Women's Health Topics

Before you pick out that intimate lubricant…

The topic of intimate lubricants is no longer reserved for private conversations with your doctor or local pharmacist, even being advertised regularly on TV.

It’s safe to say the once taboo intimacy item has gone mainstream thanks to its effectiveness in easing a common problem among women – vaginal dryness. The condition is typically experienced by menopausal and post-menopausal women but many other women are affected for a number of reasons including hormonal changes, medication and infection, to name a few.

Intimate lubricants, or lube, are slippery substances used to enhance the experience of intercourse. We recommend our patients experiencing vaginal dryness try a number of lubricant options – and there are lots of options from which to choose – before settling on one that best meets their needs.

When considering a store-bought lubricant, we encourage our patients to use a water-based silicone blend or a silicone-only base with a pH (how acidic or basic it is) between 4.4 and 5.5. We also recommend our patients avoid intimate lubricants containing polyquaternium, non-oxynol 9, menthol, lidocaine, capsaicin and chlorhexidine.

For those who prefer a more natural alternative, oils can effectively provide needed lubrication. We recommend oils like olive, almond, and peanut oil. But be sure to first dab a little on the back of your hand to make sure you won’t have an adverse reaction to your oil of choice.

If you have questions about which lubricant or natural oil will work best for you, contact your OB/GYN doctor. Bellin Women's Health services are always happy to offer our professional advice.

Dr. Kristin Lyerly
Kristin Lyerly, MD, is a board certified physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.