Effect of lubricants and saliva on sperm

12 December 2007 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

Numerous studies over the years have evaluated the effect of different lubricants and even saliva on sperm. Many couples rely on lubricants, such as KY-Jelly, to overcome issues with vaginal dryness. In addition, the fertility drug clomiphine (Clomid) has been shown to decrease cervical mucus in many women.

A 1998 study in the medical journal Human Reproduction examined the effect of KY jelly, baby oil, olive oil and saliva on sperm motility (movement) along with other semen characteristics. Each of the tested lubricants had serious effects on sperm, the most toxic of which was saliva. The least detrimental of those tested was baby oil. The authors concluded, “we would recommend that couples – especially those having difficulty in conceiving – should be aware of the detrimental effects of such lubricants and avoid their use.”

A study published this year in Fertility and Sterility compared the effects of several common lubricants (FemGlide, Astroglide, Replens and Pre-seed) on sperm motility and DNA. Pre-seed was designed specifically to avoid sperm damage seen with other lubricants, and the findings of this study, performed at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, confirm that. FemGlide, Replens and Astroglide all significantly decreased sperm motility, while Pre-seed did not. In addition, FemGlide and K-Y Jelly were both found to harm the DNA within the sperm.

These studies were all performed in vitro (i.e. in a test tube) and they were not evaluating the likelihood of conception, so it is possible that these lubricants may have different or lesser effects when used during sex.


Entry filed under: Sexual aids. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

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