How is Early Pregnancy Discharge

Early pregnancy discharge is the result of an unfertilized egg that has broken down. Many women don’t even realize they are pregnant when they experience it. It is not uncommon, however, to have a few early miscarriages before you get pregnant for good.

Early pregnancy discharge is a common occurrence in women during the initial stage of pregnancy. It is due to the change of hormone level that occurs in the body. The lining of your uterus starts building up or becomes thicker to prepare for a fertilised egg. When this uterine lining sheds out from its walls, it leaves behind blood and other fluids on the surface. This discharge is different from menstrual blood as it does not flow out from the vagina but gets absorbed by the inside linings of your lady parts and then changes colour.

The amount of discharge during early pregnancy also varies from woman to woman. Most women notice a change in the amount and type of their discharge when they are pregnant, but some women may not see any early signs of pregnancy at all. This is normal and once you do start experiencing the symptoms of early pregnancy, it means that you might be expecting a baby!

A woman’s discharge during pregnancy is perfectly normal, but what you may notice may vary. Learn how to identify your discharge and how much is normal, then take steps to avoid any complications. Early pregnancy discharge is a sign that a woman is pregnant. The color, consistency and amount may vary from woman to woman. If you are having trouble distinguishing discharge from your period or spotting, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact your healthcare provider.

How Common Is It To Have Brown Discharge in Early Pregnancy

It’s very common to have brown discharge in early pregnancy. In fact, up to 70% of first pregnancies will notice some brown discharge by the end of the first trimester. It may be harder to distinguish this discharge from other symptoms as well like nausea, spotting or heavy flow of breast milk.

Brown discharge in early pregnancy is common. The most important thing to remember is that it is completely normal and nothing to worry about. It is just your body preparing for the pregnancy.

Brown discharge during pregnancy may mean different things, depending on the stage of pregnancy and any other health issues.

Brown vaginal discharge can be a normal sign of early pregnancy, but, alongside other symptoms, it can sometimes indicate complications.

Anyone experiencing concerning changes in vaginal discharge or dark brown discharge should contact their doctor.

Causes during pregnancy

An overhead photo of maxi pads in a pattern to accompany an article titled brown discharge during pregnancy.
Brown discharge may indicate underlying problems during pregnancy.

Healthy discharge is a thin, clear-to-white substance that the vagina excretes. It is a normal function of a healthy vagina and not a cause for concern.

People may notice variations in the texture, smell, and color of this discharge.

Pregnancy has a range of effects on the body, and it is normal for women to experience changes in discharge corresponding to the stages of pregnancy.

Learn more about discharge during pregnancy here.

Early pregnancy

Brown discharge typically means that there is blood in the discharge. As the blood ages, it oxidizes, turning from a deep red to brown.

One studyTrusted Source notes that bleeding is not uncommon during the first trimester of pregnancy.

While a bit of spotting is normal early on in pregnancy, it can still help to report the symptom to a doctor. The doctor may wish to perform additional tests to check the health of the pregnant woman and fetus, which can help provide peace of mind.

Implantation bleeding

Spotting may occur very early on in pregnancy due toTrusted Source implantation bleeding. It can cause a light brown discharge as the body removes the old blood.

Learn more about implantation bleeding here.

Hormonal changes

The pregnant body goes through many changes in a relatively short period. The hormone surges that occur throughout pregnancy cause an increase in blood flow to the reproductive system.

In some women, this may make the cervix especially sensitive. Irritating the cervix with sexual intercourse, sexual toys, or even a pelvic exam may cause bleeding, leading to brown discharge.

Ectopic pregnancy

A less common but serious cause of brown discharge during the first trimester of pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus, such as in a fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms include varying degrees of pain and vaginal bleeding. Women may experience pain on one side of the stomach or in the tip of the shoulder, due to pressure on the nerves. Some will experience discomfort or difficulty using the toilet.

The fertilized egg cannot survive outside of the uterus, meaning that all ectopic pregnancies result in pregnancy loss. Without treatment, ectopic pregnancies can cause serious complications. Anyone who suspects an ectopic pregnancy should seek medical advice immediately.

Learn more about ectopic pregnancy here.

Later pregnancy

During the third trimester, brown discharge can indicate that labor is approaching or that there is a complication.

Bloody show

Sometimes, brown discharge may indicate that labor is near. If a woman experiences brown discharge in the last days before labor, it may be something known as the “bloody show.”

This is discharge tinged with pink, red, or brown blood, and it is a sign that labor will begin shortly.

Learn more about bloody show here.

Preterm labor

Spotting or bleeding that occurs later in the pregnancy, but before week 37, may also be an indicator of preterm labor. Other symptoms will also occur, such as:

  • backache
  • stomach cramps
  • regular contractions
  • pressure in the pelvis
  • water breaking

Anyone who may be experiencing preterm labor should seek medical advice immediately.

Placenta previa

Placenta previa occurs when part of the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. In some women, this causes no symptoms, but others may experienceTrusted Source various degrees of vaginal bleeding.

Placenta previa can cause delivery complications, so early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Learn about placenta previa here.

Throughout pregnancy

Some causes of brown discharge can occur at any time during pregnancy.

Cervical polyps

Increased blood circulation around the cervix during pregnancy may cause growths called polyps to appear. As with cervical irritation, sexual play or pelvic exams may cause these cervical polyps to bleed.

Many doctors recommend not removing the polyps during pregnancy unless they cause severe discomfort or interfere with the pregnancy. One studyTrusted Source notes that removing these polyps during pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm delivery or pregnancy loss.

Learn more about cervical polyps here.

Pregnancy loss

Brown discharge may also be a sign of pregnancy loss, or miscarriage, in some cases. GenerallyTrusted Source, this will not be the only symptom.

The brown discharge may progress to include more fresh blood, and it may turn to spotting or bleeding similar to that of menstruation.

Other symptoms to look out for include:

  • uterine contractions
  • a gush of watery clear-to-pink vaginal fluid
  • intense stomach cramps
  • tenderness
  • weight loss
  • passing thick clots or bloody discharge
  • sudden loss of pregnancy symptoms

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor.

Learn more about pregnancy symptoms here.

When to see a doctor

Some brown discharge with no other symptoms is common and usually not a cause for concern during pregnancy.

However, discharge with additional symptoms, such as pain, uterine spasms, or fever, may be signs of concerning conditions.

Anyone experiencing changes in their discharge, along with other troubling symptoms, should contact their doctor. The doctor can then treat any issues early on to prevent complications.


Get actionable tips to help support your parenthood journey

Medical News Today brings you Healthline Parenthood, a weekly newsletter filled with parenting support and advice.



To diagnose any issues associated with brown discharge during pregnancy, doctors will first do a physical exam, taking note of any additional symptoms that the pregnant woman is experiencing.

They may then order various tests to check the health of the woman and fetus.

A pelvic exam may help identify signs of irritation that could be causing the discharge. The doctors may also take a swab of the discharge from the cervix to check for any infections or other issues.

Imaging tests such as ultrasounds can help identify other issues, including ectopic pregnancy, or simply ensure the health and viability of the fetus.

0 seconds of 0 secondsVolume 0%

Treatment options

Treatment options will depend on the underlying cause of the discharge, the stage of pregnancy, and the health status of both the woman and the developing fetus.

Treatments for different issues may include:

  • antibiotics
  • avoiding sexual activity
  • the removal of fertilized eggs, in cases of ectopic pregnancy
  • tissue removal, after pregnancy loss
  • increased bed rest
  • cesarean delivery

A person should seek a diagnosis before attempting any treatment.

It’s pretty common, in fact. Most women notice brown discharge within the first few weeks of pregnancy, when they’ve missed a period. This type of discharge is known as leukorrhea and happens when an egg is released from the ovary and travels to the uterus. Brown discharge may occur in early pregnancy. It can also be a sign of abnormal menstrual bleeding, but this is less common. It is best to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your vaginal discharge.

How Thick is Early Pregnancy Discharge

The most common question asked by women who are pregnant is how thick is early pregnancy discharge since the menstruation looks entirely different in the first trimester. The answer lies in understanding how your body changes during this period. There are various things to consider when it comes to measuring the thickness of your discharge, such as:​ Body fluid that comes out of the vagina is not a reliable sign of pregnancy. It means nothing.

Early pregnancy discharge is usually thin, transparent and yellow or white with a slight odor. Discharge can vary from woman to woman depending on the type of discharge — some women report seeing blood in their early pregnancy discharge, while others may have more clear fluid-like discharge.

The discharge may be white, yellow or clear and look like egg whites. This is completely normal, early pregnancy discharge that is caused by increased estrogen levels (a hormone) in the body. Early pregnancy can be confirmed by seeing a doctor who will test the patient’s blood to determine if the hormone levels are elevated. However, it is possible to get tested at home using kits that contain a specific amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in them. While early pregnancy discharge may be an indicator that a woman is pregnant, it is not 100% accurate and should always be taken with a grain of salt.

How is Your Discharge in Early Pregnancy

You can determine if you have a normal or abnormal discharge in early pregnancy by its color, smell, and consistency. If you think that something might be wrong, or would like to confirm what type of discharge you are having, then see your doctor or midwife.

Discharge early in pregnancy can be caused by several things. It can be normal vaginal secretions, discharge, or cervical mucus. Discharge may become a problem if it causes an unpleasant scent, changes color and becomes stringy, or is clumpy and thick.

Your discharge is a crucial indicator of your health and fetal development. The first trimester is when your body and baby establish their relationship by growing uterine linings, preparing to nourish the developing fetus, and forming important organ systems. Your cervical mucus is made up of secretions from both the vagina and cervix (the top end of your womb). The mucus changes throughout your cycle to help sperm enter the uterus, keep bacteria out and protect against sexually transmitted infections. You can use this information as part of your daily routine to spot any abnormalities or changes that may develop down the line. I know it’s hard to remember everything you need to do each day when you’re pregnant, especially if your pregnancy is unplanned. But getting tested for STIs (including HIV) at least once in early pregnancy is important. It may be your only chance to find out if you have an infection that could harm your baby. You can even get tested while taking antibiotics or with a bacterial infection.

The first week of pregnancy is called the embryonic period, and it lasts until the embryo implants into the uterus about six days after its conception. The discharge that you may experience during this time is spotting or light bleeding that is caused by the tiny embryo placing pressure on your cervix. This is normal and isn’t any cause for alarm.

How is Early Pregnancy Discharge Look Like

How is early pregnancy discharge look like? Early pregnancy discharge can be characterized as having a watery or mucous-like consistency and watery blood-stained. It may also have a fishy smell and in most cases it has a mild odor.

Early pregnancy discharge can have a number of looks and depending on the time in your pregnancy, you may have spotting or spotting that’s heavier than normal. You may notice light to bright bleeding, pink or brown discharge, heavy bleeding or clots. The appearance of early pregnancy discharge can also vary depending on your menstrual cycle before you conceived and how far along you are in your pregnancy. The early pregnancy discharge look like the pinkish color of eggplant and a bit yellow that mostly comes out when you’re laying down. Your first period after a month or two can be light, but it may have fewer clots than normal. The discharge may be accompanied by some cramping in your lower abdomen.

After you become pregnant, you might notice an increase in your usual discharge (called leukorrhea), thanks to more estrogen in your system and an increase in blood flow.

This normal early pregnancy discharge is thin, milky white and has a mild smell. And, really, you can have it any time during pregnancy. Expect it to increase as the months go on.

Early Sign of Pregnancy: Discharge

If you’re not pregnant yet, and you’re wondering whether or not your discharge could be an early sign of pregnancy, the answer is…well, maybe. Discharge isn’t one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, but since in early pregnancy—and pregnancy in general—discharge can increase, there’s a small chance this could be a signal you’ve conceived.

Also, take note that spotting—or early pregnancy discharge that’s a little brown or pink and lasts only a day or so—could be implantation bleeding, which can definitely be an early sign of pregnancy.

What Kind of Early Pregnancy Discharge is Normal?

Normal early pregnancy discharge is milky, white leukorrhea and sometimes spotting. Your cervix is sensitive while you’re pregnant, so you may notice light spotting after sex.

Different Types of Discharge During Early Pregnancy

Look for anything out of ordinary with your early pregnancy discharge. This may include:

  • Smelly: Early pregnancy discharge with a fishy smell could signal a vaginal infection called bacterial vaginosis.
  • Thick: If your early pregnancy discharge has a cottage cheese-like consistency, it could be caused by a yeast infection.
  • Colorful: Yellow or green early pregnancy discharge could be due to an STD called trichomoniasis.
  • Itchy: If you’ve got an itch down there, or a burning sensation, and/or inflammation alongside your early pregnancy discharge, you might have a yeast infection.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding during pregnancy isn’t always a sign of miscarriage, but it should always be checked out ASAP. And even though spotting is usually not cause for concern, definitely tell your doctor if you’re having it, so they can rule out any problems.

See your healthcare provider if you notice any of the above discharge in early pregnancy and beyond (for instance, when it’s later in your pregnancy, discharge that all-of-a-sudden becomes really thin or really thick could be a sign of preterm labor.) Don’t assume you have a certain condition (like a yeast infection) and try to treat it yourself without your healthcare provider’s go-ahead. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis of your abnormal early pregnancy discharge, so it can be treated correctly.

How to Deal with Discharge During Pregnancy

If you think your discharge is interesting now, just wait. You might be surprised how much your discharge can increase between early pregnancy and late pregnancy. But don’t use tampons or douche, both of which can increase your risk of infection. Wearing pantiliners or absorbent underwear like Thinx can help if you’re experiencing a lot of discharge. They might come in handy with those random bladder leaks too

Early pregnancy discharge (sometimes called brown or pink) looks like a little bit of blood and can be spotted when you wipe. This can be different for everyone, but if you see spots on your underwear after peeing or those pinky-brown tinges in the toilet, don’t freak out — your period probably isn’t going to start right on schedule this month. Early pregnancy discharge is the name given to the discharge that you may notice at the time of implantation, which occurs several days after a missed period. This is when the embryo implants in your uterus. It can be brown or pink in color and can sometimes have a light yellow tint as well. The discharge is considered normal, as it means that your uterus is preparing for pregnancy and holding onto the fertilized egg for feeding.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *