baby-shoes-pregnant-woman

Does Taking Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant Faster?

According to TikTok, Mucinex is a fertility hack that can get you pregnant! But can this cough syrup really boost your chances of conception?

If you’re on Fertility TikTok, you’ve probably seen the latest viral fertility trend: taking the common over-the-counter medication Mucinex D to help you get pregnant. 

This trend isn’t technically new: it actually exploded for the first time a few years ago. But it became viral again when Alexa Lemieux, the Love is Blind reality star, made a TikTok video saying that taking Mucinex DM helped her get pregnant.

Scrolling through the comments on her video, you’ll see dozens of comments like, “That’s how I got pregnant with my daughter! 😂 Saw it on a ttc forum and tried it and it worked!!” It doesn’t take much convincing before you’re asking Google, “Does taking Mucinex help you get pregnant faster?” 

We’ve done the homework on the research for this trend so you don’t have to. The short answer: it's unlikely that taking Mucinex can help your chances of becoming pregnant. Let’s break down the science and debunk the fertility myth behind this popular decongestant. 

How Does Mucinex Work?

Mucinex is a brand name for the popular over-the-counter cough expectorant, guaifenesin. It works by thinning mucus produced in coughing, thus helping clear phlegm from the airways. 

Mucinex treats chest congestion from upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) like bronchitis, common colds, and the flu. It comes in the form of extended- or immediate release oral capsules, or liquid cough syrups. 

Can Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant?

The origin of this trend comes from a small study from 1982 that shows a possible connection between Mucinex D and conception. It proposed that Mucinex and guaifenesin might help you get pregnant by thinning out cervical mucus, similar to how it thins out phlegm in your throat.

So why would thinning out cervical mucus make a difference while TTC? The idea is that thinner mucus can help sperm “swim” to meet the egg. This is why Mucinex is somethings thought of as a “sperm motility booster.” 

The problem is that this study had a number of major flaws that make us question this theory. For one, it lacked a control group. This means the study didn't include a comparison group of women who didn't take Mucinex D. Without a control group, it's impossible to know if the women who conceived would have done so naturally, without the medication.

Since the publication of this now-40-year-old study, no recent research has proven that guaifenesin affects cervical mucus or boosts fertility. 

The Experts Weigh In: What Explains Why These Women Taking Mucinex Are Getting Pregnant?

Dr. Lynn Westphal — Chief Medical Officer at Kindbody, Professor Emerita or Reproductive Endocrinology at Stanford Medicine, and Doveras advisor — warns against the Mucinex trend: “Interest in using Mucinex is based on an old, poorly designed study. There are no good studies showing that Mucinex improves pregnancy rates. Women should not delay fertility testing or undergoing treatments that are proven to work.”

Double-board certified fertility expert, Dr. Lucky Sekhon, aligns with other experts when she says Mucinex doesn’t help couples trying to get pregnant. In her Instagram post addressing the trend, she says “It’s not something I recommend people use month after month when they’re trying because there’s zero evidence to actually support this theory.” 

Although some believe getting pregnant after taking medicines like Mucinex or a supplement is due to the medicines, they forget that timing and frequency of intercourse are crucial factors. 

Depending on your age, you have a 10-20% chance of getting pregnant each month. So when you’ve been trying to conceive for multiple months, your cumulative probability of getting pregnant goes up. In other words, it’s more likely that you got pregnant because you’ve been trying for a while,not because of medications like Mucinex.

Are There Any Possible Risks?

The cough suppressant, Mucinex, is generally considered safe when used as intended. But if you take if for all the days you’re tracking ovulation, this can add up and taking a medication like this for that long is not trivial.

Some side effects of Mucinex include:

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal Pain

You should also consult a doctor or health care provider if you develop any allergic reaction symptoms, like difficulty breathing.

Is Mucinex Okay During Pregnancy?

If you’re considering taking Mucinex or other drugs containing guaifenesin to get pregnant, it is important to know if it is safe during pregnancy. Since there is a 14-day wait period between ovulation and when you can take an accurate pregnancy test, you may not know when you are pregnant. 

While Mucinex (guaifenesin) is generally safe for its primary use as an expectorant, it is not confirmed safe during the three trimesters of pregnancy. A large study looked at the correlation of over-the-counter cough medications and pregnancy only to discover they could potentially cause birth defects.

What Can Help Increase Your Fertility?

Instead of trying this latest viral trend to boost your pregnancy chances, we’d recommend focusing on the many lifestyle changes that have been proven to make a difference for egg and sperm health — that don’t have potential side effects and that have years of research showing real results for couples trying to conceive.  

Personalized Lifestyle Changes

Making simple, targeted lifestyle changes before pregnancy can improve overall fertility, help you get pregnant faster, and even reduce multiple pregnancy risks like miscarriages and gestational diabetes.

If you need help figuring out what lifestyle changes are going to make a difference for you — or if you need accountability to stick to a sustainable fertility lifestyle plan — we’ve got you. Doveras’ personalized fertility programs are powered by over 100,000 clinical studies on the lifestyle factors, like diet, toxin reduction, supplements, and wellness, that can boost your chances of pregnancy. 

Give us 10 minutes a week, and we’ll identify your highest-impact changes and help you reach peak fertility in just 3 months. You can also add your partner for free, and we’ll tell him what he can do to participate in your fertility journey. Get started here

Smarter Ovulation Tracking

Did you know that only about 13 percent of women can accurately pinpoint their fertile window? Instead of following the Mucinex myth to make your cervical mucus more sperm-friendly, focus your cycle tracking efforts on understanding your ovulation.

Do you have a regular or irregular cycle? Do you know when your LH rises? Are you having sex on the right days? Research shows that knowing these factors as well as when you ovulate can significantly increase your chances of pregnancy each month. The best part is Doveras can help you here too.

The Bottom Line: Does Mucinex Work To Get Pregnant?

When it comes to the question of Mucinex and fertility, it comes down to a battle between anecdotal evidence from people who believe the drug made all the difference for them, and the scientific evidence that shows it's probably not effective at thinning cervical mucus or helping you get pregnant. 

While the older research about Mucinex might seem convincing at first glance, there haven't been enough recent findings to confirm that this cough medicine increases fertility. It’s a good idea to always be weary when someone cites one miracle study to support their claims.


Our take and recommendation? 

Given the lack of evidence, potential side effects, not-safe-for-pregnancy status, and other more effective methods of boosting fertility, we say skip this trend. 

If you want to know what pre-pregnancy lifestyle modifications are worth your while, we’re here to help you figure out what the latest science shows will be your most effective strategy. 

Image 1Image 1

Ready To Take Your Fertility Health Into Your Own Hands?

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ