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Infertility Problems With Cervical Mucus

By

Robert W. Rebar

, MD, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

Medically Reviewed Oct 2022
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Abnormal cervical mucus can prevent sperm from entering the uterus, but this problem is rarely a major cause of infertility.

  • Problems with cervical mucus are not usually a major cause of infertility, but they may be a factor in women who have a cervical infection or scar tissue in the cervix (cervical stenosis).

  • Doctors do a pelvic examination to check for infection and a cervical canal that is narrowed or closed because of scar tissue.

  • Infections and scar tissue, if present, are treated.

Cervical mucus Uterus and cervix is secreted by glands in the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). Normally, this mucus is thick and impenetrable to sperm until just before release of an egg (ovulation). Then, just before ovulation, the mucus becomes clear and elastic (because the level of the hormone estrogen increases). As a result, sperm can move through the mucus into the uterus to the fallopian tubes, where fertilization can take place.

Abnormal mucus may do the following:

However, problems with cervical mucus rarely impair fertility significantly, except in women who have a chronic cervical infection or a cervical canal that has been narrowed or closed (called cervical stenosis Cervical Stenosis Cervical stenosis is narrowing of the passageway through the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). Cervical stenosis often causes no symptoms. Rarely, the uterus fills with blood or pus. The... read more ) because of scar tissue. (The cervical canal is the channel in the cervix through which sperm enter and menstrual blood exits.) Scar tissue is usually caused by a surgical procedure, such as one done to treat a precancerous abnormality of the cervix (cervical dysplasia Cervical Cancer Cervical Cancer ).

Did You Know...

  • Just before an egg is released (ovulation), mucus in the cervix changes consistency to allow sperm to enter the uterus.

Diagnosis of Cervical Mucus Problems

Treatment of Cervical Mucus Problems

  • Treatment of infections or scar tissue, if present

If a cervical infection is diagnosed, it is treated with antibiotics. If cervical stenosis is detected, it may be treated with a procedure to dilate (widen) the cervix.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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