Brown Discharge During 8 Weeks Of Pregnancy: Here’s All That You Need To Know

Brown Discharge During 8 Weeks Of Pregnancy: Here’s All That You Need To Know

21 Jun 2022 | 5 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 342 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.

You can use panty liners to absorb the excess discharge and keep you dry and comfortable. | Image Source: pexels

Causes Of Brown Discharge During Eight Weeks Of Pregnancy

There are several reasons for having a brown discharge during the eighth week of pregnancy. Some of these are:

  1. Pre-Labour Discharge: Brownish discharge during the eighth week of pregnancy can be a sign of labour. The discharge might also be accompanied by a greyish, mucous and jelly-like blob which is blood-tinged or streaked with old, brownish blood.

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.

  1. Molar pregnancy: Brownish discharge can also be caused by a spontaneous expulsion of a molar pregnancy, an abnormality of the placenta. This is usually caused by problems during fertilisation.

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.

  1. Cervical polyps: Increased blood circulation around the cervix during pregnancy might lead to the growth of polyps. As with cervical irritation, sexual play or pelvic exams might cause these cervical polyps to bleed.

It is recommended by the doctors to not remove the polyps during pregnancy unless they cause severe discomfort or interfere with the pregnancy.

  1. Ectopic pregnancy: From fertilisation to delivery, pregnancy involves a host of steps. In one of these steps, a fertilised egg travels to the uterus and attaches itself. If the fertilised egg doesn’t attach to the uterus and attaches to the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix instead, it is known as an ectopic 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.

  1. Pregnancy loss: Brown discharge might also be a sign of pregnancy loss, or miscarriage.

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.

  1. Genital HPV: Brownish discharge is one of the symptoms of genital HPV, a condition which is caused by increased oestrogen levels and increased blood flow. 
Using protective measures during an intercourse like condom can help transmission of sexually transmitted infections which at times causes brown discharge. | Image Source: pexels

In addition to these, vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases can also cause brown discharge during pregnancy.

Is Brown Discharge During Pregnancy A Cause of Concern?

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:

  1. A large quantity of discharge: Any discharge during pregnancy that’s excess is a warning sign.
  1. Discomfort: Brownish discharge accompanied by pain and cramping, a bad odour might indicate a vaginal infection. It is advisable to consult a doctor right away.
  1. Watery discharge: Brown discharge accompanied by watery fluid or lumpy matter might signal a miscarriage.
  1. Duration of discharge: Brown discharge which persists for more than a week after sexual intercourse or a medical examination can be a sign of an infection.
  1. Fever along with discharge: Brown discharge accompanied by fever and chills might indicate a serious infection of the uterus or kidneys and should be treated at once.

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.

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