Robitussin for Fertility
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Robitussin for Fertility

You may never hear it from your doctor, but if you talk to enough experienced couples about fertility, Robitussin is sure to come up. If taking cough syrup to get pregnant sounds peculiar, there are a few specifics on why it works, its effectiveness, and how to take it for best results.

How It Works

Robitussin is an over-the-counter cough syrup that contains the active ingredient, guaifenesin. Guaifenesin works on a cough by thinning and loosening the mucus in the lungs and nasal passages. It is a systematic drug, however, so it actually effects the entire body–including the reproductive system. Guaifenesin thins and loosens cervical mucus, making it easier for sperm to reach a waiting egg. This may be beneficial to women with or without fertility problems.

Cervical Mucus

Cervical mucus may sound like a clinical term, but it is simply a byproduct of the reproductive system with which most women are very familiar. You may typically begin to notice cervical mucus as a cloudy, colored vaginal discharge that begins after your period. As ovulation approaches, the mucus gets clear, thin and slick. Its slippery consistency is what allows sperm to travel to the egg. Some women may actually have thick cervical mucus which inhibits the travel of the sperm; taking guaifenesin is a simple treatment. Even if you do not have abnormally thick cervical mucus, Robitussin may still make the mucus more accommodating for sperm.

Robitussin vs. Generic

Robitussin is merely a brand name for a cough syrup containing guaifenesin. If you choose to take the Robitussin brand, be sure to look for the formula that lists only guaifenesin as an active ingredient. Generic cough syrups are just as effective. Again, just be sure that the cough syrup’s only active ingredient is guaifenesin. Other active ingredients may counteract the guaifenesin’s effects. Mucinex is another name brand drug that contains guaifenesin. It is available in tablet form, making it a more palatable choice for some.

How To Take It

When taking Robitussin for fertility, doctors suggest beginning the regimen five days before you expect to ovulate and continuing it through the day of ovulation. Take 2 tsp. of Robitussin three times per day on every day of the regimen. If you do not see the desired effects, you may take up to the manufacturer’s recommended dosage per day. For the best result, drink an 8-oz. glass of water with each dose of Robitussin.


Although Robitussin is an over-the-counter medicine and is generally considered to be safe, it is always wise to talk to a doctor before taking any new drug. There is a small risk of side effects when taking guaifenesin. The most common side effects are dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting. If you should experience a rash, swelling or trouble breathing, seek immediate medical treatment. Finally, be certain you are not already pregnant before beginning a Robitussin regimen as the effects of guaifenesin on an unborn baby are unknown.

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