Cervical mucus becomes hostile mucus when it is too thick for a sperm to swim through and reach the unfertilized egg. The mucus itself is produced in tiny glands in the cervical canal and takes on an array of forms and consistency throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. Hostile cervical mucus can be formed if the patient has a poor diet or is taking certain types of medication -- such as antihistamines -- that restrict the production of cervical fluid, causing the mucus to increase in density.
While cervical mucus itself is a normal and beneficial component of the conception process, when this mucus becomes hostile it can act as a barrier to sperm. Despite the serious sounding name, the affects of hostile mucus can be treated and prevented. The color and consistency of mucus varies during the ovulation cycle anyway, so couples should not be alarmed if a change suddenly occurs.
When ovulation is approaching, cervical mucus should be white or cream in color and sticky in texture. It should also break apart easily when stretched between fingers. There is a very low chance of conception at this stage as sperms that make it through the mucus will generally find nothing fertilize as they are too early and the ovum is not yet released. Earlier than this -- in the first few days after menstruation -- there should be little to know mucus discharge.
During and after Ovulation
At the time of ovulation, cervical mucus is at its most abundant. However, it is also at its thinnest at this point, giving the sperm its best chance of penetration and, eventually, conception. A sperm can survive in this mucus for up to 72 hours, which, if the mucus is of the thin, clear consistency that it should be at this stage, should give it plenty of time to reach the ovum. After ovulation, the mucus will return to feeling thick and sticky and the patient may experience dryness around the vulva.
There are several ways to combat hostile mucus, or to prevent cervical mucus turning hostile. As has been mentioned, a good diet and an avoidance of antihistamines are advised while attempting to conceive. In addition to this, guafenesin -- an active ingredient in the cough medicine, Robitussin -- will help the process. Those affected should take 200 mg orally three times a day. The use of certain lubricants such as Pre-Seed can also counteract the affects of hostile mucus and provide a better environment for the sperm to do its job.
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