Mucus plug is formed in the opening of cervix when you conceive, as a means to block bacteria and other kinds of infections from reaching the uterus. Cervix is a muscle that connects the uterus and vagina. In the early pregnancy stage, surge in hormones causes the mucus layer to thicken up, forming a plug like barrier. Mucus plug usually falls out when you are close to reaching full term and is considered to be a sign of labor.
What are the signs?
Cervical mucus is a sticky, gel like substance that may be clear or white in color in some women and light brown or pink in others. Losing of mucus plug itself is a sign of impending labor, but you will not be able to know when this gets discharged. It usually happens after the completion of 37 weeks.
Even when the mucus plug is discharged, it is not possible for all expecting women to know about it and is completely normal too. You may be able to notice the large slimy glob of cervical mucus, if all of it comes off at once. It may also come off in pieces gradually, in other women and can be hard to tell. Some may not notice at all and others may just think of it as a regular vaginal discharge.
In some cases, you know that the mucus plug is being discharged if you notice cervical mucus tinged light red or pink with blood. A small amount of bleeding at the end of your pregnancy period is normal and is referred to as bloody show. This happens because your body begins preparations for the upcoming labor and delivery.
The changes in hormones once again make the cervix to become softer and flexible. As the cervix begins to open up, the mucus plug is discharged. It may sometimes be accompanied with contractions. But, you should observe that the bleeding you may experience in labor does not get heavier or darker in appearance. This may Indicate any complication and it is better to contact your health care provider immediately.
Some women may go into labor as soon as their mucus plug gets dislodged. But, it may take a while for others. If it takes a few more days for you before the onset of labor, you need not have to worry about the protection being lost. Your body starts forming cervical mucus once again and the antibodies in it help keep your baby safe.