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First trimester bleeding brown

First trimester bleeding brown always raises many concerns – for pregnant woman, for family members and for doctors. As brown bleeding refers to stale blood that is released from uterus and vagina, doctors always concerned about possible risk of impending miscarriage. When it is wanted planned pregnancy (especially after long treatments for infertility), it could be kind of shock for couple.

It was noted that chances of first trimester brown bleeding or spotting increase for women who conceive with Assisted Reproductive technologies (ART). Sometimes after placing few embryos into the uterus, one or two stop developing – this is well known phenomenon called “vanishing twin” which can be associated with some brown bleeding.

Sometimes brown discharge (not bleeding!) may not be associated with any risks, complication or worrisome issue. According to medical studies, 1 in 5 pregnant women experience some bleeding during first trimester of pregnancy. Every pregnant woman should know when brown discharge or bleeding is possible, when emergency medical care is needed and when brown discharge can be ignored.

First trimester bleeding brown never should be ignored and your doctor should be informed immediately.

First trimester bleeding brown – possible causes

Implantation Bleeding

It was noted that one out of four pregnant women experience so called implantation bleeding – it occurred when fertilized egg is being attached (implanted) in the uterine lining. Usually implantation bleeding taking place between 10-14 days following conception and this process is common and can be considered normal. Days coincide with expected menstrual period days. It is lasting 1-2 days (light brown, not intensive).

Early Miscarriage

Most unpleasant cause of first trimester bleeding is miscarriage. If brown or reddish bleeding continues for several days and combined with discomfort, cramping, dizziness and pain – better contact your doctor immediately while you have chances to save your pregnancy.

Medical studies show that risk of miscarriage or miscarriage can be observed in about 30% of pregnant women. Very early miscarriages are typically due to an unhealthy fetus that could not survive the full pregnancy – in most cases it happen before a person realizes she is pregnant or misses menstrual period. It looks like regular normal (a little more intensive) menstrual period.

Ectopic Pregnancy

First trimester bleeding

Usually the embryo develops and implanted in the uterus but sometimes the development process occur primarily in Fallopian tubes. Rare it could also happen in abdomen (abdominal pregnancy). In both cases it called ectopic pregnancy which can endanger life.
If you notice first trimester brown bleeding combined with non-stop (even slowly growing) weakness, cramping and abdominal pain, it could be ectopic pregnancy.

This type of pregnancy complications can lead to serious illness and if left untreated, ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening.

Placental Abnormalities

During pregnancy development the chorionic tissue is growing and increasing – slowly transforming into the placenta. Final formation of placenta usually happens by the end of first trimester of pregnancy.

Brown discharge or bleeding can occur if placental abnormalities happen including placenta abruption or placenta previa. Painless vaginal bleeding could be a symptom of placenta previa and bleeding with severe pain could mean placenta abruption. In placenta abruption, the bleeding occurs due to premature separation of placenta and uterus and bleeding can be pretty heavy.


Often during pregnancy gynecologists observe cervical inflammation triggered by different types of vaginal infection including sexually transmitted diseases or internal irritations. During early pregnancy, sudden increase in the hormonal concentration and blood flow makes cervical skin sensitive and easily irritable. In these cases women could have just brown spotting or discharge without pain. Vaginal infections should be treated as soon as possible for preventing further harm to fetus or pregnancy.

Molar Pregnancy

Molar pregnancy is a type of tumor which develops from pregnancy tissue within the uterus – it begins with the fertilization of an egg, but the placenta becomes an abnormal cyst mass. The embryo will start and continue development but at some moment of transformation stop normal development and continue with multiplication of “wrong cells”. Main serious complication of molar pregnancy is cancer (malignant cells). Brown non-stop bleeding combined with abnormally increased levels of hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) could be a symptom of molar pregnancy (pregnancy without fetus).

First trimester bleeding brown needs to be evaluated immediately by health care experts. Combination of first trimester bleeding with fainting, fever, abdominal pain, cramping or dizziness could be a symptom of some serious condition.

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