The most common cause for brown discharge is irritation. The cervix becomes extremely sensitive during pregnancy due to the hormone surge and increased blood flow throughout your body, and sexual activity or a pelvic exam can exacerbate this sensitivity. Consequently, there is some brown discharge or light spotting.
Brown discharge may also be a sign that labor is about to start if you are nearing the end of your pregnancy. You’ll lose your mucous plug, a glob of mucus that normally seals off the opening of the cervix during pregnancy, a few weeks to a few days before giving birth.
And in the days leading up to labor, you’ll probably notice “bloody show,” or discharge that is pink or brown in color and contains blood, which indicates that your baby will be born soon. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you think you’re having bloody show.
Below is a pregnancy Vlog from Carla Lett on Brown spotting at 5 weeks, Carla’s pregnancy has continued and eventually stopped at week
In the first trimester, brown discharge when wiping is fairly common and can manifest in a variety of ways, some of which are listed below:
Light Brown Discharge. Light brown discharge during pregnancy means that your vaginal discharge contains a small amount of old blood that has taken a while to exit the vagina.
Dark Brown Discharge. Like light brown discharge, dark brown discharge is old blood that is passing through the vagina. Dark brown discharge is concentrated with blood/contains higher quantities of blood than light brown discharge, which is why it appears darker.
Brown flakes in Discharge. Brown flakes in your vaginal discharge means that there is a small amount of old dried blood in your vaginal discharge.
Very Dark Discharge. Very dark brown discharge- which appears to be black- is older blood leaving the vaginal canal. Black discharge, accompanied with a foul odour, may be a sign of a vaginal infection.
Brown Stringy Discharge. Dark stringy discharge, dark brown mucus discharge or brown gooey discharge is cervical mucus tinged with old blood.
Brown Discharge With Tissue Like Pieces. Brown discharge with tissue-like pieces is old blood that has taken a while to exit the vagina, along with clots. During pregnancy, it is considered abnormal to pass clots of tissue.
Watery Brown Discharge. Watery brown discharge is considered abnormal- and may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are discussed in the sections below.
Pinkish-Brown Discharge. Pinkish-brown discharge or pink discharge at 5 weeks pregnant is a mixture of old blood and a small amount of fresh blood that exits the vagina. Like brown discharge, pinkish-brown discharge can be caused by a variety of things, including ectopic pregnancy, hormonal changes, miscarriages and more.
Dark Brown Discharge Like Coffee Grounds. Dark brown discharge like coffee grounds or bleeding at 5 weeks pregnant can be a sign of a miscarriage.
Creamy Brown Discharge. Creamy brown discharge is leukorrhea (creamy, white or whitish-yellow discharge) tinged with old blood that has taken a while to exit the vaginal canal.
Complications associated with brown discharge during pregnancy
Brown discharge can occasionally signal more serious problems, including an impending miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, issues with the placenta, or an infection of the cervix or uterus, whether you are pregnant or not. These conditions are usually accompanied by other symptoms.
Contact your doctor right away if the discharge ever changes to bright red spotting or bleeding, turns gray, or if you experience back pain, rapid uterine contractions, abdominal cramping, or tenderness.
Is Brown Discharge or Spotting common during Pregnancy? – Dr. Kavitha Kovi