Best Lube for Conception – Hint: It’s not KY!
Whether you call it cervical mucus (CM), discharge, goop, vaginal secretions *gag* or vagina boogers (excuse me a second while I go hurl – Okay, I am good) we as women all deal with it. The joys!
Up until this point in your life cervical mucus may have just been a nuisance, another “fun” bodily fluid we get to deal with. But, now it finally has some value to you, other than keeping your wooha balanced.
It is by far the best lube for conception that money can’t buy.
In fact, there is a specific type of cervical mucus or fertile fluid most commonly referred to as egg white cervical mucus or EWCM for short that is made specifically to help sperm travel to the egg during ovulation.
What is Egg White Cervical Mucus & What Does it Do?
Egg white cervical mucus (EWCM) is produced by the cervix right before ovulation and is triggered by an increase in estrogen. It lasts through ovulation and in some it is present a couple of days after ovulation.
It is clear and sticky in nature, you should be able to stretch it about an inch in between your thumb and forefinger.
This is one thing that lives up to its name because it does, indeed look like egg whites and matches the consistency perfectly. If you see this stuff often you’re one lucky gal.
The primary function of EWCM is to protect the sperm from the harsh conditions of the vagina and help those little swimmers travel from the vagina into the uterus to meet that egg.
It also increases sperm mobility. It’s nature’s finest sperm-friendly lube and the absolute best lube there is for conception.
Egg white cervical mucus is the holy grail of discharge when you’re trying to get pregnant, to put it mildly.
Not everyone notices EWCM around ovulation and some women don’t produce very much at all, especially those with low estrogen.
If you don’t notice EWCM or are extremely dry you may want to bring it up to your health care provider and get your estrogen levels checked.
Stay AWAY from cold medication – PLEASE!
If your estrogen is fine and you are one of those people whose body just doesn’t pump out a ton of CM then there are some other options that can help the sperm travel to the egg in the form of sperm-friendly or fertility-friendly lube.
Some women have an abundance of EWCM, while others never see it either way you can never have too much when you’re trying to conceive. When you add a sperm-friendly lube to your TTC Arsenal, regardless of EWCM output you can’t go wrong!
The Difference Between Fertility Lube (Sperm-Friendly Lube) & Regular Lube like KY & Astroglide
When you’re actively trying to get pregnant sex has the ability to morph into a chore and for some, it brings on anxiety (at least it did for me!).
Worrying about getting pregnant and or having sex with the goal to get pregnant isn’t exactly a mood setter.
But, before you find yourself reaching for the KY, Astroglide, and or any other lube when trying to get pregnant you may want to give it a second thought.
Most lubricants aren’t sperm-friendly – in fact, according to a study done on vaginal lubricants’ and the effect that it had on sperm, regular, store-bought lube had a significant effect on the motility of the sperm.
“Commercial lubricants inhibited sperm motility by 60-100% after 60 minutes of incubation. Sperm exposed to Replens or Astroglide were nonmotile and nonviable after incubation for 60 minutes, similar to the control, nonoxynol-9 containing product Gynol II.
Conclusions: For couples with infertility, the use of vaginal lubricants during intercourse is not recommended. In cases where a lubricant is required, careful selection can maximize sperm motility and viability.” 1Kutteh WH, Chao CH, Ritter JO, Byrd W. Vaginal lubricants for the infertile couple: effect on sperm activity. Int J Fertil Menopausal Stud. 1996;41(4):400-404.
So…. long story short can you use KY and other lubes when trying to conceive?
Yes, but it is not recommended, especially if you’re having difficulty trying to conceive. I recommend that my clients stay away from silicone and water-based lubes. For couples who are trying to get pregnant, it’s best to go for the sperm-friendly lube.
The Benefits of Sperm-friendly/Fertility lube & Why You Want To Use It
Vaginal dryness is a wench… to say the least. Add the pressure of trying to conceive to your everyday life and you may be finding you’re drier than the Sahara. OUCH!
No one enjoys painful sex (well, that’s not entirely true but most people don’t.. and if you do, you just keep on doing you!) – Now, enter the fertility lube, a trying to conceive couples best friend.
Not only does it relieve dryness and make sex more pleasurable it mimics egg white cervical mucus!
Since it mimics fertile CM it can be used as a substitute of sorts for EWCM to help keep the sperm safe from the highly acidic, vagina.
Sadly, many of the sperm are killed off immediately after ejaculation.2Sakkas D, Ramalingam M, Garrido N, Barratt CL. Sperm selection in natural conception: what can we learn from Mother Nature to improve assisted reproduction outcomes?. Hum Reprod Update. 2015;21(6):711-726. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmv042 Darn pH levels!
Due to the hostile environment, that is the vagina adding a lube can only help increase your odds of conception.
The great thing about fertility lube is that it is pH balanced perfectly to keep sperm alive, and since it is formulated to match fertile CM (cervical mucus) I believe it can actually help you get pregnant.
Also, if you’re taking Clomid on top of all the stress you may find that your CM is non-existent. Adding a fertility-friendly lube is one way to help increase cervical mucus.
What kind of Lubricant is safe for Getting Pregnant?
When looking to purchase a sperm-friendly lube only buy one that is specifically marked as fertility lube or says sperm-friendly on the packaging.
When in doubt, shy away from any lube that is not marketed for conception use.
According to the American Pregnancy Association3https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/fertility-lubricant-27331, you should avoid lube with the following things:
- lubes with a low pH
- lubes that contain chemicals like glycerol. Also, you want to avoid petroleum, silicone, glycerin, and Nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and all paraben preservatives.
- Non-spermicidal lube does NOT necessarily mean that it is sperm-friendly and that it can be considered a fertility lubricant
- Make sure the band of fertility lube you purchase has been cleared by the FDA. The lubricants that have been cleared have undergone testing to show that the lube will not harm the sperm or the egg.
- Stay away from “household oils” when trying to conceive. Over time the quality of the oil declines due to light and temperature exposure which can lead to toxic peroxides and inflammatory chemicals. Also, there is no way to guarantee the purity of the oil itself.
Best Lubes for Conception when your Egg White Cervical Mucus just isn’t cutting it
Here a few, well-known, and trusted brands of fertility lube that I feel confident recommending. My go-to lube is Pre-Seed, it’s the one I recommend most and it’s likely one you’ll hear thrown around in forums the most.
Can Lube help you Get Pregnant?
There’s no one study that I can point to, to help support the answer I am about to give to this question.
It is an accumulation of several days of research on fertility lubricants, so do what you will with this. I encourage you to talk to your doctor and make up your own mind on if fertility marketed lubes can help you get pregnant.
My answer is yes, and here’s my logic –
From what I’ve read over the years and just refreshed on recently regarding EWCM, is that it is a key factor in transporting sperm to the egg. The more fertile cervical mucus you have the better your chances are for conception in a given month.
If you are unable to produce an adequate amount of egg white cervical mucus it may take longer to get pregnant and makes the trip more “hazardous” for the sperm.
Adding a lube to aid in conception and give the little guys an extra layer of protection make sense to me, especially with the lubricants that are designed to do just that.
So in theory, I believe that lube can help you get pregnant IF you choose the right one and go with a sperm-friendly lubricant designed specifically for fertility use.