Sometimes after the abortion procedure, some tissue parts are left behind. There is nothing wrong in that, because as your body tries cleaning itself up through bleeding, these tissues too are cleaned out bit by bit. As dried blood and tissue are cleaned out from the body, they come out in the form of thick brown discharge. It is similar to the discharge that many of us experience after our menstrual cycle as well. This brown discharge after abortion even smells like menstrual blood.
Brown Discharge After Abortion – What Is It?
Early pregnancy (under nine weeks) consists of two types of tissues – a gestational sac filled with fluid, and decidua. Decidua (see diagram of decidua) is the tissue that lines the cavity of the uterus and holds the gestational sac in place.
The termination of pregnancy procedure, whether surgical or through emergency contraception or Plan B (see: when to take Plan B), removes the gestational sac but does not remove the decidua completely. This lining takes its own time in coming out of the body, somewhere in next weeks or months.
The vaginal discharge after abortion is similar to the one that women face after childbirth. This discharge is medically known as Lochia and is made up of old blood, mucus and placental tissues.
Lochia continues for 4 to 6 weeks after abortion and progresses through three stages
- Lochia rubra – It is the first discharge. It is red in color because of the large amount of blood that it contains. This discharge lasts no longer than 3 to 5 days after abortion.
- Lochia serosa – This is the second stage of the discharge. It is brownish or pink in color and starts discharging around 2nd or 3rd week after abortion. This brownish discharge contains decidua, serous exudate, erythrocytes, leukocytes and cervical mucus.
- Locia alba – The final stage of lochia is the whitish or the yellowish white vaginal discharge. It contains fewer red blood cells and is mainly made up of leukocytes, epithelial cells, cholesterol, fat and mucus.
Brown Discharge After Abortion – When to Contact Your Doctor
As mentioned earlier, brown vaginal discharge is perfectly alright and only indicates that your body is returning back to normalcy. However, if this discharge is accompanied by either of the following, inform your doctor immediately
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Temperature of 100.4 or greater
- Chills or dizziness