What is cervical mucus is and why it’s such a big deal in helping you to conceive?
Cervical mucus (cervical fluid) is the fluid that’s made in the lining of the cervix and has many important roles.
Not only does it help to keep the vagina moist and lubricated, and helps to maintain a healthy pH, but has a major role in helping you to conceive.
One of its most important jobs is to provide nutrients to nourish the sperm on its travels toward the uterus and egg and helps provide protection and transport to the sperm on its journey toward the egg.
Cervical mucus can be a great help in giving you clues about your hormones, and your fertile window which then can help to increase your chances of a successful conception.
You may notice the texture and quality of your cervical mucus change across your cycle. That’s because as you approach ovulation your mucus may thin out and become stretchier (like an egg-white consistency) – this identifies it becoming more fertile, and more favourable for the sperm to travel through. This sign can help you to identify when your fertile window is. If there’s too much or too little mucus it can also highlight hormonal imbalances and you may find it more difficult to conceive.
The health of the cervical mucus is really important too. You want it to be the right consistency to allow the sperm to swim through easily and not get caught up in a thick mucus, and you want it to have plenty of nutrients available for the sperm to aid it on its journey through the uterus and toward the egg.
My top 5 tips to improve the quality of the cervical fluid to help improve your natural fertility are:
1. Pack your diet full of nutrients
Remember you’re wanting to make sure that fluid has as many nutrients as possible to feed the sperm on their journey.
So you need to provide this from your diet wherever possible.
A balanced nutrient dense diet should have a combination of quality protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates as well as lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables to provide an array of nutrients.
A high intake of fruit and vegetables help to alkalise the body and improve cervical mucus quality. Make each meal count towards putting essential nutrients into your body.
Helpful nutrients include Essential fats – found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, chia seed, hemp seed, nuts, avocado; and Vitamin E – found in avocado, sunflower seeds and almonds.
2. Stay Hydrated
Cervical mucus contains 90-96% water, so good hydration is crucial for cervical mucus production. If you are consistently dehydrated you run the risk of having a drier mucus which can impair the ability of the sperm to swim and move through the uterus, toward the egg.
Dehydration can also affect the nutrient quality of the fluid as well which may mean less nutrients for the sperm to use on its way. Aim for at least 2 L filtered water daily and avoid beverages that dehydrate you further eg. Caffeine and alcohol.
3. Movement and circulation
Increasing circulation helps improve blood flow, oxygen and nutrient delivery within the uterus and cervix and can have a positive effect on cervical mucus.
Make movement a part of everyday life and something you enjoy doing.
It doesn’t have to be running or strenuous gym sessions - it could be yoga, pilates, walking, swimming, bush walks, hiking, barre – anything that helps you move which will increase blood flow. Aim for a minimum of 30 mins movement daily.
4. Avoid toxins and chemicals
Choose Organic or chemical-free produce where possible and check your personal care and cleaning products for chemicals.
Personal care products include make-up, skincare, haircare, feminine health products like tampons and pads, perfumes and fragrances.
The pesticides, herbicides and chemicals used in non-organic farming and many of our personal care of cleaning products can disrupt the hormonal system, alter the pH, and increase the toxic load in the cervical fluid itself which has the potential to reduce the overall quality of cervical fluid.
Try doing a home audit to see if you can make healthier choices with these items.
5. Mind your stress
Some level of stress is unavoidable and in some cases is important for our survival, however chronic stress can greatly impact your fertility, hormones and cervical fluid production. Aim to include time in your day to help you unwind, connect with friends or loved ones, and do the things you know help you to relax.
Some ideas for stress relievers can include Epsom salt baths, exercise (so long as you enjoy it), massage, a good laugh, singing, dancing, painting, reading, writing, or journelling. The most important thing is that you enjoy it.
A nourishing well balanced diet also goes a long way to support the nervous system and helps to provide you with the nutrients that help regulate mood and stress response. Herbs and supplements can also be helpful in times of extra support.
Herbal teas like licorice, withania (ashwaghanda), lemon balm, chamomile and lavender have stress relieving properties. Your Naturopath will be able to guide you on any herbs that would be specifically suitable for you.
Most importantly - Get extra help where you need it
Sometimes trying to work out if your diet is adequate, how many toxins are affecting you and what type, what sort of mucus are your producing and when, wondering if you’re ovulating, trying to identify hormonal imbalances, and so on, can be overwhelming and add unnecessary stress to your assisted or Natural fertility journey.
None of us are the same and we often require different support depending on our unique circumstances and health. Whether you're looking for Natural Fertility, IVF Support, an alternative to IVF, or Preconception care there are many things you can do to help your body along the way.
What can we do to help?
At Seed and Flourish Naturopathy, Fertility Naturopath Nicole Peasnell can help you identify what your unique nutritional needs are and provide you with the right diet, lifestyle advice and treatment plan to start improving your cervical fluid so you can improve your fertility.
We can also help to identify what other areas need support for you to reach your health goals or that might be preventing you from conceiving. This can help reduce the guesswork and subsequent stress around these areas and provide you with an individualised treatment plan that will help to restore balance back to your body.
If you would like further support or would like to explore your case further with us, please connect with us or make an appointment. We offer Online Fertility Naturopathic consultations, preconception care packages, and testing options for health and fertility.