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Effect of vaginal lubricants on natural fertility

Mesen, Tolga B.; Steiner, Anne Z.

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 186–192
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000066
FERTILITY: Edited by Aydin Arici

Purpose of review Vaginal lubricants are commonly utilized to facilitate more comfortable and enjoyable intercourse. The impact of these lubricants on fertility is unclear. The aim of this review is to summarize the current in-vitro and clinical data pertaining to lubricants’ effect on natural conception.

Recent findings In-vitro studies suggest lubricants can be toxic to sperm in the artificial laboratory environment. Lubricants formulated to be nontoxic to sperm have no effect on sperm motility or viability in vitro compared to controls. However, a recent longitudinal cohort study suggests lubricant use and choice has no effect of fecundity.

Summary As a result of the conflicting in-vitro and clinical data, the effect of vaginal lubricants on fertility is still unresolved. A randomized controlled trial is needed to determine the effects of vaginal lubricants on fertility.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Anne Z. Steiner, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7570, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Tel: +1 919 966 5283; e-mail: Anne_steiner@med.unc.edu

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins