The fluid discharge from a woman’s cervix is known as cervical mucus. During ovulation, women typically produce cervical mucus that is thin, stretchy and conducive to getting pregnant. The estrogen levels in your body peak just before ovulation and stimulate the cervical glands which produce the cervical mucus. At the midcycle (day 14 of an “ideal” 28 day cycle) cervical mucus is thin, watery and stretchable.
However, due to some conditions which also cause some types of infertility, the cervical mucus can be affected in quantity or quality. It may become thick and viscous and the sperm may die or are not able to penetrate it effectively and quickly. There are various causes for the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus to deteriorate. You can evaluate your cervical mucus yourself at home or take the help of a doctor. Here is a list of some of the reasons for poor cervical mucus and pointers on how to improve the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus in that case.
Retention of Cervical Mucus
In some women, cervical mucus is being retained or the cervix is in a very posterior position. Such women should have their doctor check their cervix when they suspect they are ovulating and he or she can guide you about a treatment suitable for you.
Thickened Cervical Mucus
Thickened cervical mucus is also a possibility in some women. This thickened mucus often fails to undergo the typical midcycle thinning and can form a barrier to sperm penetration. This type of mucus has been shown to be more frequent in women with a family history of cystic fibrosis. One at-home treatment for thickened cervical mucus is guaifenesin, the active ingredient in Robitussin cough syrup or its generic equivalent. Taking one to two tablespoons of this during the days preceding ovulation has helped some couples achieve pregnancy. It can loosen and thin the cervical mucus as it loosens and thins congestion in the respiratory tract.
In many women anovulatory cycles can be the cause of poor cervical mucus. A temperature chart can help you insure that the cycle was ovulatory. If it was not, then ovulation induction must be instituted to improve the quantity and quality of cervical mucus.
Clomiphene Citrate or Clomid
Clomiphene citrate or clomid is and anti-estrogenic compound used to induce ovulation. It can also affect estrogen responsive cervical mucus glands by blocking the effects of estrogen locally. The influence of clomiphene 50 mg./day may affect the cervical mucus adversely. If this is the cause of poor cervical mucus for you then, exogenous low dose estrogen administration can improve the quality and quantity of cervical mucus in clomiphene cycles. Under the influence of estrogen, the cervix produces abundant, thin stretchy, lubricative mucus which is receptive to sperm.
It is also possible that some surgeries that you underwent may have destroyed the cervical glands. In such women doctors recommend estrogen therapy for improving the cervical mucus if there is any chance.
Please remember that only a discussion with your doctor will provide you with the information necessary to determine the most appropriate evaluations and treatments necessary in your particular situation.