Sperm Friendly Lube
Many couples trying to conceive are affected by vaginal dryness. The “sex on a timetable” nature of conception sex and the pressure to conceive can reduce excitement and enjoyment for both partners. In the woman’s case, decreased sexual arousal may cause her vagina to secrete less fluid prior to having sex. This can make sex uncomfortable for her, even painful. This in turn reduces her partner’s pleasure, and research has shown that reduced enjoyment of sex may cause a man to ejaculate fewer sperm cells in the semen he releases on orgasm. It’s easy to see why many couples trying to conceive turn to lubricants to help them enjoy sex and have sex coinciding with ovulation.
A wide range of water-based lubricants is available on the market today. Many producers of such lubricants claim their products don’t damage sperm health and that any water-based lubricant which doesn’t contain spermicide can be used by couples trying to get pregnant. Many studies have found, however, that water-based lubricants do reduce sperm motility.
Motility is the ability of a sperm cell to move by itself. A sperm cell that cannot move by itself cannot swim to meet an egg in the fallopian tube and therefore stands next to no chance of fertilizing an egg. So why do water-based lubricants have this effect? Well, sperm cells are extremely sensitive to the pH level (the acidity or alkalinity) of the environment in which they find themselves. Therefore, the pH level of a woman’s cervical mucus is crucial for conception, because the sperm cells have to pass through the cervix on the way to the fallopian tubes. Around the time of ovulating, the natural pH level of the mucus in a woman’s cervix facilitates the passage of the sperm. However, water-based lubricants interfere with this pH level, which reduces the sperm cells’ ability to move through the mucus. Some water-based lubricants have even been found to reduce the motility of sperm to zero.
Pre-Seed is a relatively new brand of lubricant which claims to be sperm-friendly. While the lubricant is not a fertility treatment in itself, it does not prevent a couple from getting pregnant. The creators of Pre-Seed have come up with a product which mimics a woman’s natural cervical and vaginal fluids. This lubricant combats vaginal dryness but has the same pH level as semen. It doesn’t cause pH level changes in the cervical mucus and fluids in the vagina and therefore doesn’t create an environment hostile to sperm inside the woman’s body.
The creators of Pre-Seed promote their product by saying that it comes with six discreet applicators (similar to tampon applicators). The lubricant is therefore inserted directly inside the vagina. This means that the lubricant can be used quite some time before having sex which means sex doesn’t have to be interrupted. The applicators can be washed and reused. Pre-Seed’s marketers say women can even use this lubricant without their partners knowing, if they so choose.
Pre-Seed claims to be particularly useful for women who are already undergoing fertility treatment with clomiphene. Clomiphene fertility drugs may cause changes to the cervical mucus, making the mucus hostile to sperm (this condition is often treated with estrogen supplements if it does occur). Using Pre-Seed helps a woman in this situation not to exacerbate the mucus problem. Clomiphene has also been associated with vaginal dryness. If you are taking clomiphene and have noticed increased vaginal dryness, speak to your fertility doctor.