There are always some stages of pregnancy that are never disclosed. In certain situations, bleeding might occur or there might be cheesy white colored substance coming from the vagina. This is nothing but mucus plug which you should be aware about. So, as you read ahead you could know what mucus plug is all about and the consequences a woman needs to face.
What Is A Mucus Plug?
In colloquial language, a mucus plug can imply a plug made of mucus. During pregnancy, the plug may develop, lodge the cervix and eventually block the cervical canal. This helps in protecting the uterus from unwanted bacteria and pathogens that may enter through a sexual intercourse.
Cervical mucus is actually rich in antimicrobial compounds but also aid inhibits the action of the bacteria. The lysozymes in the plug work towards controlling the bacterial growth.
Through the secretions from the cervix, progestrones and estrogens start forming around the plug. Even though the mucus plug lasts till the end, the body is replenishing the mucus and keeping it fresh.
What Does A Mucus Plug Look Like?
A mucus plug appears clear, yellow, brown or slightly pink in color. It is just the same like the mucus that comes from the nose and throat. Initially, it is a gel-like liquid and is thick, but typically thin and contains more liquid once it’s expelled.
As far as the length is concerned, the mucus plug is about four to five centimeters long or one ounce in weight. But, it’s never natural that the body expels the mucus plug all at once.
Mucus Plug Pictures
If you are wondering how a mucus plug looks like, then you should go through the images posted below.
What Happens After You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
At the earlier stages of pregnancy, the lady may lose her mucus. Most of the time, it’s liquid and clear and the lady thinks that the underpants are wet due to urine. She might feel embarrassed, but when the doctor checks the pH level, it’s confirmed that it is the mucus plug. The labor starts very soon after such an instance. In fact, after a time span of 12 hours, the labor seems imminent.
In other cases, the labor might get delayed for a few hours or days. In layman language, it’s called as a bloody show because the jelly-like plug contains traces of blood or streaked with brownish blood.
How Long After Losing Mucus Plug Does Labor Start?
The loss of mucus plug implies that the cervix commences to open up. A lady can imagine it to be a bottle that’s sealed with a cork. As the cork comes out, the fluid also comes out. This is the same situation with the woman as she observes some droplets on the panties. Moving ahead, the labor is likely to start off within the next two or three weeks, but the condition is quite normal. In case the period is much earlier, then you should consult the doctor right away and check for signs that indicate delivery.
In case you don’t see the plug and labor starts, then there’s nothing to worry about. In some cases, the mucus plug may come out even when there’s no progress in labor. The fear of getting affected due to some or the other cause should always be driven away.
When Do You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
Most of the time, women face vaginal discharge during pregnancy. But, at that instance, it might be tough to identify whether the discharge has come from the cervix. However, if the viscous liquid is jelly like and thick, then it can be perceived as mucus. It may contain blood to some extent and be clear as well as pink in color.
There are many reasons why the woman experiences loss of mucus plug. Mostly, the discharge comes out due to the softening of the cervix. This means that the cervix is becoming weaker day by day and the woman has to be prepared for delivery of an infant.
As stated earlier, there are chances of losing the mucous plug whenever the lady undergoes an examination. This leads the mucus to dislodge and break out in the end. But, on the other hand, it doesn’t mean that the woman is going to deliver a baby soon. However, it becomes evident that the cervix is getting ready for childbirth as the cervix dilates and the infant passes through the cervical canal.
While some women would soon spot the coming out of the mucus plug, they might not realize if they have lost the plug completely. In most situations, the ladies may not pay attention and just think that everything is natural and normal.
In case there’s a delay in the period, then the woman should understand what she has to do next. For letting the labor move on, she may assume that the release of the mucus plug would enhance the entire process. Unfortunately, the case is very much different than it is expected to be. Moreover, the doctor may have a different perception altogether to speed up the process with the help of Pitocin. If that’s not the case, then the lady shouldn’t do anything but let nature takes its own time.
Mucus Plug Vs Discharge
In pregnancy, a mucus plug serves to be a barrier for the uterus. This restricts the entry of unwanted organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and other parasites. In the end, the substance protects the baby in a much better way.
A vaginal discharge is something far different because it’s a whitish discharge known as leucorrhea much prior to pregnancy. This discharge usually occurs due to the increase in the female hormone production. It may also arise due to increased flow of the blood and some substances from the cervix and vaginal walls.
Apart from other substances, the mucus plug may also comprise of cervical secretions. If it’s time for the infant to come out from the womb, then the cervix goes through dilation and effacement. In effacement, the cervix becomes thin and allows the mucus plug to expel. Whenever such a condition occurs, then the pregnant woman needs attention. She should immediately be admitted to the hospital after getting in touch with the doctor.
Even though it’s tough to find out the difference between a vaginal discharge and a mucus plug, it’s better to ring up the gynecologist and fix an appointment for an assessment.
According to a report, if the doctor observes a white discharge oozing out from the vagina, then it’s probably because of yeast infection. In such a scenario, the individual could experience pain during an intercourse, and she may also feel uneasy due to an itching sensation.
In case the lady feels uncomfortable due to a fish like smell, then it could probably be due to bacterial vaginosis. If the vaginal discharge is green or yellow in color, then the condition may be referred to as trichomoniasis. The woman then needs to care because this might be some form of a sexually transmitted infection.
What Should You Do When The Mucus Plug Comes Out?
If you are unsure whether the mucus plug has actually come out, then there’s no need to panic. So, if you know that the time for delivery is quite far, then nothing seems abnormal. You don’t have to bother about contractions, but just relax at that time. However, it’s always a good idea to see the doctor and find out whether you are expecting labor.
After examining the existing conditions, the doctor would give his opinion and ask you to get admitted to the hospital. Anyways, a discharge of the mucous plug may indicate early signs of labor. So, it’s better to be ready beforehand and stay close to a well known hospital.
Finally, you need to pay attention to the pain in abdominal region or other feelings that accompany menstruation. This pain may occur during contractions that points to the commencement of labor and delivery.
Whenever the interval between contractions becomes almost around 10 minutes, then it’s time to visit the doctor. As you feel the discomfort, you need to prepare yourself and ensure to go through the necessary documents. But, if the mucus plug discharges water breaks, then you shouldn’t delay going to the hospital. In case there’s severe bleeding, then you should call the ambulance immediately.
Hardip Koradia is a pro health blogger with years of experience in writing resourceful articles on different health topics like alternative health, natural health, home remedies, yoga, diet, etc. His passion for health inspired him to start AyurHealthTips, a growing health blog.