Cervical mucus (CM) is a fluid secreted by the cervix, the production of which is stimulated by the hormone estrogen. The amount and quality of cervical mucus produced fluctuates throughout your menstrual cycle, these changes can help you predict the most fertile days in your cycle. With nearing of ovulation, the estrogen levels begin to surge, which causes the cervix to secrete more cervical mucus that is of a so-called “fertile quality”. This fertile-quality cervical mucus, also known as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM), is clear and stretchy, similar to the consistency of egg whites, and is the perfect protective medium for sperm in terms of texture and pH. The primary function of cervical mucus is to protect the sperm on their journey to fallopian tubes and help to keep them safe from the naturally acidic environment of the vagina.
Hostile Cervical Mucus on the other hand is a condition in which the male sperms are unable to survive due to the hostile cervical conditions of the female during intercourse, accounting for 20 percent of female infertility, claim IVF experts.
The chart below gives the information for de-coding CM to detect ovulation.
|Pre-ovulatory||Dry||No visible mucus.|
|Fertile||Moist or sticky||White or cream colored, thick to slightly stretchy. Breaks easily when stretched.|
|Highly Fertile||Slippery, wet, lubricated||Increase in amount. Thin, watery, transparent, like egg white.|
|Post-ovulatory||Dry or sticky||Sharp decrease in amount. Thick, opaque white or cream-colored.|
- Poor diet. Our diet really does affect everything, including our cervical mucus! If you eat a lot of dairy products you may find that your cervical mucus becomes very thick, which is not at all welcoming to sperm and to the conception process.
- Medications. Antihistamines are a common culprit as they simply do not allow the body to produce enough cervical fluid to facilitate the conception process. Another common medication cause of hostile cervical mucus is Clomid. In about 30% of the women that take this fertility drug hostile cervical mucus is the result.
- Disease of the uterus or cervix, viruses of the vaginal area, or damage to the cervix or cervical cells as a result of surgery or biopsies.
- Production of thick cervical mucus that just is not helpful in getting the sperm to the egg in an efficient amount of time.
- Stress: Research indicates that consistent high anxiety levels may cause insufficient production of fertile quality cervical mucus.
Women can get diagnosed for hostile cervical mucus by Postcoital Test, in which the interaction of sperm-mucus is accessed. It’s the best test to diagnose cervical mucus problems especially if results for other tests are normal and there still persists an unexplained cause of infertility. The test indicates if the chemical composition of the mucus is appropriate for sperm survival and any dead or slow moving sperm found indicates that the mucus is hostile.
Tips to Manage Hostile Cervical Mucus
- Decrease the amount of diary you eat.
- Increase your water intake
- Eat salty foods
- Take a supplement that is known to help with cervical mucus such as Evening Primrose Oil.
An amazing amount of hostile cervical mucus can be remedied just by changing your diet, which is a small price to pay to be able to conceive naturally and happily. Keep in mind that cervical mucus is rarely the sole cause of infertility, so even if you do not have the most ideal cervical mucus there is still a good chance that you can great pregnant!
Note: Having enough egg white cervical mucus during your fertile window will actually improve your chances of conceiving.