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How to increase fertile cervical mucus

When trying to conceive, a woman’s cervical mucus can play a bigger role than you might first imagine. Whether the mucus is too thick or too thin, or whether there’s not enough of it, can impact your conception efforts.

If you aren’t taking any sort of hormonal contraceptive, the mucus will thin during ovulation so that the sperm can pass through it more easily. But should you take contraceptives, some work by thickening the mucus to prevent sperm from entering. This goes to show how important your cervical mucus is for conception. The amount and consistency needs to be right if you’re going to make a baby.

During ovulation, you may notice that your discharge becomes more slippery and has a texture similar to that of raw egg whites. Some women actually track this mucus to know when they are ovulating , rather than relying on ovulation tests or basal body temperature.

If you’re finding it hard to recognise this change in your body, you might not have enough cervical mucus. Below, you can find some ways to increase it naturally to help you conceive.


1. Stay hydrated

Cervical mucus is 90 to 96% water, and so it’s really important that you stay hydrated around the time you’re ovulating. If you’re dehydrated, the mucus might not be as thinned out as you need it to be, so be sure to drink plenty of water. The general recommendation is up to eight glasses a day.


2. Stop smoking

If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important that you consider the impact smoking could have on your body. Nicotine can affect normal ovarian and hormonal function and may make it harder for you to get pregnant. It can also have an impact on your cervical mucus as it reduces bodily fluids, potentially making it harder for your body to create that slippery mucus you need. You should look to cut down on the amount of nicotine you ingest or cut out smoking altogether. Should you want to do the latter, you can seek advice and support from your GP.


3. Increase L-arginine intake

Increasing your intake of the amino acid L-arginine could help to improve the quality of your cervical mucus. This is because it supports your body’s production of nitric oxide (NO). NO helps to increase blood flow to a woman’s reproductive system, specifically her ovaries. This is important for the production of cervical mucus.

To increase your L-arginine intake, you can take a fertility supplement for women. These usually contain other useful and important nutrients, too, such as Vitamins C, E, D and B12, so can be beneficial in more ways than one.


4. Eat plenty of vegetables

Sperm prefers an alkaline environment, but the vagina is quite acidic. To improve your chances of conception, you can increase your consumption of alkaline foods, which in turn can boost the production of cervical mucus.

Top alkaline vegetables include broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, radish, turnips and carrots.


5. Decrease your caffeine intake

Caffeine can dehydrate you, which is why it’s either best avoided or cut down on when trying to conceive. Don’t forget that it’s not just found in tea and coffee, either, but also fizzy drinks, chocolate and even ice cream.


6. Drink grapefruit juice

It’s thought that grapefruit juice increases the amount of cervical mucus you produce, but also improves its texture. However, do be wary that grapefruit can have an effect on other medications you take. To find out whether you can safely drink grapefruit juice, you can get more information on the NHS website.


Why does cervical mucus change during ovulation?

As a woman moves through the stages of the menstrual cycle, the texture and the amount of cervical mucus that is produced changes, and there is a good reason for this. Mucus production is controlled by hormones, and there are multiple hormones that rise and fall throughout the different stages of the cycle.

Immediately after a period, the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) rises so that an egg can be released from an ovary. During this time, you might notice little to no discharge at all, which is normal.

About a day before ovulation (usually two weeks into your cycle), there’s a rise in luteinising hormone (LH), which shows that an egg is about to be released. Oestrogen also increases during this time, and this hormone is the reason for the slippery, egg-white discharge. It is preparing your body so that the sperm can get to an egg more easily and fertilise it.

Once ovulation has occurred, your discharge will likely return back to normal, losing its wetter texture.