TTC and Mucinex: Robitussin, and Fertility
Can Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant?
I am currently TTC. If you are new to the world of 'trying for a baby,' TTC means Trying to Conceive. You may have heard of Mucinex as one of the tips, tricks, and hacks for trying to get a baby started. In this article, I will share information on what Mucinex is, and how Mucinex can help a couple who is trying to conceive. Dosages will be discussed, as well as brand names for Mucinex, and different types of Mucinex. Supportive, scientific evidence from respected, peer-reviews articles and journals will be used to enhance information shared regarding Mucinex and trying to conceive.
What is Guaifenesin, and How Can It Help You Get Pregnant?
At this time, Guaifenesin is a medication that is sold over the counter. It is considered an expectorant. It is taken by mouth and is usually used to assist an individual in expectorating phlegm from their airways, especially when they have some severe respiratory tract infection. It is considered quite safe, and its use may show an improvement in both men and women and their infertility issue if the issue is somehow correlated to the production of mucus. Guaifenesin is interesting because it's not only an expectorant, it's also a kind of muscle relaxant and even has anticonvulsive properties. Guaifenesin reduces the adhesiveness of mucous, as well as its surface tension. It also ups the hydration of that mucus. (Guaifenesin, 2018)
Is Guaifenesin Safe When Trying to Conceive?
It's safe because the developmental toxicity of guaifenesin is considered scarce, to prove this, twenty-five female rates were given different doses of guaifenesin. They were given the doses between gestation day six to day seventeen. The doses given ranged from 250 milligrams to 600 milligrams, and the dosage was given in milligrams per kilograms of body weight. None of the rat babies had any morbidity or mortality issue, but fourteen rat baby fetuses were discovered in groups three and four, and twenty-six baby rat fetuses that passed away were found in group five. The test showed that in pregnancy, doses that ranged from 350 mg, 500 mg, and 600 mg showed significant developmental toxicity, so its use should be used with extreme care during pregnancy. This happens because medications like guaifenesin can enter the placental barrier and then enter the baby's circulation within the womb. (Shabbir, 2016) Guaifenesin does come with its small laundry list of side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, nausea or even allergic rash. Overdosing is unlikely to produce toxic effects in non-pregnant individuals. Do not take the Mucinex-D, as this has pseudoephedrine in it, which is to open the nasal airways when it's clogged up. Also, do not take the Mucinex DM which has dextromorphan. Dextromorphan helps suppress coughing, and can also make you sleepy.
How Guaifenesin Can Help with Infertility
Guaifenesin has shown to improve a woman's feminine mucous that may initially prove to be a hostile environment. (Check, 2000) Check, from that scientific article, mentioned that guaifenesin is a simple way of improving the female reproductive mucous. A Canadian journal mentioned that guaifenesin was given to women to enhance female mucous production, alongside other elements such as vitamin B6, and an antibiotic, like amoxicillin or clarithromycin. They gave this prescription cocktail to a woman during her follicular phase, or to increase luteal hormones. The female reproductive fluid is commonly called "CM" in TTC circles. Remember, TTC is trying to Conceive! CM is mucous that is gel-like in texture. It fills up the feminine canal and controls the entry of male reproductive fluid into the upper tract area of the canal. It has specialized vital proteins and enzymes. (Tsibris, 1987) In regards to the female reproductive fluid, or CM as it's known in TTC circles, the expectorant properties of Mucinex will assist in similarly thinning the CM that the mucous is thinned within the lungs. When the Mucous in the lungs is thinned, it is easier to cough out. When the CM within the feminine canals is thinned, it will create an environment that is friendly to the male reproductive swimmers so that the swimmers can reach the feminine egg. The CM will be more accessible to swim through.
Mucinex, Men and Increase Motility for "Swimmers"
In 2011, a thirty-two-year-old man was considered infertile. He was not able to conceive with his significant other, even though they had tried for eighteen months, and without any protection. An analysis of his male reproductive fluid was complete, and he has a low count for reproductive fluid swimmers. Even the volume, viscosity, motility, morphology and liquefaction counts were not up to par, on top of the low 'swimmers' count. The provider at that time recommended that the male take 600 milligrams of guaifenesin (extended release) two times a day. This made for a total of 1200 milligrams daily. The male was reevaluated in two months, and the analysis of the male reproductive fluid showed a significant improvement in both swimmers count and their motility. This study, even though it was from a 2011 case for one couple, showed that guaifenesin might be effective to increase a male's reproductive fluid. (Means, 2011)
Guaifenesin Dosage for Trying to Conceive
It may be safe to take guaifenesin for the week of the woman's expecting ovulation. This is to lower the risk of any exposure to the developing tissue if conception is to occur. Some females on internet boards had success trying Mucinex for five days before ovulation by taking the extra strength 1200 mg once a day, at night before bed. Others take the 600mg of Mucinex (or guaifenesin) twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, being careful only to take guaifenesin. Taking Mucinex with extra, unnecessary ingredients can increase side effects and exposure to other drugs.
Final Notes on TTC with Guaifenesin
Ultimately, the best chances for a couple to achieve conception is to have timed "baby-making activities" during the six-day window before and including the day of ovulation. This is known as the fertile window. (Evans, 2013) If you aren't doing so already, go ahead and download an app to track your cycle, or invest in a monitoring device that monitors urinary LH, or luteinizing hormones. This is more expensive than the app, however, and the sticks used to can add up quite quickly. Many women try to track their CM using CMM, or 'feminine' mucous monitoring. Whether one is using Mucinex (guaifenesin) or not, feminine mucous is observed through sensation and appearance. One's feminine area may feel dry or damp at the beginning of the time of the month. When it feels dry, it's considered Type 1, and when it feels damp, it's considered Type 2. Type 3 is when the CM is white, creamy and thick. Type four is stretchy, transparent, and elastic and may remind a woman of egg whites that aren't cooked. Type four, the egg white consistency, has the highest chances of conception. People that practice baby-making during the days when Type 4 CM is detected have at least two to three times more success in conception than 'doing it' with CM that is considered Type 1 or 2. Guaifenesin helps the CM become slippery and wet, which is an idea for the swimmers for them to reach their target. Also, it is recommended to use a product called Pre-Seed, which helps harbor a safe environment as a lubricant, instead of depending on other lubricants that may destroy male reproductive fluids. It closely mimics natural feminine CM, which helps facilitate the swimmers to reach their ultimate goal.
References Used for Guaifenesin and Fertility
Check, J. (2000) Successful pregnancy despite advanced age and elevated serum follicle stimulating hormone levels--a case report. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2000; 27(3-4):171-2.
Evans-Hoeker, E., Pritchard, D. A., Long, D. L., Herring, A. H., Stanford, J. B., & Steiner, A. Z. (2013). Cervical mucus monitoring prevalence and associated fecundability in women trying to conceive. Fertility and Sterility, 100(4), 1033–1038.e1. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.06.002
Guaifenesin. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/guaifenesin#section=Toxicity
Means, G., Berry-Cabán, C. S., & Hammermeuller, K. (2011). Guaifenesin and increased motility: a preliminary case report. International Journal of General Medicine, 4, 13–14. http://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S14585
Shabbir, A., Shamsi, S., Shahzad, M., Butt, H. I., Aamir, K., & Iqbal, J. (2016). Evaluation of developmental toxicity of guaifenesin using pregnant female rats. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 48(3), 264–269. http://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7613.182891
Tsibris J.C.M. (1987) Cervical Mucus. In: Gold J.J., Josimovich J.B. (eds) Gynecologic Endocrinology. Springer, Boston, MA
© 2018 Charlotte Doyle