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Should you use a vaginal moisturiser to soothe dryness down there? A gynaecologist answers

If you have ever experienced vaginal dryness you know how uncomfortable. Thankfully OTC vaginal moisturisers can come to your rescue. But are they safe to use?
winter vagina
This is your 101 guide to vaginal moisturisers. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Shreya Gupta Published: 2 Nov 2020, 17:45 pm IST
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One of the most prominent reasons behind vaginal dryness is menopause. But that doesn’t mean your vagina can’t get dry because of other reasons. Let us tell you: vaginal dryness isn’t a pleasant experience! And if you have ever experienced it yourself, you know what we mean. In fact, many women also turn to vaginal moisturisers to be free of that uncomfortable feeling.

But is artificially lubricating your vagina a good idea? Well, to get to the bottom of this we spoke to Dr. M Shahanaz, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Apollo Telehealth Services. And she says that before using vaginal moisturisers, it is important to know about normal vaginal pH and secretions.

“The normal pH of the vagina is four. Your vagina might feel dry when there’s a drop in the oestrogen levels of the body and that can happen at any age,” she Dr Shahnaz says.

Vaginal dryness can lead to irritation and can also hamper your sex life. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to relieve vaginal dryness, including vaginal moisturisers.

According to Dr Shahanaz there are various vaginal moisturisers available in the market, and this is how you can choose one for yourself.

1. Water based

Water-based vaginal moisturisers are often combined with glycerin to keep the vagina hydrated. They can also increase pleasure during intercourse, without doing any damage to latex condoms. Moreover, they are easy to wash off and are widely available across the country in pharmacies.

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That said, water-based vaginal moisturisers dry up quickly so you need to reapply one quite often. Also, many of them have parabens, so you must be careful before making the purchase.

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2. Silicone based

Says Dr Shahanaz: “Vaginal moisturisers with a silicon base offer the best lubrication. And they don’t dry out as quickly as the water-based ones, providing you the necessary moisture to combat dryness.”

“Silicon-based vaginal moisturisers also don’t affect latex condoms and are also less likely to cause irritation,” she further explains.

However, mostly all silicone-based vaginal moisturisers that are available in the market are expensive. They also happen to be difficult to wash off with soap and water.

3. Oil based

“When compared to water-based vaginal moisturisers, oil-based ones last longer and also work better,” says Dr Shahanaz.

“However, you don’t want to use an oil-based moisturiser with a latex condom as it can damage the condom, leaving you prone to UTIs, STIs, and pregnancy,” she explains.

Also, read: Looking to buy lube? This ultimate guide will help you make an informed choice

So should you opt for a vaginal moisturiser?

These moisturisers work best for mild to moderate vaginal dryness. But if your dryness is more severe, then you must see your gynaecologist at the earliest to rule out any medical conditions.

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About the Author

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always. ...Read More

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