10 Tips to Enhance Cervical Mucus
There are dozens of factors that can influence your fertility. Your diet, age, and the quality and quantity of your eggs are a few of the most important factors.
However, the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus may also play a role in your chances of getting pregnant.
What Is Cervical Mucus and How Does it Impact Pregnancy?
Cervical mucus is a fluid that is produced by glands in the cervix. The primary role of this mucus is to support the sperm traveling through your cervix to the uterus. It is a long and difficult path that most sperm will not make. However, the fluid helps to nourish and shield the sperm.
Ensuring that your cervix is producing enough quality cervical mucus may help increase the chances of successful fertilization. Along with helping the sperm reach the egg, the mucus supplies the sperm with nourishment, helping to increase the lifespan and health of the sperm.
The quantity and quality of this mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle. Production tends to increase just before ovulation. As ovulation approaches, estrogen levels spike, causing the cervix to produce more mucus.
When ovulation brings an increase to mucus production, the mucus also tends to be higher quality. At this point, the cervical mucus is often clear and somewhat stretchy, similar to the texture and consistency of an egg white.
Detecting this clear, white mucus allows women to determine when they are most fertile and therefore likely to conceive.
Most Common Causes of Cervical Mucus Problems
Instead of noticing a clear white mucus, you may notice a thick or dry discharge or no discharge at all. There are many possible causes of cervical mucus problems including hormonal imbalances, yeast infections, inflammation, medication side effects, overall health, and age.
While you cannot turn back time and reduce your age, you can address the other potential causes of cervical mucus problems.
Top 10 Tips to Increase Cervical Mucus Production
If you are concerned about the quality or quantity of your cervical mucus, there are several home remedies and methods that may help. However, these methods are not backed by detailed scientific research. They are simply based on anecdotes.
While these methods may not be verified by science, many women claim that their successful pregnancies were a direct result of these solutions.
These are natural recommendations that may assist with cervical mucus production. However, they are also great tips to follow to improve your overall health, which is another factor that may impact your fertility.
1. Drink Plenty of Water Each Day
Dehydration can impact almost every bodily function, including the production of cervical mucus. If you notice dry, thick mucus, you may simply need to drink more water.
The same as the rest of your body, cervical mucus is also mostly comprised of water. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. No, you cannot count soda or sugary beverages toward your goal.
If you do not like drinking plain water, there are plenty of ways of spicing up the liquid. Try adding a squirt of lime, lemon, or any other juice.
2. Drink Grapefruit Juice
Drinking grapefruit juice may help address a pH imbalance with your cervical mucus. When your mucus is too acidic, it will not protect the sperm traveling through your cervix.
Many women claim that drinking grapefruit juice helped increase their cervical mucus production. Try drinking one glass of fresh grapefruit juice each day.
However, you may want to avoid drinking grapefruit juice made from concentrate. It contains more sugar, which is something else that you should cut back on.
While drinking grapefruit juice may help with cervical mucus production, you should use caution to avoid drinking too much grapefruit juice. Consuming too much of this juice may interfere with prescription medications, promote tooth decay, and increase the risk of weight gain.
3. Take Nutritional Supplements
L-arginine is especially beneficial as it helps to release nitric oxide. Increasing nitric oxide promotes better blood circulation to your vagina and womb, which may help with the discharge of cervical mucus during ovulation. As a bonus, L-arginine may boost your libido.
4. Start Taking Herbal Supplements
Along with nutritional supplements, you may want to start taking herbal supplements or include fresh herbs in your meals.
Beneficial herbs that may assist with mucus quality and production include dandelion, licorice root, marshmallow root, ginger root, and Gingko biloba. These herbs provide several advantages that may assist with mucus production and your overall fertility.
The herbs listed have been used for thousands of years to promote better blood circulation and support the health of reproductive organs. They may also help to correct a hormonal imbalance, which is one of the potential causes of mucus problems.
5. Eat More Vegetables
Eating more vegetables may help correct a pH imbalance. If your cervical mucus is too acidic, it will not protect the sperm. In fact, acidic mucus creates a hostile environment for the sperm to travel.
Luckily, plenty of dark green vegetables have high alkalinity to help restore the correct pH balance.
6. Take an Expectorant Cough Medicine
Taking an expectorant cough medicine may help to thin out your cervical mucus. If your mucus tends to be thick, it may not allow sperm to penetrate the cervix and reach your uterus.
You may try to correct this problem by taking a cough medicine containing guaifenesin
Guaifenesin is the main active ingredient in many expectorant cough medicines. You take these medicines to help thin the mucus in your lungs. The theory is that this ingredient can produce the same effect for your cervical mucus.
7. Use a Sperm-Friendly Lubricant
There are many lubricants that contain ingredients that may harm sperm and possibly irritate the tissues in your vagina. Lubricants that contain petroleum, mineral oil, or latex may cause problems.
If you want to use lubricant, look for water-based products with natural ingredients. These lubricants will not cause any additional problems to your mucus production.
8. Avoid Antihistamines or Decongestants
Antihistamines and decongestants may cause your cervical mucus to dry up. If you suffer from allergies or nasal congestion, you should look for alternatives to these medications.
Natural antihistamines include quercetin, stinging nettle, bromelain, and vitamin C. Quercetin is an antioxidant that you can get by eating more apples, onions, and other fruits and vegetables. It also offers anti-inflammatory properties that may help with your mucus production.
Stinging nettle is an herb that is commonly used to relieve allergy symptoms. You can get it in a herbal supplement or use freeze-dried nettles. Bromelain can be found in pineapples or in supplements while vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables.
9. Avoid Processed Sugar and Grains
Processed sugars and grains are known to increase the risk of various health issues, including obesity and heart disease. Limiting these foods may help you avoid certain fertility issues and increase your mucus secretion.
Consuming lots of sugar may cause spikes in your blood sugar levels, which causes your pancreas to release additional insulin. High levels of insulin may inhibit ovulation along with the increased production of estrogen that is needed to support the secretion of cervical mucus.
By cutting back on the sugar and grains, you may experience normal insulin levels and start improving your overall health.
10. Avoid Smoking
The final tip for increasing cervical mucus production is to stop smoking. Nicotine becomes concentrated in your cervical mucus and it can directly affect your vaginal and cervical lining. The nicotine can also reduce your total bodily fluids, causing your mucus to dry.
Smoking may also affect your pregnancy as it is known to increase the risk of birth defects. So, if you are trying to conceive, you may as well quit smoking now.
Last Thoughts on Improving the Quality of Cervical Mucus
Monitoring the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus may help you determine the best time to conceive. An increase in mucus production may indicate that ovulation is about to start, signaling that you are fertile and ready to try getting pregnant.
Healthy mucus should look almost the same as egg whites. When it is dry, thick, or non-existent, sperm may have more trouble reaching the egg. To address these issues, consider using the tips discussed.
Focus more on your health, stay hydrated, and take additional steps to increase the quality and secretion of this valuable mucus.
Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you can use natural methods to affect cervical mucus production. While these tips may help to increase the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus, there is currently no scientific research to back these methods.
If you want to know more about cervical mucus issues and how to improve fertility, you should also discuss these matters with your doctor or a fertility specialist.
- Nelson TM, Borgogna JC, Michalek RD, Roberts DW, Rath JM, Glover ED, Ravel J, Shardell MD, Yeoman CJ, Brotman RM. Cigarette smoking is associated with an altered vaginal tract metabolomic profile. Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 16;8(1):852. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14943-3. Read the article.
- Roberts JS, Perets RA, Sarfert KS, Bowman JJ, Ozark PA, Whitworth GB, Blythe SN, Toporikova N. High-fat high-sugar diet induces polycystic ovary syndrome in a rodent model. Biol Reprod. 2017 Jan 27. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.116.142786. Read the article.
- Curlin M, Bursac D. Cervical mucus: from biochemical structure to clinical implications. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2013 Jan 1;5:507-15. Read the article.
- Evans-Hoeker E, Pritchard DA, Long DL, Herring AH, Stanford JB, Steiner AZ. Cervical mucus monitoring prevalence and associated fecundability in women trying to conceive. Fertil Steril. 2013 Oct;100(4):1033-1038.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.06.002. Read the article.