Lubricants and Fertility

Lubricants and Male Infertility

Trying to conceive a child can be stressful for couples, and this stress can contribute to vaginal dryness in some women.  Medical conditions (such as diabetes) and certain medications (such as anti-depressants) can also contribute to vaginal dryness.

Many couples assume that lubricants that do not contain spermicidal agents are okay to use when trying to conceive, but unfortunately most vaginal lubricants are detrimental to sperm quality when they come into contact with sperm. Lubricants can impact sperm in multiple ways, including decreasing their motility, elevating levels of DNA fragmentation, and decreasing their ability to survive.


Most vaginal lubricants come in 5 main categories:

      1) Water-based with glycerin

      2) Water-based without glycerin

      3) Petroleum-based

      4) Silicone

      5) Natural oil-based

All of these are potentially damaging to sperm if they come into contact with them.

Lubricants That Do Not Damage Sperm


Hydroxycellulose-based lubricants do not negatively impact sperm quality.  If vaginal dryness is an issue, the use of these products may offer a fertility benefit over the use of other types of lubricants.  

Examples of hydroxycellulose-based lubricants include:

      1) Pre-Seed

      2) Conceive Plus

      3) ConceivEase


Other lubricants have been found to have little to no negative impact on sperm function include:

      1) Mineral oil

      2) Canola oil- though may slightly increase the risk of vaginal infection


Most all other forms of lubricants (including saliva) are generally damaging to sperm when they come into contact with them.