Losing the mucus plug is one the main physical changes that will occur to a women when she is getting ready to go into labor.
As the cervix dilates, the capillaries rupture, turning the mucus pink from the blood.
The thick layer of mucus has been blocking the opening to the cervix since the woman’s pregnancy began, but as the due date of the baby approaches, the plug dislodges and is passed out of the woman’s body.
This is one of the first major signs that the woman is nearing labor, and labor can commence within an hour of the mucus breaking apart, even though in most cases, it will take several days or more.
The cervix initially produces the mucus. The plug plays an important role by acting as a barrier, protecting from external infections during the pregnancy.
However, since every woman will not be expelling the mucus discharge visibly, it is not a foolproof way to tell when a woman will be going into labor.
Once the plug dislodges, labor could begin immediately, or in some cases the wait can even last up to three weeks. There is no need to panic in either case, these changes in the cervix ahead of entering labor are normal.
The sticky mucus dislocates and the dilation of the cervix pushes it into the vagina, from which it will come out eventually.
If the woman is unclear about what she is seeing, a visit to the doctor will help to rule out the possibility of any serious problems.
However, the mucus discharge, which is sticky and gelatinous, can sometimes be confused with watery amniotic fluid, which is something that should not be taken as lightly.
The discharge of amniotic fluid requires the immediate attention of a doctor.
If the discharge is copious and bright red, then a doctor should be contacted immediately. Bleeding resulting from a premature separation of the placenta may cause this type of discharge.
The mucus plug can be tinged with blood or clear in color.
Some women do not even notice the mucus discharge in their underpants, but once the discharge is noticed, the women can expect to go into labor soon after.
Women should not be scared when noticing the mucus, but if a person has any questions whatsoever, or is unsure of whether the discharge seen is this mucus or something else entirely, she should not hesitate to contact her doctor or gynecologist for a consultation and check-up.