If you’ve been pregnant for more than 37 weeks, chances are you’ve heard the term “bloody show.” It’s a common symptom of late pregnancy that can accompany other signs of labour like cramping and pelvic pressure.
Some women experience only the tiniest amount of blood, while others have to change their pad or tampon multiple times throughout the day. Either way, if you notice pink or brown discharge on your underwear (or pad or tampon) after being checked out by your doctor and it lasts more than 1 to 2 days, it’s time to head back to the hospital to be evaluated.
What Is Bloody Show
Bloody Show is a phenomenon that occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. The term “bloody show” refers to the appearance of blood-tinged mucus in the vaginal discharge and is considered a sign that labour is imminent.
It is acceptable to have a bloody discharge as early as week 37 of pregnancy. They might show up in weeks 39 or 40. This is an organic indication that labour has begun. A few days or even hours after the first bleeding, delivery can occur. Discharge that manifests before the 36th week may be a sign of preterm labour.
The colour of this discharge tends to be red or pinkish-brown and may resemble raw egg whites. It can also appear as a watery discharge with small clots throughout it. If you experience this kind of vaginal bleeding in late pregnancy, DO NOT panic—it’s normal!
The mucus plug will emerge from the cervix as a thick, gel-like discharge that is either clear or faintly pink.
Bloody show differs from other types of bleeding in that it has a thick, gelatinous, and occasionally stringy texture. It can sometimes be so thinly blooded that it appears translucent. Bloody show can also occasionally be pink or have blood streaks in it.
At the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, a small amount of blood may come out. They start if a woman had a really active day, lifted a lot of weight, was exhausted, or was under a lot of stress. These elements exacerbate symptoms. If the signs of bloody discharge start to appear earlier, it is best to see a doctor.
A slick liquid that is naturally created by your body is mucus. Including the mouth, nose, throat, stomach, intestines, and vagina, glands in these organs create it.
The body produces mucus to ward against infection and maintain healthy functioning. Depending on where it is in your body, mucus can act as a lubricant, a protective barrier, or a material that aids in trapping or eliminating foreign objects.
During pregnancy, a large piece of mucus called the mucus plug prevents your cervix from opening. It creates a seal to stop germs and infections from entering your uterus and harming your unborn child.
Consider it as a wall separating your vagina from the uterus, where the baby is. As your cervix starts to dilate (open) and efface (soften and thin) in preparation for labour, you will lose this plug.
Your cervix starts to soften, thin, and open as your body gets ready to go into labour. Your cervix’s mucus plug becomes loose as a result. It pushes the mucous into your vagina. You can think of this as losing your mucus plug.
What does mucus plug discharge look like?
The texture, size, and appearance will differ. Typically, the mucus plug is
- Colours that are clear, slightly off-white, or crimson (red, brown, or pink).
- Texture is stringy, gooey, and jelly-like.
- Measuring between 1 and 2 inches.
- Amount: 1 to 2 teaspoons.
- Almost odourless.
Your mucus plug may disappear all at once or it may do so gradually over time without your knowledge. A little bit of bleeding is typical, but significant bleeding could indicate placental abruption, placenta previa, or other pregnancy issues. In case you experience significant bleeding while pregnant, get in touch with your doctor.
Mucus Plug vs Bloody Show
Although they differ significantly, they are closely linked. Both take place at the end of pregnancy as your cervix enlarges in anticipation of labour.
The bloody show signifies that you are about to deliver your baby. A bloody show is a discharge that contains little mucus traces and is bloody. Your cervix’s expanding size causes blood vessels to burst, which causes the bloody show. It happens when the cervix starts to dilate and thin out. The blood comes from the vagina, but it does not mean that you are losing too much blood.
The mucus plug is a thick layer of mucus that covers your cervix. The discharge from mucus plugs is stringy and jelly-like. It’s a buildup of mucus. It keeps bacteria and germs out of your uterus during pregnancy but breaks apart as labour begins.
Image Source: iStock
Is A Bloody Show A Sign of Labor?
A bloody show is a preparation for labour. How long after a bloody show labour will occur is not known with precision. This changes depending on the woman and the stage of the pregnancy.
The bloody show can accompany other signs of labour, including contractions, nausea, vomiting, and backache. While many women experience these symptoms in the third trimester, this does not necessarily mean they will go into labour soon. It may simply be a sign that your body is preparing for delivery.
Signs of Bloody Show
The most obvious indication that a bloody show has taken place is a bloody mucous discharge from your vagina. Sometimes there are no symptoms.
Some women who have a bloody show also have additional signs of labour:
- Cramps: You can get cramps that feel like period pain that come and go over the course of hours or even days.
- Pelvic pressure: You may feel pressure in your pelvis (also known as “lightening”), vagina, or back as the baby descends from your abdomen.
- Contractions: You can experience tightening in your uterus that gets stronger and lasts longer.
These symptoms are strong cues that your cervix is dilatation to get ready for labour.
Bloody Show But No Contractions
When you’re pregnant, it’s not uncommon to experience some bleeding. This is called a “bloody show,” and it happens when the membranes surrounding your baby rupture. It can come on suddenly or gradually, but either way, it’s a sign that your body is preparing for labour.
But if you’ve been waiting for those contractions to kick in and you find yourself with the bloody show and no contractions, don’t worry! You may just be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t experience labour pains until after the baby has arrived.
How Much Bloody Show Is Normal
It depends on where you are in your pregnancy. When you wipe after peeing, it might just be a drop or two of blood in the first trimester. It could be as much as half a pad an hour in the second trimester during your period. And in the third trimester, it may look like heavy period bleeding (like when you’re on your period) or light spotting (like when you get your period).
What Are the Causes of a Bloody Show
The bloody show signifies that your cervix is ripening and beginning to dilate. It’s also a sign that you may soon be going into labour.
Some things, including the following, can cause it:
- Uterine contractions: if you’re in labour, your cervix will start to thin and open up. This can sometimes cause the membranes to break and cause bleeding.
- Vaginal infection: if you have an infection in your vagina, it could cause some bleeding. Other symptoms like discharge or itching may also accompany this.
- Placenta previa: if your placenta is covering your cervix, this can cause bleeding as well. If you have placenta previa, it’s important to get checked out right away so that doctors can determine whether or not they need to deliver early due to complications with the baby’s health (like being exposed to too much blood).
How Often Do Women Have Bloody Show and Not Go Into Labour
The answer is: it’s not always.
Most women will experience a bloody show at some point during their pregnancies. It is caused by the buildup of blood in your uterus, which can be caused by increased hormone levels or an infection in your cervix (the opening to the uterus). The blood is generally pink or brownish and may be accompanied by a watery discharge.
The bloody show varies from woman to woman, but if you see an increase in how much blood comes out when you wipe yourself after urinating, this could signify that your baby may be on its way soon!
However, some women don’t go into labour after experiencing this type of bleeding—even though their bodies are ready for birth. This does not mean that something went wrong during pregnancy; instead, it’s just one more piece of evidence that shows us how different each pregnancy is from person to person!
How Long After Bloody Show Does Labour Start
It is difficult to predict with certainty when a woman will go into labour after a bloody show because every pregnancy is different. However, some women might go into labour a day or two after having a bloody period.
If you’re pregnant and wondering how long after a bloody show does labour starts, you’re not alone. The average time between the first appearance of a bloody show and birth is only two days, but it can range from 1 to 10 days.
Most women start having contractions between weeks 37 and 42 of their pregnancy. Preterm labour, which occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is referred to as premature labour.
The beginning of labour, the indications of labour, and the duration of labour all vary from woman to woman and even from pregnancy to pregnancy, just as every woman’s pregnancy is unique.
Should I Go to Hospital With Bloody Show
If you are experiencing a bloody show, you may be wondering whether or not you should go to the hospital. Many different factors can influence your decision. First and foremost, it’s important to know that this is a normal part of pregnancy and does not indicate something wrong.
The next thing to consider is that going to the hospital does not necessarily mean anything will happen—you may be sent home with instructions to rest and relax. If your doctor sees no reason for concern, this will happen.
On the other hand, if your doctor sees cause for concern, he or she might recommend immediate admission into an obstetric unit to monitor your baby’s heartbeat and observe. This might also be recommended if you doubt how far along in labour you are or how well the baby is doing.
In some cases—if there are signs of infection or placenta previa (the placenta blocks off part of the cervix), for example—you might need emergency surgery before being admitted into an obstetric unit.
What Should I Do After My Bloody Show
If you are having a bloody show, it can be stressful and scary. You may be wondering what to do next.
First, take a deep breath and relax. Many women experience a bloody show during their first pregnancy, but it does not mean something is wrong. If you are experiencing a bloody show for the first time, chances are nothing is wrong.
Here are some steps that might help make this process easier:
- Keep track of your contractions and when they start,/end so that if you need medical attention, you will have this information handy. It can also help your doctor determine your pregnancy’s length if needed.
- Eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables to ensure your body gets all the nutrients needed to support your baby and yourself during this period.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated throughout this process and during labour itself once it begins in earnest later on down the line; dehydration can cause headaches (and headaches can cause contractions!), so make sure you stay hydrated!
When it comes to labour and birth, understanding what you can expect when you go into labour can help ease any anxiety or fears you might have about giving birth. If you have any questions and concerns, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Updates from Matt Doctor
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