Cervical mucus monitoring prevalence and associated fecundability in women trying to conceive

Capsule:
Consistent cervical mucus monitoring is uncommon but is associated with increased probability of conception independent of intercourse frequency and urinary luteinizing hormone monitoring.

Authors:
Emily Evans-Hoeker, M.D., David A. Pritchard, M.S., D. Leann Long, M.S., Amy H. Herring, Sc.D., Joseph B. Stanford, M.D., M.S.P.H., Anne Z. Steiner, M.D., M.P.H.

Volume 100, Issue 4, Pages 1033-1038.e1, October 2013

Abstract:

Objective:
To assess the use of cervical mucus monitoring (CMM) in women trying to conceive and determine whether monitoring is associated with increased cycle-specific probability of conception (fecundability).

Design:
Time-to-pregnancy cohort study.

Setting:
Population-based cohort.

Patient(s):
Three hundred thirty-one women trying to conceive, ages 30 to 44 years, without known infertility.

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
CMM prevalence and fecundability.

Result(s):
During the first cycle of the study, CMM was performed consistently (checked on >66% of pertinent cycle days) by 20 women (6%), inconsistently (34% to 66% of days) by 60 women (18%), infrequently (≤33% of days) by 73 women (22%), and not performed by 178 women (54%). Cycles in which CMM was consistently performed were statistically significantly more likely to result in conception after adjusting for age, race, previous pregnancy, body mass index, intercourse frequency, and urinary luteinizing hormone (LH) monitoring. Fecundability also increased with increasing consistency of CMM.

Conclusion(s):
Among women trying to conceive, CMM is uncommon, but our study suggests that CMM—a free, self-directed method to determine the fertile window—is associated with increased fecundability independent of intercourse frequency or use of urinary LH monitoring.

  • Lauren Johnson

    Interesting study of noninfertile women which observed higher cycle fecundability among women who consistently monitored their cervical mucous. Since this study is observational, it is not possible to know whether cervical mucous monitoring causes increased cycle fecundability or whether it is associated with other factors that are associated with fertility (i.e. younger age.) Nonetheless, cervical mucous monitoring is not expensive or harmful and may be beneficial for women attempting conception.

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