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Bloody show/passing of mucus plug when pregnant

If you see a thick, pinkish-brown, stringy discharge, you are probably approaching delivery time. Known as a “bloody show”, this is a sign that your mucus plug is shedding in preparation for the opening of your cervix in labor. It might come out gradually or as a solid chunk; both mean that your cervix is dilating.

What causes it?

Releasing your mucus plug occurs when blood vessels in your cervix rupture, but this is perfectly normal as the cervix opens prior to labor. The purpose of the mucus plug is to prevent harmful bacteria from entering the uterus and it is held in place by these blood vessels. It sheds or comes out as your cervix dilates.


Your bloody show may mean that it’s time for labor, or close, so you will probably be very excited and a little nervous. Make sure you call your healthcare provider when you release your mucus plug so that he or she can advise you on what steps to take next, depending on when in your pregnancy you lose the plug. Practice breathing and relaxation techniques to stay calm. Timing your contractions would also be a good idea once you pass your mucus plug so your provider will have a better sense of how far along you may be.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • Julie A. Lamppa, C.N.M., R.N, “Losing your mucous plug.” MayoClinic. Mayo Clinic, 11/15/2015. Web.

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