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Cervical Hostility and Regaining Fertility to Get Pregnant

Cervical Hostility and Regaining Fertility to Get Pregnant

Sperm meets egg and baby is produced. Getting pregnant should be as easy as that. But it isn’t. The average ejaculation contains 200 million sperm, but within several hours, those vast numbers have dwindled to just 1/10th of that amount. So, what reduces those numbers so drastically?

There are a lot of things within the woman’s body that may be unfriendly to male sperm including cervical mucus. While cervical mucus is intended by nature to work as a guide, helping push sperm along through the vagina and into the cervix and beyond, as well as offer important nutrients to give the sperm the energy it needs for the long journey ahead, in some cases it can actually work against the sperm it is intended to help.

In some cases, a woman’s cervical mucus can actually go on the attack, killing sperm before it ever has a chance to make it to the awaiting egg. This is called Cervical Hostility.

When this problem arises, a man’s sperm is unable to penetrate the cervix and therefore a pregnancy becomes impossible. So, what causes the female body to become so hostile to the one thing she needs to fulfill her dream of motherhood?

Here are a few common things that may induce cervical hostility:

  • An infection in the lower reproductive tract. This can cause the vaginal fluids to become tainted, killing or otherwise damaging sperm as they enter the vagina
  • Too many anti-sperm antibodies in the cervical mucus. When activated, these antibodies actually work to immobilize sperm, preventing any from entering the cervix.
  • A poor, acidic diet. Healthy cervical mucus is alkaline in nature. To have a more alkaline cervical mucus eat a diet high in vegetables and stay away from processed foods, soda, meat, dairy and sugar.
  • Cervical mucus that is too thick or scanty. If the cervical mucus is too thick it will be hard for the sperm to travel. If the cervical mucus is scanty or not present it will also be impossible for the sperm to make its way to the egg.

If you suspect cervical mucus hostility as a cause for your infertility, there are some ways to test for it. You can have your doctor remove a sample of cervical mucus 8-12 hours after intercourse for closer examination. This will help show the physicians the degree of motility and number of live sperm.

If more than 20 actively moving sperm are found per field, cervical hostility is not a concern. If there is less, then further testing is needed to determine if the woman’s body is indeed attacking her partner’s sperm. If so, there are several options available:

-An herbal blend such as Women’s Best Friend may help to clear up any lingering infections.

-The Fertilica CM Pack may be used to help thin the cervical mucus and make it more manageable and friendly as well as promote the production of cervical mucus if it is scanty.

-Systemic enzymes have been used successfully in cases where there is an immunological attack on the sperm.

-If your cervical mucus is thin or scant you can also use a sperm friendly lubricant such as Pre-Seed which has been specially and scientifically designed to mimic the cervical mucus while not harming sperm.

Diet and proper supplementation can also make a difference. Cervical mucus should be more alkaline, so eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps to keep the body healthy and more alkaline. Foods such as meats, processed foods, dairy and sodas cause the body to become more acidic. In addition, keeping hydrated and drinking 8 glasses of water a day will help to provide the body with enough water to produce cervical mucus in addition to its other millions of processes it uses water for every day.

-IUI and IVF: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be used if the cervical hostility cannot be sufficiently treated. These procedures allow pregnancy to occur by bypassing the vagina but can be very expensive with a relatively low success rate (15-30%). These procedures often require the use of hormone medications, as well, and may not be covered by health insurance. However, the rate for spontaneous conception per month is only 20% in those who do not have a fertility problem.

-Steroid treatments may help stop antisperm antibodies from developing in the first place. One warning here though: they can cause serious side effects in some women.

Cervical mucus hostility is often one of the last things tested for in infertile women, yet it can be quite common among infertile couples. Be sure to check for this common affliction if your doctor has been unable to find another cause for your inability to get pregnant.

Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull is a University-trained Obstetrician/Gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She delivered over 2000 babies and specializes in gynecologic diseases such as menstrual disorders, infertility diagnosis and treatment especially pertaining to tubal blockage and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Dr. Langdon is the inventor of 6 patent pending medical devices, and attended Ohio State University from 1987-1995 receiving her Medical Doctorate Degree (M.D.) with Honors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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  1. Avatar

    Hi ladies,

    I just wanted to say in some words and ask a question concerning the hostile uterus diagnostics. In this post, I read that most of the problems are actually caused by dry vaginal environment.

    I made a manual home test as said in the article and there is enough mucus in the middle of the cycle. Can it mean that I have nothing to worry about?

  2. Avatar

    We had a problem conceiving as my mucus imbolised my partners sperm. Therefore 18 years ago we had IVF successfully. Is it likely that my daughter might inherit thus same problem? Both her aunts conceived naturally.

  3. Avatar

    I am a Fertility Care/Natural Family Planning instructor. For mucus enhancement, we recommend high doses of vitamin B6 (100-500mg time-release daily) and/or Guaifenesin which loosens the mucus in the chest and liquifies it, so you can cough it up. But medicine goes all over the body and can improve the mucus quality and quantity.

    • Dear Annie,

      Thank you for sharing a bit about what you know.

      We suggest against over-the-counter medications to loosen mucus because we know so many nutritional supplements and dietary changes can be quite supportive of healthy cervical mucus production. Things like Evening Primrose Oil, L-Arginine and staying hydrated offer systemic support to the body and many more benefits than OTC medications.

  4. Avatar

    A fever, Do you have any herbal remedy for it?

    • Dear Kelvin,

      We have limited information on how to manage fever naturally. What I can share is that Red Raspberry leaf is in part cools the body down, which may slightly reduce fever only if there is an actual fever present. Peppermint and Chamomile are also cooling herbs.

      It may be best to reach out to a naturopathic doctor or herbalist near you.

      I wish you well!

  5. Avatar

    Hello Doctor! Can the prostate prevent pregnancy? Is it the cause of internal heat?

    • Dear Kelvin,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. First, I have to share that I am not a medical doctor. Our team is a group of natural healthcare practitioners with a variety of specialties ranging from massage therapist and doulas, to herbalists.

      An inflamed or unhealthy prostate glad may impact a man’s fertility and in turn efforts to conceive. This may be a better question asked of your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your prostate health.

      Can you clarify what you mean by “internal heat”? Do you mean a fever, or inflammation?

      I hope to hear back from you.

  6. Avatar

    Correction: IUI does not require hormone medications at all and is significantly less expensive than IVF. I’m pretty sure the success rates between the two are different, as well. I have no idea if cervical mucus hostility contributed to our problem or not, but the first month we did a natural IUI ($400), we got pregnant. I know that’s anecdotal, but it’s definitely a reasonable option and something we plan on doing for a second child in the near future.

    • Hi Anne,

      I can surely update that section so it is easier to understand. Not all IUI requires medication, you are correct, but often doctors recommend it, most often Clomid. Success rates are different, for IUI, it is only around 8% success rate and IVF is around 30%.

      I am glad to hear of your success.

  7. Avatar

    My doctor said that my CM is acidic and killing sperm and said will go for insemination procedure. but I want to conceive naturally without any artificial Medical intervention. Is there any way to reduce acidity of CM any diet medicine
    Plss help

    • Hi Hope,

      There are natural ways to change the ph of vagina to increase your chance of natural conception. This article has many great tips, but if you would like help identifying key areas in your life to change, in order to improve your health, consider a consultation with on of our herbalists. Our herbalists can help you to see key areas in your diet and lifestyle choices that may be impacting your internal ph level. They can also help you to learn natural ways to improve those areas that are less than ideal for your conception efforts.

  8. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  9. Avatar

    My doctor checked my cervical mucus 6 hours after I had sex with my husband and said she didnt see any dead sperm. She said that it was a good thing. Is she right? I have been trying to get pregnant while on metformin and clomid for a year and no birth control for 5 years.

  10. Avatar

    Hi, I did anti-body anti-sperm test and it was positive, will Systemic enzymes help?


    • Hi Jasmine,

      You know Jasmine they may help, but I am not sure about the reasearch on systemic enzymes helping a woman’s body not react to sperm. This may be something that needs to be researched more. Antibodies are protein molecules produced by our immune system’s B cells, our primary immune defense system. These then combine with antigens to form circulating immune complexes that may cause inflammation response and impaired immunity. Systemic Enzymes fight inflammation, reduce immunological responses when they are not needed and generally aid in our bodies healthy immune response. The systemic enzymes have so many benefits they will not hurt you, but I can’t say they will cure your negative reaction to sperm. Hethir says that there are cases where the enzymes help. I will ask her about this and email you privately about it.

      All the best,


  11. Avatar

    what is the best way to prevent miscarriage

  12. Avatar

    Is milk also consider as dairy products?

  13. Avatar

    This is a great information. I am surprise Dr. just come up with the term unexplained infertility when they have not completed the search. thanks for this website

  14. hello… send me Fertility for men ok