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Causes for brown vaginal discharge during pregnancy

Having a little brown discharge in pregnancy is common and is not a big cause for concern, but you have to be careful because it can also be indicative of infections, changes in pH or cervix dilation, for example.

Light discharge, in small quantity, and with gelatinous consistency is more common in early pregnancy, and less worrying, but very dark, strongly smelling discharge may indicate more severe changes. 

In any case, the obstetrician should be informed and tests should be performed to identify what is causing this symptom and to start treatment as soon as possible.

Causes for brown vaginal discharge during pregnancy

Main causes for brown vaginal discharge

Small changes in the pH of a woman's genital region can cause brown discharge in small amounts, not being a major cause for concern. In this case the discharge comes in small quantity and lasts for 2 to 3 days, disappearing naturally.

It is also common for a pregnant woman to notice a small brown discharge, which may contain a little blood, after some physical exertion such as going to the gym, climbing stairs with shopping bags, or doing intense domestic activities such as cleaning.

But if the dark discharge has a bad smell, or a burning sensation or vaginal itching is present, this may indicate more serious changes, such as:

  • Infections, since the pregnant woman are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases;
  • Risk of miscarriage
  • Ectopic pregnancy, which is characterized by severe abdominal pain and blood loss through the vagina.
  • Cervix infection.

Dark discharge in large numbers, associated with blood loss, increases the risk of complications such as premature delivery or rupture of the pouch. Therefore, it is important to go to the doctor whenever you present dark discharge, even in small amount so he can evaluate and perform an ultrasound to see if everything is okay with both the woman and the baby.

When is brown vaginal normal during pregnancy

Small brown discharges with a more watery or gelatinous consistency are common, especially in early gestation. It is also normal to have a little dark discharge after intercourse but if you have noticed that the discharge does not have these characteristics, you should seek medical help.

Other symptoms that should not be ignored are vaginal itching, bad smell and the presence of cramps. These signs do not always indicate something serious but it is good to be cautious and to inform your doctor.

Dark brown discharge, similar to coffee ground color, at the end of pregnancy may be blood loss and should be reported immediately to the obstetrician. If it is a light brown discharge and abundant with a few strands of blood, it should not bring much concern as it may be the mucus plug indicating that the time to deliver is near. See what can cause brown vaginal discharge during pregnancy.

Treatment for brown discharge in pregnancy

Treatment can be done with the use of antifungal medication when the cause is candidiasis, for example, or antibiotics, in case of an STD. But when the discharge is unrelated to any disease, the treatment may be just to rest, avoiding efforts.

In any case, you should take the following cautions to avoid the occurrence of discharge:

  • Avoid the use of soaps with moisturizing cream, antibacterial and antifungals;
  • Use intimate soap as directed by a gynecologist;
  • Intimate clothing should be light, loose and cotton;
  • Avoid wearing softeners or bleach in underwear;
  • Wash the lingerie with mild soap and water;
  • Avoid the use of daily liner;
  • Avoid washing the genital area more than 2 times a day, as it can decrease the natural protection of the mucus of that region.

These cautions can help prevent infections and thereby decrease the chances of vaginal discharge.

Is dark vaginal discharge a sign of pregnancy?

Dark vaginal discharge may be a sign of pregnancy, but that is not always the case. This is because in some women, sometimes, a greater flow of blood arises before or on the last days of menstruation. In some cases, the flow may decrease in the last days of menstruation, causing the blood to become more concentrated and darker.

If menstruation is delayed, the onset of dark discharge may be the peeling of the endometrial tissue, which coats the uterus internally. Therefore, medical evaluation is essential for the necessary examinations to be performed, since this delay in menstruation and dark discharge are not always signs of pregnancy.

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