Effect of an isotonic lubricant on sperm collection and sperm quality

Fertil Steril. 2013 May;99(6):1581-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.01.116. Epub 2013 Mar 15.


Objective: To assess the influence of an isotonic lubricant used during sperm sample collection on [1] ease of collection and [2] resultant sperm quality.

Design: Paired randomized cross-over design.

Setting: Tertiary hospital.

Donor(s): Healthy men over 18 years old with normal semen analysis as per World Health Organization 2010 guidelines.

Intervention(s): Collection of semen sample from 22 subjects by masturbation with or without the use of Pre-Seed personal lubricant.

Main outcome measure(s): Qualitative survey results and quantitative sperm function outcomes were measured to determine resultant sperm quality and collection experience with and without Pre-Seed lubricant.

Result(s): The qualitative questionnaire results showed that 73% of donors prefer the semen collection process with the isotonic lubricant and 55% recommended the use of lubricant in their everyday collection. The motility, viability, membrane integrity, levels of reactive oxygen species, total antioxidant capacity, and percentage of DNA damage in collected semen samples were not affected by the use of the lubricant.

Conclusion(s): More donors prefer, and find it easier, to collect semen samples with the use of the lubricant. The isotonic lubricant Pre-Seed did not compromise sperm quality as evaluated in an array of sperm assays, suggesting its safe use in fertility patients as required during sperm collection.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Isotonic Solutions
  • Lubricants / administration & dosage*
  • Lubricants / chemistry
  • Male
  • Masturbation*
  • Semen Analysis* / methods
  • Sperm Count / methods
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Isotonic Solutions
  • Lubricants