Losing Your Mucus Plug In Pregnancy: What Does Losing Mucus Plug Mean

During pregnancy, the cervix produces mucus, which tends to get accumulated in the cervix. This mucus plug helps to protect the growing baby in the uterus from bacterial infections from the external environment.

The mucus plug in the vagina comprises of thick, stringy and viscous material which is thicker than the normal vaginal secretions. Often the mucus plug is lost just prior the labor, however lose of mucus plug is not always associated with labor.

What Does Losing Your Mucus Plug Mean?

During the eight or the ninth month of pregnancy, women often lose a part or the whole of the mucus plug.

Some women may not even notice the loss of mucus plug while others often become frightened and anxious. Losing mucus plug at towards the end of pregnancy is normal.

As the cervix starts dilating, by the thirty sixth week of pregnancy, most women complain of loss of mucus plug. If however you lose your mucus plug prior to the eighth month of pregnancy or if it is stained brown or red, consult your gynecologist immediately. This can be indicative of internal bleeding like in case of ‘placenta previa’ or a pre- term labor.

As per the American Pregnancy Association, one of the most important functions of the mucus plug is to block the opening of the cervix and prevent the entry of bacteria or other microorganisms into the uterus. As the cervix dilates towards the beginning of the pregnancy cycle, to allow the passage of the baby through the birth canal, the mucus plug is lost.

Losing The Mucus Plug During Pregnancy

There is no fixed time of losing the mucus plug. Some women may not lose the mucus plug till about a few hours prior to delivery, while in others the mucus plug may be lost several weeks before the delivery.

This is attributed to the fact that labor may take from a few hours to several days.

However, if the mucus plug is lost before the eighth month of pregnancy, it may be indicative of some internal problem. Often losing the mucus plug earlier than eighth month may be a sign of pre-term or premature delivery. Often the mucus plug is blood stained, which can be indicative of internal bleeding, often associated with dislodging of the placenta. Consult your gynecologist immediately in case any such changes are observed.

The mucus plug acts as a seal for the cervix and is meant to protect the cervix from any bacterial infection. The loss of the mucus plug is not always indicative of labor or doesn’t mean that the amniotic sac is open. The amniotic sac is sealed and protects the fetus even after the loss of the mucus plug. Once the amniotic sac is open (water breaks), will you be ready to have your baby.

More often than not, losing mucus plug prior to the eighth month of pregnancy is often a sign of false labor. False labor is not a serious condition but can cause a lot of anxiety and apprehension in the parents. Consult your physician in case of concern.