Table of contents:
- How to identify the mucus plug correctly
- When the buffer exits
- What to do after the mucus plug comes out
The mucus plug is a substance produced by the body in the first months of pregnancy, which aims to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from reaching the uterus and interfering with the development of the baby and the continuity of pregnancy. The tampon is located just after the vaginal canal, closing the cervix and remaining until the baby is ready to be born, in cases of pregnancy without any risk.
The discharge of the mucus plug is a sign that the cervix has started to soften/mature and therefore it is normal for it to happen around 37 weeks, when labor is approaching. The tampon is almost always gelatinous in consistency, but its color can vary from clear to reddish brown.
After the tampon comes out, it is common for light cramps to start and for the belly to present moments of hardening throughout the day, however this does not mean that you are already in labor, as this phase is marked by other symptoms, such as rhythmic contractions and the rupture of the water bag. Check out the main symptoms of early labor.
How to identify the mucus plug correctly
When it comes out, the plug usually comes off the uterus, it is similar to a whitish egg white and the size of 4 to 5 centimeters. However, it can vary in shape, texture and color, even in a risk-free pregnancy. The variations that the mucus plug can have are:
- Shape: whole or in pieces;
- Texture: egg white, firm gelatin, softened gelatin;
- Color: transparent, whitened, yellowish, reddish or, in some cases, in earthy tones similar to brown.
Because it has a very characteristic appearance, the release of the tampon is almost never confused with the rupture of the amniotic sac, as it does not cause pain and happens about 3 weeks before the expected date of birth.
When the buffer exits
The most common thing is that the mucus plug is released between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy and, in rarer cases, this may only happen during labor or when the baby is already being born. See the time it takes between the tampon coming out and the baby being born.
In the case of women who have had previous births, the tampon may come out several times during pregnancy, without being a sign of any problem or premature birth.
Can the tampon come out prematurely?
When the tampon comes out at an early stage of pregnancy, it is usually not a sign of a problem, it may just indicate that the body is still adapting to the changes brought about by pregnancy. Although the baby is more susceptible to infections during this period, the body quickly returns to producing a new tampon to protect the uterus again.
Therefore, the tampon coming out early should not be a cause for concern. However, it is always important to inform the obstetrician who is monitoring the pregnancy, so that they can assess whether there is any risk to the pregnancy.
What to do after the mucus plug comes out
After the mucus plug comes out, it is recommended to pay attention to other signs of the beginning of labor, such as rupture of the water bag or frequent and regular contractions. The release of the mucus plug does not necessarily indicate that labor will begin, it can take up to 3 weeks or more for this to happen. Learn how to identify the contractions that indicate the birth of the baby.