Is it the Mucus plug or a discharge? Am I bleeding? When does it come out? How long after your mucus plug do you go into Labour? Sit back and relax, here are the answers you needed.

What is the mucus plug?

The mucus plug is a jelly of mucus that forms in the cervical canal early in your pregnancy. It functions as a protective seal that shields your body and your baby from bacteria and infections that could potentially enter the uterus from the outside. As Braxton Hicks contractions and labor contractions progress, you are likely to “lose” the plug, which eventually detaches from the dilating canal and falls out.

What does the mucus plug look like?

Typically, the mucus plug is clear, whitish, and/or has shades of pink, red, or brown due to blood. In terms of texture, the mucus plug is sticky and jellyish, stretching like egg white when pinched between fingers.

foto de um tampão mucoso no papel

Mucus Plug or Discharge?

The main differences are observed in color and texture. While vaginal discharge is yellowish, thin, and feels more pasty, the mucus plug is more jellyish, sticky, and has a whitish color, often with reddish tones due to contact with blood.


If you’re still not sure, it’s best to observe the color and pinch it between your index finger and the thumb: if it’s sticky and stretches like egg white, it’s the mucus plug. If it doesn’t stretch and is more pasty, it’s discharge.

mucus plug and water breaking
Mucus plug and water breaking - Image credits: inviTRA

How to know if the plug is coming out?

You may notice a bit of blood in your underwear, sometimes a little whitish. In small amounts, it is common, however, if you lose moderate or large amounts of blood, seek medical attention immediately.

What happens when the mucus plug comes out?

Losing the mucus plug usually (but not 100% of the time) means that your cervix has begun to dilate, indicating that labor is approaching. This is because the plug is “attached” to the walls of the cervical canal, and as dilation begins, the walls naturally start to separate, and the plug eventually detaches and falls out.

At what week do you usually lose your mucus plug?

There’s no exact time for when this process “should” start. In fact, many women only lose the plug when they are already in active labor. Others lose it weeks before delivery. The release of the mucus plug depends more on the onset of contractions than on the weeks of gestation.

Can mucus plug regenerate itself?

The mucus plug can come out all at once or in “multiple pieces”, that is, it will detach gradually over time, and the woman may not even realize that she is already losing her mucus plug – which is quite common.

O tampão mucoso se refaz ou regenera?

Yes, the mucus plug can regenerate. This happens because your body is constantly producing vaginal mucus during pregnancy to keep the birth canal hydrated and protected against invading organisms and infections. Therefore, you don’t need to worry if you are gradually losing your plug or if the plug comes out ahead of time. Your body can regenerate the plug!

Green or Yellowish Mucus Plug: should I be concerned?

The plug may appear slightly yellow or somewhat greenish in some cases without necessarily indicating an infection. However, if you notice a bad odor, you should see a doctor and undergo all the recommended tests to identify possible infections. A healthy mucus plug is typically reddish, pink, or brown.

Doula Aline Rossi

Aline Rossi is the founder and writer behind Villa Mater. Aline is a Brazilian mother expat in Portugal, feminist, certified birth and postpartum doula, having supported dozens of women in home and hospital births, as well as in the transition to motherhood after childbirth. Devoted admirer of Maria Montessori and Paulo Freire works on education and pedagogy.


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    Villa Mater is an information website based on scientific evidence about pregnancy, motherhood and education, with a strong commitment to the rights of women and children.