Longevity logo

The use of lube is one of the essentials for avoiding sexual discomfort, be sure to choose the right one.

Lube is one of the essentials for avoiding sexual discomfort.

By Harbor Compounding pharmacyPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

From Relieving Vaginal Dryness to Improving Sexual experience, Picking the Right Lube is Essential

Personal lubricant, also called lube, is something many people will make use of at least one time during their sex-life, in case they do not feel active sexually every time.

What are lubricants?

Lubricants are liquid or gel-based substances created to compensate for genital dryness or poor natural vaginal lubrication that can be linked with discomfort and pain during sex or other activities. Lubes can be applied during sexual activity, or simply to relieve vaginal dryness experienced every day.

Vaginal dryness is a general symptom that appears while aging especially when a woman reaches menopause, during lactation, due to medical diseases like diabetes, and also as an adverse effect of some medicines and cancer treatment. Using a thin layer of lube can assist with irritation and dryness during the day.

To overcome discomfort during sexual activity, lube is a fantastic accessory, if you obtain the appropriate one!

Lube can:

● Be applied during masturbation, both penetrative and non-penetrative sex, or sex toy play

● Increase lubrication, moisture, and pleasure

● Lessening friction and pain

● Decrease the chances of a breakdown of sexual barriers such as condoms

● Takes some strain off the body to produce enough moisture

● Makes physical activities likely to happen for several folks

Common types of lubricants:

● Water-based lube is excellent for people dealing with skin sensitivities or vaginal irritability and supports the use of latex barriers and sex toys. But, be sure the lube you choose has precise osmolality and pH level. Water-based lubes sometimes get "adhesive" and you might require to re-apply in case you intend to engage yourself in sexual activity for a longer time.

● Silicone-based lube is quite slippery and lasts longer. It is good to apply with condoms. Though, silicone-based lubes should not be used with sex toys made of silicone, as they can potentially ruin the toy. Silicone-based lubes might be more challenging to remove from the skin than water-based lubes and might stain the beddings, you must remember that.

● Oil-based lube, such as organic coconut oil, is slippery and longer-lasting than water-based lube. But, oil-based lubes cannot be used with latex condom barriers because they can easily break the latex. Similar to silicone-based lube, oil-based lubes can also stain clothes and be more difficult to wash off as compared to water-based lube.

Problems with Lubricants

In 2012 the World Health Organization released an Advisory Note that underscored the importance of appropriate pH as well as osmolality of personal lubricant, it’s also important to be on the lookout for toxic chemicals in your lube as well.

It is necessary for the pH of a lubricant to match with the area it is being applied on:

Vaginal: The pH of a lubricant that is to be used in the vaginal area must be pH 3.8- 4.5. Lubricants with a pH of 4.5 or above will raise the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis. Sadly, several commercially available lubes have pH levels way higher than 4.5.

Anal: Lubricants intended to be applied in the anal region should be of a pH between 5.5 – pH 7.

High osmolality can injure tissues and raise the risk of transmission of infection and disease:

Numerous lubes available in the market are highly osmolar, which means they have a high ability to extract moisture out of cells and tissues and leave them dehydrated. Lubricants having higher osmolality than natural vaginal discharges can harm vaginal tissue and tear down mucous membranes which result in irritation, decreased protection against infections, and sexually transmitted infections like HIV.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests the use of osmolalities having a value less than 380 mOsm/kg or at max 1200 mOsm/kg.

Avoid these toxic chemicals present in most lubricants:

Chemical elements added in lubricants can be lethal to the vaginal tissue and wreck the microbiome.

Chlorhexidine gluconate – A disinfectant that can harm strains of lactobacillus (a bacteria necessary for keeping the vagina healthy).

Parabens (beware of methylparaben or propylparaben) — Preservative substances that can disturb vaginal mucous membranes, cause genital rashes, and possibly cause fertility issues and endocrine disruption.

Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, and cyclotetrasiloxane — Usually spotted in silicone-based lubricants, these elements are associated with reproductive impairment and uterine cancer in animal investigations. Practically no research has been ever carried out to investigate the long-term influences of vaginal exposure to these compounds in women.

Undisclosed flavors or fragrance — Be cautious of ingredient lists that include generics like “flavor”, “aroma” or “fragrance.” All of these can involve a mix of compounds that can cause sensitivity and allergy.

Lube and Fertility

There are some lubricants present in the market with pH levels that don't interfere with sperm motility. On the other side, lubes having low pH and high osmolality that can disturb or reduce sperm motility are also present. The best environmental states for sperm survival happen to be osmolality 270-360 mOsm/kg and pH 7.2-8.5.

How to pick the lube that fits your needs

● Be sure your lube suits the skin area you want to apply it over (vaginal, anal, oral, etc.)

● For Vaginal intercourse, choose a lubricant with a pH range of 3.8- 4.5 and osmolality value below 380 mOsm/kg, or not exceeding 1200 mOsm/kg

● For Anal intercourse, select a lube with pH 5.5 –7 and osmolality below 380 mOsm/kg or a maximum of 1200 mOsm/kg

● Look at the components list and avoid the chemical compounds mentioned above in this article.

● Avoid unneeded scents, flavors, warming, or cooling substances.

● Mark if you observe any burning, stinging, or sensitivity following the use of lubricant and stop using it if you see any reactions

sexual wellness

About the Creator

Harbor Compounding pharmacy

Harbor Compounding Pharmacy in California to provide better health solutions. The aim of this health pharmacy is to provide solutions to all health-related issues. It provides treatment for all diseases and health counseling.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.