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The Low Down On Lubes


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The Lowdown on Lubricants

Too little lubrication is especially common as a woman approaches menopause, and certainly during and after it, thanks to dropping estrogen levels. While hormone replacement therapy can remedy this vaginal dryness, drugstore-variety lubricants also do a great job — and there's no prescription required. They're also a good option for women who decide that the risks of hormone therapy outweigh the benefits.

Here's the lowdown on lubricants: They're available in three primary formulas — water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. Water-based lubricants, such as K-Y Jelly, tend to be the most gentle, especially for women who are sensitive to chemicals. Just beware of the ingredient glycerin, which may cause yeast infections in women who are prone to them. Fortunately, there are many glycerin-free options on the market. You should test all lubricants on a small area of the labia first, though, just to be safe.

Silicone-based lubricants are slicker in texture. They stay wet longer than water-based formulas and work great for sensual body massages too. However, they may be more likely to cause irritation and can't be used with silicone sex toys. Otherwise, silicone-based formulas are as versatile as water-based ones.

Finally, some women prefer oil-based formulas, such as vitamin E oil. Others find that they cause irritation or don't like them because they break down the latex in some contraceptives like the condom and diaphragm. However, if you like the vitamin E, K-Y Silk-E Vaginal Moisturizer may be a good water-based vitamin E option.

It's worth experimenting to find a lubricant that works best for you. A little lubrication goes a long way in making intercourse enjoyable — for both of you!

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I'd like to add that no oil based lubricants are really vagina or anus friendly. These pretty much should only be used for male masturbation and are certainly not condom friendly.

Good point...

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If you are uncomfortable with taking hormone replacement therapy in an oral form (which has affects through out the body and can increase the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease), there are hormone options that can be used to address vaginal dryness only. The two options are estrogen vaginal cream and the Estring. In both cases the estrogen works to restore the "plumbness", "stretchyness" and moisture in the vagina. Either can be prescribed by an OB/GYN or Family physician. Since they affect the vagina only (and to a lesser degree the bladder) there is no increased risk of breast cancer or cardiovascular disease. The affect on the bladder is to decrease it's "sensitivity" which can decrease problem with urge incontinence in many women.

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