Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What makes a pregnant woman have discharge?"
I'm in my second trimester, 32 years old, and this morning I started having dark brown discharge with some tiny clots in it. I'm going to see my doctor today, but how worried should I be? What kind of problem is this?
A certain amount of discharge during pregnancy is normal, because the vaginal mucus glands are made larger by the circulating hormones of the pregnancy. However, the normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy is usually clear to white. Dark discharge during pregnancy is always concerning.
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First, because it is important to exclude the possibility that you might be bleeding. The fact that you are seeing things in the discharge that looks like clots means that this possibility definitely needs to be investigated. Bleeding in pregnancy can occur for several reasons, including when the placenta separates from the uterus (placental abruption) or when it lies to close to the opening of the cervix (placenta previa). Any bleeding can endanger the growing fetus. Other concerning signs can include a sudden gush of liquid from the vagina, strong rhythmic contractions, or if you stopping feeling the baby move around periodically. Another source of dark brown vaginal drainage that can look like blood is a vaginal infection, called bacterial vaginosis, or a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or trichomonas. These infections can cause premature labor and infections in the baby and so need to be treated. Either way, it sounds like you are making the right move by going to see your doctor asap.
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