The quality and quantity of cervical mucus can be an important part of fertility tracking and fertility awareness. Many times, it is used along with basal body temperature (BBT) charting as a means to determine optimal fertility, for the purposes of either trying to conceive or to prevent pregnancy. As many of my patients know, right before a woman ovulates and during her peak fertile time, a woman’s cervical mucus should be copious and the consistency of raw egg-whites. This type of cervical mucus is an important way that sperm survive the acidity of the vagina, and promotes the passage of the sperm up into the fallopian tube where fertilization of the egg can occur.
Cervical fluid serves as the body’s natural lubricant, and can be impacted by certain imbalances or deficiencies, as we refer to them in Chinese medicine. Sometimes patients turn to commercial or natural lubricants, but based on a recent article couples who are trying to conceive should be wary of which ones they decide to use. A study in the April 2014 Fertility and Sterility journal addressed how various lubricants can impact sperm motility. The types of commercial lubricants they tested were Pre-Seed, Astroglide, and three types of KY Jelly. They also tested baby, canola, sesame, and mustard oils. The conclusion of the study was that all of the commercial lubricants except Pre-seed were shown to negatively impact sperm motility. With regards to the natural oils, sesame oil was also shown to negatively impact motility. Canola, mustard, and baby oils were shown to have no negative effects on motility.
One of our goals with all of our female patients at Nurture is to try to get the body to produce sufficient amounts of its own cervical mucus, particularly the raw egg-white type around ovulation. However, if you are going to use a commercial personal lubricant, I definitely recommend Pre-seed if you are trying to conceive!