Can Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant?

In theory, Mucinex could help you get pregnant, but the science is still out. Here's what the experts have to say.

Have you heard of the Mucinex pregnancy hack? And is it even safe? There are numerous ways to increase fertility, from taking over-the-counter supplements to eating antioxidant-rich foods. But can cough syrup really help you conceive? Specifically, can Mucinex help you get pregnant? Here's everything we know about the viral TikTok trend.

An image of Mucinex.
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What Is Mucinex?

Mucinex, the brand name for guaifenesin, is an over-the-counter expectorant. Taken orally, this medication helps suppress a person's cough while thinning mucus and helping clear phlegm from the upper respiratory system. It can alleviate chest heaviness and/or congestion, and make it easier to clear the head, nose, lungs, and throat.

Can Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant?

When TikTok creator @juliasendojourney, whose real name is Julia Schuller, revealed Mucinex helped her conceive, many of her followers took note.

"I've been tracking my fertile signs because I have endometriosis and PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome]," Schuller said. After taking Mucinex-D she noticed that she was more fertile. "After I started taking the Mucinex-D, my fertile signs went way up," she explained, adding, "I was like, 'What's going on?'"

But while Schuller noticed a change, you shouldn't get your hopes up too much. Marie Facadio Antero, M.D., fertility specialist at Conceptions Florida, says there's no evidence that Mucinex helps you conceive.

"While data has shown a slight improvement in chances of conception comes from a case report and small studies conducted 40 years ago, there is no evidence from large randomized clinical trials showing that Mucinex can help people conceive," says Dr. Antero.

Why People Think Mucinex Can Help Them Get Pregnant

"Mucinex is an expectorant that works by thinning the mucus that lines your lungs and throat and, in theory, it should help thin the cervical mucus to allow improved sperm transport to the upper female reproductive tract," Dr. Antero adds. "However, whether Mucinex contributes to thinning cervical mucus still needs to be shown."

And it's important to remember that the ability of sperm to penetrate cervical mucus is only one part of the equation for fertility. Improving one thing does not necessarily equate to improving your overall fertility.

Still interested in trying it out? Always talk to your doctor before trying any fertility enhancement plan, including taking Mucinex to help you conceive.

Is Mucinex Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

If you're considering trying the Mucinex pregnancy hack, it might be worth asking if taking Mucinex during pregnancy is even safe. After all, it is improbable that a person would know the exact moment they conceive. There is a two-week wait period between ovulation and when a pregnancy test can detect the pregnancy hormone hCG with accuracy.

Mucinex (guaifenesin) is generally safe for its intended use as an expectorant; however, it may not be safe for all trimesters of pregnancy. In a large study that looked at the effects of over-the-counter cough medications on pregnancy, researchers found a link between guaifenesin (among other cough medicines) and birth defects.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has given guaifenesin a risk category C for pregnancy, which means that there is a real risk of harm to a fetus. However, some benefits may outweigh that risk.

Mucinex Aside, How Can You Increase Your Fertility?

That said, while Mucinex may not work, there are some tried and true ways you can increase your fertility—and improve your odds of getting pregnant.

Eat well

Make sure to include enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D in your diet. Deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to lengthened menstrual cycles—and less frequent ovulation.

Mantain a healthy weight

Being significantly underweight or overweight can cause cycle irregularities, which can make it difficult to conceive. Visit your health care provider if you are worried your weight may be impacting your fertility.

Avoid hazardous chemicals

Did you know certain industrial chemicals can disrupt your menstrual cycle? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), radiation, nitrous oxide, and jet fuel—amongst others—can decrease fertility. If you have a job working with hazardous chemicals and you are trying to conceive, be sure to use protective gear.

Avoid cigarettes and alcohol

The dangers of smoking are well-documented and well-known. For example, smoking causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and lung diseases, just to name a few. It can also damage a person's eggs, interfere with the fertilization process, and cause the ovaries to age prematurely. Alcohol, on the other hand, alters estrogen levels, which may interfere with implantation. Stop smoking if you are trying to conceive, and limit alcohol consumption.

Use an ovulation tracker

It's also important to know your cycle. Not sure where to begin? Over-the-counter ovulation trackers can (and do) help you check your hormone levels, allowing you to maximize your chance of conception and improve pregnancy rates.

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