Symptoms and Causes of Brown Discharge During Late Pregnancy

By Kieth | December 20, 2011
Brown Discharge During Late Pregnancy

Pregnancy sure is one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life. With new changes and developments to get accustomed to, she needs great care and affection. Occurrences so baffling, it becomes difficult to cope, unless she gets the right knowledge and information.   Bleeding or spotting, especially towards the latter stages of the pregnancy term, is one such change that can make them anxious. Bleeding at anytime during a pregnancy could be a cause for concern. The discharge during pregnancy is usually clear or slightly whitish in colour. Therefore if a brown discharge is found during late pregnancy, it could be a cause for concern.

There are a number of causes of brown mucus discharge during late pregnancy. A change in the quality, quantity and colour of the discharge during late pregnancy is normally the result of the body preparing for labor. As the time for the baby’s arrival draws near, the mucus plug is expelled through the vagina. This is the mucus blob that sealed the opening of the uterus for the entire pregnancy term, thus preventing the spread of infection to the uterus or the baby. When the body prepares for delivering the baby, this plug dislodges and is passed out either in the form of thick mucus or a gooey blob. In most cases, this discharge is blood stained or blood streaked. This bleeding results in light brown discharge during late pregnancy and is also referred to as the ‘bloody show’. This is an indicator of impending labor. However, it is not necessary that active labor will begin immediately. If the brown discharge is accompanied by increasing pressure in the pelvic region, abdominal cramping, leaking fluid and backache, it could be a definite sign of labor in progress.

Dark brown discharge during late pregnancy could also be due to certain pregnancy complications. In some cases, the placenta gets detached from the uterine wall. The baby derives all its nourishment and oxygen through the placenta, from the uterine wall: this dislodging is therefore a serious pregnancy complication. It is referred to as placental abruption. Placental previa is another complication, wherein the placenta attaches itself to the base of the uterus instead of the top. This lower portion is weaker and loaded with blood vessels. The strain can result in ruptured blood vessels and this in turn could lead to serious complications, such as preterm labor and placental abruption. The friction caused during an internal examination or during intercourse could also lead to mild bleeding, due to the irritation faced by the cervical wall. Nevertheless, it is always better to consult a doctor when any change is experienced so as to avoid further complications.

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