ZocdocAnswersIs brown discharge normal during pregnancy?

Question

Is brown discharge normal during pregnancy?

I am 5 months pregnant, and I have started to have a brown discharge coming from my vagina. Is this normal? I have never heard of anything like it before. If it's not normal, what kind of problem could this be, and how should I treat it? I'm 27, if that makes a difference.

Answer

Congratulations on your pregnancy. Brown discharge is usually caused by a small amount of blood mixed in the normal cervical and vaginal secretions. In pregnant women, a small amount of brown discharge is usually normal. Small blood vessels in the cervix become larger and slightly more exposed as it becomes softer and ready for delivery. These vessels have a tendency to break, release a small amount of blood, and appear as brown discharge. These bleeding vessels are not a cause of concern. With that said, all vaginal bleeding needs evaluated by you OBGYN. This is because conditions such as placental previa and placental abruption also cause bleeding but are much more serious conditions that can result in harm or even death to you or your unborn baby. In most cases there are much large amounts of blood (placental previa) and/or some significant pain (placental abruption) associated with each. Your description does not sound consistent with these two. I suggest that you call your OBGYN's office and report your symptoms. They will give you instructions, and quite possibly ask you to come in for an exam. This way you can be sure that your doctor knows what is going on with you at each stage in your pregnancy. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.