I'm 6 weeks pregnant. I started spotting around the time my period was due, but it's not blood, it's more like light brownish discharge. Is that normal? Is that part of the hormone changes?
First trimester spotting—it is enough to drive you crazy, isn't it? I did this myself when I was pregnant with my (now 21-year-old) son, and I can still remember the fear. Light bleeding or spotting is quite common in early pregnancy. So here's the story: If the light brown is like the first or last day of a period, it counts as blood even if there isn't much. If it is just tan, that could just be a vaginal discharge. But either way, the news is pretty good.
Technically any bleeding in early pregnancy is a threatened miscarriage, but most women with first-trimester spotting go on to have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. The bleeding isn't believed to be due to hormonal fluctuations—the menstrual cycle is suppressed as soon as the tiny embryo starts making pregnancy hormones. In fact, we don't really know why so many women have a little bleeding early on. But overall, this usually doesn't lead to problems. The general rule is to avoid causing infection (don't use tampons, douche, or have sex) and watch for complications that require urgent evaluation, like fever, pain, or heavy bleeding.
Talk to your doctor or midwife soon, so you can get an explanation specific to your situation.