Vaginal Lubricants For Those Trying To Conceive
The label on the lubricant went – “It is not a contraceptive and does not contain spermicide”. We are confused and would like to enquire what lubricants will be suitable for us if we are trying to conceive?
Many couples actively seeking to conceive a child do report vaginal dryness affecting their sexual function and fear of failure to conceive. In addition, some fertility medications may also reduce the cervical mucus produced around ovulation. Hence, these couples may seek to alleviate their discomfort by using vaginal lubricants.
Most of the current available vaginal lubricants seem to dramatically reduce sperm motility after exposure to even small concentrations. In addition, a number of studies have shown that some vaginal lubricants can affect sperm viability (percentage of live sperm) as the lubricants can cause sperm to shrink or swell beyond their “critical volume”, thus killing the sperm. Sperms are very sensitive to low (acidic) pH and may also be “immobilised” by vaginal lubricants which have pH below 7.0.
Thus, most vaginal lubricants are not good for fertility even though they do not contain contraceptives nor do they contain spermicides (spermicides are agents which specifically destroy sperms).
A 1984 study from Canada showed that human saliva had a deleterious effect on sperm survival and activity (causing “shaking” sperms; Tulandi T. et al in Fertility and Sterility) and is also not advised as a lubricant for couples intending to conceive.
A new vaginal lubricant available on the market, Pre-seed, is said to be sperm friendly – it has a pH of 7.30 with a soluble concentration that does not significantly reduce sperm motility and survival.
This is currently available in Singapore at Raffles Hospital (Raffles Women’s Centre), KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and through private gynaecologists.