Saturday, January 28, 2012

Personal Lubricant Choices Affect Male Fertility

While scientific studies continue to tout the benefits of technology in assisted reproduction, relatively little is known about natural methods of fertility enhancement. The importance of the cervical mucus environment and it's affects on the function of male spermatozoa is underappreciated. In the absence of cervical mucus, or in the case of vaginal dryness, couples frequently resort to personal lubricants. In recent studies, some of the commonly recommended lubricants, like KY®, Astroglide®, and Replens® have been found to actually damage sperm, perhaps even at a rate that is equivocal to contraceptive Jellies ( Brand new evidence from a comparative study presented at the Cojoint Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggests that only Pre-Seed® did not appear to cause significant damage to sperm.
In the first experiment, sperm was incubated for 30 minutes. Motility measurements were 66% in the lubricant-free environment, versus 2% for Astroglide®, and 64% for Pre-Seed®. In the second experiment, sperm were evaluated after 4 hours of incubation for damage to the genetic material and graded according to the DNA fragmentation index. Pre-Seed demonstrated the smallest effect with a 7% increase over the control (no lubricant).
The findings of this and other studies are significant. At the Saint Gerard Fertility Care Center, we always ask about personal lubricants and the only one that we recommend during the fertile time is Pre-Seed®. Another reason to use Pre-Seed is because Pre-Seed is also the only personal lubricant that meets physiologic pH and osmolarity requirements for sperm and may protect against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Recently I interviewed a woman who had been going to an infertility specialist for more than 10 years and after undergoing many medical treatments and surgical procedures with no pregnancies to show for it, she is now facing menopause. Interestingly, she and her spouse were using KY® routinely. In fact, they were buying it "by the box." She was surprised to find out about the effects of KY®.
We believe that combined with the monitoring of fertility and cervical mucus, Pre-Seed can be added to a program of infertility (when fertility is present and cervical mucus quality is poor) as a routine recommendation for assisting couples who desire to achieve pregnancy the natural way. At our center, we have an easy to learn protocol that combines the monitoring of fertility and the use of Pre-Seed for this purpose.