experience this gynaecological condition. It is often not a cause for worry. However, it’s common to monitor changes in your body that pregnancy brings about and also to fret over them–especially if you notice brown discharge during early pregnancy. Before you get more worked up about it, let’s clear the air on this type of vaginal discharge. Here’s everything you need to know:
What Does Normal Pregnancy Discharge Look Like?
Pregnant or not, a clear white vaginal discharge is normal. According to a study published in the journal BMJ, it is a sign of a healthy vagina and nothing to worry about. But sometimes, the hormonal changes sparked by pregnancy can trigger a change in colour, texture, and volume of your regular vaginal discharge. For instance, you may notice a mild smell along with a clear white discharge. This type of discharge is called leukorrhea and is very common during early pregnancy. However, if it becomes thick or jelly-like, it could indicate a vaginal infection. Additionally, yellow, green, and grey vaginal discharges are also indicative of an infection and you must get yourself diagnosed. As for a red-coloured discharge or spotting, immediate medical intervention is required as it could be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (when pregnancy takes place outside the uterus). Now, coming to brown discharge during early pregnancy. Here’s what it means and why it happens.
Is Brown Discharge During Pregnancy Normal?
Brown discharge during pregnancy is usually nothing but vaginal discharge tinged with old blood. It means that bleeding inside the uterus (from the placenta), cervix or vagina happened a while ago but started flowing out later. But here’s the deal–it may indicate a serious condition as well. So you must visit your gynae as soon as you notice it.
Reasons Behind Brown Discharge During Pregnancy
While brown discharge could just be the old blood leaving your body, sometimes, there may be other, more serious causes involved. Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons behind brown discharge during different stages of pregnancy:
Brown Discharge During First Trimester
Brown discharge during early pregnancy could either be the old blood flowing out later or could be implantation bleeding. For the unversed, implantation occurs when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterus lining. It could result in a brown discharge 10-14 days after conception. However, if you notice a brown vaginal discharge later than that, it could be due to cervical congestion or trauma which can happen because of sexual intercourse or any growth on the cervix or vagina. Additionally, it could also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
Brown Discharge During Second Trimester
Brown pregnancy discharge during the second trimester could indicate preterm labour (that can happen any time between 24-27 weeks). It could also stem from a condition called placenta previa, in which your placenta lies unusually low in the uterus and covers the cervix. If the brown discharge turns pinkish-red or is accompanied by abdominal cramps and back pain during this stage, it could be due to a miscarriage.
Brown Discharge During Third Trimester
Brown discharge during the later stage of pregnancy could be a sign that the body is ready to deliver. A couple of days before going into labour, the mucus plug (thick plug of mucus and cells from the cervix) blocking the uterine opening is ejected from the vagina and that leads to a streak of blood. This is commonly called blood show and may lend a brownish colour to your vaginal discharge. Placental abruption is yet another cause of brown vaginal discharge during the later stage of pregnancy. It occurs when the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus and it can reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
Different Types Of Brown Discharge
You already know about the possible causes of brown vaginal discharge during pregnancy. So now, let’s understand the different types of it in order to be able to identify the cause better.
Light Brown Discharge During Pregnancy
The vaginal discharge could get a light brown tinge due to the old blood getting mixed with the clear, white liquid.
Pinkish Brown Discharge During Pregnancy
A pinkish-brown discharge during any stage of pregnancy could be due to irritation of the cervix usually caused by sexual intercourse. If you experience it during very early pregnancy, it could be nothing but implantation bleeding. However, pinkish-brown discharge can also be an early sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. So be careful.
Dark Brown Discharge During Pregnancy
Dark brown discharge during pregnancy is usually a sign of an infection or a miscarriage. It should not be taken lightly.
What Should You Do If You Notice Brown Discharge During Pregnancy?
Regardless of the colour of your vaginal discharge or the stage of pregnancy, you must discuss it with your doctor. While a clear, white discharge is normal, any other changes in it will be best explained by your doc.
Sirona Recommends The Best Product To Manage Vaginal Discharge: Sirona Dry Comfort Panty Liners
Sirona’s Dry Comfort Panty Liners provide protection from uneasy wet feeling due to urinary incontinence, pregnancy discharge, perspiration, and spotting. Made with ultra-soft cotton, they’re super-breathable, wafer-thin, and have a “no-wear feel”. So you can step out feeling confident and comfortable at the same time.
Folks, pregnancy calls for special attention to the changes in your body and for monitoring your health closely. So if you notice brown vaginal discharge, you must call your doc without a second thought. Better safe than sorry, right?
Featured Image: Pexels
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