This is a common problem and can cause discomfort ranging from minor annoyance, to chronic daily irritation and/or painful sexual intercourse.
Causes of vaginal dryness
- Normal variation
- Vaginal infection
- Postpartum state (due to low hormone levels associated with breast-feeding)
- Side effect of medications
- Certain illnesses such as autoimmune disorders, exposure to pelvic radiation therapy
Vaginal lubrication for sexual relations
There are different kinds, long-acting, short-acting, water-soluble, vaginal suppositories, and more.
Water-based lubricants are preferable. They will not harm latex (so they are safe to use with condoms or a diaphragm).
K-Y Jelly is gel-like, and should be mixed with a few drops of water for proper lubrication; otherwise it will be too “sticky.”
Astroglide, K-Y Silk-E, or Today Personal lubricant are watery in consistency and are best-suited for use during intercourse.
Lubrin® Vaginal Lubricating Inserts are suppositories, and should be inserted about 10-15 minutes before intercourse allowing time for them to warm up and dissolve once exposed to body temperature.
Relief from daily dryness
Replens® vaginal moisturizer is used for long-lasting relief from vaginal dryness, and is helpful for post-menopausal women. It should be used 2-3 times per week. This product is also helpful for vaginal dryness associated with breast-feeding or breast-cancer chemotherapy (medicines like Femara, Arimidex and Tamoxifen). However, this is not the proper lubricant for sexual relations.
KY Long-lasting can be helpful after menopause for relief of vaginal dryness.
K-Y makes a line of products including:
- K-Y Liquibeads - also called Ovule® Inserts with Moisturizing & Lubricating Formula. They help restore Vaginal Moisture and the effects can last up to 4 days.
- K-Y Long Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer with Pre-Filled Applicators - use once every 2-3 days.
- K-Y Warming Liquid - Personal warming lubricant Warms on Contact, water based and condom safe, Gentle warming sensations on contact (used prior to sexual intercourse)
- K-Y Sensual Silk Warming Liquid - similar to above, more "silk" texture
- K-Y Sensual Mist Mistable Personal Lubricant - dispensed by a small spray-can.
- K-Y Liquid and K-Y Jelly
- K-Y web site: www.k-y.com/index_us.jsp#
Silicon-based lubricants (available online) claim to be made from a "superior formula that stays silky longer than any water-based lubricant and never dries" and will not harm latex.
Do not use Petroleum products
Petroleum products such as Vaseline, hand lotions, mineral oil, cooking oils or lard should NEVER be used as vaginal lubricants. They are bad for the vaginal tissues, and can also degrade latex condoms or diaphragms resulting in loss of protection from pregnancy or STD's.