September 2, 2020 | By: Dr. Patti Haebe, N.M.D
Cervical Mucus: What is It?
Cervical mucus is such an important component of the female reproductive tract! Not only does it prevent bad things from entering the cervix but it also helps to transport semen safely into the uterus for conception.
If you’re already tracking cervical mucus, you may be familiar with its many different consistencies: dry, sticky, creamy, wet, watery, stretchy raw egg-white consistency. That super stretchy, slippery mucus is the one that indicates fertility. Your body actually changes your cervical mucus to this stretchy consistency to provide a sort of “scaffolding” that allows sperm to swim up directly to your uterus and fertilize your newly-released egg!
Estrogen is the hormone that triggers this glorious change in cervical mucus. Just before ovulation, estrogen increases and changes your cervical mucus into a stretchy, slippery substance.
A common topic of discussion is whether or not Mucinex (with the active ingredient “guaifenesin” ) can actually help to improve your cervical mucus. Mucinex, functions by increasing water secretion from mucus membranes, which increases the volume and helps loosen bonds between mucus molecules. This is thought to change its viscosity, leaving you with a consistency of cervical mucus that may benefit your fertility. That’s correct, your favorite go-to remedy when you have a cough may also have systemic effects on the body, including your cervical mucus.
If you are going to try Mucinex to improve your cervical mucus, it’s essential to avoid any antihistamines or decongestants that may be combined with the active ingredient, Guaifenesin, as these can actually dry up your cervical mucus, eliciting the opposite effect.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is a nutritional supplement often adored for its antioxidant and insulin-sensitizing properties, but it too has mucolytic (mucus-thinning) properties. NAC has been shown to thin mucus and create a better environment for conception. It is often used in conjunction with Clomid (clomiphene citrate) for fertility treatments and is thought to help combat the inhospitable side effects of clomid on cervical mucus.
Did you know that something as simple as increasing your water intake can also help to thin your mucus and increase its production? Shoot for at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily to make sure you are drinking enough to produce fertile mucus.
Now, before you run to your local drug store, take a look at your cycle and make sure all things are functioning well before adding in mucolytic agents. Could it be that your estrogen levels aren’t getting high enough to create cervical mucus? Is your LH peaking appropriately? Are you ovulating? Considering discussing your cycle by inviting your provider to view your data on Premom Provider or chat with one of Premom’s fertility specialists through your app!
Dr. Patti Haebe is a results-obsessed naturopathic doctor. She specializes in pre-conception preparation, fertility and hormone optimization. She is committed to root-cause healing through therapeutic supplementation as well as targeted diet and lifestyle modifications. Her virtual practice, Ocotillo Integrative Medicine, provides integrative consultations worldwide via webcam for those looking to incorporate natural, proactive approaches to their healthcare and fertility journey.