Cervical mucus is an important part of your ability to conceive a baby. High quality cervical mucus creates a hospitable, protective environment for sperm and is the channel sperm use to find your egg. In order to know how to increase cervical mucus, you should understand how your hormones affect your cervical secretions.
Â Hormones and Cervical Mucus
When your period ends, your vaginal secretions are acidic and harmful to sperm. Your estrogen level is very low. You will notice little or no moisture in your vagina.
- Next, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels rise and your ovaries start to mature eggs for ovulation. The maturing egg follicles increase your estrogen levels.
- As your estrogen levels continue to rise, you will begin to notice a change in your vaginal secretions. Your vagina becomes moist and secretions are sticky and white or creamy.
- When your estrogen levels begin to peak, your cervical mucus discharge increases rapidly. Your cervical mucus thins out and becomes cloudy and stretchy.
- When ovulation is imminent and your estrogen levels are highest, ideally you will feel constant wetness in your vagina and have copious amounts of stretchy, slippery, translucent, cervical mucus. Fertile cervical mucus very much resembles raw egg whites and will stretch more then an inch between your fingers without breaking.
Low or No Cervical Mucus
If you don’t notice changes in your cervical mucus throughout your cycle, or have little or no cervical mucus, it may indicate that you are not regularly ovulating or your hormones are not in balance. There can be many reasons for low or no cervical mucus.
- Â You may be underweight. If you are more then 15% underweight with a low BMI and/or are experiencing amenorrhea (no period), your estrogen levels may be too low to trigger cervical mucus production.
- Rapid weight loss or gain can alter your hormonal balance and reduce quality or quantity of cervical mucus.
Too much exercise can reduce estrogen levels.
- You may be ovulating very early in your cycle while you are still menstruating. If you ovulate towards the end of your period, you may not notice changes in your cervical mucus because it is mixed with menstrual blood.
Â How To Increase Your Cervical Mucus
Here are a few tips to increase the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus. If you suspect you have hormonal issues that can’t be resolved with simple lifestyle changes, see your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
- Quit smoking. Smoking alters the way your body uses and metabolizes estrogen.
- Stabilize your weight within a healthy weight range for your height, age, and body type. If you need help losing or gaining weight, seek the advice of a nutritionist or your doctor.
- Check your prescription medications. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications have side effects that abnormally dry or thicken your cervical mucus. These often include antihistimines, cimetidine, and chlomiphene. Don’t stop taking prescribed medications without consulting your doctor.
- Don’t use vaginal lubricants which can reduce the quality of your cervical mucus and harm sperm.
- Drink plenty of water to increase cervical mucus. If you are dehydrated, your body will conserve liquid any way it can, including reducing vaginal secretions and cervical mucus.
- Ditch the chemicals to increase cervical mucus. Don’t use perfumed toilet paper, perfumed soaps, body sprays (particularly near your vulva), or fabric softener.
- Don’t douche. Your body comes equipped with a perfect self-cleaning system. Douching is completely unnecessary and may be harmful, even when you are not trying to conceive.
- Have great sex. The more aroused you are during sex, the more lubricating cervical mucus your body will release.
- Limit vitamin C to no more than 3 g per day. Excess vitamin C may dry up cervical mucus.
- Eat a diet rich in PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). PABA sources include organ meats, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, molasses, spinach, and mushrooms. Studies also indicate PABA is important in male fertility as well!
- Too much wheat bran in your diet can reduce the quantity and quality of your cervical mucus.
- Reducing high acid foods may improve the pH balance of your cervical mucus, making it a more favorable environment for sperm. High acid foods include: beef, veal, pork, ham, bacon, cheese, dairy milks (goat and cow), wheat, corn, tomatoes, and acidic fruit (oranges, grapefruit).
- Cough syrup, actual egg whites, and saliva have been suggested to increase cervical mucus, but there are no studies to validate these claims.