Should I Use a Vaginal Moisturizer or a Lubricant?
Are you suffering from pain or discomfort in your lady parts? And if so, should you use a vaginal moisturizer or a lubricant?
Many women are afraid to admit that they are suffering from vaginal dryness. Even more troubling, very few of us do something to alleviate or manage the painful symptoms. While noticing changes in your body can be scary, you are not alone in experiencing vaginal dryness and there are ways to find relief.
Vaginal dryness affects women of all ages but it can get worse after women enter menopause. It is believed that almost a third of postmenopausal women, experience dryness.
The leading cause of vaginal dryness (also known as vulvar dryness) is a reduction in the levels of the estrogen hormone. Estrogen maintains vaginal tissue healthy by supporting tissue elasticity, vaginal lubrication and acidity.
But women can also face dryness before entering menopause. According to a study, around 17% of pre-menopausal women aged 18-50 experience vaginal dryness during sex even before menopause. This can be caused by stress or insufficient foreplay. Other reasons for pre-menopausal women experiencing dryness may include exposure to toxic and irritating chemicals in feminine care products. A number of drug treatments -from anti-depressants, to allergy, cold medications and chemotherapy- may dry out vaginal tissue as well. Some women face dryness after giving birth, breastfeeding or after a hysterectomy. For others, their dryness is a result of hormone disorders, diabetes or smoking. Less common but also possible is for women before the age 40 to experience early menopause.
Regardless of when in your life you are experiencing dryness, understanding that this is a normal problem that affects many women is the first step. Discussing your symptoms with your doctor or health care practitioner is also recommended so that together you can find the right treatment.
Exploring treatment options. A Moisturizer? A Lubricant?
A moisturizer is a great option if you are experiencing ongoing discomfort due to vaginal or vulvar dryness. Unlike a lubricant, a vaginal or vulvar moisturizer can be applied regularly and should be applied at least 2 hours prior to sex, rather than right before as you would with a lubricant. Moisturizers are absorbed into the skin replenishing moisture and offering relief from the pain, itchiness and irritation associated with dryness.
Compared to other areas of the body, the vulva -or labia, which is the external opening of the vagina - contains a high concentration of sweat glands, hair follicles, and increased blood flow. For this reason, the skin of the vulva is up to 7 times more porous than other exposed skin areas of the body. The vulva’s inherent permeability underscores the importance of using moisturizers that are 100% toxin free and made with organic or natural ingredients. Using moisturizers containing chemicals like parabens and aspartame can further exacerbate irritation leading to inflammation of the vulvar lining.
The Nourish Your V moisturizer has been uniquely formulated to deeply moisturize the intimate skin area – especially in times of dryness and discomfort. This moisturizer is designed to be used in the labia and vulva. It is formulated with 100% cold pressed vegetable and essential oils, clinically proven, gynecologist and dermatologist tested, totally hormone-free.
And what about the lubricants? What is the difference?
Lubricants offer temporary relief during penetration – and this is their primary role. A lubricant is designed to help with foreplay and/or penetration and should be reapplied as needed throughout the course of your sexual activities. They are designed to help alleviate any discomfort that arises from friction during sex with partner or toy. Lubricants don’t leave lasting results like a moisturizer which will last for up to three days.
Women dealing with vaginal or vulvar dryness may experience that they are tight during penetration and the act is painful (this is again due to the estrogen level drop, and the thinning lining of the vagina). In some cases it can even cause bleeding due to the vagina tearing.
If this is the case the lubricants are your best friend.
How to choose a lubricant?
It can be confusing at first to choose a lubricant as there are many types. All lubricants can generally be categorized into 5 categories:
Try some out and see what you like. Ultimately the choice is up to you. You might find that you may have more than one to use for different situations.
When you are dealing with vaginal dryness or irritation, it is better to stay away from lubricants that contain glycerin or any “warming” ingredients. These can cause your vagina to become drier in the long-run. Glycerin can also promote yeast infections, so approach any flavored lubricants with caution.
As in the case of vaginal (vulvar) moisturizers the same principle applies: the cleaner the product, the better it is for your vulva.
There are other options when it comes to treatment. Hormone replacement therapy is the most commonly recommended treatment for women who are going through or have gone through menopause. But there are risks associate with it, and it’s not recommended for everyone. The National Institute of Health recommends using hormone-free options (quote?), like a vaginal moisturizer. Think of it as the lotion you use on other parts of your body- but specially formulated for your intimate skin. But more than just adding moisture, a vaginal moisturizer actually bonds to the tissue lining of the vulva to repair, heal, and restore the natural moisture cycle.
Whenever you apply either an intimate moisturizer or a lubricant chose the natural, clean options! Your vulva is highly permeable and absorbent.
If you suffer from vulvar or vaginal dryness – use a combination of an intimate moisturizer (applying it every day of the month) and lubricants of your choice during intercourse or masturbation.
Intimate moisturizers are more easily absorbed into the skin (especially a high quality, natural one) making it a better all-around solution to deal with vaginal or vulvar dryness). Lubricants offer a temporary relief during penetration and are your best friend during sexual intercourse and solo play.
Intimate moisturizers like Nourish Your V are natural remedies for vulvar or vaginal dryness issues and more easily absorbed into the skin making it a better all-around alternative to deal with vaginal or vulvar dryness, while lubricants offer a temporary relief during penetration and are your best friend during sexual intercourse or solo play.