How Personal Lubricants Can Help Post-Menopausal Women
Personal lubricants help post-menopausal women experience sex with less risk of pain.
Menopause brings some dramatic changes in women’s bodies and minds. So dramatic are some of these changes that it was once widely accepted that menopause pretty much put an end to the sex lives of women.
Fortunately, those days are long gone. For a woman with a healthy and active sex life prior to menopause, it is likely to stay much the same after menopause. However, modern science has come up with a few aids to make the transition a bit easier.
High on the list of such aids are personal lubricants, which allow women to counteract the reduction in natural lubrication of the vagina that typically occurs after menopause. Without this natural lubrication, sex can become so painful that women begin to dread sexual overtures from their partners.
And this reduction of natural lubrication is not confined solely to post-menopausal women. According to Megan Andelloux, a Rhode Island-based expert on female sexuality, certain medications can cause a reduction in natural lubrication. Among the drugs responsible for this condition are hormonal forms of birth control, some antihistamines, ADHD medications, antidepressants, and chemotherapy drugs.
Other Causes of Dryness
Other non-menopausal causes of reduced vaginal lubrication include breastfeeding and other temporary hormonal imbalances. Andelloux notes that studies have shown that women exposed to sexual assault and other forms of trauma tend to produce less natural lubrication than women who have never experienced violence.
For some women who are still producing natural lubrication within the vagina, that lubrication never makes its way to the upper external portion of the clitoris, says Andelloux. “Lubrication on the clitoris can result in a woman’s experiencing more sexual satisfaction and can assist her reaching orgasm,” she writes.
Can Make Sex Painful
Regardless of its causes, a significant reduction in natural vaginal lubrication not only makes sex uncomfortable or downright painful, but it also can lead to other problems, such as infections of the vagina and urinary tract and vaginal irritation.
In an article about personal lubricants at WomansDay.com, writer Sarah Jio suggests that “if you’re wondering whether you might need a lubricant, the answer is probably yes.”
Debby Herbenik, Ph.D., author of “Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction,” points out that personal lubricants do a good job of reducing pain and increasing pleasure. As quoted in Jio’s article, Herbenik says, “We found in our research that lubricants were associated with more pleasurable and satisfying masturbation and intercourse as compared to sex without lubricant.”
Wide Selection of Lubricants
Fortunately, women have available to them a wide array of personal lubricants. However, not all personal lubricants are created equal. Some work well in certain situations, while others may work well for men but not so well for women.
To help you find the personal lubricant that is right for you, here is an overview of the products currently available on the market. These lubricants fall into five main categories.
Petroleum-based lubricants: Among the best-known products in this category are mineral oil and Vaseline. While these lubricants are cheap, easily accessible, and ideal for male masturbation, they are not recommended for women. They tend to irritate the vulva, stain fabric, and destroy latex condoms, according to Andelloux’s article at WomensWeb.ca.
Natural oil-based lubricants: If you’ve no time to run out to the drugstore, you’re likely to find many of the products in this category in your pantry at home. They include butter, Crisco, and avocado, corn, olive, peanut, and vegetable oils. On the plus side, all of these lubricants are inexpensive and readily available. They are also safe for the vagina, safe to eat, and ideal for genital massages. However, they are not without their drawbacks, because they stain fabric and can destroy latex condoms.
Water-based lubricants with glycerin: This is the category of lubricants most widely sold in supermarkets and pharmacies, according to WomensWeb.ca. The synthetic glycerin added to water-based lubricants is slightly sweet in taste but can cause yeast infections in women. Brand-name products in this category include Astroglide, KY liquid and jelly, and Replens. On the positive side, these lubricants are easy to find, relatively inexpensive, safe to use with latex condoms, and cause no staining of fabrics. On the downside, in addition to their link to yeast infections, these products dry out quickly and can become sticky or tacky, according to WomensWeb.ca.
Water-based lubricants without glycerin: Lubricants in this category get pretty high marks from WomensWeb.ca, which notes that they are safe with latex condoms, last longer than glycerin-containing lubricants, and tend to go on thicker, offering an added level of protection. This thicker cushion provided by these lubricants can reduce irritation to the genitals. Furthermore, they cause no staining of fabrics. Because they don’t offer the sweetness of glycerin, these lubricants can have a somewhat bitter taste. Brand-name products in this category are Liquid Silk, Maximus, Probe, and Stimula, the last of which is available in separate formulations for both men and women.
Silicone lubricants: Developed by massage therapists, these lubricants are the longest lasting of all the lubricants currently on the market. On the downside, they are expensive and can be difficult to find, being sold primarily in adult stores. They do, however, have a lot going for them. Among their positive attributes, these lubricants go easy on sensitive genitals and offer the feel of petroleum-based lubricants but are safe to use with latex condoms and for internal use. They stay on under water and are odorless and tasteless. Popular brand-name products in this category include Eros, Id Millennium, and Wet Platinum.
From this broad range of personal lubricant products and categories, you should be able to find one that is tailor-made for your personal needs.
Buy from eDrugstore
If you would prefer to order a personal lubricant online, eDrugstore.com sells Stimula in formulations for both men and women. Stimula is a water-based lubricant without glycerin.
Of Stimula for Women, eDrugstore’s website notes that the product “will amplify your sexual encounters, even if you already have sufficient natural lubrication. It’s specially formulated to increase sensitivity when rubbed on your clitoris to give you maximum pleasure. You’ll feel the deep pulsing sensation throughout your body as your partner glides in and out, bringing you to new heights of arousal.”
A member of the Secure Medical family of online drugstores, eDrugstore.com sources all of the medications it sells from U.S. licensed pharmacies. eDrugstore is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona.
Don Amerman is a freelance author who writes extensively about a wide array of nutrition and health-related topics.