Causes of infertility – a cervical factor
During ovulation, cervical discharge should be runny, slippery, clear, viscous and stretchable to provide favourable conditions for sperm cells to move towards the egg cell. In women with the cervical factor, mucus does not change its properties for the time of ovulation and therefore it has an adverse effect on the partner's semen.
Although the presence of abnormal cervical mucus does not prevent a natural pregnancy, it significantly reduces the chances of conceiving by extending the average time of conception under natural conditions almost twice. In addition to the cervical mucus barrier phenomenon during ovulation, the cervical factor includes anatomical abnormalities within the cervix (e.g. after erosion treatment).
How do we diagnose “hostile mucus”?
The quality of cervical mucus during fertile days can be assessed by means of a PCT test performed about twelve hours after the intercourse. The test is carried out only if the partner has semen with good parameters (the quality of semen should be tested before the PCT test). During the analysis, the discharge taken from the cervix is examined under the microscope and the partner’s perm cells present in it are evaluated. A correct PCT test result is the presence of at least six active sperm cells at 400 x magnification. If the number of sperm cells is adequate, but they are not motile, this suggests an immune cause of infertility, i.e. an abnormal reaction of the female immune system to semen. The absence of sperm cells in the cervical mucus sample gives an abnormal result.
When diagnostic tests have shown the absence of other fertility disturbing factors and the PCT test has detected abnormal cervical mucus, the couple can undergo an intrauterine insemination procedure. In the event of failure, the procedure bypassing the existing barrier should be repeated, but not more than 3-5 times in total.