Vaginal lubricants can be an easy and effective way to improve your sex life, especially in times of increased vaginal dryness. Vaginal lube may become necessary for women who are experiencing their menstrual cycle, pregnant or nursing, recovering from childbirth, experiencing increased emotional stress, or using a latex or polyurethane condom during sexual intercourse. Vaginal lubricants may also be necessary for women who are on certain medications, specifically including but not limited to Depo Provera, Ortho-Cyclen, Lo/Ovral, Halcion, Ativan, Xanax, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers or any sort of medication designated to treat colds or allergies, whether by prescription or purchased over the counter. For women who are experiencing serious dryness, vaginal lubricants containing estrogen can be obtained with a prescription. However, for most women, standard vaginal lubricants available at most drug stores or adult novelty stores will suffice to increase pleasure during sexual activity.
There is a wide variety among vaginal lube, including products that contain spermicide, products that offer a warming or tingling sensation, and products that are edible, flavored or scented. Many vaginal lubricants also double as massage oils or even moisturizers. Vaginal lube is either water based, silicone based or oil based (including petroleum based vaginal lubricants like Vaseline). Silicone based lubricants are ideal for people who suffer from sensitive skin or allergies, as they are the most hypoallergenic. They are also effective at working even in the water and they dry with a clean, velvety feeling rather than the sticky, tacky feeling that many vaginal lubricants turn into upon drying. Water based lubricants are generally the most popular and almost any kind of scented or flavored vaginal lube will be water based. These are the least expensive and offer a comparable lubrication solution to those that are silicone based, although they tend to dry out a little more easily than those made from silicone or oil. If water based lubricants dry out, it is easy to revive their consistency (and scent or flavor, if applicable) by simply adding a small amount of water or saliva. Oil based lubricants are slicker than others and last for a longer period of time, but are typically not recommended as vaginal lubricants by doctors because they are hard to wash from your body. A leftover film of oil on sensitive areas of the body like the genitals or anal tissue could potentially incubate and harbor bad bacteria that could cause infections.
Women who know themselves to be sensitive to cosmetic products should avoid vaginal lube with scents, flavors or other additives like warmers or tinglers, as these are almost always created from synthetic substances that irritate sensitive skin or allergies. If you are not sure if a product is right for your skin type, try it first on the inside of your wrist, which is a very sensitive area of skin. If you have not experienced an adverse reaction within an hour of using it on your wrist, you are most likely fine to use it during sexual activity.