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Lubricants and Moisturizers
Vaginal moisturizers are used to help relieve the symptoms associated with vaginal dryness. Here are some examples of when vaginal dryness may occur:
- Hormonal changes that occur with menopause.
- Post-partum and/or breast feeding.
- Side effects to some medications (i.e. oral contraceptives or anti-depressants).
- During or after cancer treatments and medications.
- Conditions such as Sjogren’s Syndrome.
- Poor vulvar skincare.
A vaginal moisturizer is used as part of a vulvar/vaginal skincare routine. You apply the moisturizers regularly to help relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness and to treat the irritation. Moisturizers that do not contain topical estrogen can be purchased without a prescription. They can often be purchased online or at the drugstore. Examples include, but are not are limited to:
- Mae by Damiva
- Natural oils such as coconut oil, Vitamin E Oil, and Emu Oil.
- Topical estrogen (prescription medication used under the supervision of a medical doctor).
Vaginal lubricants are used for comfort during the insertion of something into the vagina. This can during insertion of a tampon, finger, dilator, vibrator, medical device, penis, or during an internal examination. Lubricants are designed to decrease friction and ease the insertion of the desired object. Unlike vaginal moisturizers, lubricants will not change the quality of the tissues. Choosing the right lubricant is important.
There are Three Types of Lubricants:
- Water-Based Lubricants: Great for inserting dilators and vibrators. They are also safe for use with latex condoms. You may need re-application. They will not hold up in the water.
- Silicone-Based Lubricants: Known for their pleasure connection because of their long-lasting effects. They are not absorbed by the vaginal tissues which mean they will last for a longer duration of time. There is no need to re-apply. They can be used with latex condoms and can be used in water. You cannot use silicone lubricants with other silicone devices.
- Oil-Based Lubricants: Can be an option when you are concerned about long-lasting effects and want to avoid re-application or want to use them in the water. It is also important to note that oil-based lubricants will degrade latex condoms and cannot be used with silicone products.