It can be frightening to discover brown stringy discharge, especially if you suspect early pregnancy. Women often worry that this may be a sign of trouble and a reason to rush to the doctor.
This is actually a very common symptom of early pregnancy and there's no need to be alarmed. In fact, it's often the very first sign that you're pregnant, so pick up a pregnancy test if you're not completely sure yet.
The brown stringy discharge is called “implantation bleeding” and it's a good sign that you may be pregnant! Read on to learn more.
What is Implantation Bleeding?
When the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, it can cause a little bit of bleeding. The blood or discharge is usually either light pink or brown and the bleeding doesn't last very long.
It tends to happen within a week or two after sex that causes fertilization and many women report it happening around the time their usual period is expected. Of course, it can cause confusion and disappointment if you already think you're pregnant.
This doesn't happen with every pregnancy, so even if you’ve already been through pregnancy and never experienced implantation bleeding before, it can be scary when it does happen.
When Should I Be Concerned?
While implantation bleeding is completely normal and no reason to be concerned, there are other reasons a woman may bleed in early pregnancy, including miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
You should see a doctor if this bleeding:
- lasts for more than a day
- is very red or has clots
- is as heavy as your period
- accompanied by worse than mild pain or cramping
- coincides with signs of fever
Sadly, miscarriage of pregnancy before 7 weeks is very common. In the U.S. today, an estimated 15-20% of pregnancies result in miscarriage within the first 7 weeks. Scientists say there is an even higher rate of miscarriage among African American women and they believe they know why.
An ectopic pregnancy, when the fertilized egg attaches itself somewhere other than the uterus (such as a fallopian tube), is a very serious and much less common complication in pregnancy.
Unfortunately, there's no sure way to prevent these things from happening. The best you can do is to live a healthy lifestyle, eat right, and drop unhealthy habits before you start trying to conceive.
If you have any reason to suspect it's more than just implantation bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.
What Comes After Brown Stringy Discharge? Early Pregnancy Symptoms
When there is implantation bleeding, it is usually the very first sign of pregnancy. As your body begins to go through hormonal changes, you will start to experience the effects of pregnancy.
Each pregnancy affects each woman differently. Even for the same woman, no two pregnancies will be quite alike.
Women report many different signs of early pregnancy. These signs include:
- mild abdominal cramps
- tender breasts
- sore nipples
- exhaustion or fatigue
- change in appetite (loss or increase)
- emotional sensitivity or moodiness
- persistent need to urinate
Often these sorts of symptoms come before you experience more obvious signs like morning sickness, sometimes even before you’ve missed your period.
Early Pregnancy Self-Care
To prevent many complications, it's important to have a daily routine of self-care that will keep you and the baby healthy throughout your pregnancy, in addition to regular visits with your obstetrician.
Diet is an integral part of a healthy pregnancy, but with all the changes your body is going through it can be difficult to eat right, or sometimes to eat at all. That's why doctors recommend starting to take a prenatal vitamin as soon as you think you're pregnant.
- Calcium - vital for baby's growing heart, nervous system, and muscles. 1,000mg is recommended daily.
- Protein - assists in growth of fetal and uterine tissues and healthy blood supply. 75-100mg recommended daily. Some women will need a protein supplement.
- Iron - supports healthy blood supply and lungs, helping prevent blood loss in delivery. 27mg recommended daily. Many women will need an iron supplement.
- Vitamin C - necessary for strong immune system and reduces risk of premature rupture of membranes. 85mg recommended daily.
- Folic Acid or Folate - both are types of Vitamin B9, which is necessary to prevent birth defects of the spinal cord and brain. New research suggests folate may be better for pregnant women.
- Healthy Fats - unsaturated fats are necessary for baby's growth, good sources include avocado, nuts, and fish. Avoid foods processed to be low-fat or fat-free.
In addition to eating right and taking a supplement, it's important to stop bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. Doctors recommend limiting your intake of caffeine, refined sugar, and fish that may contain mercury.
What Happens Now?
Now that you know brown stringy discharge in early pregnancy isn't an emergency situation, you can probably relax. Or maybe you didn't suspect pregnancy yet, so you want to run to the pharmacy for a test!
Remember that it can sometimes take a week or more after you've missed a period before you get a positive pregnancy test. Be patient.
Please leave a comment to tell other readers about your early pregnancy symptoms. Invite your friends to contribute to the discussion as well by sharing!