Let’s talk about cervical mucus (CM). Yay! (said no one ever)
If you’ve been trying to conceive (TTC) for a while, you probably know that right before ovulation, your CM changes in both quantity (much more) as well as quality (wet/slippery). The most fertile CM is what is often referred to as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM). Why do you ask? Well… it because it resembles raw egg whites. But not everyone gets EWCM in every cycle. Here are the most common things that can influence your CM:
- Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to see fewer days of fertile-quality (and quantity) CM.
- BMI: being underweight or overweight can influence your hormone (estrogen) levels which could limit your CM.
- Certain fertility meds: Clomid is often prescribed to induce ovulation, but one of the side effects is that it can negatively affect your CM. Luckily, this side effect is only seen in about 15% of women.
- Antihistamines and decongestants: Theoretically, just like it dries up mucus in your nose, it can have the same effect on your CM. However, there hasn’t been a lot of research on the subject so it’s unclear how much this would really affect you.
- Birth control pills: If you’ve just come off the pill, your first few cycles may be a bit dry. Not everyone experiences this as the effects of the pill usually wane off pretty quickly.
- Water intake: Your CM consists mostly of water and dehydration could negatively influence your CM as well. So make sure you drink plenty of water.
Acharya, U., D. S. Irvine, M. P. Hamilton, and A. A. Templeton. 1993. Human Reproduction 8 (3): 437–41.
Katz, D. F., D. A. Slade, and S. T. Nakajima. 1997. Advances in Contraception: The Official Journal of the Society for the Advancement of Contraception 13 (2-3): 143–51.
Ziomkiewicz, A., P. T. Ellison, S. F. Lipson, I. Thune, and G. Jasienska. 2008. Human Reproduction.