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FAQ – Are AH! YES products sperm friendly?

The two main factors which govern sperm motility are pH and osmolality. Most common lubricants, typically based on glycerine, are very dense in osmolality, so that sperm lose moisture into them, and this reduces or destroys their viability. Again, most conventional lubricants will have a pH which is more acidic, to match normal vaginal pH, whereas sperm need the more alkaline pH provided by fertile cervical mucus to thrive.

Given the purity of its ingredients, AH! YES WB water-based is the least likely of available water-based lubricants to damage sperm, but its pH is acidic, to match the usual vaginal environment, so is not ideal.

AH! YES OB plant-oil based on the other hand, has no pH value, and we suspect it is neutral in its effect, neither blocking nor assisting sperm motility.

In summary:

  • Sperm become immotile below pH6 and most intimate lubricants are made to match typical vaginal pH which is around pH4, whereas semen intrinsically has a pH range of pH7-8
  • Thus most lubricants “kill” sperm by having a too acidic pH
  • In addition the Osmolality of semen is slightly elevated above plasma. Almost all intimate lubricants are glycerine based, and as an alcohol sugar glycerine gives very high Osmolality values
  • Sperm become unviable in high osmolality solutions, because they are “killed” by the Osmotic pressure of glycerine containing lubricants, such as K-Y Jelly

If you click here you can view a paper that describes the above effects.


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