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MenoPause Blog

Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants: Finding Your Way Through the Drugstore Aisles

by JoAnn Pinkerton | Jan 18, 2017

We're pleased to have a guest post from Dr. Lisa Astalos Chism.

Lisa Astalos Chism, DNP, APRN, NCMP
NAMS Board Member

Many women experience vaginal dryness to varying degrees throughout their lives. Stress, medications, and the vaginal changes associated with menopause can contribute to vaginal dryness, which may lead to painful intercourse.

Frequently, women may try to find a remedy for vaginal dryness in their drugstore aisles. It may be confusing for women to figure out what all these products are for or how to use them.

Vaginal moisturizers are used to moisturize the vagina and may be used on a regular basis, every 4 days or so. They provide moisture around and inside the vagina (if used with an applicator) and help with the ongoing symptoms of vaginal dryness.

Lubricants are to be used at the time of sexual activity and applied to the vaginal opening and to your partner to provide lubrication and reduce pain associated vaginal dryness. Water-based lubricants are safe to use with condoms; however, they may dry out quickly. Silicone lubricants are also safe to use with condoms and will not dry out as quickly. There are oil-based lubricants, but they can cause latex to become porous, and latex condoms may even rip or tear with their use.

Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants may be used together, but moisturizers help to reduce vaginal dryness with or without sexual activity. Don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about vaginal moisturizers or lubricants to decide what products are best for you.

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JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, NCMP
Executive Director


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