There are many doubts that pregnant women have, especially the first ones, about what the mucous plug is, how it is, what it is for and when it is expelled. We solve them all.
What exactly is the mucous plug?
The mucous plug is a substance that is responsible for closing the cervix or cervix and protecting the baby you expect from possible external infections. It is formed inside you, without you noticing, during the seventh week of gestation. When you expel it, you will see that it is a mucosanguinolent gelatinous secretion, sometimes whitish and sometimes more pinkish.
Its formation is related to the beginning of pregnancy and its expulsion, in principle, to the end of it.
When is the mucous plug removed?
It is expelled when cervical dilation begins , that is, when the opening of the uterine cervix begins. This communicates the uterus with the vagina and is opened thanks to the contractions , which, at the same time, cause the muscle fibers of the uterus to stretch.
The time of expulsion of the plug is an early sign of the onset of labor or its possible imminence, although sometimes, the least, it does not happen. Remember that the expulsion can occur while you are peeing, so it could go totally unnoticed; but calm, nothing would happen because in principle no action is required.
In the check-up with the gynecologist in the last month of pregnancy, the future mother is usually warned of this possibility.
What does the expulsion of the mucous plug indicate?
That there has probably been a modification of the cervix , either the beginning of its erasure or its dilation.As you know, the erasure, which is one of the parameters that determine whether labor has begun, is the softening of the cervix and its shortening. Dilation is the opening of the neck, which makes it possible for the baby to leave. The expulsion of the mucous plug occurs in one of these phases and is almost always the first sign of the beginning of labor.
Does it hurt when the mucous plug comes out?
You can be calm, the answer is negative. Your body has everything much more controlled than you think. In principle, there is no pain , unless the expulsion of the mucous plug is accompanied by the onset of contractions or uterine dynamics. In this case there is a pain similar to that of menstruation or even pain in the renal area.
Do sexual relations influence?
It is very likely that, after practicing sex with your partner, especially in the last weeks of pregnancy, you observe a discreet spotting, but you do not have to be alarmed, this is a sign that has no greater significance. It can be said that sexual relations do not affect the formation of the mucous plug or its expulsion at all, so in principle, keeping them in the last month of pregnancy is not contraindicated (unless it has been discouraged for other causes). .
Ejecting the mucous plug does it affect the baby?
In any way. In principle, fetal well-being is respected, insofar as there is integrity of the water bag (which contains the amniotic fluid). That is, having ejected the mucous plug does not indicate that the baby will be in danger . Of course, it is recommended that you take care of personal hygiene and, if possible, opt for the shower instead of the bathroom .
What if I eject the mucous plug early?
In principle, if contractions are not initiated , ejecting the mucous plug early does not have any significance . In fact, the number of days that pass from the expulsion of the mucous plug until the birth of the baby varies from one woman to another . And, although in general it does indicate that you are about to give birth there are occasions (the least) in which it may take two or even more weeks before you can see your baby’s face.
How do I know it is not a hemorrhage?
The expulsion of the mucous plug differs from a haemorrhage clearly because of the color , because in the latter the blood is red and, in some way, more “clean”. In addition, it is also distinguished because in bleeding the amount of fluid is more abundant.
How do I know that it is not amniotic fluid?
The plug is a mucosanguineous secretion. On the other hand, if the loss were of amniotic fluid it would be clearer, like urine. In this second case you should notify the specialist quickly, because the situation would have more serious implications and you may need some gynecological intervention or a specific treatment to stop the loss. Remember, in any case, that in the clinic there are means that offer very simple diagnoses to establish the difference precisely.
How will I know if I have to go to the doctor?
You should go to the doctor only if you see that you are bleeding heavily. In case of slight staining, it is not necessary to go to the consultation of any specialist. If there is bleeding as such, the problem should be notified to the gynecologist immediately because there are serious conditions that may be its origin.
What can be the reasons?
- Placenta previa: the placenta covers all or part of the cervix.
- Placental detachment: the placenta detaches itself from the walls of the uterus.