Losing the mucous plug: when attention is required

Normally, there are no specific signs of losing your mucus plug, like pain or feeling that something is torn away in your uterine cervix. Sometimes you may experience drawing feeling in the abdomen, but many women don’t notice any symptoms of mucus plug and even miss the moment they lost it. However, in some cases the discharge of the plug is accompanied by symptoms indicating dangerous situation with the health of the pregnant woman or her child.


The plug often comes out with some blood as the uterine cervix expands preparing for delivery, which can lead to the rupture of small blood vessels. Beige, grey, yellow, brown, white or clear mucus plug with some streaks of blood are common and this shouldn’t cause any concern. But you have to grow wary when if there is a large amount of blood of bright red color. This is a very dangerous sign of bleeding that can be caused by placental abruption. The placental abruption can lead to fetal hypoxia and death. Thus, if you have suspected bleeding, call the ambulance and go to the hospital immediately.

Changes in color

As we’ve said before, the plug can vary in color a lot, as well as in the level of transparency. But if you see the green mucus plug, you should inform your doctor about this as soon as possible. The fact is that the green color of the plug, as well as the similar color of the amniotic fluid, can be an evidence of fetal hypoxia. That is oxygen deprivation, which can threaten both the baby’s health and life. Therefore, you should have thorough examination, so that your doctor can find the real reason of the suspicious discharge.

Foul odor

Does the mucus plug smell? Normally, it doesn’t smell, so foul odor is an adequate reason for an urgent trip to the hospital. The foul odor can signal about a number of pathological conditions, therefore a pregnant woman needs a meticulous examination.

Premature birth

As we know, pregnancy is considered to be full-term from 37 weeks, by that time development of a fetus is completed. That’s why losing the mucus plug at 38 weeks cannot do any harm even if you think that the time of delivery has not come yet. Moreover, it’s quite possible that you have a week or two before labour. But passing the mucus plug at 33 weeks is quite a different story since this is a troubling sign of premature delivery. Naturally if you haven’t reached full-term pregnancy yet, the loss of the plug should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible and you should go to the hospital.

Bursting of waters

Sometimes mucus plug fall out along with bursting of amniotic fluid, and in some cases pregnant women take leaking of these waters for the plug discharge. Keep in mind that rupture of the amniotic sac completely deprives the child of protection against infection and leads to hypoxia. If bursting of the waters isn’t accompanied by contractions, it’s likely that your doctor will be forced to resort to labor induction. If the contractions have already started, it means that you’re in labour and it’s a high time to go to the hospital.

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