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Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy could be a signal of threat to the health of the woman or the fetus. Unusual bleeding in the second or third trimester of pregnancy might be graver since it could be an indication of maternal-fetal related problems for which prompt medical assistance could be needed.

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy sometimes could be just a symptom of not dangerous conditions.

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy – Cervical factor

Cervical ectropion – slight changes to the cervix can cause harmless brown discharge and/or brown spotting in the second trimesters. Common conditions of minor brown discharge include an inflamed cervix or growths on the cervix.

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy – Miscarriage

In most cases miscarriages occur in the first trimester but some do happen in the later stages of pregnancy (though it’s very uncommon for it to happen after 30 weeks).

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy – Placental Abruption

The placenta may detach from the uterine wall before or during labor. This may cause brown discharge and/or bleeding. Placenta abruption is bleeding diagnosed normally after 22 weeks gestation and involves the placenta detaching itself from the inside of the uterus. It can happen suddenly after a trauma or if the size of the uterus is reduced (for example when your waters break). Pre-eclampsia can also cause abruptions to the placenta.
Only 1% of pregnant women have this problem, and it usually occurs during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Placenta abruption could start witn brown discharge. Usually placenta abruption symptoms include vaginal bleeding, clot formations in the vagina, uterine tenderness, stomach pain and/or back ache. It can be pain free but the pain from an abruption can be difficult to endure, especially if the blood is being forced back into the muscles of the uterus.

Partial Placental Abruption

Placenta Abruption risk groups:

  • Women with several deliveries,
  • Women age 35 or older,
  • Have had abruption before,
  • Have sickle cell anemia,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Trauma or injuries to the stomach,
  • Cocaine use.

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy – Placenta Previa

Placenta previa occurs when the placenta lies low in the uterus partly or completely covering the cervix and blocks the entrance to the cervix. It’s likely to be identified at the 20 week scan. In most cases the placenta moves up in pregnancy but if it remains low, you may be advised to have a Cesarean section. It is serious and requires immediate care.

Placenta previa occurs quite rarely (1 in 200 pregnancies), it is an emergency situation that requires instant medical attention. Placenta previa caused bleeding during late pregnancy. Bleeding usually occurs without pain.

Placenta Previa risk groups:

  • Women with several deliveries,
  • Previous cesarean birth,
  • Other surgery on the uterus,
  • Carrying twins or triplets.

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy – Labor Normal

Late in pregnancy, vaginal brown discharge and/or vaginal bleeding may be a sign of labor. A plug that covers the opening of the uterus during pregnancy is passed just before or at the start of labor. A small amount of mucus and blood is passed from the cervix. This is called “bloody show.” It is common. It is not a problem if it happens within a few weeks of your due date.

Around the time of your baby’s due date, you could experience what’s known as a ‘show’ – the release of the mucus plug which seals the entrance to the cervix. Although it can be quite alarming when it happens, it’s also cause for celebration – your baby is finally on its way!

Vaginal bleeding may be caused by the placenta detaching from the uterine wall before or during labor.

Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy – Preterm Labor

Vaginal brown discharge and/or vaginal bleeding in the later months of gestation might simply be an indication that one’s system is readying itself for delivery. A couple of days or weeks prior to the onset of labor, the mucus plug covering the uterine opening would be passed out from the vagina and it would generally have miniscule levels of blood present in it, also called as the blood-gore show. In case bleeding and signs of labor commence prior to thirty-seven week of gestation, it could means a woman may be in preterm labor. In these cases you should contact your doctor immediately.

Special attention should be paid to typical symptoms of Preterm Labor. In general, these symptoms occur before the 37th week of pregnancy:

  • Vaginal discharge (watery, mucus, or bloody),
  • Pelvic or lower abdominal pressure,
  • Low, dull backache,
  • Stomach cramps, with or without diarrhea,
  • Regular contractions or uterine tightening.

In all cases of Brown Discharge during third trimester of Pregnancy you should contact your doctor immediately.


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4 Comments

  1. I am having a light brown vaginal discharge. I am 30-31 weeks pregnat. this is my first pregnancy. 2 days before I notice my vaginal discharge, I underwent ultrasound and the impression says : pregnancy uterine 28 weeks 4 days by biometry, in cephalic presentation, live, singleton, with good somatic and cardiac activities. normohydramnios. placenta, posterior, grade 1-2 negative for placenta previa male gender

    • sometimes during pregnancy women experience light brown discharge from cervix – if it repeated or become more intensive, better visit your doctor

  2. Yesterday I noticed a jelly like discharge yellowish in color. I am 31-33 weeks pregnant ( I went to a genetic specialist as well as my OBGYN and they each gave a different due date. We just caught this discrepancy and they are looking into the actual due date) Anyway, I called My OBGYN yesterday and the nurse told me that it is most likely a yeast infection and not to worry. She instructed me to get a monastat 5 day treatment.
    I however disagree, I have never had a yeast infection, I don’t itch, and no odor.
    This morning, I noticed that now there was tinges of brown color in the same jelly like discharge?
    I had my normal exam yesterday morning. EXTERNAL just measurements, and she did feel my pelvis from the outside as I told her I was having a lot of pressure in pelvic area and that movements of the baby have slowed but still fit within the normal kick count standards. I have normal braxton hicks contractions, no bleeding. I have had lower back ache this whole pregnancy so I cant really say that I’m experiencing more back pain than usual. I am 39 years old and this is my second pregnancy. I’m worried this is my mucus plug or partial and cant imagine a yeast infection without other symptoms?

    • I would not recommend any medication without meeting your gynecologist; if you would have brown discharge – check placenta position