It is quite normal to struggle to identify your cervical mucus when you first start monitoring cervical changes in your efforts to conceive. For most women it only takes a little practice and perseverance to learn how to effectively pinpoint periods of ovulation.Some women only have a small amount of mucus and for a small proportion of women they may not notice mucus at all. In some circumstances the lack of mucus is due to inadequate oestrogen levels, but in others it may be due to lifestyle factors that may just need a little adjusting.
Why is cervical mucus important?
Healthy cervical mucus is essential for fertility. Good quality mucus, ideally with a raw egg white-like consistency provides the ideal environment for sperm cells to navigate the long journey to the egg. If you do not have healthy cervical mucus during your cycle, it can cause problems in trying to conceive.
What changes can I make?
If you have been trying to observe your cervical mucus for a while but are finding it difficult, here are some of the things you can do to increase the quantity and quality of your mucus naturally:
- Stop smoking - Smoking alters how the hormone Oestrogen is metabolised by the body.
- Avoid toxins - Soap or body wash interferes with the delicate pH balance of the vagina and mucus. Cut out these chemicals to improve cervical mucus.
- Maintain a healthy weight – If you are overweight or underweight it is very likely that your delicate hormone balance is disrupted. Good oestrogen levels are needed to make quality cervical mucus.
- Avoid lubrication - This may interfere with your observations but also restricts the movement of sperm. If you do need to use lubrication during sex, use only lubrication that is ‘sperm friendly’.
- Avoid some medications – such as antihistamines, which can decrease the amount of mucus. However, do not cease any prescribed medication until you have discussed this with your doctor.
- Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of water, atleast 2 litres a day.
- Avoid high doses of Vitamin C supplements - These may have the effect of drying mucus so make sure you are taking no more than the recommended dose or better still, rather than taking supplements ensure that Vitamin C is present in your daily diet.
- Eat foods with high alkaline properties - Although there is no conclusive evidence, it is believed that eating such foods may improve mucus. Enjoy foods like celery, cabbage, kale, pumpkins, watercress and almonds and avoid highly acidic foods like beef, pork, bacon, wheat, corn and some dairy such as cheese and cow’s milk.
- Take Evening Primrose Oil - Taking this in the first half of your cycle (up until predicted ovulation) may help to improve cervical mucus.
- Take L-Arginine - This is an essential amino acid that is believed to improve the fluidity and production of cervical mucus as well as looking after your general reproductive health.
If after trying these natural solutions you do not notice any improvement in your cervical mucus, consult your doctor about other options.