Click here to learn about fertility lubricants and how they affect sperm parameters and your chances of conception.
The majority of women in the U.S. have used lubricant, commonly referred to as "lube." Lube is often used for intercourse, to make sex more comfortable and pleasurable, but it is also used for other reasons as well. Lube may be beneficial for women trying to conceive, as some studies suggest that rates of vaginal dryness among this population are twice that of the general population.
But there are some drawbacks to this practice, since some lubricants may be toxic to sperm or may interfere with sperm’s ability to swim. This has led some companies have to strive for what’s called “sperm-friendly” or “fertility-friendly” lubricants. These lubes do not increase fertility, but they are purported to have less adverse effects on sperm activity.
In a 2014 study, researchers compared nine commonly used “sperm friendly” lubricants and their effects on sperm function. They found that the lubes did not caue significant DNA damage in the sperm, but some did affect sperm motility. Two of the lubes studied only had minimal effects on motility.
So if you’re trying to conceive and are using lubricants, it's important to learn more about the lubricants that you are using, and discuss with a healthcare provider whether they’re fertility-friendly.