Mucus plug during pregnancy: what it looks like, how it comes off, what color is the mucus plug during pregnancy

Before the onset of late pregnancy, the word “plug” in the thoughts of the average woman does not at all evoke associations with childbirth. Moreover, far from widespread Internet awareness, the generation of our mothers and grandmothers probably did not even think that “there is some kind of traffic jam”, it “may come out” and that this fact allows us to indirectly assume something about the date of birth. Nevertheless, today traffic jams are spoken of as one of the indirect harbingers of childbirth, which means that every expectant mother should be armed with information about it.

Concept and definition of traffic jam

In gynecology, a plug is a clot that fills the cervix from the moment of conception until the last days of pregnancy. The exit occurs when it has fulfilled its protective functions.

In practice, it is believed that the release of mucus is a sure precursor to the speedy birth of the baby. But this is not a universal situation, the indicators are individual: some people experience mucus a couple of weeks before giving birth , while others only experience it in the delivery room.


The clot is represented by a dense secretion of jelly-like consistency. It consists of mucus produced by the cervix to protect the fetus from various infections entering the womb.

In terms of external qualities, it is similar to concentrated egg white, but sometimes it is liquid and comes out in parts. Sometimes the plug looks like “smear” - the discharge that often accompanies menstruation.


In order not to confuse this clot with other secretions, it is important to have information about the amount of mucus that should come out. Usually its volume ranges from 50 ml, and its size is in the range of 1.5-2 cm.

Remember : every situation is individual. It is not a fact that the dimensions of your plug will be the same.

Where is the plug located in a pregnant woman?

Color characteristics

There are two options here - normal and pathological. Normally there is one color, but if it changes, it signals a disease.


There is no specific answer here; the “color palette” of this mucus can range from beige to brown. There is a possibility of blood clots and pinkish particles interspersed; they should not cause anxiety.

They indicate the rupture of small capillaries when the cervix opens. And the differences in the color of the mucus of women in labor are explained by the differences in the health status of different women during pregnancy.


Based on the shade of prenatal discharge, a woman can understand that there is a danger to her and the unborn child.

If you have a brown discharge with rich inclusions, you should immediately consult a doctor. Alarming symptoms include abundant scarlet, red and dark brown clots.


This indicator is also individual, the volume of mucus varies from one to two spoons.


The process may be accompanied by aching pain in the lower abdomen. They often remind women of pain during menstruation, but in this case the use of medications is prohibited. Sometimes you feel pressure and discomfort in the perineum. The problem is that many do not even notice its departure, so they find it difficult to note whether it was there at all.


The female body reacts differently to the hormonal changes that occur before labor begins. Therefore, the timing of when and how long the plug comes out can be quite extended. There is no definite answer here.

  • When?

Normally, the plug can come out at any time, starting from the 38th week of pregnancy. Moreover, this indicator does not depend at all on whether the woman already has children or not. In both multiparous and primiparous women, the plug comes out approximately the same in terms of timing and symptoms.

  • How long before giving birth?

When the plug comes out, any expectant mother wonders how many days are left until the long-awaited birth of the baby. However, doctors say that this process is not a necessary harbinger of an early birth. After this, the woman can calmly go through another 2-3 weeks before giving birth to the baby. And the plug can come out right during childbirth, on the chair.

  • For how long?

Many people are interested in how long it takes for the plug to come out before childbirth: if it is solid, everything happens at once. The only thing is that after this, for 24 hours you may experience nagging pain in the lower abdomen, as during menstruation. If the mucus comes out in parts, in clots, then this may take several hours, but no more than that, because 50 ml will come out quickly enough. Maximum - one day. Otherwise, it is advisable to consult a doctor for advice to avoid dangerous consequences.

If a woman knows how to understand that the plug has come off, in 80% of cases she will not miss this moment and will begin to prepare directly for the birth itself. No matter how many days are left, you need to try to protect yourself and your baby from unforeseen surprises.

How to distinguish leakage of amniotic fluid from the passage of a mucus plug

Inexperienced mothers may confuse the release of the plug with leakage of amniotic fluid. If the first is a normal physiological process, then the second is a dangerous pathological condition.

Characteristic features:

  • the plug comes off 3-10 days before the due date, and amniotic fluid can begin to leak at any stage of pregnancy;
  • released mucus is a symptom of impending delivery, and water may leak as a result of injury, for example, a fall;
  • if pregnancy proceeds without pathologies, then the color of the discharge is beige, yellowish, brownish, may contain a small amount of bloody streaks, and the water has a pinkish and light green tint;
  • they also differ in consistency: the first is thick, viscous, mucous, the second is liquid, flowing, watery;
  • mucus comes out in small portions of 10-20 ml over several days, less often - in a single lump, and water leaks constantly, the volume of discharge increases with coughing, laughing, sneezing, jolting and sudden movements.

You need to observe yourself and your feelings, as well as the nature of the discharge. In a day or two the picture will become completely clear.

If there is still a suspicion of leakage of amniotic fluid, you will need to consult a doctor. Their premature departure may indicate pathology.

Functions of the cork

When mucus is discharged in the last month of pregnancy, the fair sex should be on alert and begin to prepare for childbirth.

To avoid stupid mistakes, you should understand the functions that this clot of mucus had throughout pregnancy, and why the body “rejected” it:

  • protection of the embryo from the infectious process and the entry of microbes from the external environment;
  • providing mechanical cover for the uterus;
  • creating an opportunity for a pregnant woman to lead an active lifestyle: visit the pool, be sexually active, take a bath;
  • formation of bactericidal properties.

This leads to a simple conclusion that this is a specific barrier that helps protect the unborn baby from all sorts of harmful factors from the outside.

Until this clot comes out, a pregnant woman can lead a normal life. Begin to be careful when the plug has left the body.

When is it time to go to the maternity hospital?

By the 40th week of pregnancy, women are already eager to give birth quickly, and some believe that the release of the plug should speed up the process. However, it is not. Although many stories are told about this, there is no evidence for this claim. If necessary, your doctor will have other ways to induce labor. In general, you need to let pregnancy take its course and not rush things.

The passage of a mucus plug is usually a sign that your body is preparing for labor, but not always. An indefinite amount of time can pass between the plug coming out and the onset of labor - from several hours to several weeks. You need to go to the maternity hospital if the passage of the mucus plug is accompanied by other signs of impending labor - contractions, breaking of water, etc. If the birth is still far away, but your mucus plug has come out, do not panic. Oddly enough, it can grow back.

Education mechanism

Thickening of mucus in the cervical canal is due to changes in hormonal levels in a woman’s body. It is known that on the eve and during the period of ovulation, the mucus in the endocervix is ​​liquefied to provide access to the uterine cavity to a mature egg for the purpose of fertilization. In the second phase of the cycle, which occurs under the auspices of progesterone, cervical mucus becomes viscous and thick, which prevents the penetration of infectious agents into the uterine cavity during conception and implantation of the fertilized egg into the endometrium. If fertilization does not occur, then the mucous lump from the endocervix is ​​pushed out by blood and the separated functional layer of the uterine mucosa (menstrual flow). From the moment a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine cavity, the body begins to intensively synthesize progesterone, which causes thickening of the cervical mucus. Thus, the formation of a mucus plug begins even before conception occurs and continues throughout pregnancy. Towards the end of gestation, the production of progesterone begins to decrease, and estrogen production begins to increase. Estrogens prepare the body for childbirth, including “ripening” the cervix and liquefying the mucus plug.

Reasons for mucus discharge before childbirth

Each process that is observed in the body of the expectant mother is associated with certain causal factors. And mucus release is no exception.

The hormonal background has to face serious changes, which provoke the release of mucus. Most often, this phenomenon is observed from the 38th week, and characteristic discharge should be expected that will notify the expectant mother that she will soon give birth.

It is better to immediately inquire about the reasons for the release of the clot before the birth process.

Common reasons for a plug to come out:

  • hormonal fluctuations : starting from fertilization, ending with the 38th week, the body actively produces progesterone, popularly called the “pregnancy hormone”, it ensures tight closure of the cervix, and after its production ceases, softening of the cervical canal is observed, which entails the release of mucous secretions ;
  • excessive tension of the vaginal muscles during sexual intercourse or loss of amniotic fluid;
  • frequent muscle relaxation - while taking a bath or being in the shower;
  • pushing : often the discharge comes out in the toilet when a woman overexerts her muscles for a long time;
  • examination by a gynecologist and other mechanical intervention
  • a disease of an infectious nature , which can provoke premature discharge of mucus, you need to urgently consult a specialist.

To avoid mistakes, before giving birth, you should inquire about the signs of a plug leaving the body.

Unusual situations and warning signs

So, there is no cause for alarm if:

  1. The expectant mother is sure that it is the plug that has come off - the appearance of the discharge corresponds to the signs described above.
  2. The release of the plug is not accompanied by the release of bright red blood (moderate or large amounts) and other fluid (leakage of water, for example - can be checked using a special test).
  3. The release of the plug is not accompanied by pain or contractions.
  4. The plug came out no earlier than normal (two weeks before the traffic deadline - maximum).

If the plug comes off prematurely, this may be an indirect sign of early delivery. The removal of the plug in itself does not pose any danger to the future mother and child.

If alarming signs are present, you should act depending on the complexity of the situation:

  1. If there is bleeding, water leakage is detected, or severe pain, call an ambulance.
  2. If irregular (false) contractions intensify or the plug comes out earlier than expected, contact your doctor who is monitoring the pregnancy.

When the plug comes out

The passage of the plug is one of the harbingers of pregnancy and indicates an imminent birth (after a few days - a few weeks). The following signs signal the approach of an imminent birth: drooping of the abdomen and easier breathing for the pregnant woman, weight loss of 300 - 400 grams, the appearance of false contractions, etc. The normal time for expulsion of the plug is considered to be several hours - several weeks (2 - 3 weeks before birth). The release of the mucous conglomerate from the endocervix can last from three to ten days; it is pointless to expect the onset of labor within the first three hours after the incident. Early removal of the plug should alert you - at 37 weeks or less (indirectly indicates a threat of premature birth).

The discharge of cervical mucus can be triggered by sexual intercourse, a gynecological examination, or an inflammatory process in the vagina. In the latter case, the cork acquires a greenish tint and an unpleasant odor.

How long before birth does the plug come out?

This is a rather specific aspect. Some women do not even notice the moment the mucus leaves and are not aware of what type of plug it is, because it often comes out with a stream of amniotic fluid. For others, withdrawal begins much earlier.

When the plug comes out
Leading obstetricians and gynecologists believe that the release of the protection before childbirth should happen no earlier than two weeks before the established “day X”.
The process of mucus discharge is the most important precursor to labor. It is considered no less relevant than contractions or breaking of water. But this is an inaccurate indicator, since, as already mentioned, it can come out either a few weeks before birth or a couple of hours.

Therefore, it is better to clarify the situation in advance and inform the doctor about the release of the plug. Most likely, the doctor will conduct a classic vaginal examination and recommend going to the prenatal ward.

Does the plug always come out?

From a physiological point of view - always, in practice - the answer is ambiguous. Some young ladies are 100% sure that they saw her, while others believe that this is not true. Every woman really has this mucus, because otherwise full gestation would be impossible due to the constant contact of the membranes with painful microflora.

Most likely, women claim that they did not see the traffic jam because they simply did not notice its exit. Indeed, this phenomenon can happen unnoticed - while taking a shower or in the bath.

Sometimes in practice there are cases when protection is “born” with the baby. There is nothing abnormal or strange about this. Just be prepared for the individual characteristics of your body and their manifestation before childbirth.

Options for removing the plug

Expulsion of cervical mucus can occur in different scenarios:

  • Option 1. The plug is pushed out of the endocervix completely and simultaneously. In this case, you can evaluate its color, consistency, and identify blood and pathological inclusions. This option is typical for women who have given birth, which is due to the shortening of the cervix and a wider cervical canal (a consequence of previous births).
  • Option 2. The mucous conglomerate comes off piece by piece over several hours/days. It is observed in first-time pregnant women and is caused by the density and elongation of the cervix.
  • Option 3. The plug comes out simultaneously with the flowing amniotic fluid. The process is painless.

As a rule, the process of release of the cervical mucosa is painless and often goes unnoticed by the woman. Usually the plug comes off in the morning; straining during bowel movements can trigger its release.

What is a cork?

The plug is a kind of protective barrier that prevents pathogenic microorganisms from entering the uterus throughout the entire period of gestation. It consists of cervical mucus.

Around the end of the first month of pregnancy, under the influence of special female hormones, cervical cells begin to produce it. When the fertilized egg is tightly attached to the walls of the uterus, it begins to completely depend on the mother’s body and can be susceptible to any infections that penetrate it.

Cervical mucus gradually thickens and its amount increases. As a result, a rather dense lump is formed that completely blocks the cervical canal and prevents pathogenic viruses, fungi and bacteria from penetrating into the uterine cavity .

What to pay attention to when a mucus plug comes out

The mucus plug before childbirth, the photo of which shows the appearance of the physiological barrier, gradually loses its previous density. This is due to changes in a woman’s hormonal levels. It is very important to distinguish between the loss of mucous secretions and the loss of amniotic fluid.

A pregnant woman should pay attention to the following key factors:

  • the mucus plug comes out for several hours, and sometimes even days before the onset of labor, and amniotic fluid flows out immediately before the onset of labor, accompanied by periodic contractions that intensify as the uterus opens (at the moment the mucus plug comes out, the condition of the reproductive organ practically does not change);
  • amniotic fluid has a completely transparent appearance, and during a pathological course of pregnancy it can become green or yellow (the mucous plug has a thick and viscous consistency with a yellowish, transparent or brown tint);
  • the plug is almost always a lump resembling jelly, which is immobile and is gradually absorbed into the underwear or pad, and the amniotic fluid spreads quickly over the surface and has a high degree of fluidity;
  • the mucous plug comes out of the uterine cavity immediately in a single lump or in small parts, and amniotic fluid flows out in large volumes, abundantly wetting underwear, clothes, sanitary pads (their outflow may increase during movement, squatting, coughing).

If after the mucous plug or amniotic fluid has drained, the pregnant woman’s well-being has not worsened. You need to go to the hospital and just wait for labor to start soon. If you have pain in the lower abdomen, spasms, contractions, you should immediately call an ambulance, or go to a medical facility in your own car.

Expert commentary

Comments on the material

Sergey Yurievich Buyanov

, obstetrician-gynecologist, head of the maternity department, first category doctor. Medical experience – 16 years.

You can find out more about our experts here.

Separation of the mucous plug from the vagina indicates the harbingers of labor. Moreover, it doesn’t matter in what time frame. Premature labor begins by the same mechanism as physiological or delayed labor.

The mucus plug is formed from the secretion of the cervical glands . This is a thick jelly-like mass that fills the entire cervical canal. The secretion of the cervical glands is constantly maintained by high levels of estrogens and gestagens, hormones responsible for the growth and maturation of the fetus.

Thus, the mucus plug is not an accumulation of thick fluid formed from the very beginning of pregnancy. The secretion of cervical cells occurs continuously, and the mucus plug always remains “fresh”.

It fills the inside of the cervix 4-5 centimeters long: completely, leaving no gaps between the walls of the canal. Mucus contains antibodies - immune cells that neutralize pathogens.

Before labor begins, the balance of female hormones changes. There are significantly more estrogens than gestagens. That is, the process of fruit ripening is considered complete and is cancelled. Under the influence of estrogens, the mucus plug liquefies and then separates.

In primiparous and multiparous women, the separation of the mucus plug proceeds differently.

The fact is that the cervix of the uterus in nulliparous pregnant women of childbirth, has a smaller diameter of the canal, and its walls are quite dense, which hold the mucus so firmly that the mucus plug comes off either with blood or in parts.

At the same time, prenatal structural changes in the cervical canal occur, which are accompanied by the separation of epithelial cells. This is accompanied by minor bleeding. Therefore, nulliparous pregnant women note streaks of blood in slight thick discharge.

In women who have given birth, the inner surface of the cervical canal is elastic. The integumentary epithelium is loosened, and the intercellular spaces are able to stretch. Therefore, the mucus plug in women who have given birth comes off instantly and bloodlessly.

Regardless of parity (number of births), separation of the mucus plug from the cervical canal in pregnant women occurs painlessly.


from general statistical cases

are women with lesions of the cervical canal

. Scars on the inner lining of the cervix are formed due to its forced expansion during abortion or inflammatory lesions of cervical cells due to Trichomonas infection.

Much less often, spotting in women who have given birth repeatedly when the mucous plug is expelled is associated with the presence of cervical erosion.

Normally, the passage of the mucus plug occurs 3-5 days before the onset of labor . The amount of thick liquid is insignificant. No more than during ovulation. Because ovulatory mucus fills the cervical canal, the size of which remains unchanged during pregnancy.

The separation of the mucus plug indicates hormonal changes in the pregnant woman’s body, which ensure labor, canceling the process of bearing a child. This process is physiological and does not require medical intervention.

At the same time, with discharge from the genital tract that has not been examined under a microscope, it is impossible to distinguish where it came from: from the cervical canal or from the uterus?

Amniotic fluid sometimes breaks before labor begins.

Separation of the mucus plug does not mean that the fetus’s protection from vaginal microflora is impaired, since the second and more important barrier is the dense membrane of the amniotic sac.

But if the amniotic membrane is ruptured (which also occurs absolutely painlessly), the risk of infection of the fetus becomes irreversible and steadily increases. The water-free period is counted in hours and minutes.

It is impossible to determine what kind of vaginal discharge appears at home. Therefore, when they appear, you should note the exact time and call an ambulance. Whether it is a mucous plug or amniotic fluid - only a doctor can determine.

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Pregnancy is an exciting and responsible period. And as the birth approaches, many expectant mothers begin to worry even more, as they worry that they may miss the onset of labor. But there are some signs by which you can understand that a child is about to be born. One of these manifestations is the removal of a plug. And in order not to miss this moment, you should find out all the features of this process.

What to do?

  1. If the plug comes off before the 37th week, it is important to urgently call the supervising doctor and report what happened. You may be going into premature labor, and every minute counts.
  2. If this happened at the 38th week or later, there is no need to sound the alarm and call the doctor. But you should definitely mention this fact at your next visit to the antenatal clinic.
  3. If, along with the plug, a large amount of bright scarlet blood comes out of the perineum, call an ambulance immediately! This symptom may indicate abruption or placenta previa!

There is no need to worry if the “real” contractions have already started and you still don’t see a clot. Firstly, it may come out during childbirth, and secondly, you may simply not have noticed it earlier.

And finally, the main question for all expectant mothers is: when the natural “barrier” is lost, does the child become vulnerable? No. It is still protected by the amniotic membranes. It is still safe if there is no leakage of amniotic fluid.

Have you already encountered such a phenomenon as the passage of a clot? Then your labor can begin at any time - in a few hours, days, or even weeks. Now is the time to tune in, get ready, collect your thoughts and wait to meet your beloved baby.

Recommendations after the discharge of cervical mucus

After the plug comes out, to prevent infection of the ovum, it is recommended:

  • refuse to take a bath, wash in the shower;
  • refuse sexual intercourse or use condoms;
  • change underwear twice a day;
  • control vaginal discharge (prenatal rupture of water is possible);
  • use panty liners;
  • toilet the genitals at least twice a day (without using soap or gel);
  • prepare for the trip to the maternity hospital (collect and check the necessary documents and things);
  • refuse long trips (travel to the country, to another city) due to the imminent onset of labor;
  • Avoid swimming in open water and swimming pools.

When to go to the maternity hospital?

If the plug comes off, contact your doctor and indicate the color and consistency. The specialist will decide whether to go to the maternity hospital. If there are no contractions and the amniotic fluid has broken, a visit to the maternity hospital is pointless. Labor can begin only after two weeks. If contractions begin when the mucus is discharged, then you should pack your things and go to the maternity hospital.

When a pregnant woman knows and imagines what a mucus plug is, she will not worry and will understand when this process occurs. Knowledge in this area will allow you to assess the condition of the mucus, determine the presence of pathology, draw useful conclusions and begin preparing for a visit to the maternity hospital. Update information about exercises, exclude intimate life and visits to the bathroom.

The moment the traffic jam comes out is an opportunity to prepare. A period begins when a pregnant woman should pay more attention to herself and hygiene for the safety of the baby. In the future, listen to your body, which will give signals about the onset of labor.

In what cases should you consult a doctor?

It is worth saying that any condition or phenomenon that causes you doubt requires consulting a doctor. However, there are a number of conditions when his consultation is necessary and urgently required.

Such situations include:

  • if your plug comes out earlier than 2 weeks before the expected date of birth . This happens, but the condition of the fetus and mother requires additional research to exclude the possibility of premature labor.
  • When you notice that its departure is accompanied by copious discharge of bright scarlet blood . This is not normal and requires immediate consultation and examination by a doctor. The presence of blood may indicate placental abruption.
  • If you notice that your mucus appears more watery rather than thick , it's also worth checking with your doctor. Of course, it is quite difficult to confuse the leakage of water and the exit of the plug, but it is still possible. So if you have any doubts about what the discharge looks like, its texture, or how thick it is, contact your doctor.

If the plug comes out long before giving birth, what will the doctor advise?

There are situations when the plug can come off even before the birth detail. For women, this is a real test, because they still have to wait so long for the baby to appear. If the mucus leaves prematurely, a mandatory consultation with a doctor is required. He can advise:

  • Avoid visiting swimming pools and open water bodies;
  • Do not take a bath, use a light solution of potassium permanganate as a hygiene product;
  • Avoid sex;
  • Change underwear more often;
  • Be more attentive to your body and monitor the warning signs of labor;
  • Pre-pack your things and documents for the maternity hospital.

This regime is observed until the water breaks and labor begins.

Reasons for early release of the mucus plug

In gynecological practice, there are cases when the mucous plug is discharged before the 38th week.

Early separation of the physiological barrier can be caused by the following reasons, the occurrence of which is caused by the negative influence of pathological factors:

  • a sharp change in hormonal levels associated with a decrease in the level of progesterone in the blood (can be caused by concomitant diseases of the female reproductive system, endocrine disorders, unauthorized use of medications based on synthetic hormones);
  • intensive vaginal sex in late pregnancy;
  • relaxation of the muscle fibers responsible for the tone of the vaginal walls (such a reaction of the body is a consequence of nervous overexertion, stress, sudden fright);
  • leakage of amniotic fluid, the abundance of which washes out the mucus plug from the cervical cavity (the cause of premature birth may be associated with an imbalance of sex hormones, inflammatory diseases of internal organs, chronic infections, negative heredity, stress);
  • the occurrence of contractions, the presence of which will stimulate the gradual relaxation of the muscles responsible for the tone of the uterus, which will ultimately lead to the release of the mucus plug;
  • mechanical damage that was received as a result of an accident, a blow to the lower abdomen, improper gynecological examination (the consistency of the mucus plug is disrupted, it becomes liquid and gradually leaks out);
  • the presence of acute infectious diseases that occur exclusively in the field of gynecology, and are also quite often diagnosed in pregnant women (candidiasis, colpitis, vaginosis).

Regardless of which of the above reasons served as a prerequisite for the premature release of the mucus plug, you must immediately contact a gynecologist. This will allow you to take timely actions aimed at preserving the child and preventing the premature onset of labor.


Although the passage of the plug is a harbinger of labor, the process can also be a signal of serious problems. Let's consider the main risks that a woman in labor may face:

  • The mucus performed a protective function, so there is a greater chance of infection.
  • Premature manifestation of this process can be a signal of premature birth, which is why it is so important to discuss the current situation with your doctor.
  • If, along with mucus, amniotic fluid begins to leak, which intensifies with minor physical exertion.
  • Various color deviations are dangerous, because the appearance of blood indicates a possible placental abruption. The pathology is dangerous for mother and baby, so it is important to consult a doctor in a timely manner.

If there are no warning signs, then don’t worry, start preparing for your visit to the maternity hospital and the arrival of your baby.

Sex life

With the disappearance of the plug, the child loses protection from external factors, so sex is prohibited. To prevent the possibility of infection, you should refuse this pleasure. The health of mother and baby is most important.


It is important to pay attention to personal hygiene. Change your bed linen and underwear more often, try not to bathe in the bathroom, use the shower. When washing, do not direct the water pressure there; for safety, it is often recommended to dilute a light solution of potassium permanganate. This approach allows you to neutralize microorganisms. Swimming in bodies of water where infections are likely to occur is prohibited.

From the moment the plug comes out, it is worth paying more attention to the hygiene and health of the pregnant woman.

Could the plug not come out and labor begin?

You should not be afraid of the situation when labor begins and the mucus has not yet receded.
Contractions may be a warning sign.

Firstly, you could simply not notice the process of the plug coming off.

Secondly, the plug can come out along with the amniotic fluid just before the birth process.

Possible complications

The removal of the mucus plug may be accompanied by the development of pathological processes in the reproductive system of a pregnant woman and directly inside the uterus.

In this case, complications may develop, which are accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • the mucous plug came out much earlier than the baby’s due date (6-7 months), which may indicate placental abruption and the imminent onset of premature birth, the consequences and course of which are difficult to predict;
  • exit of the physiological barrier due to mechanical damage to the internal genital organs with disruption of the integrity of the amniotic sac and leakage of water (in this case, labor must be resolved as quickly as possible, since there is a high risk of fetal death);
  • the passage of the plug is accompanied by acute pain in the lower abdomen and the discharge of bright scarlet blood, which is not a normal process and may indicate internal bleeding, vascular disorders or the presence of other fetal developmental abnormalities.

All of the above complications that may arise when the mucous plug is released before childbirth (the photo itself of the process of release of the physiological barrier can be seen on information posters in the office of the obstetrician-gynecologist) are dangerous and require urgent hospitalization of the pregnant woman.

At all stages of fetal development, every woman should know the physiological characteristics of the mucus plug, the timing of its natural waste, and the distinctive features in relation to amniotic fluid.

With effective control of the course of pregnancy and implementation of preventive measures, the mucous plug comes out no earlier than 38 weeks, shortly before the onset of labor.

When to sound the alarm?

In some cases, the process of the mucus plug coming out and its appearance can indicate some problems and abnormalities. So, in what cases should you see a doctor immediately?

  • If the plug begins to come off before 35-36 weeks of pregnancy. In this case, there is a risk of premature birth
  • If the amount of mucus is very large. Probably, secretions have joined the mucus, and their volumes normally cannot be too large (an increase in them will indicate pathologies);
  • If there is a lot of scarlet or dark blood in the cork. Its presence may indicate placental abruption, and this is extremely dangerous for the life of the fetus and the expectant mother;
  • Liquid comes out along with the plug. This may indicate leakage of amniotic fluid, and if it is not noticed, the child may experience a lack of oxygen and nutrients. If the amniotic fluid is released completely, then after 12 hours (this is how long a safe water-free period can last), the unborn child may die.

Don't worry if the plug starts to come out. This means that very soon you will see your baby.

Prevention of premature release of the mucus plug

In order to prevent premature loss of the mucus plug and the onset of premature labor, it is necessary to follow simple rules of prevention, which consist of the following:

  • avoid intense physical activity, do not overwork, lead a measured lifestyle;
  • avoid psycho-emotional stress and stressful situations, so as not to provoke a spasm or sudden relaxation of the smooth muscles responsible for the tone of the uterus;
  • observe the rules of personal hygiene, take a warm shower every morning and evening, change your underwear;
  • contact a gynecologist in a timely manner if the first signs of acute or chronic infection of the internal genital organs appear (an imbalance of beneficial and pathogenic microflora can lead to destruction of the structure of the mucous plug, making it more liquid and causing premature loss with the risk of infection of the amniotic sac);
  • do not have vaginal sex in late pregnancy, or do not allow deep penetration, and also be sure to use barrier contraception;
  • exclude unauthorized use of medications (especially those that have antispasmodic properties and also contain natural and synthetic hormones);
  • do not swim in open reservoirs and pools with cold water, as a sharp temperature change can provoke a reflex contraction of the muscle fibers of the vagina and cervix, which will lead to premature loss of the mucous plug;
  • do not lift objects or things whose weight exceeds 3 kg.

Before childbirth, the mucus plug, the photo of which resembles a clot of jelly-like mass, should remain in the cervical cavity for as long as possible. In order to preserve the health of the child and protect him from aggressive environmental influences, the plug comes out several hours before the onset of labor.

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