As the third trimester weeks crawl by – and they do crawl by don’t they! – many pregnant women look for any sign that labor is impending. One of these signs is the loss of the mucus plug. Yes, losing your mucus plug is a sign that labor is likely coming soon!
What Is A Mucus Plug?
The mucus plug is exactly what it sounds like. It is a concentration of mucus that is deposited in the opening of the cervix to block germs and bacteria from entering the uterus.
During pregnancy, the mucus is clear and would look much like a normal vaginal discharge. However, as the cervix begins to efface and blood is released, there may be some blood deposited onto the mucus plug. As your cervix dilates you will begin to lose the plug, either in bits of stringy, blood tinted mucus over a period of time, or all at once. This can happen up to two weeks before labor actually begins.
The loss of the mucus plug should not be confused with a woman’s bloody show which occurs during labor as a woman begins bleeding prior to delivery. The bloody show will be obviously different than the mucus plug as it is mostly blood and very little or no mucus.
Should I Call My Doctor?
Generally there is no need to call your doctor or midwife when you lose your mucus plug, assuming it is clear or has a little blood showing. Of course, if you feel any concern or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact them. It’s what they are there for! You can also mention it to your provider at your next visit. You should definitely contact your provider if the mucus becomes extremely bloody or you continue to experience discharge. It could be a sign that labor has started, or it could also possibly be a sign of a complication like placenta previa or of a placental abruption.
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