What's often referred to as "bloody show" is simply a mucus discharge that is tinged pink or brown with blood.

The bloody show is a sign of prelabor, meaning that labor is getting close. Passing a bloody show is a sign that your cervix is dilating and your body is starting to prepare for labor. As the cervix thins and dilates to prepare for a baby's passage through the birth canal, small blood vessels within the cervix frequently rupture. This tints the mucus pink or streaks it with blood. Bloody show can be one of the signs that labor is close. This "show" usually means labor will start within 24 hours, but it could still be up to several days away. An Overview of Prelabor Signs It is often difficult to tell when true labor begins. However, there are some early signs that signal labor is approaching. These are called prelabor signs. Prelabor signs and symptoms can precede real labor by a month or more, but sometimes they only show up a few hours before labor begins. Key signs of labor include thinning and dilation of the cervix. Yet there are a number of prelabor signs you might also notice. Specific prelabor signs include:
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Lightening and engagement Increase in Braxton Hicks contractions Increasing pressure in the pelvis and rectum Changes in energy level, mood, or habits Changes in vaginal discharge "Bloody show" Losing the mucus plug Diarrhea Rupture of membranes (your water "breaks").

Difference between bloody show and mucus plug The mucus plug is a gelatinous substance that basically "plugs up" your inner cervix, or os. This serves as a barrier against bacteria to help keep your baby safe. You can lose your mucus plug over a period of weeks, with just more gelatinous mucus when you wipe, or it can come out more "whole", looking like a big glob of snot. Your plug can also reform repeatedly.

When there is cervical change, small blood vessels (capillaries) break. The cervix is VERY vascular during pregnancy, so the opening of the cervix (or after sex) can create "bloody show". You can have bloody show without an apparent loss of the "plug". Some women never notice a loss of a big plug. It's much more gradual for many women, as the cervix thins and shortens prior to labor. Sometimes the plug - or the mucus lost gradually - can be pink, red or brown streaked. This is not really considered "show", but it does indicate some cervical change.