Cervical mucus is a secretion of the columnar epithelium, which lines the upper part of the cervical canal located in the uterus.
This mucus, which resembles a jelly like substance, is secreted by the endocervical glands and will change in both consistency and appearance throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. In the first several days after the menstrual period has ended, there is very little mucus. However, as ovulation gets closer, the amount of mucus being secreted will increase and have the appearance of a sticky, cloudy- white look. By the time ovulation is about to occur, the mucus should resemble something closer to the uncooked white part of an egg, clearer, more elastic and slippery. After ovulation has ended, it will be thicker, cloudy and sticky, and will begin to decrease in amount until menstruation begins again.
Cervical mucus assists the sperm to survive inside of a woman’s vagina, giving the sperm something that they can attach to as they swim toward their ultimate goal, the egg. It also helps to protect the sperm from the acid that resides inside of a woman’s vagina, as well as to actually push the sperm through the vagina, into the cervix and help them get where they need to go. It also offers some important nutrients to the sperm, which aids them on their long adventure ahead by giving them energy. Cervical mucus also acts like a sort of quality control type of device for the sperm by first screening them, and then catching the ones that are swimming in a curved or irregular way.
Unfortunately, like so many other situations in life, things do not always work out the way they are supposed to, and instead of supporting and helping the sperm; the cervical mucus instead goes on the attack. This is called cervical hostility, and makes things much more difficult if you are trying to conceive a child. When cervical hostility occurs, the cervical mucus can actually kill the sperm before they ever reach the waiting egg, making it impossible to become pregnant. Some of the causes for cervical hostility are:
- 1 A poor and acidic type of diet
- 2 Certain medications
- 3 Diseases of the cervix or uterus and viruses of the vagina
- 4 Poor circulation to reproductive organs
- 5 Damage to the cervix or cervical cells due to biopsies or surgery
- 6 Stay hydrated
- 7 Borage Seed Oil
- 8 Robitussin
- 9 Evening Primrose Oil
- 10 Not receiving enough of essential fatty acids through diet
- 11 L-Arginine
- 12 Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
A poor and acidic type of diet
Cervical mucus in rather alkaline in its nature. In order to have cervical mucus that is more alkaline, you need to be more careful of just what you are eating. It is important to avoid processed foods such as, sugar, soda and more, especially dairy, as too much dairy can make your mucus way too thick and not at all the right consistency for the conception process. A diet that includes plenty of vegetables will help you to achieve this goal, as well as making certain that you stay adequately hydrated. Water is your best option.
Antihistamines can cause your cervical mucus to become hostile because they just don’t allow your body to make an adequate amount of cervical fluid that is so needed in order to facilitate the process of conception. Another very common medication that can have a bad effect on cervical mucus is Clomid. Now, this may seem surprising considering that Clomid is a fertility drug and is therefore supposed to help you to get pregnant, not hinder you. But Clomid actually causes a problem with cervical mucus in approximately 30% of women, so it would be best if you encounter this problem to have your doctor prescribe a different fertility drug to fix the issue.
Diseases of the cervix or uterus and viruses of the vagina
There can be many different types of these problems and the best option in this case is to visit your gynecologist for a complete checkup.
Poor circulation to reproductive organs
This is usually due to having too sedentary a lifestyle and can be remedied with some simple exercise. Don’t go overboard, just try to get off your feet and move around a bit.
Damage to the cervix or cervical cells due to biopsies or surgery
This type of problem with cervical mucus is not quite as easy to fix, but doctors are becoming quite creative with ways to help correct these specific types of problems.
Though there can be other things that may be affecting your cervical fluid, lubricants, age, stress etc., there are things that you can do to help. The following are tips for getting pregnant and a list of options that may assist you with creating some good quality cervical mucus that won’t attack your partner’s sperm. They include:
This is one of the simplest things you can do to improve cervical mucus. After all, 90% of cervical mucus is made up of water. Even if you are taking something else to help with your problem, if you are not keeping your body sufficiently hydrated, you may still have a reduction in cervical mucus. The answer, drink plenty of water each day.
Borage Seed Oil
Similar to Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Seed Oil is high in omega-6 essential fatty acids, balances hormones and helps to increase cervical mucus.
Though this sounds a little bit farfetched, it actually is not. The active ingredient in the cough syrup, Robitussin, contains an active ingredient called Guainfenisen, which has been used to help with thinning cervical mucus. Now, keep in mind, thinning of the mucus does not necessarily make you more fertile, as it doesn’t change the quality of your mucus, but it does give the sperm a better chance at reaching the egg if your mucus is not thick and sticky.
Evening Primrose Oil
This herbal supplement is a great help for assisting with fertility problems, especially those related to hostile cervical mucus as it improves the quality of the mucus and helps to make the hormonal balance better. It has been used for hundreds of years for this very problem and is also high in omega-6.
Not receiving enough of essential fatty acids through diet
If you are not getting enough of these with the foods you eat, consider the possibility of taking a complete omega supplement, which should have omega 3, 6 and 9. Essential fatty acids will help the following:
- Help to increase the needed egg white cervical mucus
- Aids with normalizing your cycles
- Increases blood flow to the uterus
- Regulates hormones
- Reduces sensitivity to prolactin, which is a hormone that has the ability to suppress ovulation
This is an essential amino acid supplement that is known for promoting cervical mucus production. This is done by supporting the production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and aids in the increase of blood flow to the ovaries, genitals and uterus.
Some other herbal remedies that work for some women include
- Red Clover
- Dandelion Root
- Marshmallow Root
- Shatavari Root
- Licorice Root
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This is a procedure that is performed in a doctor’s office. A catheter is used to put sperm that has already been washed and concentrated, directly into the woman’s uterus, which manages to avoid any problems that a woman may be having with cervical mucus.