Mucous tampon: know what it is like and if it can cause colic

During pregnancy, there are several changes that occur in the woman’s body, and the presence of the mucous plug is one of them.

Also called a Schroeder stopper, this plug is nothing more than a mucus that forms at the entrance to the cervix. It is like a protective barrier that prevents bacteria and other microorganisms, present in the vaginal canal, from coming into contact with the fetus.

In the following text, we explain the main characteristics of the mucosal plug and what it indicates. Check out!

What is mucous plug?

The mucous plug is like a “stopper” that forms in the cervix, located at the end of the vaginal canal) during pregnancy. The mother’s body begins to produce this secretion during the first month of pregnancy . It acts as a barrier in the region to protect the baby from possible infections.

This “stopper” is actually a very thick, gelatinous mucus, with a color that varies from whitish, transparent, yellowish, pink and brown. It should not have a strong and unpleasant smell or cause pain when you leave.

Near the end of pregnancy, this plug (called a mucous plug or Schroeder’s plug) is eliminated.

This is an indication that the woman’s body is beginning to enter the dilation process and that contractions may soon arise for labor to begin.

The time between the removal of the tampon and delivery can vary widely.

In some women, the tampon comes out 2 weeks before the baby is born, in others it may occur a few days before or on the same date of birth.

Therefore, when noticing that this mucus has left, it is necessary to be extra careful to other signs of birth, such as bursting bag and contractions.

How is the pregnant woman’s mucous plug?

The mucous plug has an aspect similar to vaginal discharge, but the difference is that it is usually much thicker and with a gelatinous texture. Usually, the color of the mucus is between a faint or transparent yellow. But there are pregnant women who have a mucous plug in color variations such as green, pink and brown.

In first-time pregnant women, it is common for this secretion to be more pink or reddish, due to the presence of blood mixed with mucus.

Because they have a more rigid uterine wall, it is more common for blood vessels to rupture during pregnancy.

In women who have already gone through a pregnancy, the uterine wall is usually more elastic, therefore, rupture of the vessels is less common.

Thus, the mucous plug usually has a more pale yellow or transparent appearance (egg white).

Therefore, just as there are different types of vaginal discharge ( brown , white , yellow etc.), the secretion can be characterized as:

  • Green mucous plug;
  • Liquid mucous plug;
  • Transparent mucous plug;
  • Brown mucous plug;
  • White mucous plug;
  • Pink mucous plug (with blood);
  • Yellowish mucous plug.

Read more: Ninth month of pregnancy: what to know about the last gestational month

When does the mucous plug come out?

The mucous plug, in most cases, comes out when delivery is close, between the 37th and 42nd weeks. However, this time varies widely. It may be that the elimination occurs 1 week before or even on the same day of delivery. This depends a lot on the dilation, the contractions and the pregnant woman’s body.

Losing the mucous plug is a good sign for anyone who is waiting to have a natural birth, as it indicates that the cervix has thinned and that contractions and dilation may be coming.

It is also important to know that it is not the same thing as breaking the bag, as the bag is the loss of amniotic fluid, while the plug is thick mucus.

Not all women perceive this exit, as it can be eliminated gradually (in pieces) or not be so thick, and can be mistaken for a discharge.

In rarer cases, the tampon may only come out during labor, when you are already in the hospital, or afterwards, along with other waste that the uterus expels after the baby is born.

Read more: Symptoms in the 36th week of pregnancy

Can the tampon come out ahead of time?

You can, but it is more rare to leave before or at the beginning of pregnancy. When this happens, it does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with the pregnancy or with the woman’s body, it may just be a reaction to the changes caused by the pregnancy.

It is not a good thing when this happens due to the increased vulnerability of the uterus to infections.

When the mucous plug comes out ahead of time, this protective barrier is lost. Thus, microorganisms more easily reach the uterus.

Among the possible consequences is the early rupture of the amniotic fluid pocket.

In severe cases, therefore, it can cause a premature birth . But before a woman is worried, it is important to be calm.

Losing the mucus plug early does not put you in a risky pregnancy situation. What is indicated is just greater care, such as wearing comfortable clothes and leaving the vaginal area well ventilated (avoiding infections).

The obstetrician must be advised so that she can guide the pregnant woman on what to do to avoid infections.

What happens when the mucous plug comes out?

When the mucous plug comes out, it is a sign that the time of delivery is approaching. It does not mean that childbirth will necessarily take place in the next few hours or moments, although it is possible. But if the pregnancy is already in the final stretch, it is important to maintain the care for that. The warning signal comes with the start of contractions.

Mucous tampon came out ahead of time. And now? Does it regenerate?

Losing the mucous plug without being close to the expected delivery time (around 9 months) does not mean that the baby will be born. And elimination ahead of time is not a problem either, as it is relatively common for it to leave early, just being a sign that the body is processing the changes.

As it acts as a protective barrier between the child and the outside environment, there may be greater risks of infections.

But moms can rest easy, as the tendency is for the body to produce it again. However, it is always worth talking to professionals who accompany the pregnancy to make an appropriate assessment of the condition.

Did the mucous plug come out?

The mucous plug may be different in some women. With a more gelatinous aspect, it can come out at once and “whole”.

In some cases, it can happen that the mucous plug ends up gradually escaping.

Therefore, it is important for the woman to be attentive when going to the bathroom and to notice if there is any different secretion in the panties or in the toilet paper when cleaning herself

The color also varies a little, being more whitish, yellowish, pink and brown.

When realizing that he left, or that he is leaving little by little, the pregnant woman should pay attention to the other signs of childbirth and, when she has any other symptoms, she should seek medical help.

How do you know if it is a mucous plug or a discharge?

Both are a type of mucus secreted through the vaginal canal, but there are differences. In addition to the much thicker and gelatinous aspect, the mucous plug is released by pregnant women, usually when they are in a more advanced stage, close to childbirth. Remembering that discharge is something common, regardless of pregnancy.

In the case of discharge, it is normal for it to be between white and transparent, without a strong or unpleasant smell or the presence of other symptoms such as itching, pain and burning in the vaginal region.

The mucous plug should also not have an unpleasant odor and other symptoms, but it may show a greater color variation without indicating that there is anything wrong with the woman’s health.

In both cases, if the woman suspects that the condition is not normal or if she has other symptoms, she should seek medical advice.

Is mucus plug normal with blood?

-Yeah . Because it is possible to rupture some blood vessels in the cervix region, the mucous plug may come out with the presence of a little blood. However, it is necessary to know how to recognize when the amount of blood in the mucus is harmless and normal.

Generally, the presence of blood is very small, like a small escape from menstruation.

Therefore, if the bleeding is very different from that, that is, in large volume or persistent, the pregnant woman should see a doctor as soon as she can.

Read more: Pregnancy week by week: baby’s symptoms, stages and formation

Does it hurt when the mucous plug comes out?

No . The common thing is that the loss of this mucous plug does not cause pain, because a very small volume of gelatinous mucus is secreted. Although it is possible to feel it coming out, it shouldn’t be something that causes discomfort and pain. If it occurs, you need to seek medical advice.

Does mucous tampon smell? Does it cause colic?

Yes , the mucous plug has a characteristic odor, just as some types of discharge may have. However, this smell should not be unpleasant and strong. In such cases, it is important to see a doctor to confirm that there is no infection and that everything is fine.

In the case of colic, there is no direct relationship between the mucous plug and this symptom. That is, the secretion does not cause cramps.

But cramping can occur after the tampon is removed because the time of delivery is approaching.

How long after the tampon comes out is the baby born?

It depends . Although the exit of the mucous plug is an indication that the pregnancy is close to the end, the time between secretion and delivery varies greatly for each pregnant woman.

It may take 1, 5, 10 or more days between the release of the tampon and the birth of the baby.

Therefore, the woman should be calm and pay attention to other signs of childbirth, such as contractions, dilation and rupture of the bag (release of amniotic fluid).

Read more: How is a normal childbirth? Really hurts? Walkthrough and video

What to do after leaving the mucous plug?

Basically, nothing. You need to be calm, as the delivery may take a few days or weeks. A nervousness or anxiety at this time can make waiting for the mother even more difficult.

The recommendation is that she be attentive to signs of labor only, such as the loss of amniotic fluid (bursting bag), contractions, cramps and bleeding.

With these signs, contact with the doctor or obstetrician must be made immediately, to be evaluated if the pregnancy is really going to labor.

While the signs do not appear, the woman can take care of the preparations for the arrival of the baby, prepare the maternity bag and leave the important documents already separated.


For pregnant women who are approaching childbirth, it is important to know what the mucous plug is and how to proceed when it is eliminated.

This moment is a good indicator, especially for those who want a natural birth.

So don’t be alarmed when you notice the mucus coming out. It is a normal condition and its fundamental presence to protect the health of the baby and the pregnant woman.

Here at Minute Healthy you can find everything about pregnancy! Keep checking our articles.

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