Moisturizing the vagina is a natural process during sexual arousal. Women differ in exactly how wet they get, as well as in what situations of arousal, and this is completely normal.
A decrease in the amount of vaginal fluid is a common problem that can be the result of hormonal changes in a woman’s body, during breastfeeding, before or after menopause, the use of various drugs – antihistamines, hormonal drugs to stimulate conception, contraceptives, chemotherapy, as well as antidepressants. It can also happen due to dehydration or if the woman is not sufficiently aroused.
It is at these moments that lubricants come to the rescue. They can be found online, in pharmacies, and in many supermarkets or sex toy stores. Whether during intercourse with a partner or during masturbation, lubricants are used to:
- Reducing painful friction in the vagina or anus
- Improving sexual arousal by stimulating blood flow to the vulva and thus stimulating the production of natural vaginal juices.
- Moisturizing the clitoris – this can create more sexual pleasure and lead to easier orgasms.
- During oral sex
- Keeps the skin around the vagina soft and helps maintain the elasticity of the vaginal walls.
- If pain is present, lubricants containing pain relievers such as lidocaine or benzocaine may reduce discomfort during vaginal or anal sex.
- When choosing a lubricant, we must think in two directions – our comfort and our safety.
Comfort is associated with pleasure, the protective properties of the lubricant can change how we feel during intercourse and reduce irritation.
Safety, in turn, refers to our health. It should be noted that oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex condoms as they can break down the latex and cause the condom to break.
Water-based lubricants with glycerin
The most commonly sold water-based lubricants with synthetic glycerin have a slightly sweet taste. Flavored and warming lubricants also contain glycerin. Experts recommend that when this type of lubricant starts to dry out, water or saliva should be added as adding more lubricant is ineffective.
Pros: Water-based lubricants are readily available, cheap, safe to use with latex condoms, and won’t stain.
Cons – dry quickly, are often sticky, and have an unpleasant taste, synthetic glycerin can cause thrush in women prone to this, and can irritate sensitive skin, as it contains parabens and propylene glycol.
Water-based lubricants without glycerin
If you suffer from recurring infections, these are the best lubricants you can use. They may contain vegetable glycerin, which does not cause infection or irritation.
Pros – They dry slower, can successfully reduce irritation, are safe to use with latex condoms, and do not stain, some are also recommended for anal sex.
Cons – They often have a bitter taste, and containing parabens or propylene glycol can cause skin irritation.
These products are the most durable of all types and are especially suitable for women with chronic vaginal dryness or pain during sex. Silicone lubricant is different from the one used in, for example, breast implants. It is considered safe and most silicone lubricants are hypoallergenic.
Pros – They are safe to use with latex condoms, suitable for underwater use, and odorless and tasteless.
Cons – They are more expensive, cannot be used with silicone sex toys, and are harder to clean.
Lubricants on oil base
This type of lubricant can destroy latex condoms. They are safe to use with nitrile, polyisoprene or polyurethane condoms.
There are two types of oil-based lubricants – natural and synthetic.
Natural ones can often be found in the kitchen. Yes, the general rule is that if a product is safe to eat, it is safe to use in the bedroom as well. Our bodies can more easily cleanse themselves of natural oils than petroleum-based lubricants.
Some oils, such as grapeseed or apricot, are more delicate and therefore more suitable than others.
- Examples are corn oil, avocado oil, peanuts, and olive oil.
- Pros – they are ideal for intimate massage, safe for the vagina and penis, safe for oral sex, and suitable for all types of sex.
- Cons – can damage latex condoms, leave stains
- Lubricants based on synthetic oils take longer to leave the body than natural lubricants.
- Examples are mineral oils, petroleum jelly, body lotions, etc.
- Pros – they are suitable for masturbation, cheap, and readily available.
- Cons – can irritate the vagina, damage latex condoms, and leave stains.