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Hostile Cervical Mucus behind 20% of women infertility: Experts

New Delhi: Hostile Cervical Mucus, a condition in which the male sperms are unable to survive due to the hostile cervical conditions of the female during intercourse, accounts for 20 per cent of female infertility, according to IVF experts.

According to them, the reason behind the cervical mucus may also be triggered due to lack of balanced nutrition rich diets and lack of water intake.

“Hostile Cervical Mucus may also occur if women eat a lot of dairy products and find that the cervical mucus becomes very thick. Another reason can be some specific group of medications such as Antihistamines, which is said to create hostile cervical mucus in many women,” said Arvind Vaid, an IVF specialist at Indira IVF Hospital.

According to the experts, Cervical Mucus is a natural jelly-like substance that a woman’s body produces. It protects the sperm from naturally acidic environment of the vagina and helps the sperm to get safely to the egg.

However, there are several reasons which may make the cervical conditions unfriendly for the sperm to survive.

“The primary function of cervical mucus is to protect the sperm on their journey to fallopian tubes and help to keep them safe from the naturally acidic environment of the vagina. Sometimes antisperm antibodies are present in cervical mucus due to which the immune system mistakes sperm for a foreign invader and thus it either blocks the sperm’s passage or damages the sperm so severely that they can no longer function,” said Vaid.

Nikita Rawal, an Indore based IVF specialist, said that women can get diagnosed hostile cervical mucus by Postcoital Test, in which the interaction of sperm-mucus is accessed.

“It’s the best test to diagnose cervical mucus problems especially if results for other tests are normal and there still persists an unexplained cause of infertility. The test indicates if the chemical composition of the mucus is appropriate for sperm survival and any dead or slow moving sperm found indicates that the mucus is hostile,” said Rawal.

She said even if the results of the test show presence of hostile mucus, the success rate of pregnancy can be improved through Intrauterine Inception (IUI).

“Other line of treatments may include Estrogen therapy to improve the quality of mucus,” she said.