Vagina is one interesting part of a woman’s body and just like other parts, it’s a beautifully designed organ. When a woman is aroused, it lubricates itself so the intercourse will be more of pleasure than pain. In some women, vagina does not lubricate automatically due to one or few of the following reasons:
- Menopause – Once a woman reaches menopause, vagina dries up. (Know more about Menopause problems)
- Medication – If a woman is using certain hormone related medicines, vagina may temporarily stop lubricating or lubricate less.
- Other problems – In some women, hormonal problems can occur during young age because of which Vagina may not lubricate itself.
- Dehydrated women – Enough water and fluids are to be taken by every person. Vagina doesn’t hydrate itself, when the body doesn’t have enough fluids.
- Smoking, breast feeding, perimenopause (time before attaining menopause), chemotherapy can also result in dry vagina.
Having sex when the vagina is dry can be a very painful thing. Along with discomfort and pain, it can rupture the walls of vagina resulting in bleeding in some cases. The solution to this problem – Vaginal Lubricants.
Artificial lubricants can enhance arousal and boost sexual pleasure by lubricating and keeping the vaginal skin soft. Whether the woman is having pleasure with a real partner or a toy, she can have maximum sensual pleasure when the vagina is properly lubricated.
Types of lubricants available in the market
- Water based
- Silicone based
- Oil based
Water based lubricants
These are the very common type of lubricants available with option of glycerine. Lubes with glycerine are said to have slightly sweet taste. These are cost effective (relatively) and are safe to use with condoms. Since most of the content is water, any leakage during the act will not stain the sheets. Glycerine free lubes do not cause any irritation.
The negative side of water based lubes is that, the ones with glycerine can cause infection due to their sugar content. Also, they dry out quickly and you will have to keep applying as you dry out.
K-Y Jelly is one of the most popular water based lubes.
Silicone based lubricants
Silicone based lubricants last for a very long time. You don’t need to keep re-applying during the act like water based lubes. These are safe to use with latex condoms and do not cause any allergic reaction. The other side of silicone based lubes is that they can’t be easily washed off like the water based ones. You will need to use more soap and effort to clear it off completely.
If you are a person using silicone made toys for pleasure, silicone lube is not the right one for you. This can damage your toys by making them sticky and gross over a period of time.
Oil based lubricants
Oil based lubes are made by using either natural oils such as coconut, butter etc or with synthetic oils such as petroleum jelly or Vaseline etc. They are relatively safe to use (especially the natural oil based ones) and inexpensive. All you need to make sure is that you are not allergic to synthetic based lubes that can irritate and stain your sheets and dress. Oil based ones are better than silicone based lubes as they can be washed with mild soap.
The negative side of oil based lubes is that they don’t go well with latex condoms. It can cause slippage defeating the bottom line of using a condom. Vaginal irritation can result in vaginal infection.
These are made with natural oils which are totally eco-friendly and safe to use on human body. Some brands make organic and vegan lubricants too. Natural lubricants are free of paraben. (Paraben, typically found in soaps has proven record of posing health risks). The only problem with natural oil based lubricants is their short shelf life. This also makes them expensive.
Some simple nuggets to choose the right lubricant for you
- For your vaginal dryness problem – Silicone lubes are more suitable as they can hang on for longer period.
- If you don’t want the risk of any infection – Avoid glycerine in your lube.
- If you are planning to get pregnant – Your vagina should automatically lube itself. If that is not happening, you need to first consult a good gynaecologist to address the issue and based on his/her recommendation, you can go for a ‘sperm friendly’ or ‘fertility friendly’ lubricant.
- Lube with condom – No oil based lubes.
- Using a silicone based toy to pleasure yourself – Avoid silicone based lube.
- Planning to play in the shower – Silicone based lubricants are the best.
Side effects of using lubricants
Should you have difficulty breathing, swelling of tongue, throat or face or if you develop rashes down there or feel like itching, wash off the lube immediately with mild soap and contact your gynaecologist for advice.