Do Personal Lubricants Like Astroglide and KY Jelly Kill Sperm?

The Problem With Regular Personal Lubricants + Sperm Friendly Options

Young couple lying on bed, they won't use KY Jelly that kills sperm but a sperm friendly lubricant instead
If you want to get pregnant, choose a lube that is formulated to be sperm and fertility friendly.. Andersen Ross/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Can lubricants like KY Jelly kill sperm? Sort of. They certainly can't be considered sperm friendly.

While you can't use them to prevent pregnancy (you'd need spermicide for that), they are not a good choice when you're trying to get pregnant.

Quite a few studies looked at the effect various lubricants have on sperm.

The studies looked at..

  • how well the sperm swim (motility)
  • whether or not DNA damage occurred
  • whether sperm were still alive

Popular lubricants like KY Jelly, Astroglide, and Replens were found to inhibit sperm movement and even kill sperm.

Every study I looked at cautioned against the use of common lubricants for couples trying to conceive.

To be clear, we are talking about lubricants that are not specially made to be fertility friend.

For example, Astroglide does sell a fertility friendly version of lube called Astroglide TTC. The studies showing problems with Astroglide's regular product wouldn't apply to their trying to conceive product.

Sperm Friendly Lubricants

There are lubricants that have been made to be fertility friendly. The most popular sperm friendly lubricants are PreSeed and Conceive Plus.

It may be possible to use raw egg whites as a personal lubricant, and some people do it. The idea is that it would be closest to nature's fertility friendly lubricant, egg white cervical mucus.

But there is a risk of allergic reaction (if you have an allergy to eggs) and possible salmonella poisoning.

Plus, it's kind of messy. I wouldn't do it.

Canola oil and plain baby oil are sperm friendly options. But they may lead to vaginal infection or irritation.

In case you're wondering, saliva is not a sperm friendly option.

The acidity is harmful to sperm.

The Bottom Line on Lubricants When Trying to Get Pregnant

Unless a lubricant has been specifically made for trying to conceive, you should be wary.

Both water- and oil-based lubricants have been found to interfere with sperm movement, and some kill or alter the DNA of sperm.

It's also important to mention that a lack of arousal fluids or cervical mucus may indicate a fertility problem.

If this is a common problem for you, and you have not mentioned it to your doctor, be sure to speak up. It may help your doctor treat your infertility.

More on sex and fertility:

Sources:

Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Cocuzza M, Short RA, Evenson DP. "Effect of vaginal lubricants on sperm motility and chromatin integrity: a prospective comparative study." Fertility and Sterility. 2008 Feb;89(2):375-9. Epub 2007 May 16.

Anderson L, Lewis SE, McClure N. "The effects of coital lubricants on sperm motility in vitro." Human Reproduction. 1998 Dec;13(12):3351-6.

Kutteh WH, Chao CH, Ritter JO, Byrd W. "Vaginal lubricants for the infertile couple: effect on sperm activity." International Journal of Fertility and Menopausal Studies. 1996 Jul-Aug;41(4):400-4.

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