Can Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant?
From taking over-the-counter supplements to eating antioxidant-rich foods, there are numerous ways to increase fertility. According to some studies, changing your dietary habits can increase your conception rate. But can cough syrup help you conceive? Specifically, can Mucinex help you get pregnant? Here's everything we know about the viral TikTok trend.
What Is Mucinex?
Mucinex, the brand name for Guaifenesin, is an over-the-counter expectorant. Taken orally, this medication helps suppress one's cough while thinning mucus. It can alleviate chest heaviness and/or congestion, and Mucinex helps individuals clear phlegm from their upper respiratory system, making it easier to clear the head, nose, lungs, and throat.
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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," Dr. Antero says.
"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."
Still interested in trying it out? Always talk to your doctor before trying any fertility enhancement plan, including taking Mucinex to help you conceive.
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.
- Watch your weight. Being overweight can cause cycle irregularities. This can make it difficult to conceive. Those who are underweight—with a BMI of 18.5 or lower—may struggle too, particularly if the individual loses their menses altogether. Visit your healthcare provider if you are worried your weight may be impacting your fertility.
- Avoid hazardous chemicals, if possible. Did you know certain industrial chemicals can disrupt your menstrual cycle? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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, i.e. smoking causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and lung diseases—to name a few. It can also damage a woman's eggs, interfering 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.