• Dr Peter Chew

Scanty mucus

I am trying to conceive for the past 2 years. My doctor told me that the mucus secretion of my cervix during ovulation was scanty and thick and this could be hostile to the sperm. What are the reasons for scanty mucus? Any treatment?


In normal menstrual cycle, a copious amount of transparent clear mucus is produced by the cervix during ovulation. The mucus guides and helps the sperm swim through the vagina into the cervix and beyond and provides nutrients which the sperm needs for the long journey ahead. But in some cases, it may turn hostile to the sperm by immobilising and/or killing the sperm before it has a chance to meet the awaiting egg. This condition is called cervical hostility.


Causes of scanty mucus include:


• Vaginal infection, usually from sexually transmitted diseases: The vaginal fluid becomes tainted, killing or damaging sperm as they enter the vagina.

• Cervical infection, also from sexually transmitted infection: This will damage the glands that produce the cervical mucus.

• Acidic cervical mucus: The inflammatory cells resulting from bacterial or yeast infections will make the cervical secretions too acidic and hostile to the sperm.

• Anti-sperm antibodies: In this uncommon condition, cervical mucus contains anti-sperm antibodies which will immobilise or attack the sperm.

• Trauma to the cervix: Electro-cautery, cryosurgery or biopsy of the cervix may damage the cervical glands that produce the mucus.

• Medications: Fertility drugs such as clomiphene, may cause scanty

by affecting the production by cervical glands.


Treatment includes:


Eating a diet high in vegetables

Cutting down the consumption of processed foods, soda, meat, dairy products and sugar

Drinking an adequate amount of water to hydrate the body

Cessation of drugs that may be causing scanty mucus

Treating the infection using antibiotics and/or antifungal agents

Patients with anti-sperm antibodies may be treated with a course of steroids

Employing advanced reproductive technology (Intrauterine insemination and in-vitro fertilisation) to bypass the cervix



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