What are vaginal lubricants?

Vaginal lubricants are available over-the-counter and come in a variety of forms that can be used for immediate relief of vaginal dryness during intercourse. Vaginal dryness is most common in postmenopausal women, although it can happen at any age. Vaginal dryness can be caused by any of the following factors:

• menstruation
• menopause or a lack of estrogen hormones (vaginal atrophy)
• pregnancy and childbirth
• breastfeeding
• certain medications
• cancer treatments
• the surgical removal of the ovaries
• smoking cigarettes
• immune diseases

Vaginal lubricants can immediately treat vaginal dryness for several hours after application. They come in several forms: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. However, oil-based lubricants should not be used with condoms, as they can deteriorate the latex the condom is made of. Examples of brand name vaginal lubricants include Astroglide and K-Y jelly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.