Pregnancy involves a drastic change for your body. During pregnancy, an influx of hormones and bodily changes work to prepare your body for giving birth. At this time, some women may occasionally experience brown discharge. This could be a sign of stale blood being released from your body, or it could signal a potential miscarriage. Although it can be a sign of something serious or major complications, you should rule out any minor causes before you start to worry. Whenever you are in doubt about the cause, make sure to get professional medical help. Your doctor is the person best able to tell you if brown discharge during early pregnancy is normal or a sign of a different complication.
Is It Normal to Have Brown Discharge During Early Pregnancy?
There are a number of women who experience spotting during the first trimester. Your body is still trying to adjust to being pregnant, so brown spotting could be due to an entirely natural experience. It will normally end within two to three days without any extra medical help. On occasion, you may experience brown, red or pink-colored discharge. When this happens, there should not be any additional pain, burning or discomfort. If it is accompanied by these symptoms or heavy vaginal bleeding, you should make sure to get plenty of rest and talk to your doctor.
What Causes Brown Discharge to Occur During Early Pregnancy?
Some of the causes of brown discharge are perfectly normal. Roughly one out of four pregnant women will have mild bleeding during their first week of pregnancy. This is known as implantation bleeding, and it occurs when the fertilized egg is actually implanted within the lining of the uterus. As long as the discharge is mild and ends within a couple of days, it is a normal pregnancy symptom.
Brown discharge can also occur due to an infection of the vagina or cervix. Infections are more common during pregnancy due to your body’s hormonal changes, so make sure to check with your doctor to make sure that your symptoms are not going to affect your baby. In addition, brown discharge can be a sign that there is an irritation in your vagina or around your cervix. This is normal since your hormonal changes and blood flow can cause cervical and vaginal skin to become sensitive.
Women who have genetic conditions like blood disorders or Von Willebrand disease may have discharge. Additionally, fibroids in your uterus or a cervical polyp could be another reason for bleeding.
When You Should Start to Worry
Whenever your discharge is caused by something other than implantation bleeding, you should get medical help immediately. Emergency care may be needed if you experience dizziness, fever, cramping, light-headedness, fainting or abdominal pain. These can be a sign of a serious problem, so these symptoms should not be taken lightly.
An Infection or Inflammation
One cause of brown discharge is due to an infection or inflammation in your reproductive system. Many gynecological problems have brown discharge as a symptom, so you should tell your doctor about any problems that you are having. An infection or an inflammation are fairly easy to treat without harming the fetus, but you have to get these conditions treated early.
An Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is unfortunately a rather common experience. It happens when the egg implants within the Fallopian tubes instead of int the uterus. If the ectopic pregnancy is allowed to develop, it can cause the Fallopian tubes to burst and can be potentially fatal. Some of the signs of an ectopic pregnancy include brown discharge, cramping, abdominal pain and bleeding. Since this condition can be fatal, it is important that you seek out medical attention immediately if you believe that you may have an ectopic pregnancy.
When a miscarriage occurs, it causes brown discharge or heavy bleeding for several days or weeks. It will be accompanied by cramping, severe pain and discomfort. When the miscarriage is a complete miscarriage, the fetus and the pregnancy are completely evacuated by the body. An incomplete miscarriage occurs when the uterus is not completely emptied, so a medical treatment called dilation and curettage (D&C) is used to evacuate the remainder.
Sometimes, the placenta does not develop in the way or the location that it should. In these instances, medical conditions like a placenta previa or a placenta abruption can occur. These may cause brown discharge and severe pain. While a placenta abruption causes extreme pain, a placenta previa can occur without any pain other than bleeding. A placenta previa takes place when the cervix is covered by the placenta. This may cause brown spotting to occur. With a placenta abruption, the placenta separates from the uterus too early. Both conditions can be extremely serious, so it is important to seek professional medical treatment immediately.