Guaifenesin or FertileCM for Enhanced Cervical Mucus?
Looking at the safety of Guaifenesin in trying-to-conceive applications.
For over a decade now, women have increasingly turned to Guaifenesin (an expectorant drug found in many common cough syrups) to increase their odds of conceiving a baby. How, you ask, would something as seemingly unrelated as cough syrup aid your trying-to-conceive efforts and boost your chances of a pregnancy?
Guaifenesin is reputed to “thin” cervical mucus – the fluid produced by a woman’s cervix during her ovulatory cycle. Cervical mucus plays an important role in human reproduction, providing a fertile, protective medium that allows sperm to move through the cervical canal, swim the expanse of the uterus, and ultimately fertilize the egg. For cervical mucus to exhibit “fertile” properties – emerging around the time a woman ovulates – the fluid must be both abundant and sufficiently thin (or viscous instead of thick and sticky). In addition, fertile-quality cervical mucus will alter the PH-balance of the vagina to make a normally acidic, sperm-hostile environment into “sperm-friendly” setting commensurate with successful baby-making.
In short, fertile-quality cervical fluids are vital to sperm survival and transport, as well as to providing a both insulative and nutritive function in sustaining sperm on the way to the egg. According to clinical studies, the importance of fertile cervical mucus during ovulation can’t be underestimated as a key dimension of reproductive wellness and conceiving.
The question today remains, is Guaifenesin really effective in thinning cervical fluids or increasing one’s odds of achieving pregnancy? And is using a Guaifenesin cough syrup, above all, safe – for both me or a recently conceived baby? Moreover, are there natural alternatives to Guaifenesin, like FertileCM, designed to safely support the production of fertile cervical mucus?
The Down Side of Guaifenesin: While Guaifenesin is considered relatively safe, it may have certain clinical side effects, including a range of potential allergic reactions, dizziness, headache, rash, nausea, or stomach upset. More problematic is that fact that, in the case of a yet undiagnosed pregnancy, Guaifenesin is thought to cross the placental barrier. In principle, a recently conceived baby may be thusly exposed to Guaifenesin.
Also significant, according to clinical studies, prolonged use of Guaifenesin has been tied to increased incidences of urolithiasis (kidney or urinary stones) as well as an increased risk of a baby experiencing an inguinal hernia during the first trimester of a pregnancy. In sum, sustained consumption or large doses of Guaifenesin-containing medications may be contraindicated. And while the efficacy of Guaifenesin for thinning mucus is apparent, its relative value in trying-to-conceive contexts remains disputed, as it exhibits no active function in actually producing cervical mucus.
Finally, it should be noted that while Guaifenesin is not considered pernicious when used as instructed, other prescription or over-the-counter cough syrups may contain ingredients that might harm a developing fetus or the mother if used in high doses (like Dextromethorphan). In some medications, both Guaifenesin and Dextromethorphan are admixed.
The Up Side of FertileCM: While Guaifenesin may have its limitations – as well as possible contraindications – for trying-to-conceive applications, there are natural alternatives that may be more effective in both thinning cervical mucus and in facilitating cervical mucus production. In fact, FertileCM, a dietary supplement designed by fertility expert Amos Grunebaum, MD, is based on compelling research in this area – and in particular on the role of nitric oxide (a naturally-produced bodily chemical) which has been shown to increase circulation and help promote blood flow to the uterus, ovaries, and genitals.
For fertility and pregnancy, the significance of nitric oxide is connected to its ability to increase cervical secretions during the time a woman ovulates. In one key study, “nitric oxide administration markedly increased cervical secretion” for women taking supplementation in the test group, “while no changes in cervical secretion were seen in the control group.” What is more, besides helping the body to produce cervical fluids, FertileCM is also designed to thin the mucus and make it more “fertile”. Finally, the same properties of nitric oxide that support fertile cervical fluids also promote reproductive health by increasing circulation to the womb to help build a healthy uterine lining for the implantation of a fertilized embryo. Thus, FertileCM is designed to:
- Naturally and safely support the production of cervical fluids.
- Increase hydration of the mucin (liquidity of mucus).
- Promote mucus alkalinity and mucosal thinning.
- Support a healthy uterine lining for implantation of the embryo.
FertileCM, Guaifenesin, Clomid
FertileCM offers a compelling and natural alternative to Guaifenesin cough syrups, if not only because it offers additional benefits in supporting mucus production, but because it is actually designed – by fertility experts – for women actively seeking to achieve pregnancy.
Of course, many women first seek out a mucus-thinning “solution” due to a general lack of cervical mucus or the absence of any “fertile quality” fluid during ovulation. This absence of cervical mucus may be caused by a number of factors, including decreased estrogen levels or the use of certain fertility drugs like clomid (known to cause “hostile” CM in at least 30% of the women taking it). If you are using any prescription drugs, it’s advised to consult with your doctor before taking additional supplements or Guaifenesin. However, FertileCM may provide relief for those women using clomid and experiencing symptoms of absent or hostile cervical mucus.
Lubricants, FertileCM, and Pre-Seed
Can sexual lubricants or moisturizers stand in for absent cervical fluids? It’s a good question, but the answer is “No”, with one indirect qualification. First of all, almost all lubricants are made from ingredients that, while seemingly “thin” or “fluid-like”, actually obstruct the movement of sperm or paralyze sperm motility. There is one exception and that is a product called Pre-Seed which is designed to provide sperm-friendly lubrication for “on-demand” procreative love-making. Ideally, products like FertileCM and Pre-Seed might be considered to complement each other in a dialectical “above/below” operation: Pre-Seed offering a topical moisturizer for the vagina with FertileCM promoting enhanced secretion within the cervix and uterine lining.
About Fairhaven Health, LLC / Fairhaven Health is a provider of preconception products like Fertile Focus, FertilAid Brand Supplements and FertileCM.
About Amos Grunebaum, MD Amos Grunebaum, MD, FACOG, is an actively practicing Ob/Gyn. He is Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology and in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and he is the former Director of the WebMD Fertility Center.