Personal lubricants are not all ingredient-friendly. And some may even work as spermicides, ruining your chances of getting pregnant. Chemicals featured in certain lubricants can indeed pose harm to a yet unborn child. That’s why your choice of lube is so much more important when trying to conceive, or if you are in the early stages of pregnancy.
This article will give you all needed information for choosing the best lube for conception. We will also give you healthy recommendations of top 4 personal lubricants that are completely safe to use when trying to conceive. If there’s anything we’ve missed, let us know below in the comments.
What lube is best to use when trying to conceive?
- Extra virgin olive oil 
- Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil 
- Aloe Cadabra water-based lube 
- Homemade aloe vera lube 
Why did we pick the above mention lubricants as our top 4?
Because these lubricants contain only healthy stuff and are ingredient-friendly. Not only are they ingredient-friendly, they are also very healthy and provide medicinal benefits. Using any of these lubes should improve your health and additionally nurture your skin. In continuation of this article you’ll find out why that is so.
We will not only answer what lube is best to use when trying to conceive, we will reveal concrete evidence of that what we are saying is indeed supported by facts. Here you’ll learn how to pick the best lube for conception.
Ingredients to avoid in lube when trying to conceive
Lube composition and chemical structure play an important role, when it comes to what is healthy and what is not.
When you are thinking of the best lube for conception, knowledge about ingredients is essential. Therefore, it is a good idea to memorize some of them (if not all)!
There are certain harmful ingredients that are commonly used in personal lubricants, which you should avoid in general … but especially when trying to get pregnant.
For making sure that your baby is born healthy, below are the top 5 dangerous ingredients to stay away from.
These compounds work as preservatives. Manufacturers use them to extended their product expiration date. They work by slowly releasing formaldehyde, killing the microbes. Regardless what the front label on the lube says, you should check your lube ingredients if by any chance there’s formaldehyde included.
Why we say that about the front label? Because manufacturers can write on the front label practically anything. Big titles such as “best lube for sensitive skin” appear on products that are anything but that. The back label, the small text, the list of ingredients – that’s where you’ll find the truth. Best lube for conception will never contain formaldehyde.
Here’s a list of 6 common formaldehyde releasing agents featured in personal lubricants:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Urea (Diazolidinyl & Imidazolidinyl)
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
*A quick tip: If you are new to ingredients, the easiest way to check their safety is to go to EWG Skin Deep and quickly check the ingredient risk rating. Here you can see Quaternium-15 risk rate. It is rated with 5-7, which is very high, thus it is marked red. If any of your lube ingredient exceeds number 3, you should toss it.
Needless to say, formaldehyde is extremely toxic and poses direct threat to you and your baby. When searching for the best lube for TTC, make sure that there are no formaldehyde ingredients in it.
Here’s also a scientific opinion on this matter [source]: “The use of products containing diazolidinyl urea and imidazolidinyl urea during pregnancy is to be avoided mainly due to the concern for its effect as a formaldehyde releaser, which induces overproduction of ROS and cancer.”
Parabens are also preservatives. But they do not fit in the same category as the above listed ingredients, for they do not function by releasing formaldehyde.
If you’d like to know more about parabens and their toxicological properties, we recommend you read our in-depth article on why parabens in lube are harmful. Our conclusions, which are based on scientific evidence, are that parabens should definitely be avoided. They can cause problems with fertility and also pose threat to a developing fetus. Parabens also work as endocrine disruptors, meaning they mess with your hormones. This ingredient is associates with breast cancer.
Best lube for trying to conceive, mustn’t include these parabens:
Once you start poking around your skin care collection, you’ll probably find that many of your personal care products contain parabens and / or formaldehyde releasers.
Good natural stuff is hard to find these days. Most manufacturers are trying to lower their costs, by adding these cheap harmful preservatives in their products.
They could just as well be using natural preservatives (e.g. rosemary leaf extract, T-50 Vitamin E Oil, grapefruit seed extract, etc.) which would be so much healthier.
Nonoxynol-9 is a compound that works as spermicide. It attacks sperm causing it to become immobilized. It is an active ingredient used on some types of condoms and in personal lubricants, with the purpose of preventing pregnancy.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t be using a lube that contains spermicides when trying to conceive a baby (duuh). However, just to be sure, check your lube twice and make sure that it doesn’t have Nonoxynol-9 as part of its ingredients.
Regarding the safety of Nonoxynol-9, not everything is clean. It was thought that this compound may prevent HIV and other STD’s, but was later found that it’s the other way around.
In the laboratory the results were promising, but in real life the results were different. This is because N-9 works as an irritant and thus contributes to HIV infection via vaginal and rectal sexual acts. Rectal application of N-9 is especially dangerous in regards to catching an STD.
In a recent clinical study, 800 sex workers were given N-9 and placebo. The result was that the group receiving N-9 shown 48% more new HIV infections.
When picking your best lube for trying to conceive, it is quite an obvious choice to stay away from Nonoxynol-9.
Butylphenyl methylpropional (also Lilial) is a synthetic fragrance ingredient, which resembles the smell of The Lily Of The Valley. However the ingredient is toxic and proven to be harmful to a yet unborn baby.
There are very strict restrictions regarding the use of Lilial in skin care:
- restricted to 0.01% in rinse-off products;
- and only 0.001% can be used in leave-on products.
These restrictions alone tell us there’s something fishy about this compound. Healthy ingredients do not have major restrictions like this…
When checking this chemical assessment (opinion provided by SCCS – Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety), you may find these conclusions [source]:
- Impurities / accompanying contaminants: Among the known impurities, special attention is given to the meta isomer 3-(m-tert-butylphenyl)-2-methylpropionaldehyde (CAS 62518-65-4), which was self-classified by BASF as CMR Repr. 1B; H360D (may damage the unborn child).
- Reproductive toxicity: It is to be emphasized that reproductive toxicity already became occasionally visible after a single application of 50 mg/kg bw/day. In all investigations available, testicular toxicity in rats was accompanied by signs of systemic toxicity.
What lube is best to use when trying to conceive? – Definitely not the type of lube that would include Lilial as part of its ingredients.
After reading the above two excerpts, I don’t think there’s a need to say anything more. You should note that a big problem with Lilial is also its persistence and bioaccumulation, which means that the organism has a hard time removing this substance. When is search for the best lube for conception.
The fact is that this ingredient is harmful and should be avoided. Especially when you’re trying to get pregnant or if you are pregnant already.
We’ve already written a ton of helpful information on glycerin in our article about correlation between glycerin and yeast infection.
And that’s the main problem with this ingredient. It breaks into sugars and which serve as a feeding source to Candida species. Candida species are a type of yeast, which lives in our bodies naturally.
But once they get in contact with glycerin, certain type of Candida may overgrow – resulting in a yeast infection. The best lube for trying to conceive, should not pose such harm as to catching a yeast infection.
Overgrowth of Candida albicans is most common type of vaginal thrush. And it can be treated with several methods, which include:
- Orally – Fluconazole;
- Vaginally – Miconazole and Terconazole;
- Vaginally – Vaginal boric acid capsules;
But some Candida species are immune to the above mentioned medications. Candida glabrata and Candida parapsilosis are two types of Candida species, which are resistant to Fluconazole.
Instead of treating symptoms (yeast infection is a symptom), it is better to prevent the root cause. And your choice of lube, may be the root cause for catching yeast infection. The question what lube is best to use when trying to conceive, can simply be answered with: “They type of lube that won’t cause vaginal thrush.”
Avoid lubricants with glycerin. Also make sure that you don’t eat a lot of sugars. And if you are prone to yeast infections it is recommended that you stay back from public places such as saunas and pools, when trying to conceive a healthy child.
Best lube for trying to conceive a healthy baby – Top 4
We’ve already mentioned our top 4 picks in the beginning of the document, but we would now like to present our arguments why that is so.
First argument being, that none of the recommended lubricants have any of the harmful ingredients, which we spoken of in the previous chapter.
These personal lubricants are healthy, for both you and your child, and most importantly they are sperm-friendly. When trying to conceive a healthy baby, your choice of lube plays a crucial role. Below is a detailed look into our choice of the best lube for conception.
Some people may say that a lube can’t come into contact with a child. That’s untrue, because your child is fed through your body. And if your body absorbs harmful chemicals, he gets in contact with them. Anyway, it’s pure logic that you don’t want dangerous chemicals in your vagina, when you are trying to conceive or in early pregnancy stages. If you ask me, I don’t want dangerous chemicals in me at all – pregnant or not.
*A quick tip: Are you struggling to conceive a baby? Wanna learn a few natural tricks for getting pregnant? Here’s our helpful article about boosting your fertility and giving birth to a health baby. This can help you even if you have endometriosis, or PCOS, or any other issue preventing your from getting pregnant.
Homemade aloe vera – best lube for conception
Creating your own aloe lube can be quite easy, if you have the grown aloe vera plant available at home.
You shouldn’t go for the pups (young leaves). Rather take the old plant leaves to make your homemade aloe vera lube. It is great if it’s organic (not sprayed with any pesticides) and the gel that you will scoop out the leaves, will provide for an amazing, healing, medicinal lubricant, which will be very beneficial for both, you and your child.
Many people make mistake that they only scoop out the gel and use it for a lube as it is. You should sieve the gel through the water stream. To fully understand the process take a look at the video below [source].
Aloe Vera is a water-based lube, so it might end up drying out quicker than other lubes on this list. I wonder what would happen if a small amount (like one table spoon) of oil would be added to this combination. I will try doing that and report on the results soon.
Anyway, when searching for what is the best lube for trying to conceive, aloe vera is definitely one of the healthiest to use. It has been used for centuries as a miracle plant for both beauty and health purposes.
Aloe Cadabra ingredient-friendly water based lube
Aloe Cadabra is another Aloe Vera based lube, but we can’t say that is as good as the homemade version, when it comes to what is the healthiest. Homemade will always beat anything commercially sold.
However, Aloe Cadabra is ingredient-friendly, contains no harmful chemicals, and performs very well. It performs better than the homemade version. It does not dry out quick and provides for that slippery feel you’d want from a lube. One of the best features of Aloe Cadabra is also the fact that it never becomes sticky.
Aloe Cadabra has very good reviews, is high quality, and most people who prefer water-based personal lubricants love it. When I tested it, I also loved how gentle and soothing it was. And as I said it offers some great performance and is completely edible, which means the ingredients are healthy.
Make sure you go for the natural version when choosing your best lube for conception, because flavored versions may include sweeteners. And as we learned before, suggars contribute to development of yeast infection (this applies especially to those women who are prone to yeast infections).
Extra virgin olive oil is healthy for you and your child
Before saying “I’ve read that olive oil is not the best choice of lube when trying to get pregnant,” let’s make something clear right away: It has to be extra-virgin!
People go in the kitchen and take their cheap olive oil (which is possibly garlic infused) and then go around forums saying: “Do not use olive oil as lube!”
If you get good quality olive oil, which has been processed through cold-pressed procedure, and is “first pressed”, your skin (and general health) may truly benefit from it.
Here’s what science has to say about olive oil and its effect on sperm quality [source]: “Based on this evidence, given that administration of olive oil lowers the content of cholesterol in the bilayer membrane and that nitric oxide is crucial for adequate sperm motility, olive oil may improve sperm quality by improving nitric oxide signaling. “
Do not go for cheap oils as they are extracted through the process of using a solvent (hexane) instead of press. These low quality oils are then heated to extremely high temperatures, which should eliminate the toxic hexane (but doesn’t completely).
Mina’s olive oil is by our standards one of the best olive oil, which you can also use for skincare or as your new lube for sex.
This extra-virgin olive oil by Mina, is Moroccan, cold-pressed, family harvested oil. The company recommends it not only for cooking but also for replacing all your chemical induced skin care products, with this oil.
Every bottle of Mina’s olive oil is harvested on the land of the family owning the farm, and each bottle can be traced back to an exact tree, on which the olives grew. It is unblended and has ultra low acidity.
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil as sperm friendly lube
Coconut oil is another great choice, which you can use as lube when trying to get pregnant with a child.
When asking what lube is best to use when trying to conceive, cold-pressed coconut oil is one of the first things that come to mind. Coconut oil has so many health benefits, and it also works anti fungal, which means that it protects you form various vaginal infections (such as Candidiasis).
Same as with olive oil, it is extremely important that you go for the cold-pressed type. Everything else may not be healthy and may disrupt your vaginal flora. However, when it comes to lubes that are slippery and long-lasting, this is what coconut oil is best at. Minimum amount can go a really long way.
Shea Moisture cold-pressed coconut oil, is the one we recommend, because of how pure and natural it feels. Believe us, we tried many and Shea Moisture is one of the best.
So if you like that signature scent of coconuts, this is the one for you. Coconut oil can be the best lube when you are trying to conceive. And it will bring along those health benefits you’re seeking for. Coconut oil is medicinal and can work miracles.
Verdict: What lube is best to use when trying to conceive?
There are of course plenty more options available on the market. Some lubes are even labeled as “fertility-friendly”, and those might work just fine.
Regardless of what the front label is saying, we think it is very important to check the ingredients, and to make sure that none of the harmful ingredients from our list are included.
If you noticed, all our picks are natural and organic. Some you can even make by yourself, at home (aloe lube, coconut oil lube, …). Aloe Cadabra was our top pick of a commercial lube due to its composition and astonishing performance. However, we believe that your best choice are natural oils (olive oil, coconut oil, …).
What lube is best to use when trying to conceive? – Any lube that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. Remember to check EWG Skin Deep database for all ingredients featured in the lube you use, and to stay away from anything that has a hazard rating over 3.
We hope you enjoyed our article about best lube for conception. And hope to seeing you again soon. We publish new works every week, so don’t be a stranger.
PS: on the list of ingredients to avoid when trying to conceive, we have forgotten to include Petroleum Jelly (petrolatum). Keep away from that one as well. Products such as Vaseline, Albolene, … are best to be avoided from your private parts.