Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Wonderful World Of Lubricants

*Previously published on Club Mom by Edwina Caito

Although personal lubricants have been around for a very long time, they only recently havebeen brought out of the darkness of night stand drawer and into our living rooms through television and magazines.

Personal lubricants are essential when using condoms, cervical caps and diaphragms. Theproducts are also used to treat vaginal dryness attributed to menopause, breast feeding, use of medications like antidepressants, oral contraceptives and decongestants, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Personal lubricants can also be used to simply add a new dimension to your sex life. The use of lubrication on the genitals is proven to increase sensitivity, prolong intercourse and intensify orgasm.

Personal lubricants are marketed under various names and labels. They come in a variety of formulations designed for a number of uses. Some even have added ingredients for flavor or to create a warming affect. Here's the lowdown on lubrication varieties so you can make an informed choice.

Petroleum Based: Petroleum based lubricants are thicker and extremely long lasting. However, these types of lubricants break down latex and should not be used with condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms or adult toys. They can also stain fabrics and adhere to the vaginal walls which increases the risk of developing an infection.

Oil Based: Oil based lubricants are also long lasting but have the same detrimental effects on latex products, therefore should not be used with any contraceptive device. While these oil based products do not adhere to the vaginal walls, they do stain fabrics and are difficult to remove from the skin.

Water Based: Water based lubricants are more widely used and safer that oil or petroleum based products. They are recommended for use with condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms and latex adult toys. These types of lubricants require more frequent applications and can become sticky after drying. However, water based lubricants wash away easily and do not stain fabrics.

Silicone Based: Silicone based lubricants combine the thicker consistency of an oil based lubricant with the safety of a water based product. These lubricants are safe to use with condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms and adult toys. They are longer lasting and reactivate with a drop of water. Silicone based lubricants are ideal for use in water and do not stain fabrics.

Nonoxyl-9 Lubricants: These lubricants have the added ingredient of Nonoxyl-9 which is anantibacterial and spermicide. These products are recommended for use with condoms, cervical caps and diaphragms to aid in the device's effectiveness. Although safe, Nonoxyl-9 can be irritating to sensitive vaginal tissues and the urethra in some women.

When choosing a personal lubricant, keep your specific needs and uses in mind. Read labels carefully so you know for sure the type of lubricant you are purchasing. Some brands offer free samples of their products through their toll free telephone numbers or on their web sites. Try out different brands and types until you find the product that best suits your needs and remember to have fun while you do it!