The Dangers of Some Vaginal Lubricants
Vaginal dryness is a very real issue for millions of American women. There are various causes of intimate irritation but, all told, experts say that 4 out 5 women combat the problem, at least some of the time. No wonder so many over-the-counter creams and gels have been created to offer relief!
But despite the growing popularity of feminine care products, the fact remains: feminine lubricants and moisturizers are NOT all created equal. In fact, today’s market is chuck full of feminine care products that not only fail to protect against irritation, but that can actually cause undesirable side effects.
Glycerin Is the Most Serious Danger.
Glycerin is a key ingredient in many vaginal lubricants. Look for it on the label, sometimes listed as glycerine, glyceritol or glycyl alcohol. (Even more scientific names include 1, 2, 3-propanetriol and trihydroxypropane.) All these ingredients are sugar byproducts, used because they make lubricants feel slippery and keep them from drying out quickly. However for women with diabetes and other blood sugar abnormalities, they can lead to vaginal irritation and even bladder infection.
Glycerin also offers an ideal breeding ground for yeast, so women can use one of these lubricants on Saturday night and, by Monday morning, they’re already feeling the early signs of a yeast infection.
Avoid Alcohols, Dyes and “Unscented” Products.
Personal lubricants containing alcohol and/or propylene glycol should also be avoided. Alcohol has a drying effect, which is the last thing most users would want. Propylene glycol, often used as a preservative, is also highly irritating to delicate tissue.
Skip products that contain fragrances, because they increase the risk of urinary tract infection. And learn how to translate label claims. For example, many feminine care products boost that they’re “unscented.” In fact, that means substances have been added to the product to mask the smell of its ingredient. In many cases, these additives are phthalates, which are toxic.
Look instead for a product that is “fragrance-free.” That means no artificial fragrance has been added to the product and nothing has been done to remove the natural scent of any ingredient.
And whenever possible, shop for paraben-free products. Many feminine lubricants and moisturizers contain parabens to prevent bacterial growth. Unfortunately most of these additives are also toxic.
Try an All-Natural Vaginal Cream.
Crème de la Femme is an oil-based vaginal lubricant formulated by a woman doctor over 30 years ago and now used by thousands of women nationwide. Some rely on it to relieve menopause dryness. Others use it as an adjunct to bioidentical hormone therapy or to compensate for the dryness that often accompanies pregnancy and breastfeeding, to protect delicate tissue during and after chemotherapy, or simply to make sex more fun.
Crème de la Femme is glycerin-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free and hormone-free. It blends just 4 ingredients: pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin and ceresin. The result is an ultra-sheer vaginal cream that stays semi-solid at room temperature. Then the minute it touches warm skin, it melts into silky moisture that lasts for hours. It can be applied hours before sex and still be effective. By protecting delicate vaginal tissue, it lowers the risk of vaginal and bladder infection. Because it’s self-cleansing, so there’s no messy residue or follow-up douching required.