21 Jun 2022 | 5 min Read
Author | 625 Articles
Pregnancy brings a host of changes, both physically and mentally. As an expecting mum’s body prepares itself for nourishing a baby for the next nine months, a few physical changes are visible. One such change is discharge during pregnancy.
White discharge from the vagina or a milky discharge can occur throughout pregnancy. But one of the biggest worries for pregnant mums is brown discharge, probably because the colour is so close to blood.
Brown discharge refers to a reddish-brown discharge from the vagina. According to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the brown discharge might look like coffee grounds and is actually the old blood that has been in the uterus for a while and is just coming out slowly. It might start from early pregnancy and continue until the 37th week (until labour). The amount and the colour might also vary depending on the cause of the discharge.
There are several reasons for having a brown discharge during the eighth week of pregnancy. Some of these are:
This happens when the cervix softens and the woman’s body gets ready for delivery and the mucus plug that stops the entry of infections into the womb is not required any longer.
The plug and the discharge might be expelled all at once or in smaller bits over the course of a few days.
A genetic error during fertilisation results in the growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus. Molar pregnancies are rare and don’t usually result in a viable foetus.
Instead, they involve the abnormally rapid growth of tissues. Brownish discharge and grape-like tissue are spontaneously expelled at the end of such pregnancies.
It is recommended by the doctors to not remove the polyps during pregnancy unless they cause severe discomfort or interfere with the pregnancy.
Since a fertilised egg cannot grow anywhere other than the uterus, ectopic pregnancy is fatal for the foetus and immediate treatment is important to save the expecting mum’s life.
Ectopic pregnancy also causes brown discharge along with abdominal cramps, severe bleeding, rectal pressure and mild cramping on one side of the pelvis.
However, in case of a miscarriage, brown discharge might progress to include more fresh blood, and can turn to spotting or bleeding similar to that of menstruation along with uterine contractions, intense stomach cramps, a gush of watery clear-to-pink vaginal fluid, and thick clots or bloody discharge.
In addition to these, vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases can also cause brown discharge during pregnancy.
Although brown discharge during pregnancy is common, you should keep a track of the appearance, quantity, and odour of the brownish discharge. It can be a cause of concern if there are some of these symptoms:
Dr. Pooja Marathe, Community Expert – Lactation & Nutrition says, “Some brown discharge during pregnancy with no other symptoms is common and is not a cause of concern. However, discharge with additional symptoms like intense pain, abdominal cramps, uterine spasms, or fever, might be signs of concerning conditions. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if you experience dark brown discharge.”
If you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor without any delay. After all – it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.