Today I want to talk about what I did to boost the quality of my cervical fluid and improve my luteal phase. They were two separate “projects”, but both very important in having a healthy cycle.
[Disclaimer: Everything I’m sharing with you today is from my own personal experience. I’m not recommending any of this as actual medical advice so please make sure you do your own research.]
Ovulation is obviously a very important part to your cycle, and if you’re trying to get pregnant then very important. But a lot of people forget about the role of good cervical fluid and an adequate luteal phase.
So, let’s start by talking about cervical fluid. What is its role in your fertility?
Your cervical fluid is made up of water, sugars, electrolytes and proteins that nourish and protect sperm. These are all important ingredients when it comes to getting his sperm to your egg.
Your fluid provides an alkaline environment for his sperm. Our vaginas are naturally slightly acidic and “hostile" to sperm. Like his semen, your fertile fluid is alkaline which helps sperm make their way through the vagina.
There are different types of cervical fluid ranging from dry and sticky to creamy and egg-white. And certain types are more fertile than others.
Least fertile to most fertile descriptors:
— dry or no fluid present
— tacky, sticky, or gummy
— creamy or lotiony
It takes at least a cycle to notice the difference between which types your body produces. But if you do chart it and notice that it never really gets past feeling like rubber cement then you might have some difficulties when it comes to conceiving.
Think of it this way. Your cervical fluid can either act like a spider web, catching or trapping your partner’s sperm, or like a fun ol’ slip and slide up to your egg.
So, what are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting that good, baby making egg-white quality cervical fluid?
The first thing you need to do is drink more water. Boring, yeah, but your cervical fluid is 90% water so if you’re not hydrated enough it’s obvious your fluid is going to suffer.
Another thing I did was take a primrose oil supplement from Cycle Day 1 until I ovulated, where I would then switch to a flax oil supplement until my next cycle started. And this is because primrose can potentially cause your uterus to contract.
One weird thing that I tried out, but didn’t think would have an impact was drinking grapefruit juice, as well as other citrus juices leading up to ovulation. I got a big bag of grapefruit and started juicing them around Cycle Day 10 (I normally ovulated between CD 13-15).
And eating more veggies is said to be helpful in creating that alkaline environment necessary for not zapping his guys.
Eating raw garlic was another one I saw, but I never gave that a try. But the cycle I started drinking more water, grapefruit juice and taking 1500 mg of evening primrose oil leading up to ovulation there was a big difference in the amount and quality of my egg-white fluid.
Ok, what about some things that could be negatively impacting the quality of your cervical fluid?
+ Accutane (an acne medication)
+ Pain drugs (advil, idol, ibuprofen, aleve, etc.)
+ Antidepressants (zoloft, prozac)
+ Clomid (fertility drug)
+ Antihistamines (Sudafed, Claritin)
+ Motion Sickness (Benadryl, Dramamine)
+ Hormonal Birth Control
And I think this list is just worth mentioning because often we don’t think of how medications affects us.
Next, let’s move into the luteal phase, and what I did to improve mine.
My cycle is pretty regular and on schedule, but one thing I have found that throws it out of whack is flinging my body through many different time zones.
It’s usually after a big international trip that I start spotting more and more before my period, sometimes 9 days or more.
A “normal” luteal phase is anywhere between 11 and 17 days, with the average somewhere between 12 and 14 days long.
So, if you’ve noticed that your luteal phase is shorter than 10 days that’s not the best when it comes to giving a fertilized egg long enough to implant in your uterus and send signals back to your ovaries to have the corpus luteum keep producing progesterone to keep the lining of your uterus in place. Because obviously if your uterus starts shedding that’s not great for your fertilized egg.
I tried a few different supplements that didn’t have any impact on my spotting before discovering Vitex.
I ordered this Vitex (two bottles), which is two pills per dose. After my period ended I would start taking those two pills each day throughout the rest of my cycle, taking a break again when my period came. And I would do that for 2-3 cycles, but often my spotting would clear up in that first cycle of taking it.
Actually, the cycle before I got pregnant I had 6 days of spotting leading up to my period, and of course I thought, crap that’s not good. So I started taking Vitex the following cycle.
Well, then I found out I was pregnant. I’m not sure what exactly you’re supposed to do in this situation but I just cut down to one pill a day and then just stopped taking it within a week or two.
And that’s what I did to get my cycle in tip top shape when it came to killer cervical fluid and a strong luteal phase.
For anyone trying to get pregnant I always recommend looking into a few things that boost your cervical fluid because they are nonintrusive and good quality fluid is so important.