If you are trying to get pregnant, you might be finding out that there is a lot more science than art to having a baby these days. Fertility charting apps, fertility monitors, fertility supplements – each of these tools can help decrease the time it takes to get pregnant.
However, using these tools can also create the feeling that having a baby is a task to be accomplished rather than a spontaneous life event. Too often, this takes all of the romance out of “baby dancing”, as making love for the purpose of getting pregnant becomes scheduled just like the rest of your household chores.
Many couples use personal lubricants to enhance the pleasure and comfort of intercourse, and, given the lack of spontaneity and romance in “baby dancing”, this is often especially true for trying-to-conceive couples. The drugstore shelves offer plenty of lubricant options, and for everyday intercourse, any lubricant will do.
But, it is important to know that most of the commonly sold lubricants harm sperm, which can decrease the likelihood that sperm will be able to survive the difficult journey through the cervix and into the fallopian tubes to meet the egg for fertilization.
Fertility Lubricants – A Class of Their Own
Needless to say, when it comes to choosing a lubricant when you are trying to get pregnant, the last thing that you want is a product that will harm sperm function. Because the stakes are so high for trying-to-conceive couples, the FDA helped bring attention to this issue by creating a special category, known as the PEB category, for personal lubricants that are safe for use for fertility.
To be cleared by the FDA as a fertility lubricant, the product must be tested extensively to ensure that is safe for sperm, eggs, and embryos. And, once the products are on the market, the manufacturer of the fertility lubricant is required to test each batch of product to verify that it does not harm sperm motility, survival, or integrity.
The good news, Fairhaven Health, a corporate sponsor of the American Pregnancy Association provides women and couples with a lubricant that meets the FDA fertility lubricant standards. You can learn more about this sperm-friendly lubricant here.
Unlike other commercially available sex lubricants, fertility lubricants are specifically tested to ensure that the lubricant has a similar pH and viscosity as semen and fertile quality cervical fluid so that it provides a protective environment for sperm and will allow sperm to swim into and through the lubricant. By matching the quality and consistency of cervical fluid, fertility lubricants supplement your body’s own natural lubrication.
Also, fertility lubricants are screened, both at time of production and throughout the shelf life of the lubricant, for endotoxins, which are toxins produced by bacteria that may harm sperm and eggs even at relatively low levels.
Better Safe than Sorry
As is the case with most consumer products, making sense of labels and marketing information for lubricants can be a daunting task. To put it simply, the only sure way to know that your lubricant won’t harm sperm is to choose an FDA-cleared fertility lubricant. You can learn more about the Fairhaven BabyDance referenced above.
Additionally, use the following tips to guide your selection so that your lubricant won’t cause your baby dancing efforts to be in vain.
- Avoid lubricants with a low pH
- Avoid lubricants that contain small penetrating chemicals (for example, glycerol) or paraben preservatives
- Avoid confusing a lubricant labeled as non-spermicidal with an FDA-cleared fertility lubricant
- Avoid lubricants that are labeled as organic or natural but are not FDA-cleared as fertility lubricants, as only the FDA-cleared lubricants are required to undergo testing that shows the product won’t harm sperm or eggs
- Avoid using household oils, as household oils often contain toxic peroxides and inflammatory chemicals that develop over time due to exposure to light, room temperature, and the purity of the oil.