© 2018 Bentham Science Publishers. Background: Cervical Mucus (CM) is a viscous fluid produced by the secretory cells of the cervical crypts. The CM undergoes modifications throughout the cycle that make it have different biochemical and biophysical characteristics, becoming a crucial element for the identification of ovulation. Since CM is rich in secreted proteins, it may represent moreover a source of biomarkers for female reproductive tract diseases. Objective: This review is an attempt to collect relevant knowledge about the physicochemical properties and functions of the cervical mucus, including its important role as a clinical marker of female fertility, and draws attention to CM as a source of potential proteomic biomarkers. Findings: All the assessed studies evidenced that the observation of the CM allows the identification of the days with the highest probability of pregnancy. CM proteome changes throughout the menstrual cycle have been revealed. Few proteomic studies on the constitutive protein composition of CM of fertile women have been conducted to date. In the CM of patients affected by endometriosis have been identified some proteins that could represent potential biomarkers of the disease. Conclusion: There is still limited knowledge about the physicochemical properties and functions of the CM and how these undergo to changes during menstrual cycle. CM is a reliable predictor of fertility. Further characterization of CM proteins would contribute to a better understanding of the key role they have on fertility, reproduction and biological regulation. CM may represent moreover a source of biomarkers for gynecological diseases.
- Cervical mucus
- Fertility awareness