Last Updated: November 27, 2016

Definition - What does Guaifenesin mean?

Guaifenesin is an ingredient in some cough syrups and anti-mucus medications which act to thin mucus. Some women have taken guaifenesin prior to ovulation to attempt to increase their chances of conception. The theory is that, since thick cervical mucus can prevent sperm from reaching the egg, taking a mucus thinner may ease the passage of sperm.

However, there is no scientific evidence showing that this works, and it is unknown whether guaifenesin may actually decrease chances of conception by creating cervical dryness.

FertilitySmarts explains Guaifenesin

To facilitate conception, large quantities of thin cervical mucus are ideal.

While thick cervical mucus can block passage of the sperm to the egg, a dry cervix can also make it more difficult for sperm to pass through. Some women with naturally thick cervical mucus have claimed that using guaifenesin has helped them to conceive.

However, no scientific studies have been done on the effectiveness of this technique. There have also been no studies to determine whether some women have difficulty conceiving as a result of cervical dryness while using guaifenesin.

Healthcare providers have expressed concern about this practice, because guaifenesin-containing medications such as Robitussin and Mucinex can have side effects, especially from long-term use.

Taking a few doses of these over-the-counter medications is not harmful, but these medicines are not intended to be used for long periods of time. Any medication can cause problematic changes in body function if used more frequently than intended.

Some doctors recommend that women with cervical mucus concerns try certain supplements or vitamins, which might increase both quality and quantity of cervical mucus.

Women trying to conceive should always talk to their doctors before beginning a new medication or supplement, to protect against potential medication interactions or fertility-related side effects.

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