Nat Kringoudis and I met for the first time in real life a few weeks ago at a conference in San Diego! We’ve been “online friends” since early 2013 and we’ve been hosting our podcast The Period Party since mid-2013, so this was a HUGE deal. If you haven’t listened to the PP as yet, run don’t walk, we’ve got soooo many amazing topics and guests.
The reason I bring this up is because we were having a conversation with a good friend at the conference about improving her ovulation and fertile quality cervical fluid. She was saying that hers has diminished over the last year, so Nat and I threw out a bunch of ways she could improve it. Then we decided to do a joint Facebook Live to share this info with everyone – because, sharing is caring.
And now I’m writing a blog post about this because it’s clearly a question on many of your minds.
Just FYI: I don’t love the word “mucus” so that’s why I don’t use it. Nothing against cervical mucus or women’s bodies (obvi), but I have had a long-time dislike of the word, so I prefer to go against the grain and say cervical fluid! Hope you don’t mind? 🙂
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, I can jump right into sharing three awesome supplements that WILL improve your ovulation, fertile cervical fluid production, and of course your period!
#1: Vitamin B6
I’m a big fan of all the B vitamins, but B6 in particular, really loves our lady parts. It has been shown to lengthen a short luteal phase (a luteal phase shorter than 10 days is known as luteal phase defect), lower prolactin levels (high prolactin can stop ovulation in it’s tracks and shows up when B6 is low) (1), and it works wonders for PMS (likely because it improves dopamine & serotonin production – happy brain chemicals).
I wrote recently about five surprising things that can impair ovulation. You should check it out here.
Additionally, it supports your liver’s detoxification of estrogen, which is always helpful in our estrogen-overloaded environment, and it plays a role in decreasing our risk of ovarian cancer.
In addition, the B Complex of vitamins, which includes B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 work wonders for a whole host of period problems – menorrhagia (heavy periods), abnormal bleeding (spotting or other irregular bleeding), fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis and menstrual cramps (B1 and B3 in particular). And B1 and B2 significantly lower the risk for PMS.
Quite a group of power vitamins huh?
Naturally, you want to create your foundation with food because you can’t out-supplement a bad diet. Foods with B6 and other B’s include many of the leafy greens, beef liver, tuna, salmon, chicken, chickpeas and potatoes.
Supplements – with all that said about food, I think B6 and B Complex supplements work wonders and I’m a big fan of trying them out to see if they work for you.
Important: Supplementation can get complicated for some people with various gene SNP’s like the MTHFR mutation. I have it (yup, some girls have all the luck!) and in fact, about 40% of people have it too. I wrote pretty extensively about it here.
Per that article, I recommend you get yourself a B Complex with the active forms of B2, B6, B9 and B12. I love Thorne Research Basic B Complex which contains all of these. I also like Seeking Health B Complex Plus. B vitamins work synergistically, that’s why I suggest the B Complex. For instance, riboflavin helps activate B6 which then generates serotonin. They’re like a power posse of supportive girlfriends.
Additionally, you can try the B6 in addition to the B Complex because neither of my recommendations have a high dose of B6. I recommend 20-100mg a day of B6 and the two B Complex suggestions above contain 10 and 20mg respectively. So you can also get the Thorne Research B6 which has 33mg per capsule and take one of those each day in addition to the B Complex.
This has become one of my favorite recommendations for improving your monthly period experience. It packs a huge punch in a very small dose, which is also why I love it so much.
Selenium is a mineral and a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage aka inflammation. This is significant because your ovarian tissue is literally THE most sensitive to aging than any other tissue in the human body (whaaat!) and as it gets older, both the number of follicles it houses and the quality of these follicles reduces. I wrote about that here.
Selenium’s job is two-fold. First, it is one of those minerals that protects the thyroid from toxic heavy metals and stress messing with it’s function. It also aids in the conversion of T4 to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, AND it helps to lower thyroid peroxidase antibodies that are linked to Hashimotos.
Healthy thyroid function is critical to having a healthy period, here’s why: Subclinical hypothyroidism is linked to a short luteal phase (the second half of your cycle) and low progesterone.