The loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation occurs in about 10 to 25 percent of confirmed pregnancies. The signs of this loss, called a miscarriage, can sometimes be hard to recognize. This can cause alarm when you have strange bleeding and discharge.
Not only may it be weird, but there will also be heavy bleeding and cramping. Discharge after this bleeding subsides is different from the normal discharge of menstruation. It can be a range of colors and consistencies.
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Types of Discharge after a Miscarriage
1. Bleeding During Pregnancy
First trimester bleeding is fairly common. Some of this bleeding is caused by implantation, and infection, or irritation. The placenta is also being formed, and the blood can be from it forming as the ovary provides the hormonal support in the meantime.
Later on in pregnancy, you might experience some more bleeding. In the second and third trimesters, cervical irritation or changes can cause slight bleeding. Sometimes there is no explanation. It is possible to have period-like bleeding throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
Slight bleeding can also be a sign of early labor, especially if it is accompanied by mucus-like discharge. Overall, bleeding during pregnancy should not cause too much alarm, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Call your doctor and find out if any other measures need to be taken.
2. Miscarriage Bleeding
The bleeding that occurs during a miscarriage can be clotty and heavy. It depends on how far along you are and how much you are bleeding, but your doctor may suggest you either go to the emergency room or wait until you can come in and be seen during office hours.
If you pass something that seems like it may be fetal tissue, seal it in a clean container and bring it with you to the doctor. It can be tested to ensure that it is indeed fetal tissue. Fetal tissue is usually gray and mucus like. Blood accompanied by strong cramping and back pain is also a big indicator that there might be a problem.
3. Miscarriage Symptoms
First trimester bleeding can be normal, and is not always a cause for alarm. The bleeding that you experience during a miscarriage will be heavy, and if it persists or keeps coming back, there might be a problem.
Besides the bleeding, there is an array of symptoms that you can experience during a miscarriage. Pain in the abdomen and/or back accompanied with the bleeding does not always mean you are having a miscarriage. If you are not, early bleeding will not harm your baby.
If you are already bleeding and having other miscarriage symptoms, a miscarriage has occurred, and there is no way to stop it from happening. Seeing a doctor or other professional is highly recommended whether or not you are having back pain or cramping. Keeping an eye out for any of these symptoms is important, especially in early pregnancy.
Septic miscarriages are possible if there is an infection in your uterus. The symptoms unique to this type of miscarriage are fever and chills, or vaginal fluid with a foul odor.
4. Types of Discharge After Miscarriage
Some brown discharge after miscarriage is usually normal. It is just old blood from the uterus that has not had much oxygen. You should still discuss this with your doctor, just in case. If it lasts longer than six weeks, you should definitely see your doctor. If it accompanied with a foul odor or severe cramping, you should do so as well.
If you have a yellow discharge after miscarriage, it usually means there is an infection or something else going on. Yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis are just a few of the conditions that can develop. If the discharge comes with a foul odor, you should definitely see your doctor.
Clear discharge after miscarriage can be due to ovulation or even a cyst. The cyst can simply be because of the pregnancy, and is getting rid of itself. Early miscarriage discharge usually consists of blood and uterine tissue. You may also notice a grayish discharge. In this case, if you can, capture it and bring it to your doctor, for it is fetal tissue that can be tested.
5. Miscarriage Problems
Incomplete miscarriages can occur during the loss of pregnancy. This means that not all of the tissue has passed from your uterus. You will usually need to go through a dilation and cutterage procedure to remove the rest of it. Medication can also help to remove it before resorting to D&C.
Recovering from a miscarriage can be difficult physically and emotionally. During recovery, you should only use pads to collect the bleeding. Tampons can irritate and cause more problems. Do not have sex for two weeks, either, so you can fully recover.
The emotional toll a miscarriage can have is heavy. Surround yourself with support and people that you trust. Give yourself time to grieve. Studies have shown that women who have a miscarriage grieve the same amount as those who lose a baby close to their due date. You can still have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage.
The discharge you experience during a miscarriage is unique and can be alarming. However, there is no cause for worry unless there are signs of infection-like yellow discharge and foul odor. Your body is taking the time it needs to recover, and letting it do so is the best way to go.
It is possible to reduce your risk of miscarriage by fixing up your lifestyle. Not drinking, smoking, or taking illegal drugs is a good start. Eat healthily and get moderate exercise. Get tested for disorders that can cause miscarriages, especially if you have had more than two.
Having safe sex and working in jobs that do not raise your risk of being exposed to infectious agents, environmental toxins, chemicals, or radiation is something that you can do while pregnant. Do what you can to avoid infections of any kind.