A viral video has reignited a longstanding theory about Mucinex's effect on fertility.
As pointed out by BuzzFeed, TikTok user @juliasendojourney recently made the claim when speaking about her COVID-19 recovery. She says that while battling the infection, she took Muxinex to relieve her symptoms, but noticed another unexpected side effect from the cold medication: her "fertile signs" surged like never before.
"I have one more COVID secret for you guys," Julia says in the video, which has received more than 8 million views. "Yes, Mucinex-D did help me get better while having COVID, but Mucinex-D also helps some other things. It helps you get pregnant."
Julia says she regularly tracks her fertility because she has both endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but shortly after taking Mucinex, she noticed her "fertile signs went waaaaay up." The spike was so significant, Julia decided to contact her doctor to see if this was a normal side effect. Turns out, Julia's physician wasn't at all surprised.
"So I called the doctor that helps me track my fertile signs," Julia continues. "She was like, 'We actually give Mucinex to women to help increase their fertility."
The claim has since spread like wildfire across social media.
But, of course, we can't rely on anecdotal evidence, so a number of publications reached out to medical experts to weigh in on the viral claim.
BuzzFeed spoke to Dr. Natalie Crawford, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, who explained Mucinex's effect on fertility. Crawford points out the medication's active ingredient guaifenesin can loosen cervical mucus the same way it loosens mucus from the lungs. This may allow sperm to travel much quicker and easier through the cervix to reach the egg.
Crawford also says Mucinex is more often recommended to men for fertility purposes, as the medication can improve sperm motility.
"Because a woman's cervical mucus should appropriately thin out at the time of ovulation due to elevated estrogen levels, it is less common for it to be suggested to females," she said. "Mucinex is often tried in natural attempts at pregnancy once other causes have been appropriately ruled out ... Studies have been published looking at this and it has been written about in fertility books since the '70s. There is no conclusive help — or fertility doctors would be recommending it for everyone. That being said, it has a hypothetical mechanism of action that makes sense with very few risks — and it is inexpensive!"
Though taking Mucinex for fertility purposes is considered generally harmless, Crawford urges people to consult with their physicians before resorting to this method. She notes that the medication can be harmful for people with certain medical conditions or when it is combined with another medicine.