Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lube and pH

So, I was thinking about lubrication and folks who are trying to get pregnant.

Sperm is happiest at a pH of around 7.4 Many lubricants have pH levels that are more acid. There are several lubes on the market that specifically target people who are trying to get pregnant. These lubes have a nicely alkaline pH. We used to carry one of these lubes at the store. It's called PreSeed and it gets great reviews. I never loved it. It comes in little prepackaged lube squirters (which isn't the way most people apply lube for vaginal intercourse), has a paraben in it and is pretty pricey.  Recently, PreSeed was sold and the new owners no longer sell to our distributor. We've never sold enough of it to buy direct from the manufacturer (and rumor has it, the new owners don't want to sell to sex toy stores). I was annoyed and I started thinking.

What's the pH of the lube we sell? Do we have a lube already on the shelf that would help keep the vagina a nice welcoming place for sperm? What would be the best consistency for a conception lube? When the body is at its most fertile, it produces cervical mucus that is clear and stretchy. This mucus can act as a wick to help get sperm into the uterus. I'm guessing that one would want lube that was slick, but wouldn't wash out the useful cervical mucus, so a lube that's not super liquidy might be better. The consistency is of the lubes marketed as "for conception" tend to be thinner gels, so I think my consistency theory might be right. 

Then, I pH tested every lube in the store. I used pH strips and my best judgement. I have used pH strips before when I worked in a medical clinic. However, that was years ago, so take this for what it is, my best guess.

Sliquid Lubricants
Sassy - pH 5
H2O - pH 5
Sea - pH 6
Satin - pH 7
Swirl - Blue Raspberry - pH 6+
Swirl Strawberry Pomegranate - pH 4+
Swirl Pina Colada - pH 4+
Oceanics - pH 7.5
Organic H2O - pH 6+
Organic Silk - pH 6+
Organic Gel - pH 7

Good Clean Love
Almost Naked - pH 4
Lavender - pH 4

Slippery Stuff
Slippery Stuff Gel - pH 6

Strawberry Kiwi - pH 4

Liquid Silk - pH 4

Maximus - pH 3

Pleasure Works
Please Liquid - pH 3

Silicone lubes - I tested five different brands (Uberlube, Pink, Wet, Pjur and Swiss Navy). Each had a pH of 5.

I'll add to the list as I test more.

As of now, it looks like Sliquid Oceanics would work well. It's very close to the optimum pH and it fits in with my (untested) theory that a lube that's slick but not too liquid would be best.

I'm not a scientist, nor a physician. So, take the above with a grain or five of salt. Just don't put the salt in anyone's vagina.