So which lubes are safe for mom and baby, but effective in getting the job done? OBGYN Dr. Gleaton explains that while lubricants are absolutely safe in pregnancy, not all are created equal.
Most newly pregnant women are thrilled to trade “timed intercourse” for a little bedroom spontaneity. Afterall, libido is enhanced, and nerve endings are often easily excited. And although many women experience increased vaginal secretions thanks to estrogen, some also note irritability and discomfort during intercourse. So which lubes are safe for mom and baby, but effective in getting the job done? We’re so glad you asked…
What is lube and why do people use it?
Lube, short for lubricant, is used during sexual intimacy to reduce friction or irritation. The vagina is naturally moist, but increases secretions from the cervix and bartholin’s glands when aroused. Various situations, such as hormonal shifts (think pregnancy or menopause), dehydration, and medications (including antihistamines), can lead to inadequate vaginal secretions. This may result in painful intercourse, vaginal itching, irritation, and even tissue trauma and bleeding.
Lubricants are a healthy and safe way to increase sexual pleasure and reduce unwanted trauma during and after intercourse.
Can you use lubricant when pregnant?
Lubricants are absolutely safe in pregnancy and can ease painful intercourse, but not all are created equal. Pregnancy increases blood flow to the vagina and can lead to increased vaginal sensitivity. When choosing a lubricant, look for one that is water- based and free of parabens and glycerin. These chemicals can not only increase irritation, but in some studies have been shown to increase risk for vaginal infections, including yeast.
The best lubricants for use during pregnancy are those that are iso-osmotic, which means they match the healthy conditions of the vagina—they don’t add or subtract anything, nor disrupt the vaginal pH. At Natalist, we created The Lube to be just that, with a clean, frictionless consistency that preserves fun and intimacy, without unwanted side-effects.
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What should you look for, and avoid, in a TTC lube?
When trying to conceive, the stakes are even higher, so pay close attention the ingredients in your lubricant. Consider three main factors when it comes to lubricant:
- FDA cleared as “fertility friendly:” This is a special designation given to an extensively-tested lubricant whose formula is vaginally balanced and won’t harm sperm, eggs, or embryos.
- Water-based: In contrast to oil or silicone based. This is especially true when undergoing hormonal treatments for infertility which can lead to increased vaginal dryness and discomfort.
- Paraben-free: Parabens are essentially preservatives, and a Harvard University study has raised concerns regarding their potential link to infertility.
Can lubricant help you get pregnant?
Time to conception is determined by various factors including age, medical, and pregnancy history as well as lifestyle factors. In addition, more randomized controlled trials are needed to truly assess lubricants and pregnancy rates. With that in mind, there are lubricants with pH-altering properties that may negatively affect sperm, thus ultimately interfering with baby-making efforts. And while various market formulations exist such as sperm friendly and non spermicidal, fertility-friendly lubricant is the only FDA-cleared option when TTC.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to lubes during pregnancy. One factor which is often overlooked—but not underappreciated during pregnancy—is ease of use! As pregnancy progresses, lube application can become increasingly difficult, as can tying shoes, shaving, and painting toes! I’d recommend considering a user-friendly lube that is applicator-free to reduce this common hassle.
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Dr. Gleaton and her staff are a phenomenal group of women. Professional, courteous, knowledgeable and all around pleasant . I have never been so comfortable while my feet were in stirrups!
Dr. Gleaton was thorough and showed compassion and concern for my OVERALL health. She went above and beyond her call of duty and I am so excited to be a patient of such a phenomenal team! If I could give 2 more stars I most certainly would because this office deserves it!"
"Excellent service, great rapport/bedside manner, and very knowledgeable. Sadly, this trifecta is a rare find in the medical profession, but Dr. Gleaton exemplifies these qualities with a natural ease. I wish I were staying in the area so that she could continue to be my doctor! Highly recommend."
"I just really loved my first visit with Dr. Gleaton. She was very detailed, personable and made me feel at ease. I went with my instincts and within minutes, I knew I made the right choice."
"Dr. Gleaton is wonderful. She is very energetic and brings a lot of positivity to every appointment. She is also very thorough and answers questions with sincerity."
"Very knowledgeable! She makes you and your family feel like close friends. She is also very caring and considerate. She takes the time to make sure she explains things to you so that you know what is going on in regard to your health. Wish I could put infinity stars!!!"
"When I read the reviews yesterday that she was excellent someone actually said ( like having coffee with a friend) I thought ” no way” that’s way out there..how can anyone say going to a gyn is like having coffee with a friend… but now after seeing Dr Kenosha I have to agree 😀 it was such a great appointment she is excellent at what she does and her bed side manners amazing. God bless you Dr Kenosha"
"I love Dr. Gleaton, she is through, very professional with a wonderful personality and very caring. I am 60 years old and I do not think I have ever experienced a better Dr."
"I have referred a few friends and family members to her. She is one of the best. Not only is she great at what she does, but an overall genuine, compassionate, empathetic, loving human being."
"It was my first time meeting Dr Gleaton, I appreciated her addressing all of my concerns. I travel 2 1/2 hrs well worth it for a Fantastic Doctor oh and let’s not forget her wonderful staff! Not enough starts for my great experience. Thank you all very much."
"Dr. Gleaton took me on as a patient 24 weeks into my pregnancy, which I really appreciated. She and her staff provided excellent care, were very caring, personable, and seemed to keep up-to-date on the research. Dr. Gleaton was also very open-minded and supportive about the unique circumstances of my child’s birth. On a few occasions I saw other providers in her office, and the other providers were great as well, but Dr. Gleaton is definitely my favorite."