Using lubricant is a great idea for most sexual activity, but for couples trying to conceive (TTC), it can be especially useful. Being TTC often means reducing sex to a routine experience on a regular schedule. This can bring down the usual mood, resulting in vaginal dryness. Additionally, some medications meant to boost fertility can cause vaginal dryness as a side effect. All this can add to the stress and pressure of trying to conceive.
In the last few years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started marking certain lubricants as “fertility-safe” or “sperm-safe,” which you might have heard about or seen on store shelves. As this market grows, here’s what you need to know about this new product label and our picks for the best ones you can buy.
Not all lube is created equal! If you’re trying to conceive, many classic brands and types of lube contain ingredients that can damage sperm. That’s why, a few years ago, the FDA began classifying certain lubes as “fertility-friendly” or “sperm-friendly.” These lubes are made without ingredients that are likely to limit fertilization.
This doesn’t mean all regular lubes aren’t fertility-friendly. It just means they haven’t shared data with the FDA. Without the data, the FDA can’t add them to the list or deny them the title.
No. Fertility-friendly lube is made without ingredients that are likely to damage sperm, but it’s not a treatment for infertility.
Regular lube may reduce sperm’s motility, or chances of reaching an egg. But according to a 2012 study, this does not make your chances of getting pregnant different from those who do not use lube.
As of 2022, the FDA has certified only seven brands as fertility-friendly lubricants:
However, a few other brands claim FDA clearance.
We looked at a combination of FDA approval, consumer reviews, special product features, and price in order to determine the best types for you.
This one comes up a bunch on other lists of sperm-friendly lubes on the market and is a huge hit with buyers. Currently at a 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the product has a pH made to match the pH of cervical mucus and semen, so it won’t upset the balance down there.
The only downside is that some users say the texture is too runny, and dries out quickly for some people.
Another favorite, Conceive Plus also stands at a solid 4 out of 5 stars, according to Amazon buyers. Reasonably priced, it’s available either as a single tube or in eight individual applicators for maximum convenience.
In a 2014 in-vitro study, Pre-Seed lubricant was found to be least harmful to sperm. This lube was developed by doctors and funded by the National Institute of Health, so those results make sense.
Pre-Seed, however, does contain parabens. A 2013 study linked this ingredient to reduced fertility. Parabens have not been proven to reduce fertility, according to a 2017 review. But some prefer to air on the side of caution and avoid them altogether.
Looking for an all-natural option? Good Clean Love makes organic products, including lube that won’t get in the way of potential fertilization. This one gets high marks on Amazon. It’s also properly pH-balanced and paraben-free.
The Lube by Natalist is relatively new on the scene and a rising star in the fertility-friendly lube market. It currently has 5 stars on the Natalist shop, and reviewers rave that the texture is neither too slippery nor too sticky. It’s easily available at major American chains like Target and Walmart.
This one’s not yet FDA-approved, but it does claim fertility friendliness, and doesn’t contain any of the ingredients typically said to do harm to sperm. It also has the highest Amazon rating out of all the lubes on this list, mostly for its texture. The only drawback is that the company doesn’t say whether this lube is isotonic. Isotonic lubes have the same or similar permeability as the body’s natural lubricant. Some reviews also say the bottle tends to leak.
If time is of the essence, you can stop by your local Walgreens or Walmart to pick up some LOLA Fertility Friendly Lubricant. Users say this lube has a great silky texture, is gentle and non-irritating on the skin, and has a less messy applicator than other products. The only downside is that this is the most expensive option on our list, but not by much.
No. Fertility-friendly lube is made from ingredients that will not damage sperm, but it does not enhance the chances of pregnancy. Neither Pre-Seed brand nor any lube labeled as “fertility-friendly” will help you get pregnant.
Yes, but not all of them. Common ingredients in regular lube, like glycerin and petroleum jelly, are culprits when it comes to damaging sperm. As of 2022, all FDA-approved fertility-friendly lubes are water-based.
As far as being less likely to harm sperm, yes. But as stated above, no lubricant, fertility-friendly or not, is proven to help you get pregnant.
Many ingredients that show up in your average lube — glycerin, mostly — can either slow sperm down, impede their path to the egg, or outright harm them. Fertility-friendly lubes are formulated to allow sperm to swim freely.
Fertility-friendly lubricant is a fast-growing sector of the lube world. Lots of reputable products have emerged in recent years, leading the FDA to create a label denoting which products pass their safety standards. However, while “fertility-friendly” or “sperm-friendly” lube is proven to be less damaging to sperm, it’s not a guarantee of conception.
Last medically reviewed on January 16, 2022
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