Are you and your partner are trying conceive? You’ve possibly heard that lubricants can help and you’re looking for some answers. Are lubricants good for conception? Are there any fertility-friendly lubricants or will any regular lube do? Natural lubricants, vaginal lubricants, coital lubricants, sperm-friendly lubricants… what should you use?
No need to worry!
To all you ‘trying to conceive’ couples, let me walk you around the lube world.
Best lube for conception
The best lubricant fluids for conception are your own personal lubricants.
Mother Nature knows what she’s doing and provides lubrication when sexual activity starts to happen. If you’re trying to get pregnant and you don’t need to use a lubricant, then keep going without it. Although there are some fertility-friendly lubes, there’s no better lubrication than natural lubrication.
If you need a lubricant for sex and you’re also trying to get pregnant, bear in mind that there are fertility-friendly lubricants and also certain lubes that might damage sperm. Let’s look at the various types of lubricant out there and how good (or not so good) they are for sperm health.
The latest research (a 2022 study) looked at sperm motility and sperm viability in five different lubricants: Optilube, Pre-Seed, Yes Baby, olive oil, and egg white. All but egg white were shown to harm sperm motility.
Can I use lubricant when trying to conceive?
Yes, you can use lubricant when trying to conceive. Some lubricants, however, might harm sperm. Some can affect sperm motility and sperm movement; others could damage the sperm cells.
Let’s see which lubricants are the right ones to use when conception is at stake.
Baby oil as lubricant when trying to conceive
Baby oil is not the best aid to lubricate your sexual encounters. As you might have guessed, when baby oil was first made, its purpose was to apply to the skin but not to the mucose. Even if you need a lubricant, there are probably many other things in the household that are better lubricants than baby oil.
Vaseline is called petroleum jelly for a reason. It might help as a lubricant but it’s not a great idea to use petrochemicals in the body at all.
Both vaseline and baby oil will very likely kill sperm or damage sperm function. However, if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, don’t read between the lines here as the sperm survival rate will be quite high too.
A one-off use won’t harm you but it will reduce your chances of pregnancy.
Coconut oil as lubricant when trying to conceive
Compared with the other lubricants we’ve just seen, coconut oil is a natural product. This means, at least, that what you’re inserting into your body is 100% natural.
Oil-based lubricants, though, no matter how natural they are, are not sperm safe. Coconut oil isn’t the most sperm-friendly lubricant.
If you’re in the middle of sex and you have no other lubricants, coconut oil is a better option than baby oil or vaseline – because it’s natural – but it still isn’t a fertility-friendly lubricant.
Other household oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, and other natural oils are not the greatest idea as sexual lubes, either.
Commercial lubes come in different presentations. Some come with pre-filled applicators, others in a multi-use tube. Some are certified organic – without toxic peroxides – and all need FDA approval.
Of course, when adding something to the process of conceiving your baby, you should make sure it’s FDA approved. Fertility lubes are made in a protective environment, making sure there are no toxins produced that can cause any DNA damage.
Some commercial lubricants claim to be fertility lubricants. This means they are supposed to help you get pregnant faster. However, you don’t need to be a fertility expert to know that a lubricant needs to be a bit more than water-based to be considered fertility-friendly.
Some fertility lubricants contain glycerol and some are glycerol free. Research has shown that glycerol-containing lubes (GC) decreased fertilization and embryo development. Glycerol-free lubricants, on the other hand, didn’t affect fertilization and kept sperm cells healthy.
Based on these findings, let’s look at some of the commercial lubes on the market.
Conceive Plus lubricant
Conceive Plus lube claims to be sperm friendly. It apparently mixes itself with the sperm. Reviews say that, as lube, it’s very good for the sexual experience and many women praise how well it works for vaginal dryness. However, Conceive Plus contains glycerol (GC) and, based on the above study, it messes up cervical mucus and sperm health, which doesn’t make it an ideal fertility lube.
Pre-Seed fertility lubricant has received very good reviews from users. It’s claimed to be kind to cervical mucus and good for vaginal dryness. Many happy customers say they conceived after using it. A study, published in 2022 studied different fertility lubricants and how they affected sperm function. Compared with other commercial so-called ‘fertility friendly’ lubes, Pre-Seed was less likely to reduce fertility. It was the most sperm friendly of commercial lubricants studied. However, the study concluded that there was no commercial lubricant that enhanced fertility.
The woman’s own fertile cervical mucus is the best fertility lubricant. ‘Al fresco’, spontaneous natural sex is the way to go if you are trying to conceive. Trust that your body knows what to do and enjoy the process as spontaneously as possible. If, on the other hand, you need a lubricant, this same study found that egg white is your best option. This is understandable, as its consistency is very similar to a woman’s fertile cervical mucus, Egg white is also kind for vaginal health and vaginal pH, and is rich in magnesium ions. If you’re trying to get pregnant and are looking for a pH-balanced, natural fertility-friendly lube, egg white might become your number one personal lubricant.
Read more about egg white as a natural fertility lubricant in here.
BabyDance fertility lubricant
BabyDance fertility lubricant is free from glycerol, parabens and other inflammatory chemicals, which are bad for conception and for both partners’ general and reproductive health. FDA approved, it has very good reviews. Remember, though: no commercial lube can truthfully claim that it boosts fertility.
Durex products were not developed for fertility. Although they are the biggest in the lubricants market, the products specialize in sexual pleasure and fun. If you’re trying to conceive, remember these lubes aren’t designed to help with that. According to research, each semen sample that came in contact with Durex lubes performed quite poorly. Thumbs up to Durex for all fun-related experiences, but thumbs down to boosting fertility.
What lubricant should I use when trying to conceive?
The answer is simple: no outside lubes are going to increase your fertility. Cervical mucus penetration inside the cervix is key for conception and almost no external lubes will help with this process. A woman’s own personal lubricant (cervical mucus) is best.
If you need to use some kind of lubricant for intercourse check those mentioned above to find the best product for you.
How can I boost my fertility?
There are many ways to boost your fertility. Spontaneity in your sexual encounters would be my number one piece of advice. Ditch the clock and the calendar, surprise your partner and regain the sexual spark you might have lost somewhere in the process of wanting to extend your family.
Oxytocin is your best friend when talking fertility. However, oxytocin is very shy and for it to flow you need to let go, improvise, be spontaneous, be happy and go with the flow…
You can read more about boosting your fertility in the following articles:
The Natural Fertility course is a very good option to optimize the fertility of those who are trying to conceive.