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Medical Abstracts

Effects of Personal Lubricants on In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Development
American Society of Andrology Annual Meeting, Phoenix AZ, March 2003

RW Wright1, PhD; RA Short2, PhD; & JE Ellington3 DVM, PhD 1Dept Animal Science & 2Health Research Center, Washington State University; and 3INGfertility, Spokane, WA
Use of personal lubricants is not recommended for couples that are trying to conceive based on several studies reporting their deleterious effect on sperm motility. In spite of this, 43% of all trying-to-conceive couples use personal lubricant products due to a high frequency of vaginal dryness. The current study was designed to compare in vitro fertilization and embryo development of bovine oocytes in the presence of moderate doses (10%) of several different products. In vitro matured cow oocytes were fertilized by bull sperm with: 10% KY Jelly®; 10% FemGlide® (labeled as "sperm compatible"); 10% Pre~Seed® (a new moisturizer developed to provide an optimal sperm environment); and control TALP IVF media. Lubricants were only present during the fertilization incubation of sperm and oocytes. The bovine IVF model allows for detection of sperm DNA damage which can inhibit embryo development. Embryos were cultured for 7 days and then scored for normal development for blastocyst (multi-cell) stage. Data are expressed as Mean (SEM).Treatment.





KY Jelly


12 (2.0)a

2 (1.2)a



72 (3.4)b

42 (o.7)b



73 (4.6)b

47 (0.9)c



77 (3.4)b

44 (0.8)b,c

KY Jelly® in the fertilization medium had a very negative effect on fertilization and development (a,c differ by p<0.001), with only 2% of all eggs developing to the blastocyst stage. FemGlide® decreased embryo development as compared to the Pre~Seed® treated sperm (b,c differ by p=0.05). Pre~Seed® did not effect embryo development as compared to the control media in this model, in fact a trend for improved development was seen. Mouse embryo development studies with 10% volume of test product are routinely done as a toxicology screen for assisted reproduction media. A similar design, using cow embryos detected a harmful effect of KY Jelly® and FemGlide® on embryo development after sperm exposure to these products.

Information on this site is not meant to substitute for the advice of a physician or medical professional and should not be not used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If trying to conceive and you have irregular or absent periods or are not pregnant after 6 months we recommend that you consult a physician.

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