• Article

Lubricant use during intercourse and time-to-pregnancy A prospective cohort study

OBJECTIVE: To assess the extent to which lubricant use during intercourse is associated with time to pregnancy (TTP).

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: Denmark and North America.

POPULATION: A total of 6467 women aged 18-49 years who were not using contraception or fertility treatment.

METHODS: We pooled data from two continuing prospective cohort studies of pregnancy planners in Denmark (2011-2017) and North America (2013-2017). Female participants completed bimonthly questionnaires for 12 months or until they reported pregnancy. After restricting the study to women without a history of infertility who had been trying to conceive for six or fewer cycles at enrollment, 6467 women were retained for analysis. Self-reported lubricant use was categorised as water-based/not pH balanced, water-based/pH balanced 'fertility friendly', silicone-based, oil-based, or a combination of these. We used proportional probability models to calculate fecundability ratios (FRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the association between lubricant use and fecundability, after adjusting for cohort and sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.


RESULTS: At baseline, 17.5% of participants reported the use of lubricants, most commonly water-based/not pH balanced (11.4%). Compared with non-use of lubricants, FRs were 1.02 (95% CI 0.93-1.11) for water-based/not pH-balanced lubricant use, 1.01 (95% CI 0.86-1.18) for water-based/pH balanced 'fertility friendly' lubricant use, 1.23 (95% CI 0.94-1.61) for oil-based lubricant use, and 1.27 (95% CI 0.93-1.73) for silicone-based lubricant use. Associations between oil-based lubricant use and fecundability were inconsistent across subgroups of study cohort, age, parity, and intercourse frequency.

CONCLUSIONS: Lubricant use was not associated with reduced fecundability in the preconception cohorts of pregnancy planners studied.

TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Lubricant use during intercourse was not associated with time to pregnancy in a study of pregnancy planners.


McInerney, K. A., Hahn, K. A., Hatch, E. E., Mikkelsen, E. M., Steiner, A. Z., Rothman, K. J., ... Wise, L. A. (2018). Lubricant use during intercourse and time-to-pregnancy: A prospective cohort study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 125(12), 1541-1548. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.15218

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