comscoreVaginal Lubricants

Regular use of a vaginal moisturizer may be enough to make vaginal intercourse/penetration comfortable for you again. If not, there are vaginal lubricants specifically designed for use for vaginal intercourse/penetration. You would apply (and reapply) the lubricant as needed in and around your vagina to relieve friction and ease dryness and pain. Typically, lubricants come in the form of liquids or gels that are either water-based or silicone-based. Both types wash off with soap and warm water, but silicone-based lubricants tend to last longer and are more expensive. (Silicone lubricants should not be used with silicone sex toys, as they can break down the material in the toy. Use water-based instead.)

When you’re looking for a vaginal lubricant, your best bet is to avoid those that:

  • have perfumes or flavors that may irritate the delicate tissues of the genital area

  • give sensations of warmth or tingling, since little is known about their safety

  • are petroleum-based or oil-based, as these may increase the risk of vaginal infection, tend to have an unpleasant odor, and can damage latex condoms. This is also why it’s not a good idea to use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) as a vaginal lubricant.

Some of the brands we like include, Good Clean Love and Slippery Stuff Paraben Free, which are water-based; Uberlube, which is silicone-based; and Sliquid, which comes in both water-based and silicone-based formulations. Read the labels (or research what’s in them) and try to avoid lots of chemical ingredients. More specifically, avoid parabens, which can penetrate the skin and act like a very weak estrogen in the body; propylene glycol, a form of alcohol that could be irritating; and glycerin, which can promote yeast infections. The simpler the ingredients list, the better. Other options include natural oils such as mineral oil and coconut oil, but be aware that these can degrade the material in condoms.

Be sure to use a product intended for vaginal use. Hand creams and body lotions are not a good choice because they can contain harsh, irritating ingredients. You can always buy online if you’re hesitant to purchase a personal lubricant at the drugstore.

— Last updated on January 31, 2022, 9:26 PM