Lubricant or lube works as a supporter for comfortable and smoothly intercourses, especially with women who have dry vagina or can not naturally moisten when aroused. Besides, when using a condom during sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, lubricant can make sex become easier and more pleasurable.
How do vaginal lubricants work?
Lubricants have gel or liquid form and are applied to the vagina and vulva, or also the penis, before intercourse. After being applied, the lubricants are absorbed into the skin. There are three types of lubricant which are water-based, oil-based and silicone-based. Silicon-based lubricant is suitable for most situations but oil-based types may not be effective when using condom.
Are there alternatives for lubricants?
Sometimes, people try to use different products when they do not have lubricant. Massage oils, baby oil or some natural oils (olive or coconut) are the alternative products that people use. However, the lubricants cannot be replaced by these products. These above oils can break down the lax condom. Beside, unsuitable alternative products can cause the risk of vaginal infection. However, in some necessary cases, vitamin E or aloe vera can be sustainable if it suits with the latex condom.
Do commercial lubricants cause irritation or allergy?
Commonly, commercial lubricants contain benzocaine, anesthetic, capsaicin and menthol. These ingredients may cause irritation or allergy for users. Besides, fragrant or flavored lubricants can lead to allergic reactions to sensitive skin users. Parabens components (listed as methyl-, butyl-, ethyl- and propyl-paraben) can also cause the inflammation.
What is natural lubricant?
The natural lubricants are recommended in cases that people have allergy with chemical ingredients in commercial lubricants. The natural products contain vitamin E or aloe vera can stay during the long intercourse. Among all natural lubricants, aloe vera is most referred because it rarely leads to any allergic reactions. In addition, when using organic products, user should read the product’s information to ensure that it can be used with latex condom.
What is the risk of spermicides in lubricants?
For preventing unplanned pregnancy, lubricants that contain spermicides seem to be the great choice. However, spermicide is made of nonoxynol-9, which can lead to the irritation and uncomfort. Furthermore, spermicide can increase the risk of STDs by irritating the point of opening up fissures in the skin. Thus, condom and normal lubricants are the best choice to avoid unplanned pregnancy and STDs.
What is flavored lubricant?
Similar to favored condoms, flavored lubricants are referred by many people to create an interesting oral intercourse. Some women are afraid to experience the oral sex due to the shyness of their smell. On this occasion, flavored lubricants ca help. However, people should have a taste testing to avoid the terrible taste (such as strange flavor like durian). Besides, people who are suffering from diabetes should be careful with lubricants containing sugar formulas.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: February 8, 2017 | Last Modified: December 29, 2018
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Agarwal A, Deepinder F, et al, 2008, Effect of vaginal lubricants on sperm motility and chromatin integrity: a prospective comparative study, Cleveland Clinic Org, Vol 89, No 2. https://www.clevelandclinic.org/reproductiveresearchcenter/docs/agradoc275.pdf. Accessed on December 25, 2016.
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