There are many signs of upcoming labor, such as water breaking, contractions, or losing mucus. You should know when you are losing your mucus plug and know the signs and symptoms of labor.
What does Mucus Plug look like?
Your cervical canal contains a locked group of mucus which is known as “mucus plug”. A jelly-like, thick fluid comes out from the cervix during pregnancy to protect and moist the area. Ultimately, this fluid is collected and locks the cervical canal to form a dense mucus plug.
It is good because it prevents any bacterial infection as a barrier from affecting your uterus. Losing the mucus plug may or may not be a sign of labor. The mucus plug is removed through the vagina when the cervix starts widening for delivery. From losing the mucus plug and getting into labour, the time varies. Some women go through the labor from hours to days who pass much mucus plug, but some women may not have laboured for several weeks.
What are the signs of losing mucus plug?
Vaginal discharge is widespread in pregnancy, so it is not easy to figure out the release of mucus plug through the cervix. But it may seem thick, jelly-like or stringy, which is different from the normal vaginal discharge. It may also be pink, clear, or reddish. Sometimes, cervical ripening or softening causes mucus plug discharge. In this process, the cervix becomes wider and thinner when it comes to preparing for delivery. Hence, the mucus plug may be discharged and is not held in the right place.
Mucus plug may also be lost due to cervical exam. Sexual intercourse can also cause mucus plug to dislodge and break free. It may be the sign that the cervix and body pass through various changes, and your body is getting ready for delivery. The cervix will soften in the long run and dilate to pass your baby through the cervix.
What to do next?
After losing the mucus plug, your doctor will suggest the next steps as how the mucus plug seems to be like and your stage of pregnancy. It also depends upon whether you can see your mucus plug. You need to figure out how you can describe this condition in terms of color, size, and how it looks. Your doctor will consider these aspects to help you with the next steps.
When to seek medical attention?
If you experience excessive bleeding in your discharge, it could sign complications during pregnancy like placental abruption. If it is foul-smelling or green, ask your doctor as it could be the sign of infection. Overall, losing the mucus plug is natural as it signifies that everything is going well during pregnancy. You should expect to lose it after or during the 37th week. If you have any worries or doubts, ask your gynecologist.