Successful egg fertilization is due to a number of factors, and one factor that plays an important role in conception is the presence of cervical mucus. Cervical mucus is a fluid produced by the cervix during your monthly cycle. The hormone estrogen regulates the production of this fluid.
The human body operates in an amazing way, and the presence of cervical mucus is proof. This fluid aids in egg fertilization in a number of ways. Since the environment of the vagina can be quite acidic, the cervical mucus will actually protect the sperm. These acids can prevent sperm from reaching the egg by neutralizing their alkalinity. Further, cervical mucus will support the sperm in their travels to unite with an egg. Lastly, cervical mucus also helps in detecting abnormal sperm. The mucus will slow the defective sperm down, preventing them from fertilizing an egg and causing conception.
The amount and consistency of cervical mucus change during the different stages of a woman’s ovulatory cycle. After a menstrual period, cervical mucus will be absent for approximately 3 to 5 days. A small amount of sticky and whitish to cloudy secretions will then be noticed. When ovulation gets nearer, cervical mucus increases, and it will become moist and sticky with a creamy color. Ovulation will be noticeable because during this time, mucus secretion is at its peak. Fertile cervical mucus closely resembles the texture and appearance of a raw egg white. After ovulation, cervical mucus will gradually decrease.
Not having any cervical mucus instantly following menstruation is normal, but if cervical mucus is not present all throughout the cycle – a reproductive problem might be present. Conception is unlikely to happen if the woman’s reproductive tract is not equipped with cervical mucus to facilitate fertilization.
Abnormal cervical mucus production may indicate that there is a problem with a woman’s ovulatory functions. There are, however, ways to further test if ovulation is present or not. The best way to do this is by simply keeping track of your basal body temperature each month. A surge in the body temperature during the middle of the menstrual cycle until the next period should be noticeable. If the results indicate abnormal ovulation, you should discuss this your doctor.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, if cervical mucus is observed to be abnormal, some management can be done and these include diet modification, use of fertility medicines, and sperm-friendly lubricants. It is important to maintain hydration and a balanced diet that focuses on fluids, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, poultry, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, as these can help improve cervical mucus production. Avoiding processed foods and foods consisting of saturated fats can also help.
There are also many different herbs and vitamins that you can take to help improve your cervical fluid. The most common are Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin C, Grapeseed Extract, Lactobacilli, and Nitric Oxide. Some women can even resort to taking Robitussin due to its active ingredient guaifenesin. This ingredient helps to inhibit the creation of hostile cervical fluid, as well as aiding in encouraging egg-white cervical mucus production.