The lubricant myth
There is an assumption that younger women shouldn’t find the need for use of a lubricant during sex and that a dry (or dryish) vagina is a sign of a sexual problem with her. The truth however is that even if you are highly sexually aroused, the amount self-lubrication generated during sex can be affected by a huge range of factors throughout our life.
How does it all work
When women are sexually aroused, the labia minor become engorged, triggering glands to release a clear lubricating fluid through the vagina walls. There are also glands at the entrance to the vagina that produce lubrication.
Why does the amount of self-lubrication vary
There are a range of factors that can affect how lubricated women become during sex.
- Period of low oestrogen or changed hormone levels – these can occur during pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation, perimenopause, menopause, before and after ovulation
- Medical conditions or treatments – conditions such as diabetes and some immune and treatments such radiation, chemotherapy, ovary removal,
- Medication –some antidepressants, cold, asthma and allergy medications and the birth control pill.
- Anxiety or stress
- Irritants – chemicals in washing powders, bath products, dyes, perfumes, soaps and even toilet paper
- Not sexually aroused
Why use a lubricant?
Loss of lubrication can cause pain or discomfort during sex and for some women, can even cause discomfort in everyday life. This change to a women’s body can also cause emotional distress, embarrassment and a loss of libido.
Note: Women’s bodies only self-lubricate for a few minutes i.e. less time than most sexual encounters
What type of lubricant is best?
People have been known to use a wide range of lubricants, taking advantage of what is at hand however it pays to think ahead and purchase a lubricant especially designed for the job.
These are the most popular lubricants as they are reasonably priced, safe for use with silicone (sex toys) and latex (condoms) and diaphragms. Easy to wash off and safe to ingest a little you can moisten up again with a little water if things dry out a bit.
These tend to be thicker and creamier and last longer than the water based lubricants however they are not safe for use with latex contraceptives.
Safe for use with latex contraceptives and long lasting these are ideal for use in water however not suitable for use with silicone sex toys.