When a lady is sexually aroused, the vagina normally self-lubricates. This makes the sexual experience more pleasurable. When the vagina does not self lubricate or produces less lubricant, sexual intercourse becomes painful and would result in damage to the vaginal lining.
Your body may produce less lubricant as a result of hormonal changes, menopause, ageing, or medication. The problem of vagina dryness can be solved by using vaginal lubricants which are also known as vaginal lubes.
Lubrication is the process of applying a lubricant to a surface to reduce friction, wear and tear between the two surfaces or bodies in contact. A lubricant, on the other hand, is a substance usually organic, introduced to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact, which ultimately reduces the warmth generated when the surfaces or bodies move.
Lubricants are either natural or artificial. However, we would focus on artificial lubricants. Artificial lubricant can help enhance arousal, boost pleasure, keep your vaginal skin soft, and most significantly, reduce friction during penetration — whether it is by a partner or your favourite sex toy. Lubricants are available online or at a local drugstore.
WHY IS YOUR VAGINA DRY?
Vaginal dryness is common in people who
- take certain medications, including antihistamines and antidepressants,
- struggle with daily water intake or are often dehydrated,
- use birth control pills,
- smoke cigarettes,
- are breastfeeding,
- are in perimenopause or menopause,
- have a disease, like Sjögren syndrome, or
- are undergoing chemotherapy.
BENEFITS OF VAGINAL LUBRICANTS
Lubricants can be used by anyone sexually active, irrespective of whether their body produces lubricants naturally. If you’re experiencing vagina dryness, lubricants will be very useful.
Benefits of vaginal lubrication include:
- Prevent itching, burning, chafing, and other discomforts during sex.
- It makes sex safer
- Ideal for anal sex
- It enhances pleasure during sex.
- Boosts sexual function and arousal.
Do you want to try something new or you want to spice things up a bit in your sexual life? Then you should try using a lubricant.
TYPES OF VAGINAL LUBRICANTS
There are different kinds of lubricants to suit different needs. It is totally normal if you like one over the other, or if you wish to spice things up depending on the need. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to expand your lubricant collection, there is one out there for you.
Water-based lubricants are the most common vaginal lubricants. They are available in two varieties: with glycerin (has a slightly sweet taste) or without glycerin.
Both varieties of water-based lubricant are cost-effective, easy to seek out, and safe to use with condoms. They typically don’t stain sheets. Glycerin-free products are less likely to cause vaginal irritation. They don’t dry out easily when compared to glycerin containing lubricants. Flavored or warming lubricants contain glycerin.
These products have their disadvantages; they dry out quickly and may contribute to yeast infections (due to their sugar content). Glycerin-free lubricant can taste bitter and hence are not the better option if you wish to switch from penetrative sex to oral sex.
PRODUCTS TO TRY OUT
For water-based products with glycerin:
• K-Y Jelly
• Doc Johnson GoodHead.
For water-based products without glycerin:
• Isabel Fay
SILICONE-BASED VAGINAL LUBRICANTS
Silicone-based lubricants are odourless and tasteless, slippery and smooth. They last the longest of all vaginal lubricants. They don’t have to be reapplied as often as water-based lubricants. Safe to use with latex condoms and will hold up underwater (if you are in the mood for a steamy shower session). Silicone-based lubricants are also less irritable.
Though silicone-based lubricants last longer, they are difficult to wash off. You will have to do a lot of soapy scrubs to get them off. Silicone-based lubricants are not recommended for silicone sex toys because it can break them down, making them gummy and gross over time.
PRODUCTS TO TRY OUT
If you are looking for a slicker lubrication option, check out:
• Wet Platinum
• Penchant Premium
There are two types of oil-based lubricants: natural oil (coconut oil or butter) and artificial oil (or Vaseline).
Generally, oil-based lubricants are safe to use, inexpensive, and simply accessible. But, a water-based lubricant can be preferable because oil may irritate the skin and they stain fabric too.
Natural-oil based lubricants — like avocado, coconut, vegetable, and olive oils — are great for genital massages and all forms of sexual play. They are also safe for the vagina and safe to ingest (for oral sex).
Artificial oil-based lubricants like body lotions and creams are good for external masturbation. Artificial products may irritate your vagina. They’re also harder to filter off the body than their natural counterparts and this might cause a vaginal infection.
Both natural and artificial oil-based lubricants can destroy latex condoms leading to condom failure, and stain fabrics.
PRODUCTS TO TRY OUT
Natural oil-based lubricants are not the sole natural product on the market. Some companies have produced organic or vegan lubricants made from botanicals or other eco-friendly ingredients. Many natural lubricants are free from paraben, a commonly used preservative with established health risks. They also use organic ingredients, which are better for the environment and safe for your vagina. All-natural lubricants may have a shorter duration of action.
PRODUCTS TO TRY OUT
• Aloe Cadabra
• Sliquid Organics
• Blossom Organics
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT VAGINAL LUBRICANT
Of course, not all vaginal lubricants would work for you, some brands will work better than others, depending on your needs. Here are a few things to consider before choosing a particular vaginal lubricant.
- Silicone lubricants are the most effective for people seeking to solve vagina dryness compared to others like “Warming” lubricants, as they contain glycerin and might dry quickly.
- If you are susceptible to yeast infections, stand back from lubricants with glycerin. It can irritate your vagina and kill good bacteria, triggering an infection.
- If you are trying to conceive, seek for a lubricant that is “sperm-friendly” or “fertility-friendly”. Research shows that some lubricants can have a negative impact on sperm motility.
- If you are going to use a condom avoid oil-based lubricants. Nothing destroys a latex condom quicker than oil-based lubricant.
- If you are going to use a sex toy stick to a water-based lubricant. If your sex toy is created of silicone, silicone-based lubricants can break down a toy’s rubber over time.
- If you are going to play within the shower, opt fora silicone-based lubricant. Water-based products will be washed off as soon as you’re under the shower.
WHAT TO AVOID
- Although oil-based lubricants are safe to use, they will render most condoms ineffective and sometimes cause vaginal irritation.
- You should also limit the use of lubricant with fragrance or flavouring. These chemicals may cause irritation.
- Some ingredients in lubrications are more likely to end in inflammation or irritation and should be avoided by people who are sensitive. These ingredients include: glycerin, nonoxynol-9, propylene glycol, chlorhexidine gluconate etc.
When deciding between different lubricants, keep your comfort and safety in mind. The quantity you use and the way your lubricant lasts will determine whether or not you’re going to have any fun during your sexual intercourse or not. With the incorrect product, your vagina may feel irritated rather than frisky.
SIDE EFFECTS OF VAGINAL LUBRICANTS
Most lubricants are free from side effects. However, there might be an allergic reaction to the lubricant. In case of an allergic reaction see your doctor. Some of the allergic reactions which may occur include:
- Difficulty in breathing (due to the taste (oral sex) or odour of the lubricant).
- Swelling on any part of the tongue, throat, or face.
Also, see your doctor if you develop more frequent yeast infections when lubricants are part of your regular routine.
Vaginal lubricant is an amazing way to help increase your sex session. The added wetness can reduce any friction or discomfort and help increase arousal.
I. O. Eriyo, MB.BS in view, certified content creator at PoliMed, licensed google writer and contributing writer at WikiMedia Foundation.