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  • Discharge During Pregnancy
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  • Brown Discharge

Brown Discharge During Pregnancy: 3 Major Causes Threatening Pregnancy

Brown colored discharge during pregnancy

Brown discharge during pregnancy is an important issue, widely discussed both at personal gynecological consultations and in Internet sources, which has its valid explanations. Pregnancy is an exciting and responsible period in woman’s life when being overcautious is better than staying careless. Learning more about the problem will help you to react timely to your condition if something goes wrong. Here we will talk in greater detail about the causes and consequences of brown discharge in future mothers.

Brown Discharge During Pregnancy: 3 Major Causes

Any gynecologist will tell you that bloody discharge when you are pregnant is an alarming sign. It may be pinkish, bright red or brown, depending on whether the excreted blood is fresh or not and how many blood cells are present in your discharge. Brown discharge is vaginal secretion with admixture of old blood, i.e. the result of bleeding that hasn’t left your vagina immediately after its occurrence. Here are the main causes of this phenomenon:

  1. Early pregnancy: threat of miscarriage
  2. Early pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy
  3. Late pregnancy: separation of placenta

Brown Discharge During Pregnancy Can Also Be the Norm

  • Early pregnancy. Brown odorless discharge on the 7-14th day after conception is implantation bleeding, occuring in some women. During this period the ovum embeds itself into the uterine wall. The process may be accompanied by cream-like vaginal secretions, moderate in amount of pinkish, beige or light brown color. Normally it lasts for a few hours the longest and stops. Sometimes brown discharge doesn’t leave a woman during the next few months of pregnancy either, and the culprit is hormonal disorders.
Attention! Dark brown discharge in early pregnancy must be immediately reported to a gynecologist. Very often, being unaware of her pregnancy, a woman takes brown spotting in early pregnancy for usual beginning of menstruation.
  • Late pregnancy. At this period brown discharge may also be harmless. In this case it’s associated with passing mucus plug – a forerunner of the coming delivery. This process is very individual. Some women are giving birth in a few hours after the plug has passed, others wait for a few weeks.

Typical Causes of Brown Discharge, Indicating Pathology in Pregnancy

  • A threat of miscarriage. The implanted ovum may separate from the uterine wall and leak blood that looks like brown discharge. In this case it’s usually accompanied by intense pain in the lower abdomen, lightheadedness, vomiting and general weakness. A pregnancy can be saved on condition of timely reaction. A doctor will prescribe medication to save pregnancy and bed rest.
  • Ectopic pregnancy. One of the main signs of this condition is brown bloody vaginal discharge, provoked by rejection of the ovum. A woman can suffer from nausea, vomiting, weakness and abdominal pain. Ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed with ultrasound. If it’s confirmed, a surgery is performed. Ectopic pregnancy is a very serious pathology: the earlier you contact a gynecologist, the more chances you have in future for another pregnancy.
  • Placenta separation or placenta praevia. These conditions occur in late pregnancy and are accompanied by dark brown discharge and low abdominal pain. A frequent cause is close location of placenta to the uterus. When placenta sinks too low, the vessels of its top layer get damaged which causes brown discharge. As for placenta praevia, it can result from a trauma, general mother’s illness, etc.
  • Infections or inflammation of the reproductive system, such as cervical erosion and others. Many gynecological diseases often progress with such an important symptom as brown discharge. Pregnancy, unfortunately, is more of a provoker than an obstacle for their development. It’s always recommended to treat gynecological problems at the stage of pregnancy planning.


Brown discharge during pregnancy mustn’t be taken irresponsibly. If it has occurred in your case, you shouldn’t make guesses on whether it’s a pathology or not. Gynecologists agree that any brown discharge occurring through pregnancy can’t be the norm. The best you can do is to contact your doctor as soon as possible. In case when bleeding is intensifying, you must lie down, raise your legs and ask a member of your family or a friend to call ambulance, since practically every minute under these circumstances is precious.