Is there any lubricant that's safe for baby-making sex?

Originally Published: January 21, 2005 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 23, 2009
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Dear Alice,

My husband and I are trying to concieve our first child and I've read that lubricant can inhibit the sperm from reaching the egg. Is there any lubricant that is safe for baby-making sex, or are there any alternatives that may be useful? Also, I was wondering how much lubricant decreases your chances of conceiving. Is water-based just as harmful as oil-based?

Dear Reader,

You read right — lubricants can inhibit sperm from reaching the egg. What happens is the lubricant (either water based or oil based) prevents the sperm from meeting up with the normally protective, happy cervical mucous. As a result, the sperm are left out in the cold to weaken because of the icy acidity of the vagina, making it a more difficult trip up to the welcomed warmth of the uterus. They still have a long way to travel before they meet their match, so you don't want to use anything that makes their journey more difficult.

So how much lube is too much when it comes to hindering conception? Hard to say, because even a lil' dab of water-based lube, olive oil, baby oil, and even saliva can cause "diminished head movement" of the sperm. That's not the kind of sperm you want to be working with to create your offspring. You want strong swimmers with full faculties to bring the most to the event.

What is known for sure is that the natural "human made" kind of lubricant is effective in helping in conception. That means spending lots of time on pleasuring and passion, making sure the clitoris and any other erogenous zone you want touched is hot and ready before penetration. Letting the body respond to the fun will kick in the kind of wetness that can help sperm swim hard and swim long.

If things aren't getting as slippery as you'd like, you can try using warm water, which is sperm friendly. Nothing fancy — leave the seltzer and mineral water for drinking. Some evidence is showing canola oil, pharmaceutical grade mineral oil, and hen's uncooked egg white as being sperm friendly, however more research is needed into safety and effectiveness of these methods. There is also a newer product on the market called Pre-seed that touts itself as being a "sperm friendly intimate moisturizer."

The bottom line is that the type of lubricant you use can make a difference in your ability to conceive. Good luck in your efforts.

Alice