Many couples are wanting to find out how to easily get pregnant. Vaginal dryness is among the common problems faced by 75% of couples trying to conceive. It's easy to see why; the stress of daily life, the side effects of fertility drugs, or loss of spontaneity in a person's sex life can cause reduced sexual enjoyment and vaginal dryness. As a matter of fact, at least 25% of infertile couples use lubricants when they have intercourse. What they do not know is that lubricants are about as helpful to conceiving as spermicides, even if they are water-based and contain no spermicidal properties.
Sperm Survival 101
In order for sperm to survive long enough to reach and penetrate the egg, they need an alkaline environment with a pH level of 7.0 or 8.5. Lubricants, however, are highly acidic and can have very low pH values. When mixed with semen during intercourse, research shows that this combination creates a more acidic environment and kills sperm, thus decreasing the chances of conceiving. The sperm cells that do survive become impaired due to the osmolarity of the lubricant, or the concentration of ion particles. All lubricants, even water-based, spermicidal-free ones, contain propylene glycol or glycerin, two hyperosmotic components that affect the number of ions in the solution. Excessively high or low levels of osmolarity cause the sperm cells to either swell or shrink, killing them or impairing their motility. Even if the sperm does manage to reach the egg, the lubricant causes physical changes that prevent sperm from penetrating the membrane and fertilizing the egg. According to the scientific journal of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the spermicidal effects of lubricants are just as effective as contraceptive jelly.
Alternatives to commercial vaginal lubricants
But do not go about using your saliva or water as an alternative to lubricant just yet. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that also affect sperm viability. Water is just as spermicidal; sperm cells can not help but absorb the water, which makes them swell until they burst. Although studies show that canola oil and raw egg whites contain the right pH levels needed for sperm to survive, they can be very messy to use and may cause infections due to contamination from other substances. Besides, does anyone really want to use raw egg as a lubricant?
The total absence of sperm-friendly lubricants in the market inspired pharmacologist Dr. Joanna Ellington to develop a product called Pre-Seed. Pre-Seed is a lubricant with pH levels and osmolarity that will not harm sperm, allowing infertile couples to enjoy sexual intercourse without worrying about sperm damage. Pre-Seed also contains a unique plant sugar called arabinogalactan, which provides sperm cells with anti-oxidant support. The product has undergone a number of tests, and these experiments show that the sperm swim right through Pre-Seed as though it were semen. There are no studies that show if Pre-Seed increases the chances of conceiving, but couples who have tried it say that it made sexual intercourse more pleasurable and exciting.
For a while, Pre-Seed was the only sperm-friendly lubricant available for couples trying to conceive. However, reproductive endocrinologist Dr. William H. Kutteh released a similar product called ConceivEase in early 2009. This new product is an inexpensive lubricant containing vitamin E, light mineral oil, and glycerol. Early studies on the product show that ConceivEase does not affect sperm motility up to one hour, but it will take longer than this for sperm to reach the egg. Further research on this product's benefits has yet to be done.
Stimulate vaginal lubrication naturally
Fertility experts generally advise couples against using commercial lubricants because this reduces the chances of a sperm meeting the egg. If you can not avail of sperm-friendly lubricants, you can try these natural approaches to stimulating vaginal lubrication.
* Keeping yourself well hydrated will reduce the likelihood of vaginal dryness. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
* Vaginal dryness can also be caused by harsh chemicals from scented laundry detergents. Use non-perfumed, mild detergents to wash your underwear. Avoid body wash and bath products with strong fragrances as well; these can irritate the vagina's sensitive tissues.
* Often, exhaustion, anxiety, or stress is the culprit behind vaginal dryness. What better way to reduce their negative effects than to spend more time doing foreplay? Not only can proper foreplay stimulate vaginal lubrication naturally; if done right, it can make intercourse absolutely mind-blowing. Do not be afraid to talk about what turns you on and what you want your partner to do in bed. Being open about what you enjoy will increase your arousal and make your body more receptive to sperm.