You have been dreaming of having a baby and have been doing your research. You think you have no cervical mucus, and of course that mesh with your goal of getting pregnant. Will you be able to get pregnant due to this problem? Having no, or just a little cervical mucus, can make getting pregnant more difficult but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are infertile. Having said that, the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago does say that inadequate cervical mucus is a potential cause “unexplained infertility”.
Cervical Mucus Changes During Your Cycle
Through your menstrual cycle, the appearance and feel of you cervical mucus will change several times. Right before ovulation, estrogen production will be in full force in preparation for ovulation, and correspondingly your cervical mucus will be very fertile. The fertile cervical mucus is called “egg white cervical mucus”, or EWCM. Fertile cervical mucus is clear and stretchy. When held between the forefinger and thumb, it can stretch about two inches and doesn’t break.
The pH and texture of EWCM is perfect for supporting your partner’s sperm. It protects the sperm from the potentially harsh environment of the vagina and also helps the sperm move more easily.
You will see four basic stages of cervical mucus quality and quantity through your cycle.
- Right after your period, cervical mucus production is at its lowest. Your cervix will be rather “dry” lasting a few days, after which you may notice a cloudy discharge.
- Half way through your cycle, the quantity and quality of cervical fluid will increase. As ovulation approaches, your mucus creates a more favorable environment for the sperm as well as increasing the chances of conception.
- During the three or four days surrounding ovulation, cervical mucus production will be at its peak. It will resemble raw egg whites and there should be a lot of it. You are most fertile now.
- After ovulation, cervical mucus quality and quantity will decrease and become thicker.
Causes of Low / No Cervical Mucus
Anovulation With No Cervical Mucus
Anovulation is when your body does not ovulate as it should on a monthly basis. Without ovulation, pregnancy is not possible. One of the main causes of anovulation is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Other causes include extreme stress, being very over or under weight, and extreme exercise. If you think you are not ovulating regularly, then you should discuss the issue with your doctor because other medical conditions can lead to anovulation too.
Weight Issues and Limited Fertile Cervical Mucus
A woman’s weight can play an important factor into how much cervical mucus her body produces. Women, who are very underweight may not have enough estrogen in their body to stimulate ovulation. To ovulate, a woman needs to have at least 18 percent body fat.
On the other hand, if you are overweight, you could have an excess of estrogen. Excess estrogen and prohibit ovulation by interrupting the hormonal feedback system that orders the egg follicles to mature.
Low Estrogen Levels
Low estrogen levels are often suspected when there is little or no cervical mucus. But don’t rush out and buy estrogen supplements – these can actually do more harm than good. They can upset the normal hormonal feedback system make cervical mucus dryness even worse.
You can try adding soy containing foods to your diet. Soy has estrogen mimicking properties. Tofu, tempeh, TVP and soy milk are all good soy products to try.
There are some supplements that help balance your estrogen levels. Both Maca and Vitex work synergistically with your endocrine system. They help balance your hormones – whether you have too much or too little estrogen in your body.
Age and Fertile Cervical Mucus
An absence of cervical fluid can also be due to a woman’s age. As you get older, your hormone balance shifts. If you are in your 40’s, you may end up seeing fewer days where you have the fertile cervical mucus. You may ovulate sporadically even though you have what appears to be normal periods.
Medications that Affect Cervical Mucus Production
Some prescription medications can affect your cervical mucus, as well. The fertility medicine Clomid (clomiphene citrate) can make your cervical mucus hostile. It can make your mucus thick and sticky, which prevents the sperm from making its journey to fertilize your egg. Sometimes clomid can prevent you from having any cervical mucus at all. It’s ironic because clomid can be successful in treating certain types of infertility. It trades one problem for a different one.
Antihistamines can also dry up your cervical fluid. Think about it. When your seasonal allergies are in full force, your nose has a tendency to run non stop. When you take allergy medicine (antihistamine), it dries your nose and runny eyes up. Well, it does the same thing to other mucousy areas too.
Hormones, contained in birth control pills or in hormone therapy, can change cervical mucus too.
If you are concerned, talk to your doctor. They can help you find medications that play nice with your cervical mucus. They may also have some suggestions on improving your cervical mucus so you can get pregnant.
Dietary Changes You Can Make To Improve Cervical Mucus Production
One easily achieved change for women to increase her water intake. This is good for those who are trying to conceive and everyone else for that matter! If you don’t drink enough water, you risk becoming dehydrated. Your body is made up of 60% water and it requires constant replenishment. Staying hydrated helps make sure that your body, and all organs, function properly. Drinking enough water every day will help to optimize your cervical mucus.
Cut back on processed foods and start eating more food that is in its natural state. Fish, beans, poultry, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are important parts of a healthy diet. A balanced diet helps you get your nutritional needs met, allowing your body to function optimally. A healthy body means your fertility will also benefit. Eating healthier foods will also help you reach a weight that is better for you when trying to conceive.
Some studies that suggest that caffeine consumption may negatively impact cervical mucus. Reducing your caffeine consumption to less than 300 mg per day will improve your fertility. It will lessen the chances of complications once you do get pregnant.
Vitamins and Supplements That Improve Cervical Mucus Production
Additionally, there are many products available that can improve your cervical mucus. Some help improve production and others help create an environment that is more friendly to the sperm.
– Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps improve the amount and constancy of your cervical mucus. It works by increasing the amount of water that your mucus contains. It also increases blood flow to your uterus. This makes the uterine lining hospitable for implantation and pregnancy. Some foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and peppers. Try and keep your vitamin C intake to 1000 mg or lower per day. Too much vitamin C can make your cervical mucus too acidic which is very unfriendly to sperm.
– Grape Seed Extract. Grape seed extract works with Vitamin C to make it more effective as well as supporting and protecting the sperm.
– Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide, sometimes referred to as NO, helps blood vessels dilate. This increases the blood flow to the uterus, ovaries and genitals. Some studies suggest that NO will also help to increase the amount of mucus secreted by the cervix. Fertile Gel, a l-arginine gel, help build the nitric oxide stores in your body. FertileCM also utilizes l-arginine to improve your cervical mucus.
– Lactobacilli. Lactobacilli are tiny organisms that are important for your healthy vagainal enviroment. They help create an environment where your cervical mucus is more friendly to sperm.
– Alfalfa. Alfalfa is a detoxifying herb. It helps your body regain it’s hormonal balance. This balance is vital for regular ovulation and fertile cervical mucus production. Additionally, alfalfa helps your cervical mucus more alkaline, which sperm prefer. Herb Lore’s Pre-Conception Fertility Tea contains alfalfa along with other fertility enhancing herbs. It provides a gentle fertility detox so your body can regain a fertile hormone balance. When your hormones are in balance, you have a better chance of seeing egg white cervical mucus.
More Things to Try to Improve Your Cervical Mucus
– Evening Primrose Oil: (EPO) is often used specifically to help increase cervical mucus. It is an essential fatty acid that is also an anti-inflammatory. EPO not only increases the quantity of your cervical mucus, but also increases the quality. You should see more of the fertile egg white cervical mucus in time. It is best to take from the first day of your cycle until ovulation and you should only take 1,000 IU per day. You do not want to take evening primrose oil after you have ovulated in case you are pregnant. That’s because it might cause cause the cervix to soften. Not something you want happening until you have reached a full term pregnancy. It also can encourage contractions and this could make implantation difficult.
– Guaifenesin. Guaifenesin helps prevent the production of hostile cervical mucus. Also, it helps to promote the production of egg-white cervical mucus. You can easily get guaifenesin at your local drug store. Additionally, you need to drink a lot of water to encourage the production of fertile quality cervical mucus.
– Licorice root. Licorice root is another great herb that has progesterone and estrogen-esque effects. The mucus has better fluidity with licorice root and it also helps clean the colon.
– Pre-Seed. Sometimes, no matter what you try, you just can’t make your body play nice. Using a lubricant to mimic the qualities of fertile cervical mucus may be in order. Pre-Seed is the best personal lubricant if you are trying to conceive. Studies show that it promotes the proper internal environment for sperm. It helps the sperm move forward through your reproductive tract. It also provides the optimal environment for sperm survival. You need those sperm alive and moving if you want conception to happen! Don’t be fooled! All lubricants are not created equally and some do more harm than good when you are trying to conceive.
Hamilton-Fairley D, Taylor A. Anovulation. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2003;327(7414):546-549.
Katsikis I, Kita M, Karkanaki A, Prapas N, Panidis D. Anovulation and ovulation induction. Hippokratia. 2006;10(3):120-127.
Shamim N, Usala SJ, Biggs WC, McKenna GB. The elasticity of cervical-vaginal secretions is abnormal in polycystic ovary syndrome: Case report of five PCOS women. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;16(6):1019-1021. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.103030.
Melo AS, Ferriani RA, Navarro PA. Treatment of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: approach to clinical practice. Clinics. 2015;70(11):765-769. doi:10.6061/clinics/2015(11)09.
Check JH, Adelson HG, Wu CH. Improvement of cervical factor with guaifenesin. Fertil Steril. 1982 May;37(5):707-8. PubMed PMID: 6896190.
Luck MR, Jeyaseelan I, Scholes RA. Ascorbic acid and fertility. Biol Reprod. 1995 Feb;52(2):262-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 7711198.
Effects of vitamin “C” on the endometrial thickness and ovarian hormones of progesterone and estrogen in married and unmarried women
KAAJ Sami R. Al-Katib, Meissam MH. Al-Kaabi
American Journal of Research Communication 8 (1), 24-31