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

Fertil Steril. 2013 Oct;100(4):1033-1038.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Jul 11.


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.

Keywords: Cervical mucus monitoring; conception; fecundability; fertile window.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervix Mucus / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Fertilization
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Ovulation Detection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • Time-to-Pregnancy