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Vaginal lubricants for women

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Summary. The lubricant that is used during intercourse to reduce vaginal dryness does not reduce the likelihood of conception

Couples who try to get pregnant use vaginal lubricants for many reasons: to increase sexual satisfaction or prevent pain due to the dry vagina that often accompanies infertility treatment. Many couples in which women cannot become pregnant for a long time use lubricants at certain times. The problem is that sexual intercourse in this case should be planned - for a period corresponding to or as close as possible to ovulation. About 75% of women from couples who are trying to become pregnant have a problem with vaginal dryness, which is used to solve various vaginal lubricants.

Can vaginal lubrication adversely affect the chance of becoming pregnant? Research in vitro showed that a lubricant is able to affect fertility: it affects the quality of sperm, disrupting the integrity and motility of sperm, and also affects cervical mucus. For infertile couples who use lubrication, impaired sperm quality, quantity and motility is a big problem.

According to a study by Anne Z. Steiner and her colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, the lubricant used during intercourse does not reduce the likelihood conception. Scientists presented their findings in the first July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

According to the authors, several early studies have shown a negative effect of a lubricant on sperm motility in vitro, which, therefore, reduced the chance of becoming pregnant. The aim of the current clinical study was to assess the effect of lubricant use during intercourse on the possibility of conception.

The study involved 296 women aged 30–44 years with a history of infertility who tried to get pregnant for less than 3 months and were questioned about the use of vaginal lubrication. In the future, women kept a diary for records on menstruation, sexual intercourse, the use of a vaginal lubricant and standard pregnancy tests for 6 months. Diary data was used to determine the fertility window and describe the use of lubricant during this period. To assess the ability to conceive, proportional risk models were used.

In the initial survey, 75 participants (25%) indicated that they were using lubricant while trying to get pregnant. According to the diaries, 57% of women never used lubricants, 29% - sometimes, and 14% - often. The results of the study showed that women who used a lubricant during the fertility window had a similar ability to conceive compared to women who did not use it (ratio of ability to conceive - 1.05, 95% confidence interval 0.59–1.85 ) adjusted for age, race of the partner and frequency of sexual intercourse.

Thus, according to the results of the study, the lubricant that is used during intercourse to reduce vaginal dryness does not reduce the likelihood of conception. However, given the limited number of participants, further randomized trials are needed to validate the findings. And, in all likelihood, couples in which sperm motility is determined in men should not use vaginal lubricants during intercourse.

Hitt E. (2012) Vaginal Lubricants May Not Affect Chances of Conceiving. Medscape, June 21 (www.medscape.com/viewarticle/766168).

Steiner A.Z., Long D.L., Tanner C., Herring A.H. (2012) Effect of Vaginal Lubricants on Natural Fertility. Obst. Gynecol., 120 (1): 44-51.

Vargas J., Crausaz M., Senn A., Germond M. (2011) Sperm toxicity of "nonspermicidal" lubricant and ultrasound gels used in reproductive medicine. Fertil. Steril., 95 (2): 835–836.

The content of the article

If an insufficient amount of vaginal lubricant is produced during intercourse, intimacy may cause discomfort and pain. Vaginal lubricants will help to cope with this problem and improve sex life. What is it, what are it for and how to use it? The answers to these questions are in our article.

What is a vaginal lubricant for women and why is it needed?

Female lubricant is a means (gel, cream) designed to fill the lack of natural lubrication and ensure optimal gliding of the penis inside the vagina. The use of a lubricant helps to avoid the formation of microcracks and abrasions on its walls.

In addition to its main task - to ensure normal friction during frictions, the lubricant may have additional properties. Depending on the composition, such funds are divided into:

Exciting

The composition of the vaginal lubricant may include components that cause increased blood circulation in the vagina and pelvic organs, additionally exciting a woman. It may be the amino acid arginine or ethyl nicotinate.

Such lubricants can not only enhance blood circulation, but also stimulate a temporary increase in a man’s penis. Means containing the amino acid arginine cannot be used if one of the partners has previously been diagnosed with genital herpes.

Spermicidal

Some vaginal lubricants interfere with pregnancy, as they contain spermicides, substances that suppress sperm activity.

It should be borne in mind that spermicidal lubricants for women cannot act as a full-fledged independent contraceptive, since the level of their effectiveness is relatively low: according to the Perl index it is 18-24. Therefore, it is recommended to additionally take care of the barrier method of contraception (condom) or use them for the purpose of additional hydration when taking hormonal contraceptives.

Water based

These funds are especially popular. Their main component - water - is hypoallergenic. Lubricants for women on a water basis are compatible with condoms, do not stain bedding, they are not sticky and are easily washed off with water after sexual intercourse. Their only drawback - relatively fast adsorption - is easy to handle: you just need to periodically apply a small amount of lubricant during sexual intercourse as it dries.

When choosing a water-based lubricant, it is advisable to clarify in advance whether glycerol is in its composition. According to some studies, this substance in combination with water can lead to disruption of the normal microflora of the vagina and cause the development of a yeast infection.

Silicone based

The main component of such products is silicone oil, which provides good glide, a long effect due to slow absorption and the ability to have sex in water. Thanks to its easy gliding, it can be used for anal sex. However, silicone lubricants are difficult to wash off. In addition, they are incompatible with many silicone sex toys.

Can I use a lubricant during pregnancy and after childbirth?

Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, after the birth of the baby and during lactation, some women suffer from a lack of natural lubrication. Are there lubricants for pregnant and lactating women that are safe for both mom and baby?

The lubricant for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding should not contain fragrances, anesthetics and spermicides, since they are contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation. At this time, it is especially recommended to pay attention to products containing plant extracts, as they are safe for the health of mother and child.

For example, the product may contain essential oils (tea tree, sage), plant extracts (mallow, licorice, aloe, chamomile, string). Vitamins A and E, panthenol, lactic and hyaluronic acids can also be included in safe lubricants for pregnant women. However, even if you are completely confident in the safety of the chosen product, you should consult with a gynecologist before using it.

How to use female lubricants?

To use the product, you need to squeeze a small amount of gel from the tube (about a pea), carefully apply it on the skin of the labia, perineum, vestibule of the vagina and mucous membrane. After sexual intercourse, rinse off the remaining product with warm water (if you use a water-based lubricant, you can not rinse it off).

Tips for choosing a female lubricant

To prevent this product from causing problems such as dryness, allergies, and microflora disturbances, use an exclusively high-quality lubricant. How to choose a suitable lubricant for women?

  • Check the acidity level of the product. The pH of the vagina normally ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Choose intimate gels with lactic acid in a composition that will not upset the natural balance.
  • Examine the composition of the gel. It should not include ingredients that can upset the balance of vaginal microflora. For example, this applies to sugar, which is sometimes part of intimate remedies, and to parabens, which, according to some reports, can cause cancer. An additional advantage of a lubricant may be the presence of various emollient components that make up its composition - allantoin, panthenol, aloe extract, etc.
  • If you are prone to having atypical immune system reactions, check for allergens. The cause of allergies to lubricants in women may be the individual intolerance of essential oils.
  • Do not purchase intimate gels of unknown origin at questionable points of sale, as well as products that do not have a transfer of composition and have not passed certification in the territory of the Russian Federation. It is better to buy a female lubricant in a pharmacy or specialty store.

Ginokomfort gel lubricant - the optimal choice of a lubricant

If you want to use a high-quality vaginal lubricant based on water, pay attention to the intimate gel-lubricant Ginokomfort. The composition of the product includes active ingredients that help to improve the quality of sexual intercourse and improve women's intimate health:

  • Hyaluronic acid deeply moisturizes the mucous membrane, provides an increase in its tone and improved tissue regeneration.
  • Lactic acid maintains the pH of the vagina at a physiological level.
  • Panthenol relieves irritation and accelerates the healing processes of microtraumas, if any.
  • Vitamin E has a beneficial effect on the condition of the mucous membranes and skin.
Like all Ginokomfort products, an intimate gel lubricant was developed by the specialists of the pharmacological company VERTEX, has a complete list of necessary certificates and certificates permitting its use.

13. Drink a pill after unprotected sex

Emergency contraception reduces the chance of becoming pregnant, reduces, but does not completely eliminate. If you take the pill within 24 hours, then such pills are 95% effective. But the more time has passed since the moment of unprotected intercourse, the lower the percentage of effectiveness of this type of contraception.

7. Even if you take pills regularly, you can get pregnant

Although pills seriously reduce the likelihood of pregnancy (the probability that you will NOT get pregnant - 99%), one percent still remains - and this provided that you do not miss a single dose. Moreover, any contraceptive has a percentage of malfunctioning when used correctly.

10. If your man has had a vasectomy

Like any form of birth control, a vasectomy is not 100% effective. In addition, a vasectomy does not begin to act at full strength immediately, and a couple of months later the urologist needs to check what happens with the release of sperm, so it is dangerous to have sex without protection during such a period.

13. If you have taken emergency contraception

Emergency contraception reduces the chance of becoming pregnant, but does not completely prevent pregnancy. If the pill was taken within 24 hours after intercourse - the probability that it will work is 95%. However, the longer you wait, the less effective it is, so it is better to use regular methods.

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