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An often-overlooked but easily controlled issue in women's fertility is the condition of the cervical mucus. The condition of the cervical mucus can help or hurt chances of conception. Fortunately, this is an issue women usually control. Healthy cervical mucus has an appearance similar to egg white. It is thin and it "stretches." Unhealthy cervical mucus may be brown and hard or even brittle. When a sperm encounters cervical mucus that can "stretch," it is propelled in the direction of the fallopian tubes, where it possibly could fertilize the egg. When a sperm encounters cervical mucus that is dry or hard, it can become trapped in the mucus where there is no chance of fertilization.

One way women can induce favorable changes in cervical mucus is to take evening primrose oil during the first half of their menstrual periods. Evening primrose oil is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid. This is an essential fatty acid that encourages the production of anti-inflammatory hormones. When the cervical mucus contains higher concentrations of anti-inflammatory hormones, sperm are more likely to be able to swim through it to the uterus. Many women find that the results of taking evening primrose oil are quickly evident as the cervical mucus obviously changes color, consistency, and odor. While evening primrose oil can be very helpful in supporting women's fertility, there are also theoretical reasons to be concerned that it could interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg, and therefore induce abortion, if taken after conception. Evening primrose oil is known to stimulate uterine contraction.

If the uterus is not stable enough to support implantation of the fertilized egg, implantation cannot occur. That is why evening primrose oil is helpful during the first half of a woman's menstrual period. Since a woman won't know she is pregnant unless she misses her next period, it is always better to play it safe and avoid evening primrose oil after the middle of her period - just in case she and her partner conceived. Douches, by the way, do not solve any problems with cervical mucus. Healthy cervical mucus is essential for transporting the sperm where they need to go, and removing cervical mucus will not enhance a couple's chances of conception.

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