Your mucus plug is a protective collection of mucus in the cervical canal. During pregnancy, the uterus secretes a thick, jelly-like fluid that keeps the area moist and protected. This fluid eventually collects and closes the cervical canal, creating a thick plug of mucus.
The mucus plug is created after the fertilization of the egg. The mucous membrane of the uterus is called the mucus plug. It protects the fetus from infection.
Without a mucus plug, it is impossible and in some cases impossible to maintain a pregnancy for a period of time.
Why mucus plug is important?
The mucus plug is formed from the secretions of the uterine glands and has a thick, gelatinous consistency.
The plug begins to form when the fertilized egg is implanted in the wall of the uterus. When this happens, the uterus softens and swells as the mucus cells pump into the cavity.
The mucus plug, which is stimulated by a hormone called progesterone, continues to harden and secrete throughout the womb so that the plug is always fresh. Inside this thick, sticky fluid are antibodies, which can protect the growing fetus from many bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic agents.
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Before labor begins, the balance of female hormones begins to change. Estrogen levels increase by the time the fetal development process is complete. As a result, the plug begins to thin and the uterus gradually softens and detaches.
At this point, there may be some discharge (which is usually odorless), or the plug may come out at once. There may also be red or pink lines due to capillary rupture, so the loss of this is sometimes called a “bloody show”.
Regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the plug indicates that labor is imminent. Therefore, if this passes in early pregnancy, it may be a sign of premature birth.
What to see
The mucus plug is about a quarter the size and contains about 2 tablespoons of mucus. Its appearance may vary somewhat:
This usually ranges from cream to yellow-white and sometimes pink.
That is a bloody show-pink, brown or red discharge that you may notice on your underwear or toilet paper after urination.
This can sometimes be more beige or brown. This is not uncommon and should not be a cause for concern.
It is not possible to pinpoint exactly when the mucus plug will pass, as it varies from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy.
Some different things can happen when you lose your mucus plug:
You will notice. In many cases, pieces of mucus found in your underwear or bedsheets will prove to be traveling. It may be released in a few days.
You may not notice it. For some women, the mucus plug is sent during urination or while bathing.
You may feel mild cramps. Some women complain of abdominal pain similar to cramps, but this is less common.
If you know when your mucus plug is coming or you notice a bloody show, it may mean that the care is just a few hours away – or that you still have weeks to go.
Losing your mucus plug initially
Losing your mucus plug before the 37th week of pregnancy is not a sign of miscarriage. In fact, most women also experience vaginal discharge and mild scarring and have a healthy pregnancy.
This does not mean that your baby is suddenly at risk of infection. During pregnancy, the amniotic fluid in the pregnancy sac provides adequate protection until your water breaks down.
Once you lose your mucus plug, you do not need to do special things like staying away from sex or baths. Your baby is at risk of infection when your water is broken.
Losing your mucus plug early on, however, means that you are initially going into labor. Knowing the signs of preterm labor and miscarriage can help you decide when to consult your doctor:
Symptoms of preterm labor:
- Bright red blood from your vagina
- Contractions or numbness, more than five in an hour
- Severe pelvic pressure
- Low, dull back pain
- Sudden lump of clear, watery fluid from your vagina
Signs of Miscarriage (Pregnancy before 20th Week):
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Back pain or back pain
- Tissue travels from the vagina
- Sudden and complete loss of pregnancy symptoms
- Vaginal bleeding
In addition, postpartum warning signs (pregnancy after the 20th week):
- The baby does not feel like kicking
- The constantly low number of kicks or dramatic increase
- Severe abdominal or back pain
- Vaginal bleeding
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your gynecologist immediately. You should carry an emergency number, if not, go to the nearest emergency nursing home for care.
When the mucus plug passes, it is usually a good idea to call a gynecologist to make sure everything is in order and get a good idea of when you can deliver.
This is especially important if you lost the plugin before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
If there is heavy bleeding or deep red discharge while the plug is traveling, call your doctor right away, as these can be a sign of potential problems.