Some Facts About Robitussin Fertility

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A little-known study conducted in 1982 showed that the drug guiafenesin could increase the quality of cervical mucus. Guiafenesin is an expectorant used to loosen thickened phlegm in upper respiratory tract infections and make it easier for the body to expel the mucus.

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It’s a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrups. The researchers hypothesized that guiafenesin could thin cervical mucus, just like it thins nasal mucus, and make it easier for sperm to travel up the birth canal into the uterus.

The authors remained uncertain as to the mechanism of action for the improved fertility, but they assumed that it was similar to guiafenesin’s actions on respiratory secretions.

Women participating in the study were given 600 mg of guiafenesin daily in the form of Robitussin cough syrup. They took the guiafenesin from the fifth day of their cycle until they had a temperature rise signifying ovulation.

In this solitary study, the authors defined the success rate for treating cervical factor infertility as more than 30 percent of patients becoming pregnant. Patients treated with Robitussin had a success rate of 40 percent. So there was a definite success.

This type of therapy is valid only for those couples facing cervical factor infertility in which the main cause of infertility is due to the cervical mucus not allowing the sperm to safely travel to the birth canal. Should you pursue this therapy, here are some points to consider.

First, before using guiafenesin as an infertility treatment, we recommend seeking the advice of your personal physician. Guiafenesin is considered pregnancy category C, which means no one really knows if it causes any issues with the fetus, but it is more than likely safe.

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Second, in the event you do use it, one teaspoon of Robitussin contains 100 mg of guiafenesin, so you would need to take two tablespoons of Robitussin daily for approximately ten days to get a similar amount of guiafenesin as the subjects in the study.

Third, when you take guiafenesin you need to drink one cup of water per every teaspoon dose in order to thin the mucus.

Finally, Robitussin is often combined with other upper respiratory medications. Robitussin combined with decongestants may actually thicken the cervical mucus, so you would want to avoid that combination.

Interestingly, one of the original researchers followed up on his 1982 guiafenesin study with a 2006 study focusing on the diagnosis and treat­ment of cervical factor abnormalities. He stated that guiafenesin was the cheapest but least effective therapy. While cough syrup is cheap and may increase your chance of getting pregnant, consult your physician first. He or she may be able to offer you more effective treatments.

Recently, a product hit the market called FertileCM that claims to increase fertility by supporting the production of “fertile-quality” cervical mucus. This product is a dietary supplement, and to the best of our knowl­edge there is no solid research backing its claims.