How to Find a Conception-Friendly Lubricant

It is no surprise that women who’ve been trying to conceive suffer from vaginal dryness–a finding that has been linked to  stress associated with infertility, timed intercourse, and adverse effects of fertility drugs. 

If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, you’re probably not be feeling so good down there and might need some help to find a lubricant that can not only improve your “baby dancing experience,” but also one that won’t harm your partner’s swimmers. 

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How Do Vaginal Lubricants Work?

Vaginal lubes work by decreasing the friction associated with dry genital tissue. Lubricants, sold in liquid or gel form, are made for vaginal or vulvar application shortly before intercourse.

After application, vaginal lubricants are absorbed into the skin and help to temporarily decrease discomfort and pain due to friction during intercourse.

Types of Lubricants

These products are available as water-, silicone-, or oil-based products.

Water-based lubricants: These do not stain bed linen and can be easily washed off.

Silicone-based: These lubes, unlike water-based lubes, do not evaporate or dry up during intercourse. These can’t be washed off easily, so it might help to protect your bed linen with a towel if you’re worried about staining.

Oil-based: These include products such as petroleum jelly and baby oil. They also cause staining and have the potential of causing vaginal irritation.

Lubricants That Impede Sperm

For couples trying to conceive, it would be a big issue if they used a lubricant that decreased sperm motility and/or caused sperm DNA damage. Although sperm DNA damage does not appear to affect fecundability, it has been associated with abnormal embryo development, failed implantation, and miscarriage.

Some lubricants do not provide the right vaginal pH for sperm to swim up to the uterus and might decrease sperm motility by up to 80% after five minutes. Some destroy sperm DNA and consequently have a negative effect on the fertility potential of the male partner.

Lubricants that should be avoided by couples trying to conceive include mineral oil and sesame oil. For a list of vaginal lubricants that have been tested for their effect on sperm motility and potential to destroy sperm DNA, read this post.

Sperm-Friendly Lubricants

Some coital lubricants are manufactured to provide a good pH balance and osmolality to make conception better and easier for you. Some of these are described below.

Pre-Seed Fertility-Friendly Lubricant

This product is one of the top selling fertility products that has been praised by many couples trying to conceive. In fact, it has gained many positive reviews, both from medical professionals and customers and it recommended by fertility experts.

Pre-Seed is designed to replenish a woman’s natural moisture and it provides an optimal environment for sperm, thereby making conception easier. The manufacturer of Pre-Seed claims that the product mimics a woman’s natural body secretions to decrease symptoms due to vaginal dryness.

The lube has the same pH as semen and has been shown in laboratory studies to cause minimal sperm DNA damage compared with other common vaginal lubes.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, this video might help you understand how you can use Pre-Seed to get pregnant.

Pros

  • There is scientific evidence that the product is sperm-friendly.
  • The product mimics your fertile fluids.
  • It is very sperm-friendly.
  • It is glycerin-free.
  • It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Cons

  • Some users find it too sticky/slimy.
  • It is water-based and can dry out after some time. You might therefore need to interrupt your baby dance and reapply the product.

Conceive Plus

This fertility-friendly personal lubricant is a runner up in terms of sperm vitality and motility.  The manufacturer Samsar claims that the product contains calcium and magnesium ions, which are necessary to support the fertilization process.

A study that tested several lubes showed that in terms of sperm vitality, Conceive Plus was > 70%. Sperm motility ranged between 70 and 80% among tested samples. 

Pros

  • It has a pH similar to your natural fertile fluids.
  • It is water-based and has balanced osmolality.
  • It is sperm-friendly.
  • It is FDA-approved.

Cons

  • Some users find it sticky and that it dries up pretty fast.

Astroglide Trying to Conceive Sperm-Friendly Personal Lubricant

This water soluble lubes is designed to help couples trying to conceive. It comes with eight pre-filled applicators, making it easy to use. The manufacturer claims that the product does not impede sperm motility and it mimics your natural fertile fluids. 

Pros

  • It is very user friendly.
  • The product contains fructose and galactose to mimic seminal fluid and to provide energy to your partner's sperm.

Cons

  • Some users have found that the single-use tubes contain more of the product than needed and therefore have to discard a good amount of the product after each use.
  • It dries up very fast on skin, although it is not the case when applied within the vagina.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is coconut oil safe to use as a lubricant when trying to conceive?

Natural coconut oil can be applied on the external genitalia or just inside the edge of the vagina. It is good for  moisturizing dry skin and can be used to ease vaginal dryness by applying it regularly (twice to thrice weekly). However, note that coconut oil is a vaginal moisturizer and not a vaginal lubricant.

If you have diabetes or are immunodeficient, you may not use coconut oil or other natural oils, as these might increase your risk of developing an infection locally. 

2. What is the difference between vaginal lubricants and vaginal moisturizers?

Contrary to vaginal lubricants that decrease friction associated with dry genital tissue, vaginal moisturizers are used to ease vaginal dryness. They have to be used regularly around the genital area to maintain moisture. Even if you’re using a vaginal moisturizer such as coconut oil or other natural oils, you might still need a lubricant since the former may not be enough to provide comfort during intercourse.

3. Is Johnson Baby Oil a good lubricant?

Like other oil-based products, baby oils can cause vaginal irritation and increase your risk of developing an infection (bacterial vaginosis). 

4. Is Vaseline good for use as vaginal lubricant?

Under normal circumstances, your vagina is acidic to help prevent colonization from harmful micro-organisms. Vaseline or petroleum jelly has alkaline properties it can disrupt the pH balance in your vagina, and hence promote the growth of harmful bacteria. 

Conclusion

Many fertility clinics are still recommending vaginal lubricants to subfertile/infertile couples  who experience vaginal dryness. Amongst these, Pre-Seed appears to be the most sperm-friendly recommended products and it is the number one lube recommended by fertility experts. Conceive Plus is a runner-up that you can consider if Pre-Seed is unavailable at your local drugstore or online retailer.

Princila
 

I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray.

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