A Female Gynecologist’s Guide to Sexual Lubricants and Vaginal Moisturizers

Many woman need vaginal moisturizers or sexual lubricants regardless of age. Needing a lubricant does not mean you have a problem or inadequacy.  The need for lubricants or moisturizers increases with age especially after menopause.

Medications like antihistamines, oral contraceptive pills, chemotherapies can cause vaginal dryness as well as breast feeding and menopause.

Latex safe lubricants can help prevent breakage of condoms or dental dams for safer sex.

Which one is right for you?

Sexual lubricants are short acting. They come in many types.

  • Water Based: least irritation, latex safe may dry out with extended time

     Good Clean Love, K-Y, Sylk (all natural) , Yes

  • Silicone based: longer lasting, staining, usually non irritating, waterproof, do not use with silicone dilators, toys or gynecologic products like pessaries

     AstroglideX, Pjur, Silky, Uberlube

  • Oil Based: staining, non irritating, latex safe. Some people can be allergic and there are concerns that they can cause bacterial or yeast infections so I do not recommend

     avocado, olive, peanut, corn or coconut(best)

  • Hoping to conceive? lubricants can decrease sperm mobility but there are several safe products

       Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus,Yes Baby, Astroglide TTC

 

Moisturizers: longer acting to help with daily dryness, chafing and may decrease risk recurrent infections. Used 1-3 times per week.

    Replens, Refresh,Yes VM

Hybrids: lubricant plus moisturizer, a combo of water based plus silicone product. Good for people with sensitivities or allergies.

    Lubrigyn (great for menopausal woman), Luvena

 

Stay away from petroleum based products (mineral oil, baby oil, petroleum jelly) they are not latex safe and should not be used with condoms, dental dams or diaphragms and can cause irritation.  Also avoid parabens or glycerin. Glycerin(often found in water soluble lube) may cause yeast infections and parabens (to extend self life)  may have estrogen like properties so best to avoid especially if you have had breast or other hormone sensitive cancer.

 

Want to try some out? MiddlesexMD.com sells a low cost sampler!

Menopausal women, or women with low estrogen levels, may need more than a topical lubricant or moisturizer. If the over the counter products don’t seem to be enough, see your gynecologist as you may want to try  prescription vaginal estrogen or steroid.

Reference:

Krychman M, Dweck A,Kingsberg S, Larkin L,OBG Manag, 2017 (special section SS2-10)

 

 

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