Lube is an innovative invention of science that has helped increased overall sexual pleasure. It takes care of the tiny glitches that a couple can face during the process of sex. Sexual pleasure that lubricants provide is for both the genders involved. Scientists have been studying about this pleasure liquid for some time now. And scientists have been warning people against the excessive use of lubricants. It has been speculated that regular use of lubricants can increase the chances of vaginal yeast infection in women. People have been taken aback by this discovery, but precautions are needed to be put in place if you are using lubricants on a regular basis.
The Lubricant Study
A study was conducted with 141 sexually active women belonging to the age group of 18 to 65 years over a period of 2 years. This study was aimed to find the risk of vaginal infections from regular use of lubricants. Researchers were shocked to find that using petroleum jelly for lubrication can increase the risk of vaginosis by 22%. Also, scientists researched on the use of oil for lubrication. Scientists discovered that using oil for lubrication can increase the risk of yeast infection by a whopping 32%.
According to the study author Dr. Joelle Brown, lubricants can change the critical balance of vaginal micro flora. This micro flora lives in the vagina at an optimum pH which leans towards acidic. But using lubricants can change this pH and disturb the whole environment in the vagina. This can increase the risk of infections by several folds. Dr. Brown also sheds some light on the grave dangers of using certain hygiene products and lubricants. According to Dr. Brown, many products that are meant to be used down there can damage the vaginal skin and tissue which can make the vagina more vulnerable to more intense infections like HIV. And it is important to get these infections treated as leaving them untreated can raise unnecessary complications later.
Key To Choosing A Good Lubricant
According to the assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Northwestern University Dr. Lauren Streicher, one must choose a lubricant carefully which can get the job done but without disturbing the balance of flora in the vagina. Petroleum jelly is one thing that people need to swear off as it can stay in the vagina for days and collect infectious agents while being there. It is a harmful choice for a lubricant. Oil is another popular choice for lubricants, but it should be avoided too. Oil that are meant for consumption should not go anywhere else in the body. Besides, oils can damage latex and trap unnecessary bacteria. You don’t have to stop using lubrication altogether. But, make sure to check the ingredients and use your discretion.
Ingredients To Avoid And Prefer While Choosing A Lubricant
1. Silicone Over Glycerin
Glycerin is a popularly used material in lubricants as it increases lubrication. The constituent of glycerin is similar to glucose. Thus, it greatly facilitates growth of harmful bacteria. So, avoid lubricants that contain glycerin.
Silicone is a great ingredient to look for in lubricants if you are not very tensed about using condoms. Monogamous couples can take that chance.
2. Aloe Vera Over Acetate
Avoid using lubricants that contain acetate. Acetate is a derivative of alcohol which means it can be dehydrating to our skin. Too much friction can tear the skin, leaving it exposed to various infections. Look for aloe vera based lubricants. Aloe vera is a natural soothing agent and it is good for skin. It will not irritate the walls of the vagina.
3. Free Of Parabens
Buy lubricants that don’t have parabens in them. A lot of female hygiene products use parabens as preservative but this chemical has been linked to hormone imbalances and even cancer. So, avoid using this chemical as much as you can.
So, now that you know the dangers of lubricants and associated risk of infections, you can take informed decisions about this.