How do I use Conceive Plus®?
Conceive Plus® is a mild lubricating sperm friendly lubricant that is used just the same way you would use a personal lubricant. Apply the gel to the genital areas of both you and your partner and re-apply as required. You can use as much or as little as you wish however we suggest a minimum of 5mls (about a teaspoon).
Replenishing your natural moisture and relieving dryness can improve the overall sexual experience for both you and your partner and assist him to ejaculate more swimming sperm. Some studies have shown up to 50% more sperm are produced.
Why do some lubricants harm chances of conception and pregnancy? How does Conceive Plus® help one’s path to pregnancy?
A number of clinical studies have shown that commercially available contraceptive personal lubricants are spermicidal (harmful to human sperm) (see references below). Such personal lubricants harm sperm viability and/or motility, thereby decreasing or eliminating the chances of conception and, thus, pregnancy. Conceive Plus® is scientifically formulated to not harm sperm viability or function, thereby improving your chances of conception or getting pregnant naturally.
Selected Scientific References:
Tagatz GE, Okagake T, Sciarra JJ. The effect of vaginal lubricants on sperm motility and viability in vitro. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 1972; 113:88. Goldenberg RL, White R. The effect of vaginal lubricants on sperm motility in vitro, Fertil Steril, 1975; 26:872. Monard S, Vaginal contraception: mechanical or chemical? NPN Med. 1983 May 2;3(50):591. Tulandi T, Plouffe L Jr, McInnes RA. Effect of saliva on sperm motility and activity. Fertil and Steril, 1982; 38: 721. Tulandi T, McInnes RA. Vaginal lubricants: effect of glycerin and egg white on sperm motility and progression in vitro. Fertil Steril, 1984; 41:151. S P Boyers, M D Corrales, G Huszar, A H DeCherney, The effects of Lubrin on sperm motility in vitro, Fertil Steril 1987; 47(5):882. Frishman GN, Luciano AA, Maier DB. Evaluation of Astroglide,* a new vaginal lubricant: effects of length of exposure and concentration on sperm motility, Fertil and Steril, 1992; 58: 630. Anderson L., Lewis S.E.M., McClure N. The effects of coital lubricants on sperm motility in vivo, Human Reproduction, 1998; 13(12): 3351. Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Cocuzza M, Short RA, Evenson DP, Effect of vaginal lubricants on sperm motility and chromatin integrity: a prospective comparative study, Fertil Steril. 2008 Feb,89:375 Kutleh W.H., Chao-Huai Chao M.S., Rjtter J.O., Byrd W. Vaginal lubricants for the infertile couple: effect on sperm activity. International Journal of Fertility, 1996; 41: 400. Miller B, Klein TA, Opsahl MS. The effect of surgical lubricant on in vivo sperm penetration of cervical mucus, Fertil Steril 1994; 6:1171. Kutteh, W.H., Lockton, J.M., Williams, L.J., Ke, R.W, A novel Fertility Friendly Lubricant for the Infertile Couple. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008, 111: 20S. Kutteh, W.H., Collins,B, Ke, R.W., Williams, L.J., ConceivEase Fertility Friendly Lubricant is Superior to other commercial lubricants in preserving Sperm Motility and Sperm Progressive Motility over 72 hours. Fertility and Sterility 2008, 90, S324.
Isn’t Glycerol naturally present in human cervical fluid?
Glycerol is a natural ingredient of human cervical fluid (see Huggins et al. 1976, Preti et al. 1979, Huggins et al. 1981, Owen et al. 1999 below). In fact, studies have shown that the amount of glycerol in cervical fluid increases during sexual excitement (Preti et al. 1979). This increase in glycerol has been postulated to be responsible for the lubricating quality of this fertile cervical fluid and may be biologically relevant during the early phase of reproductive events (Huggins et al. 1981). Conceive Plus® contains small amounts of glycerol in order to better mimic the body’s natural fertile cervical fluids.
Glycerol is also a source of energy and is naturally present in our body. Glycerol also preserves cells and has been extensively used in cryopreservation of human sperm and eggs. Because of its exceptional cryopreservation properties, glycerol has been extensively studied for its effects on the viability and function of many human cells and tissue. It is currently one of the most commonly and extensively used cryoprotectant.
There are several scientific studies showing that small amount of glycerol has no negative impact on sperm viability and function. For example, a widely cited study by Tulandi et al. showed that addition of glycerol to human semen at concentrations as high as 2% of semen had no significant affect sperm function (see Figure 1). Similarly, another study by Goldenberg et al. showed that glycerol had no significant effect on human sperm motility, whereas other known spermicidal lubricants (such as K-Y, Lubifax and Ortho-Gynol) completely immobilized the human sperm. Yet another scientific study, by Critser et al., showed that presence of glycerol at concentrations as high as 5% and had no significant effect on human sperm motility even after 24h of incubation (see Figure 2).
Figure 1. Effect of glycerol on Sperm Motility and Progression (adapted from Tulandi et al, 1984). It clearly shows that addition of glycerol to human semen at concentrations as high as 2% of semen has no significant affect on sperm function.
Figure 2. Effect of glycerol on Sperm Motility (adapted from Crister et al, 1988). It clearly shows that incubation of human sperm with concentrations of glycerol as high as 5% has no significant affect on sperm function, even after 24h of incubation. (0% is control)
Why is calcium and magnesium ions important?
Calcium and Magnesium ions are naturally present in all bodily fluids and cells, including human semen and cervical fluids, as illustrated in several scientific studies, some of which are referenced below. Presence of calcium in human semen was shown as early as 1942 in a landmark study by Huggins et al. Calcium and magnesium are critically important for the viability and function of sperm and eggs. For example, a scientific study with 143 men by Adamopoulos et al. showed that, “Ca concentration in asthenozoospermic and oligozoospermic patients was lower than in normozoospermic men and was positively correlated with Mg concentration irrespectively of seminal quality or the presence of infection”. Similarly, sperm also has an absolute requirement for calcium ions in order to undergo acrosome reaction in preparation for egg fertilization (see Evans et al. review).
Conceive Plus® sperm friendly lubricant is the ONLY formulation that contains these important ingredients.
Selected Scientific References:
Huggins C, Scott WW, and J Heinen JH, CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF HUMAN SEMEN AND OF THE SECRETIONS OF THE PROSTATE AND SEMINAL VESICLES Am J Physiol 136: 467-473, 1942. Adamopoulos DA, Deliyiannis V. Seminal plasma magnesium, calcium and inorganic phosphate concentration in normozoospermic and subfertile men. Andrologia. 1983; 15: 648. Sorensen M.B., Bergdahl I.A., Hjollund N.H.I., Bonde J.P.E., Stoltenberg M., Ernst E. Zinc, magnesium and calcium in human seminal fluid: relations to other semen parameters and fertility. Molecular Human Reproduction. 1999; 5(4): 331. Deger O., Akkus I. Semen magnesium levels in fertile and infertile subjects. Magnesium. 1988; 7(1): 6. Borland R.M., Hazra S., Biggers J.D., Lechene C.P. The elemental composition of the environments of the gametes and preimplantation embryo during the initiation of pregnancy. Biology of Reproduction. 1977; 16: 147. Owen D and Katz D, A vaginal fluid simulant, Contraception, 1999 Feb;59(2):91-5. Owen D and Katz D, A review of the physical and chemical properties of human semen and the formulation of a semen simulant. J Androl. 2005 Jul-Aug;26(4):459-69. Homonnai ZT, Paz G, Weiss JN, David MP. Quality of semen obtained from 627 fertile men. Int J Androl. 1980; 3: 217. Arver S, Sjoberg HE. Ionized calcium in human seminal plasma. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1983; 43(suppl): 123. Theophanides T, Anastassopoulou J (eds). Magnesium: current status and recent developments, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997, Netherlands. G. Wagner and R.J. Levin, Vaginal fluid. In: E.S.E. Hafez and T.N. Evans Editors, The Human Vagina Elsevier/North-Holland, New York (1978), pp. 121. G. Wagner and R.J. Levin, Electrolytes in vaginal fluid during the menstrual cycle of coitally active and inactive women. J Reprod Fertil 60 (1980), pp. 17. H.E. Mende, H. Spitzbart, V. Sieke and C. Vogel, Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium in vaginal content. Zentralbl Gynakol 112 (1990), pp. 1175. Evans JP, Florman HM. The state of the union: the cell biology of fertilization. Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Oct;4 Suppl:s57.
What is the pH level of Conceive Plus®?
The pH of Conceive Plus® is 7.5. To survive and function, human sperm requires an environment that contains certain electrolytes and is within a narrow range of pH, osmolality and tonicity. The World Health Organisation (see references below) has reported that the optimal condition for sperm survival and migration in the cervical mucus requires a pH in the range of 7.0 to 8.5 and an isotonic solution. Conceive Plus® is carefully formulated so that both pH and osmolality are at levels which are safe for sperm.
Selected Scientific References:
WHO Laboratory Manual for the examination of human Semen and Sperm-Cervical mucus interaction (1999), 4th Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Mortimer D. Practical Laboratory Andrology (1994). Oxford University Press, NY.
What is the osmolality of Conceive Plus®?
The osmolarity of Conceive Plus® is close to 357mOsmol/L. Conceive Plus® sperm friendly lubricant is designed to be within the measured physiologic osmolality range of 290-423mOsmol/L that is optimal for sperm survival and migration in the cervical mucus (see Owen et al. below). There is considerable debate in literature, and little agreement among physicians and scientists, about the exact osmolality range for human semen, cervical fluid and the environment that is optimal for conception and fertility in humans.
Among many published scientific reports, a widely cited study by Anderson et al. (see below), comparing measured osmolality of various lubricant solutions and the effect of each of these lubricant solutions on human sperm motility, showed that a lubricant solution with osmolality of 422 ± 4.1 mOsmol/L was not harmful to sperm, whereas a different lubricant solution with much lower osmolality of 298 ± 8.8 mOsmol/L) was harmful. A prediction based on merely measuring the osmolality of these two solutions would have led to an exactly opposite result! It is also important to mention that experiments by Anderson et al. were performed under conditions mimicking in vivo coital conditions, where it is known that the total time of contact between sperm and lubricant typically lasts between 5-30 min, after which time most of the seminal fluid is discarded in backflow.
Selected Scientific Reference:
Owen D and Katz D, A review of the physical and chemical properties of human semen and the formulation of a semen simulant. J Androl. 2005 Jul-Aug;26(4):459-69. Anderson L., Lewis S.E.M., McClure N. The effects of coital lubricants on sperm motility in vivo, Human Reproduction, 1998; 13(12): 3351.
Does Conceive Plus® contain any surfactants, like Pluronic?
No. Surfactants are typically formulated in spermicidal lubricants. Surfactants are also used to solubilize water-insoluble ingredients in water. One scientific study (Kurtz et al, 2002) showed that the presence of surfactant Pluronic 127 was harmful to sperm, although more studies are needed to confirm and fully validate this finding. As Conceive Plus® sperm friendly lubricant is scientifically formulated to not harm sperm, it does not contain any surfactant.
Selected Scientific References:
Kurz A, Viertel D, Herrmann A, Müller K., Localization of phosphatidylserine in boar sperm cell membranes during capacitation and acrosome reaction, Reproduction. 2005 Nov;130(5):615-26
External links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluronic.
Does Conceive Plus® contain any substances from larch tree bark, such as arabinogalactan?
Does Conceive Plus® contain any harmful acidic polymers?
No. Acrylic acid derived polymers, such as Carbomer, are acidic and are one of the key ingredients of spermicidal lubricants, such a BufferGel (see references below) that reduce the chance of conception and pregnancy.
Selected Scientific References:
Lee C-H, Bagdon R and Chien YW, Comparative in vitro spermicidal activity of chelating agents and synergistic effect with nonoxynol-9 on human sperm functionality, Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 1996, 85; 91-95. Olmsted S, Dubin N, Cone R and Moench T, The rate at which human sperm are immobilized and killed by mild acidity, Fertil Steril. 2000 Apr;73(4):687-93.
Is Conceive Plus® safe for sperm and embryo development?
Yes. The Conceive Plus formula has been developed in conjunction with experts from respected, leading USA university hospitals and is proven to be safe for sperm and embryo development. Extensive studies have been carried out on Conceive Plus (including different production batches made in both our France and Australian factories).
Is Conceive Plus® the only commercially available sperm-safe lubricant for couples trying to conceive?
Probably not. Internet search reveals that there are several other non-spermicidal lubricants now available for sale online. However, we strongly believe that Conceive Plus® most closely mimics the fertile natural environment as it exclusively contains the Calcium and Magnesium ions that are naturally present in fertile human cervical fluids and are critical for sperm viability and function.
Important note to all readers:
Please be aware of the concept of "The marketing of fear" (see Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering, BMJ 2002; 324: 886) as you research the various lubricants available. It often includes instilling fear about a disease, condition or drug (or ingredients) in the name of "awareness" using selected scientific data that only supports their own point of view and then offering/selling the only perfect solution to cure the "fear". As there are no absolutes in science and medicine, always be skeptical of online advice that sounds like the "final word" (see "The logic of scientific discovery" by Sir Karl Popper, Basic Books, New York, 1959).
Excellent external links from respected scientific journals: