Vaginal Lubricants: Which Type Is Right For You?
Vaginal dryness doesn’t just make intimacy hard. It can also affect your confidence and your ability to experience pleasure during penetration. If you’re struggling with vaginal dryness, using vaginal lubricants or moisturizers may help. Infact, they are highly recommended by gynecologists.
Take note that picking the right lube won’t be that easy, particularly if you have no knowledge of what makes a good vaginal lubricant. If that’s the case, this guide should be able to help you out.
The Main Types of Lubricants
In general, there are three main types of lubricants. Each of them works in a different way so you have to be extra careful when choosing a product.
These are lubricants you can easily find in your home. They come in two types- synthetic and natural.
Natural-based oil lubricants are considered safe not just for the vagina but also for consumption. You can actually eat them.
Some examples include coconut, avocado, and olive oils.
Synthetic oil-based lubricants, on the other hand, are limited for external use. They can irritate the skin so make sure to avoid using them internally. Creams and body lotions can stain clothes and fabrics, too.
Oil-based lubricants can damage latex condoms. If you aren’t planning to get pregnant, it’s best to avoid them and pick another type of lubricant.
Another issue relates to infections. These lubricants aren’t that easy to clean and remove from your body. They can encourage bacteria to grow, leading to vaginal infections.
Most of the items used as oil-based lubricants have no FDA oversight. There’s no quality control when it comes to them being used as lubricants.
They can easily degrade even when they are just sitting on your shelves.
These are the lubricants that mimic the fertile cervical mucus. They usually have no taste and they feel really close to natural lubrication. With that, using them shouldn’t interfere with intimacy.
Take note that there are companies that formulate water-based lubricants with glycerin. These products taste a bit sweet which can be a problem for some women.
Their sugar content can increase the risk of yeast infections. Plus, glycerin makes lubricants dry quicker, too.
Water-based lubricants are easy to find as there are tons of companies that make them. They are generally safe to use and you shouldn’t have problems with your sheets. They aren’t likely to irritate the vagina or stain fabrics.
These lubricants are a better choice if you are looking for something that can last long. They don’t dry out easily so you won’t need to reapply them as often.
Plus, they are safe to use even when you’re underwater. They are also known to be hypoallergenic. The only downside to silicone-based lubricants is that they are harder to remove and clean up. You may need to scrub off the area just to remove the residues.
And if you like using silicone sex toys, these lubricants may not work for you. Their components can break down the toys and cause them to become gummy.
How to Choose the Right Lubricant
When you have so many options, picking the right vaginal lubricant can be overwhelming and intimidating at the same time. The first thing you need to consider is how the lube will affect the bacteria flora in your vagina.
By all means necessary, you want to maintain a healthy bacteria flora and healthy ph between 3.5 and 4.5 in your vagina. Therefore your lube should have the same ph.
Another factor that can affect how the lube interacts with your Vaginal tissue is the osmolality of water base lubricant. Water Lubricants that have a higher osmolality than vaginal secretion will absorb water causing your vagina to be more dry and irritating.
The osmolality of healthy vaginal secretion is about 260 – 280 mOsm/kg therefore, you should find one that is no more than 1200 mOsm/kg as recommended by The World Health Organization.
Not all lubricants are formulated the same way, particularly those you can buy from shops that sell sex toys.
With that, consider reading labels and checking ingredients. You wouldn’t want to add harmful chemicals to your body so avoid products with sugars, parabens, chlorhexidine gluconate, polyquaternium, and petroleum jelly.
Another thing to keep in mind is the reason why you need to use a lubricant in the first place. If it’s to address vaginal dryness, you should pick a lubricant that doesn’t dry out fast.
If you are trying to get pregnant, make sure to choose lubricants that don’t harm sperm cells.
Don’t forget about the condition of your vagina, too. Since the area is quite sensitive, it’s best to stay away from lubricants that can irritate the area.
Your own personal preference matters, too. Consider the taste, smell, and texture that appeal the most to you.
Pick a lubricant that’s easy to use as well. It’s one way to encourage yourself to keep using the product regularly. But avoid using products from the list below:
- Baby oil
- Burn ointment
- Dairy butter/Margarine
- Palm Oil
- Coconut oil
- Fish oil
- Mineral oil
- Suntan oil
- Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
- Body/hand lotions
How to Use Vaginal Lubricants
It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous about using lubricants, particularly if it’s your first time. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel more comfortable using them.
- To start, consider buying small amounts of lubricants for the first time. Test them out for a while to see how they will work for you and your partner.
- Keep your lubricant near your bed. This way, you won’t have a hard time finding and reaching out for them when needed.
- Usually, a quarter-sized dollop is enough to ensure smooth and slippery penetration. However, since brands differ, make sure to read instructions.
- Put the lube on your hands first. Then, rub them on your palm before applying on your body or toy. This step helps you avoid experiencing a cold shock.
- If your partner will be using a condom, remember to apply only a drop of lubricant on its tip. This will allow the him to continue feeling sensations.
- Take your time in assessing if the lubricant is working for you or not. If you feel that it’s not helping you and your partner, consider looking for a different product or type of lubricant.
Happy Lube Shopping