Blood in Cervical Mucus in Pregnancy – Should I Worry?
Pregnancy can be a challenging time. The body goes through some (literally) enormous changes, and that can be scary, especially when things happen that may seem like they’re abnormal. Because of the physical and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for random or even recurrent episodes of unexplainable things to happen. And, since every woman is different, it can even be difficult to pinpoint the cause of different happenings during gestation. One occurrence that can be particularly alarming is blood in cervical mucus leavings, and it can create instant worry and panic.
Believe it or not, cervical mucus is incredibly useful stuff. One of its primary purposes is to provide a barrier of protection for the sensitive tissues of the cervical area and also, to catch and remove bacteria and other “nasties” and keep them from getting near the reproductive organs. It also helps assist in pregnancy, providing a thick boat ride of sorts for traveling sperm when it its ultra fertile egg white cervical mucus state. However, sometimes cervical mucus can be alarming. Changes in texture, color or odor that aren’t common can be unnerving. And, when this occurs during pregnancy, it can be even scarier. Blood in cervical mucus however, does occur during pregnancy, and for some rather ordinary reasons.
Most women (whether having a first child or not) have either themselves experienced, or heard about the bloody show. This is a graphic representation of the body preparing itself for delivery, and occurs typically just a few days prior to labor beginning. Essentially, the bloody show consists of the passing of the mucus plug that has been protecting the cervix during pregnancy. WhatToExpect.com points out that commonly, mucus discharge that is pink or brown and often stringy can result. This cause of blood in cervical mucus is of course nothing to worry about. And, when it occurs at about the right time and there are no other unusual symptoms present, red, pink or brown cervical mucus can be simply more a sign that an overnight bag needs packed than it is that anything is wrong.
In fact, most of the typical causes of blood in cervical mucus during pregnancy are nothing to worry about, and some of them are even sort of funny. For instance, when the mucus plug (that which is passed during the cervical transition in preparation for delivery) is disturbed by activities such as intercourse, the result can be bloody mucus discharge. This can occur even prior to the bloody show. And, that same disruption and resulting discharge (although caused by a much less enjoyable activity) can occur from vaginal examinations by a health care provider, as occurs commonly during the latter two trimesters of pregnancy.
However, WhatToExpect.com points out that while most causes of blood in cervical mucus are normal and expected, there are some serious causes of bloody mucus that can be medical emergencies. Placenta abruption or placenta previa can create bright red discharge and increase the volume of same substantially. If the bloody discharge is greater in volume than two tablespoons, health care should be sought immediately.
There are other times that mucus color can be alarming when blood is involved. Black discharge, for instance, can be especially unusual. But, most often, it’s still just a result of blood in cervical mucus. When blood dries or gets old, the color can get much, much darker and can appear black. When it mixes in with mucus, the result can be an oddly hued and unusual end result. But, in most cases, black discharge is nothing more than regular mucus mixed with old blood, according to WiseGeek. However, there are other unusual causes of this as well. A forgotten foreign object can be one culprit and, unfortunately, WiseGeek also mentions an ominous potential cause of black discharge (although incredibly rare) – cervical cancer.
The majority of the time, finding blood in cervical mucus is nothing at all to worry about. It’s most likely the end result of too much action in the region of the mucus plug or a friskier than normal vaginal examination. However, there are potentially dangerous and sinister causes of cervical mucus that contains blood. And, therefore when accompanied by other symptoms or when occurring at a time that doesn’t make sense, it’s important to seek medical advice promptly to rule out more serious and potentially hazardous causes.