Posts tagged ‘mucus’

Effect of lubricants and saliva on sperm

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.


12 December 2007 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

Robitussin does what??

A study published in Fertility and Sterlity in 1982 involved treatment of 40 women who had been unable to conceive for at least 10 months, due to hostile cervical mucus. They took 200 mg of guaifenesin (Robitussin, Tussin), three times daily, from cycle day 5 until ovulation was observed based on rise in basal body temperature.

75% of the women had an improvement in the quality of cervical mucus (improved spinnbarkeit and ferning). Of the 23 women with marked improvement, 15 of them became pregnant, after an average of 2.4 months.

Guaifenesin is typically used to increase respiratory tract secretions, and a similar mechanism is believed to occur, improving cervical mucus.

Patients that had NO cervical mucus to begin with were excluded from the study.

Subsequent studies and reviews have concluded that while treatment with guaifenesin is the simplest and cheapest way to improve mucus quality, it is also the least effective. For true cervical factor infertility, ethyinyl estradiol (synthetic estrogen) may be prescribed.

NOTE: Guaifenesin alone should be taken (original Robitussin, Tussin, etc.) Many cold medications contain multiple active drugs, most of which are unsafe during pregnancy or have other side effects. For example, Robitussin-DM contains dextromethorphan.

1 December 2007 at 10:13 am 1 comment


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