A sperm friendly personal lubricant to help women,
and the men who love them, conceive

Zestica™ Fertility is a Hydrogel formulation that is sperm friendly and pH and Osmolality balanced to match cervical mucous. It contains Hyaluronic Acid which is naturally found in our bodies and is our body’s own natural water carrying molecule. It is scientifically shown to improve the motility of poorly motile sperm.

Where to Buy

When and How to use Zestica™ Fertility

When do I use Zestica™ Fertility?

Use prior to intercourse on the 6 most fertile days of your ovulation cycle, or in a condom* during sperm collection to ensure a sperm friendly environment.

*Zestica Fertility is compatible with latex and polyurethane condoms.

Ovulation diagram

How do I use Zestica™ Fertility?

  1. Twist capPrior to intercourse, twist off the end tab of an applicator.
  2. Sit comfortably and gently insertSit or lie in a comfortable position and gently insert the applicator into the vagina as far as it will comfortably go.
  3. Squeeze applicatorSqueeze the applicator to release Zestica™ Fertility Carefully remove the applicator and discard.

Due to the potential of negative effects on sperm motility and survival:
avoid lubricants not specifically designed for assisting fertility

Diagram showing egg and spermThe Science

Zestica™ Fertility contains the natural ingredient Hyaluronic Acid (HA) with a combination of different molecular weights to sustain its stability in the vaginal acidic environment.

HA is a super-water absorbent with natural moisturisation functionality which makes it a fantastic lubricant with a well proven safety profile.

The Role of Hyaluronic Acid in Reproduction (HA in cervical mucus and its interaction with sperm)

The composition and characteristics of cervical mucus change considerably throughout the menstrual cycle (and during pregnancy). Cervical mucus is only receptive to sperm up to 6 days prior to, and approximately 1 day following, ovulation. During the rest of the menstrual cycle cervical mucus is “hostile” to sperm i.e. sperm are unable to penetrate.

The ejaculate consists of spermatozoa and seminal plasma with sperm comprising only 5% of the ejaculate. The seminal plasma contains a myriad of factors which act to provide the sperm with energy and protection while in the vagina. In humans, sperm are thought to enter the cervix via cervical mucus relatively quickly after ejaculation (within 1 hour). Sperm that remain in the vagina for a long time will die and in order to survive, and progress to the egg, they need to swim and enter the cervical mucus which acts as a comparative haven. Upon entering cervical mucus, they are stripped of their outer coat (which acts to keep them in a suppressed non fertile state) and thus undergo the first stage of activation (termed capacitation). It is unknown how long sperm remain in the cervix in an active state, yet still remain capable of fertilization, but studies in the laboratory would indicate this can be several days.

The concentration of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the cervix changes throughout pregnancy, and in particular increases during the latter stages of pregnancy where it is thought to play a significant role in cervical ripening (remodelling of the cervix in preparation for birth).

The role of HA in cervical mucus and its subsequent effect on sperm is not well understood. However, HA has been used as a cervical mucus substitute for laboratory sperm function studies for the last 25 years. As such, there is a wealth of information regarding the interaction of HA with sperm. HA has been used as a cervical mucus substitute because its structure and properties are similar. The penetration of sperm into HA is highly correlated with semen characteristics and sperm function testing – to the same degree as with cervical mucus. Additionally, the functional capacity of sperm that have penetrated HA or cervical mucus (motility, capacitation status, fertilizing ability) are very similar. Therefore penetration into HA is regarded as a simple and objective means of measuring the functional competence of sperm and is widely used as an effective alternative to human cervical mucus.

HA in the Oviduct

Sperm are stored, sometimes for several days, in the oviduct prior to fertilization. The oviduct acts to maintain sperm in a quiescent but “always primed” state of readiness for the arrival of the egg. How the oviduct does this is unknown but glycosaminoglycans, like HA, play a key role in these processes. Importantly, these glycosaminoglycans, in conjunction with other factors in the oviduct (for example, binding to the oviductal epithelium), act as a final gatekeeper to prepare the sperm by activating key signalling complexes in the sperm so that they are ready to interact with the egg. However, because sperm can remain in the oviduct for several days the oviduct needs to achieve an important balance in not over-stimulating the sperm, otherwise they would not be able to fertilize eggs.

Research

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the “water-carrying” ingredient in Zestica™ Fertility. HA has been widely studied since it was first identified in the 1930s and its safety profile is well-established.

HA is now used extensively in cosmetics for its moisturizing capacity, as well as in medical devices for eye surgery (a protective moisturizer and lubricant) and for treatment of osteoarthritic joints (replenishes disease-diminished levels of HA to restore lubrication and provide anti-inflammatory effects).

Why did we put HA as the key ingredient in a fertility lubricant?

Reason 1

HA occurs naturally throughout the body, and for example, is found in abundance in the female reproductive tract where it plays important roles in the fertilization process and later stages of pregnancy.

Reason 2

Hyaluronic Acid increases motility/intracellular Ca2+ concentration in human sperm in vitro.
(Baims et al: Archives of Andrology 2001)

Hyaluronic Acid enhanced the motility of poor quality sperm.
(Artay Yagci et al: American Society of Andrology 2008)

Hyaluronic Acid shows comparable behavior as cervical mucus, including direct stimulation of sperm movement.
(Perry et al: Human Reproduction 1996)

Reason 3

HA selects sperm without DNA fragmentation and with normal nucleus, resulting in improved embryo quality.
(Parmegiani et al, Reprod.Med. Unit, Bologna, April 2009)

HA has a high degree of selectivity for sperm with high DNA integrity.
(Artay Yagci et al: American Society of Andrology 2008)

FAQ

 

Who is Zestica™ Fertility suitable for?

Zestica™ Fertility has been designed specifically for couples trying to conceive.

What is different about Zestica™ Fertility compared to other lubricants?

Zestica™ Fertility uses Hyaluronic Acid, a material with a well understood profile and widely used in IVF clinics and part of IVF medium. HA also has some unique qualities in sperm protection and has been shown to boost motility in low motile sperm.

There are many lubricants on the market and whilst most of them are fine to use at other times, when you are trying to conceive it is very important that you use a lubricant such as Zestica™ Fertility which is specifically designed to assist the conception process. Zestica™ Fertility is pH and osmolality balanced to match the optimum conditions for sperm.

Many OTC lubricants are formulated to have a pH of around 4-5 to match the vaginal pH. However when trying to conceive it is important to remember that the pH of sperm is around 7.2 and a low pH will damage and kill sperm and therefore should be avoided. Similarly any lubricant with a petroleum or mineral content should be avoided as well as lubricants with pleasure additives (tingle/ taste additives etc.) which may negatively impact sperm survival.

Osmolality (the concentration of particles dissolved in a fluid) is another important factor. The optimal range for sperm function is between 270 and 360 mOsm/kg and Zestica Fertility® is formulated to this range. Outside this range, commonly seen in other lubricants, the function of sperm falls off dramatically.

Can Zestica™ Fertility be used to collect sperm in a condom?

Zestica™ Fertility can be used to collect sperm in a sperm friendly condom. Zestica™ Fertility is compatible with both latex and polyurethane condoms.

 

How should I store Zestica™ Fertility?

Zestica™ Fertility should be kept at room temperature, 5-30°C. Do not place in extreme temperatures such as in a fridge or directly exposed to sunlight.

What are the ingredients in Zestica™ Fertility?

The ingredients in Zestica™ Fertility are:

  • Sodium Hyaluronate (HA)
  • Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS)
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Methylparaben

PBS balances the pH of Zestica™ Fertility with that of the body. The normal vaginal pH is acidic, however the pH of sperm is around 7.2, so it would normally find the vagina a hostile environment. Zestica™ Fertility helps to temporarily raise the pH within the vagina during intercourse. It helps to provide a sperm-friendly environment and increases the chance of conception. Zestica™ Fertility is also specially formulated to the optimal osmolality for sperm, 270-360 mOsm/kg; outside this range sperm perform very poorly.

Is the applicator recyclable?

The recyclable symbol (with a “4” in the middle) on the applicator shows that the applicator is made of a Low density polyethylene (LDPE). LDPE is a soft, flexible plastic. It is typically found in a variety of plastic bags including: bread bags, frozen food bags and plastic shopping bags. Though LDPE can be recycled, traditionally it has not been included in municipal recycling programs. However, more and more it is being added as an accepted plastic to Canada’s municipal recycling programs. There are no known health concerns connected to LDPE.

Is Zestica™ Fertility made with any animal products?

Zestica™ Fertility is not made with any animal product.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid, HA) is the key ingredient of Zestica™ Fertility. HA is a non-toxic naturally occurring molecule (polysaccharide) that is found in the body in cervical tissue, skin and joints. It also helps surround the eggs (“oocytes”) around the time of ovulation where it plays an important role in fertilisation and embryo implantation.

It is often found as an ingredient in premium anti-ageing cosmetics and skin creams, is used in many popular injectable dermal fillers, used to combat wrinkles and folds, and has a well documented safety profile.

What are the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?

Zestica™ Fertility uses a unique formulation with high and low molecular weight HA. HA has been used for many years as a key component in the “transfer medium” used by IVF clinics since several studies have indicated that HA plays a role in protection and selection of healthy sperm with less breaks in the DNA chains. DNA chain breaks in sperm are known to adversely affect the male contribution to the fertilised egg, affecting time to pregnancy, IVF fertilization and implantation rates.

Studies on Hyaluronic Acid have additionally shown an increased movement in otherwise poorly motile sperm!

The choice of HA for Zestica™ Fertility was based on these documented qualities thus helping select “healthy” sperm and maintain/improve their motility giving them an enhanced chance to reach the egg.