Does Mucinex D Help You Get Pregnant?

Some claim cough medicine may change your cervical mucus, boosting fertility and increasing the chances of getting pregnant.

The internet is a great place to go for life hacks—health-related and otherwise—but since viral content on the platform isn't often fact-checked, it's always good to research the content you're consuming.

Case in point: In 2020, TikTok users spread a rumor that taking Mucinex (guaifenesin), the cough medicine, can help you get pregnant. However, no research confirms Mucinex helps you get pregnant.

You should consult your healthcare provider before taking Mucinex during pregnancy. Cough medicines—like Mucinex—sometimes contain alcohol, which you should avoid while pregnant.

Can Mucinex actually boost your fertility? Here's what you should know about the science behind the claim that cough medicine can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

What Is Mucinex?

Mucinex is an expectorant, a type of cough medicine that clears the phlegm in your air passages by thinning it out. It is available in:

  • Liquid syrups
  • Oral capsules
  • Immediate- or extended-release tablets

People often take Mucinex if they are experiencing symptoms of the common cold or the flu. You can either take Mucinex on its own or combined with:

Why Do Some People Believe Mucinex Can Boost Their Fertility?

The idea comes from how Mucinex thins out the phlegm in your air passages when you have a common cold or the flu. Like the mucus in your air passages, your cervix also produces a type of mucus that is essential to becoming pregnant.

If your cervical mucus is too thick, it may be difficult for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg during conception.

Thick cervical mucus also makes it hard for a fertilized egg to travel to the uterus and attach itself to the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus (called the endometrium).

Can Mucinex Help You Get Pregnant?

If Mucinex can thin out the mucus in your air passages, can it also thin out your cervical mucus to boost your chances of getting pregnant? Unfortunately, the answer is not entirely clear.

"While guaifenesin has been discussed for years as a possible way to improve both male and female fertility, the idea of taking it to help get pregnant is mostly anecdotal. There's no hard evidence," Lynn Westphal, MD, the chief medical officer at Kindbody, a fertility clinic in Los Altos, California, told Health.

"The theory for women is that Mucinex may make the cervical mucus thinner, but the mucus at ovulation is usually already thin, so it is unlikely to have much of an impact," explained Dr. Westphal.

The bottom line: No recent studies have demonstrated any statistical significance regarding the effects of Mucinex on cervical mucus, but it could have some effect on your chances of becoming pregnant.

Are There Risks of Taking Mucinex?

It's important to remember that while Mucinex does not essentially create any significant side effects, it may cause:

You should consult your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction, like difficulty breathing.

It may also be beneficial to speak to your healthcare provider about taking Mucinex if you are trying to become pregnant or may be pregnant. Some cough medicines, like Mucinex, contain alcohol, which you should avoid during pregnancy.

Safe Ways To Increase Fertility

Even if taking Mucinex is not a foolproof way of becoming pregnant, there are some steps you can take to boost your fertility.

Eliminate Cigarettes and Alcohol

Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can make it difficult to become pregnant and increase your chances of miscarriage if you are pregnant.

Alcohol can cause damage to the fetus during development and can lead to issues for the child, including:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Behavioral issues
  • Learning disabilities
  • Facial and heart defects

Limit Caffeine

If you're trying to get pregnant, limiting your daily cups of coffee, cans of soda, and artificial sweeteners may be helpful. Aim to consume less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day while trying to get pregnant and even once you are pregnant.

Eat Healthily

Adjusting your diet can be beneficial for fertility. Eat a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein.

Consuming enough nutrients and vitamins, like folic acid, iron, and vitamin C can help promote menstrual regularity, which helps improve your fertility.

Manage Stress

Fertility problems can be stressful. It's important to find ways to manage or reduce your stress while you are trying to conceive. This is, of course, easier said than done. Still, try to find some activities that reduce or manage stress.

A Quick Review

No research confirms Mucinex helps you get pregnant. If you are considering trying Mucinex to help you get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider.

All in all, no matter what the health advice—even if it seems fairly innocent—it's probably best to talk to your healthcare provider.

Was this page helpful?
4 Sources uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MedlinePlus. Guaifenesin.

  2. American Pregnancy Association. Cervical mucus and early pregnancy.

  3. MedlinePlus. Birth control pill - series—progestin in pill.

  4. MedlinePlus. Steps to take before you get pregnant.

Related Articles