Secreted by the glands of the cervix, cervical mucus is involved in the process of fertilization and is, for gynecologists, an essential tool in the assessment of infertility. We take stock.
- Secreted by the glands of the cervix, cervical mucus is a viscous multifunctional substance. Evolving during the menstrual cycle, this filamentous secretion intervenes in the process of fertilization.
The missions of cervical mucus
- The role of cervical mucus fluctuates according to the menstrual cycle. Depending on the period, its volume, its viscosity and even its color will gradually change to assume different missions.
- Thus, the beginning of cycle is characterized by cervical secretions little present.
- As ovulation approaches, the volume of mucus will gradually increase until it reaches a particular texture, often compared to that of egg white.
- The substance produced in the cervix fluidifies to become slippery. This texture modification has a single function: to facilitate the movement of the spermatozoa within the vagina for possible fertilization.
- Rich in many nutrients, the cervical mucus is also an essential source of energy for male gametes that try to go upstream against the fallopian tube.
- At the end of the cycle, the production of cervical mucus is drying up. The secretions present thicken and form a protective barrier that prevents the passage of bacteria within the uterus.
- In case of pregnancy, it is the famous mucous plug.
Cervical mucus and fertility, what links?
- The quality of the cervical mucus is one of the most important pledges of fertility. In fact, scarce or too acidic cervical secretions, for example, can constitute real obstacles to the fertilization of an egg by a spermatozoon.
- This is why cervical mucus is analyzed in case of infertility problems in a couple (Hühner test). Depending on the results, an estrogen-based treatment may sometimes be recommended. In fact, changes in cervical mucus during the menstrual cycle are mainly induced by fluctuations in estrogen levels. However, a hormonal imbalance can alter the quality of cervical secretion at the time of ovulation and explain infertility.
- Nevertheless, some medications or vaginal infections can also generate this type of disorder. It is therefore essential to consult a gynecologist in case of difficulty to conceive a child.