Clear Mucus Plug But No Bloody Show – When To Expect Labor?
The passing of the mucus plug is one indicator of impending pregnancy. Essentially, the plug acts as a barrier to the uterus, protecting it and the baby inside from bacteria and other irritants from outside. Once the cervix starts to efface as delivery approaches, this plug is passed along. Typically, the plug is brown to pink and the mucus carrying it is tinged with pink or red, but a clear mucus plug is quite normal as well.
The phrase “bloody show” can be confusing because for first time moms, it can indicate that the passing of the plug is a bloody and messy affair and, sometimes it is. However, AmericanPregnancy.org notes that some women don’t even know when they have passed their plug, as they are already experiencing higher than normal amounts of discharge in the first place. And, when the bloody show is less “bloody” and less “showy” than expected and a clear mucus plug is passed that goes unnoticed sans accompanying bloody show, it can leave some wondering if that’s the labor signal they’ve been looking for or not.
In fact, clear mucus discharge can come in abundant supply during pregnancy, according to JustMommies.com that points out that the hormonal changes encountered during pregnancy can lead to hyper production of the gooey clear mucus. And, when a clear mucus plug is passed and discharge volume is high, it can be completely missed.
The absence of a bloody mucus plug and accompanying show do not mean that the plug loss isn’t a sign of impending labor. A clear mucus plug that is passed without the big show involved also signals the beginning stages of delivery preparation. However, whether a bloody, red, pink, clear or brown mucus plug is passed, it’s not an indicator as to exactly when labor will begin, just that it is coming. Some women can go into labor as early as a few hours following passing their clear mucus plug, while others will not start to go into labor until days or in some cases even weeks later. The passing of the plug merely indicates the body’s preparations for labor, whereby the cervix begins its transition into a baby delivery device.
It’s not uncommon for women to associate cervical mucus as a prediction tool. In fact, changes in the lubricating and protective goo are still used as a means to identify fertility at various phases throughout the monthly cycle. Changes in mucus color, texture and consistency are used to determine days which are most fertile so that chances of pregnancy are increased (or avoided). And, the cervical mucus associated with the discharge of the uterus protecting plug also can be used as a predictive guide of sorts, although it’s simply not very accurate.
Unfortunately, while passing a clear mucus plug can signal impending labor, it doesn’t come with a time and date stamp and so therefore it’s merely more of a warning sign that it’s time to be ready. Of course, this could mean to be ready in as little as a few hours or as long as a few weeks. Using the passing of the clear mucus plug in conjunction with how far along the pregnancy is can provide some clues. If the 40 week mark is approaching rapidly, the plug passage may indicate a much sooner labor. But, if the 36 week mark has just come, there may still be some more waiting involved.
Pregnancy is a very exciting time, and wanting to know when labor is going to begin is very common among expecting moms. However, until either labor pains begin or the water breaks, there is simply no way of telling just when that time will be. But, the mucus plug does serve as a clue; a hint of sorts that can serve as a means to know when to pack bags for the hospital or make a checklist and other preparatory measures for baby’s arrival. Of course, in some cases, as noted by Whattoexpect.com, the plug passage can signal labor in as little as a few hours as well, there is just no telling. But, the color of the plug and presence or lack thereof of bloody show doesn’t serve as any more of an indicator when pregnancy is near than when things present in any other fashion. It’s normal for the plug to be clear to brown to pink or red in color with tinged mucus to accompany. And, while these subtle differences are normal, it’s very important that when excessive blood is present (more than two teaspoons) or, it’s bright red in color, that a health care provider be contacted immediately.