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What Is a Female Lubricant?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A female lubricant is a natural or manufactured cream, gel, or liquid that increases vaginal lubrication. Many women produce female lubricant naturally as a result of hormonal stimulation. Artificial female lubrication can be used in cases where natural lubrication is not present, or is insufficient to allow comfort.

Natural female lubricant is typically caused by sexual arousal, although hormonal differences between women and individual factors may cause the amount and consistency of the substance to vary. During arousal, the glands in the vaginal canal secret a slippery, mucous-like substance that is usually clear or slightly cloudy. During certain periods of the menstrual cycle, women may produce more or less lubricant depending on hormone fluctuation. Age, infection, and certain medications can also cause the amount of natural female lubricant to vary considerably.

Artificial lubrication may be used in some cases where natural lubrication does not meet desired standards. Gynecologists may use artificial lubricant to allow easier examination of the vagina. Some women may use it to make the application of tampons less painful. Artificial lubricant is also commonly use to increase comfort during sexual activity.

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There are many types of female lubricant available to the public. Some, used primarily for sexual activity, contain spermicidal ingredients that may assist in preventing pregnancy. Care must be taken when using an artificial female lubricant in conjunction with condoms; some contain ingredients that can cause latex to deteriorate. Most water based-lubricants are safe to use with condoms, though this should be verified on a case-by-case basis prevent accidental breakage.

People with allergies should study ingredients carefully when choosing a female lubricant. Some contain chemicals, such as parabens, that can cause a serious allergic reaction. If use of the product causes burning, redness, itching, or a rash, discontinue use and consider being tested for possible allergies. Check with local health supply stores for possible substitutes that do not contain chemical ingredients.

According to some medical studies, inadequate lubrication during intimate contact can lead to a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or STD. Because tissue in the vaginal area is delicate, it can tear easily when not properly lubricated. Studies suggest that torn tissue can allow infection to enter the bloodstream more easily, potentially increasing the risk of a disease being spread. For this reason, some medical experts recommend using an artificial lubricant to increase comfort and prevent tissue tears, although also stressing that lubrication in itself is not adequate protection against an STD.

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Discuss this Article

bear78
Post 3

I like oil-based female lubricants. They work better and longer than water based lubricants. But the problem with oil-based ones is that they can damage condoms and degrade them. So I can't use them right now. For women in menopause though, an oil-based lubricant is probably best, unless the women is allergic or the oil-based lubricant encourages yeast infections.

candyquilt
Post 2

Females have natural lubricants that are released when aroused. Aside from menopause and medications, I think that most women experience dryness due to inadequate foreplay. This is when arousal occurs and when the body has enough time to release natural lubrication. Of course, there are many women who do not have enough lubrication despite doing everything right. That's why there are lubricant products out there. There are more new brands coming out all the time and they're available at pharmacies and stores. I personally am self-conscious about this and feel anxious about buying a personal lubricant from a store. I don't want people to see that so I buy my lubricant online. I like the fact that I can keep this private.

ddljohn
Post 1

It may be true that not enough lubrication may increase chances of contracting STDs but I hope that no one tries to use lubricants to prevent STD infections based on this information. Lubricants will not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Other precautions have to be taken. I urge everyone to be careful about this because so much false information is floating on the net.

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