Robitussin (Guaifenesin Cough Syrup) to Improve Fertility

You may be wondering what cough syrup has to do with fertility.  Robitussin’s main ingredient is guaifenesin.  Guaifenesin aids in fertility because it improves the quality of your cervical mucus.  Fertile cervical mucus helps transport sperm from the vagina into the uterus.  Sperm cannot survive long without fertile cervical mucus.  Thick or hostile cervical mucus can block sperm from getting past the vagina to where they need to be in order to fertilize the egg.  Actually, this is one way that hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy.  By creating an environment with thick cervical mucus, the mucus can effectively create a barrier that keeps sperm from getting past your cervix.

Hostile cervical mucus

Having thin, slippery, cervical mucus – the kind you see right before ovulation – will increase your chances of getting pregnant.  Some women naturally have plenty of fertile cervical mucus.  However, women that do not notice thin and stretchy cervical mucus or have very little of it around the time they ovulate, might have a problem with hostile cervical mucus.  To diagnose hostile cervical mucus your doctor would need to do a post-coital test which would allow him to see the type and quality of cervical mucus you are producing. 

Women that are taking Clomid often have problems with hostile cervical mucus.  Clomid blocks cervical estrogen receptors.  Estrogen is involved in the production of cervical mucus.  When estrogen receptors are blocked, your cervix doesn’t get the message to start making fertile cervical mucus so instead a woman on Clomid may have dry or hostile cervical mucus.  Since the goal of taking Clomid is to help a woman get pregnant, the side effects are counterproductive.  In order to make sure that the Clomid is as effective as possible, your doctor may prescribe a low dosage of estrogen or suggest that you take Robitussin.

How does Robitussin improve cervical mucus?

Robitussin is an expectorant, which means it helps thin out the mucus in your lungs.  This helps with coughing because it is easier to clear the mucus out of your lungs when you cough if the mucus is thinner.  What’s nice about Robitussin is that it doesn’t just work on the mucus produced in your lungs, it also helps thin out cervical mucus.  Thinner mucus is better for sperm and may improve your chances of getting pregnant.

When should you take Robitussin?

The best time to take Robitussin is about 5 days before you expect to ovulate and also on the day of ovulation.  If you are using OPKs (or ovulation prediction kits) continue taking until 2 to 3 days after your have had a positive OPK.  The recommended dosage is two teaspoons taken orally three times a day.

What else can you do to improve cervical mucus?

Some other things you can do to improve cervical mucus is to avoid lubrications that are not sperm-friendly.  Most of the over the counter lubricants are not recommended for women trying to conceive because they can hinder sperm transport or damage sperm.  There are a couple of products on the market, however, that were created for couples who are trying to conceive.  If you are not producing enough lubricative cervical mucus, you may consider using an artificial sperm-friendy lubricant to help.  Preseed is one of the more popular fertility aid lubricants.  Another product called PreConceive Plus is also sperm friendly and is available at Rite Aid and CVS stores.   

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