6 Factors That Impact Your Cervical Mucus Production & Natural Solutions
Your cervical mucus is connected both to your cervical health and your reproductive hormone production. Cervical mucus (CM) plays a key role in fertility, from faciliating rapid sperm transport, ensuring the survival of sperm, filtering out defective sperm and protecting you from infections.
As the name suggest, your cervical mucus is produced in your cervix. CM is a hydrogel comprised of mucus molecules, water, a variety of enzymes, protein chains, and other biochemical compounds including sodium, chloride, and potassium.
Women who produce very little or no cervical mucus may find it more difficult to concieve. For this reason it is extremely helpful to know which factors contribute to low mucus production.
In this article I'll be sharing six factors that impact normal healthy CM production.
1. Hormonal Contraceptives
Hormonal contraceptives directly affect your cervical mucus production. One of the reason HC are such an effective method of birth control is because they stimulate your cervical crypts to produce a certain mucus type, known as G-type mucus. This G-type mucus forms a thick mucus plug inside your cervical canal that creates a barrier for sperm. This is similar to the same cervical mucus plug that fills and seals the cervical birth canal during pregnancy.
Unfortanately, by overstimulating your G cervical crypts, hormonal contraceptives accelerate the natural aging process of your cervix over time. As your cervix ages you experience fewer days of cervical mucus. This becomes a problem for women trying to conceive as it affects their window of oppurtunity.
2. Fertility Drugs (Clomid & Tamoxifen)
Clomid and Tamoxifen are drugs used to induce ovulation in women. Both work by preventing your brain from accurately perceiving how much estrogen is really circulating in your body. This cause your pituitary gland to relase high amounts of FSH and LH, which lead to ovulation.
Clomid is used in medical fertilty treatments to trigger ovulation before an intrauterine insemination (IUI), and to force ovulation in women who aren't ovulating regularly, such as women with hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Taking any of these drugs has an imbalancing affect on your natural hormones and can significantly reduce or suppress your cervical mucus production. They suppress your CM production by blocking the estrogen receptors in your cervix and preventing them from responding normally to estrogen.
Not only that, but it affects the viscosity (thickness) of your CM, making it difficult for sperm to penetrate and successfully fertilize an egg. Say hello to fertilty challenges.
3. Nutrient Deficiencies
Several studies show that certain nutrient deficiencies can negatively affect your cervival mucus production. Key nutrients that promote cervical health are folate, vitamin A (retinol), beta-carotene, zinc, vitamin B6 and B12.
Since hormonal birth control is known to deplete several of these nutrients, there's a well established link between long-term use of birth control use, cervical dysplasia, human papillomavirus (HPV), and cervical cancer.
Couple that with already poor eating habits, gut issues and other hormonal imbalance and you have yourself a problem.
4. Medical Procedures & Surgeries
Cervical procedues that affect your cervix include abortion, dilation and curettage (D&C), intrauterine device (IUD) insertion and removal, and removal of abnormal cervical cells. Pretty much any invasive procedure to the cervix or womb can cause a disruption in how much CM your body produces because of scar tissue, adhesions and disruption to the integrity of cervical canal.
5. Endocrine Dysfunction
Your endocrine system is a messenger system comprising feedback loops of all your body's hormones. Since cervical mucus is produced in response to your rising estrogen levels, any interruption of this natural process will cause changes to all other hormones.
Commom endocrine dysfunction in women usually manifest as thyroid disorders, PCOS, adrenal fatigue, metabolic weight issues, insulin resistance and fibroid growth.
Cervical mucus is made of 90% water. The texture and quality of your cervical mucus does depend on the amount of water you drink. The more liquid your body receives, the better the mucus quality.
During ovulation, it should be as slippery and elastic as possible, contributing to sperm movement and survival. Drinking little water causes a decrease in the production of your cervical mucus and lessens its quality, which can adversely affect your ability to conceive.
In order to maintain a healthy water balance and thus cervical mucus production, you should drink about eight glasses of water daily.
Hope this article was plenty of helpful!