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Planning for a baby. Stopped smoking. Noticed phlegm with dark colored flecks. Is this normal?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9078 Questions
hello doctor,
i am a 29 year old female. i quit smoking 3 weeks because i want to be healthy and my husband and i are planing to have a baby. I smoked for about 8 years 6-7 cigarettes a day.
my problem is:
eversince i quit smoking i have noticed some clear phlegm in the morning with XXXXXXX colored flecks...almost like speckled looking phlegm...not much...about a pea size everyday in the used to be more the first couple of weeks.
i am not coughing it up. i have no cough/ no shortness of breath.. i kind of have to force this phlegm out..i am not coughing it seems stuck in the back of my throat in the morning
this problem has me very scared and has made me very very anxious everyday

i had a physical last week by my GP including all blood tests and they were all perfectrly normal. i have also seen a pulmonologist 2 weeks ago. he gave me breathing tests and i did great he said. he said that my lungs sound clear...

is this phlegm normal when you quit smoking? please let me know. i am very worried about lung cancer
thank you so much XXXXXXX
Posted Mon, 18 Feb 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The phelgm with dark colored flecks is due to the smoke that has deposited in your airways. This is not suggestive of lung cancer. Since your pulmonary tests are normal, there is no need to worry. Now that you have quit smoking, this will soon fade off. In case there are any blood streaks, then you need to consult your pulmonologist for a detailed evaluation.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Planning for a baby. Stopped smoking. Noticed phlegm with dark colored flecks. Is this normal? 45 minutes later
Thank you doctor. I have had NO blood streaks in the phlegm or sputum.
I only see this in the morning. The specks are not really dark..they are more like yellowish or very light brown. I have to really force it out. Like I said I have no cough. Sometimes my throat hurts from forcing it out. It feels like it is only in the back of my does not feel like its coming from my lungs. Could this be possible?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
The streaks could be from your lungs. If there is a pain in the throat then a throat infection is also a possibility which needs to be ruled out after a throat swab.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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