While we’d love to think that the only changes we undergo as we get older are becoming wiser and more experienced, it’s unfortunately not true. Menopause comes for everyone with a uterus at some point or another.
While there are some benefits to this major physical change, it can also have some less-than-desirable effects that impact your life in ways you don’t expect. One of these changes is vaginal dryness. While this change may not be one you were hoping for, it’s a problem with many solutions.
So let’s talk about why menopause-related vaginal dryness happens and the four types of lubricants you can use to soothe it.
How Does Menopause Affect Lubrication?
First of all, vaginal dryness is nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s a common condition affecting many people during and after menopause. Unfortunately, our educational and medical system tends to push women’s health and wellness a bit to the side, so this may or may not be something you’re aware of.
But while it is completely normal, if you’re uncomfortable with or unsure of how menopause is affecting your body, you can always speak to your healthcare provider or gynecologist. The biological “purpose” of the natural oils and lubrication your body produces is to help sperm to travel safely through the reproductive system.
A great byproduct of this is that it reduces friction during sex and can make sexual activity a bit more fun — which is important because although your hormones may be sending signals that it’s time to close up shop, most of us don’t want to limit sex to our reproductive years!
During menopause, your body’s production of estrogen declines. Lowering estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections, and changes in the elasticity of your vaginal walls.
A personal lubricant can help to avoid discomfort during sex and ensure that your sex life remains as fulfilling and active as you’d like. Sexual health is key to your overall physical health. If your vulva is consistently dry and needs support we recommend a daily moisturizing oil like our Everyday Vulva Oil and our Vibrance Melts.
So without further adieu, let’s get to the fun part: talking about the best lubricant for you!
What Lube Should I Use?
If your vaginal dryness is on the milder end or isn’t something that gets in your way outside of the bedroom, a lubricant should do the trick. Vaginal moisturizers like lube can help prevent irritation to your vaginal tissue and promote overall vaginal health when you have an active sex life.
But there are a few different types of lube out there, so let’s break it down to make it as easy as possible to choose the best option for your body and lifestyle.
There are many reasons to seek out natural products, whether it’s important to you ethically or because you just like to know what’s going into your body.
Non-natural ingredients like glycerin or parabens may cause irritation if you have sensitive skin. Other ingredients may even be linked to negative health effects. So seeking out a natural lube can be gentler on the sensitive skin of your intimate area.
Natural lubricants can be made from ingredients that are so simple you may even have them in your kitchen pantry right now, which can be comforting when it comes to products you’re going to use internally. Our Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD is an all-natural lube that provides all the comfort and glide you need, all while enhancing arousal and using simple ingredients like ultra-moisturizing coconut oil.
Seeking out exclusively natural products can limit your selection. It’s also a choice that requires additional choices; you still need to decide whether you want oil or water-based lubricant even if you determine that a natural lubricant is best for you.
It also means that silicone-based lubricants are off the table. While this isn’t inherently bad if an oil-based or water-based lube does the trick, it can be a little challenging in special cases.
Water-based lube may dry out quickly, so there might be better fits if your dryness is severe. Likewise, oil-based lubricants can degrade latex condoms, so if that’s your chosen prophylactic and your vaginal dryness is intense, natural lubricants may not be your best bet.
Water-based lubricants are the most common option, and they’re cheap, too.
As we already mentioned, water-based lube is both cheap and widely available. And because water is, well, everywhere, it’s super safe to use with condoms — remember, just because you may be postmenopausal and no longer fertile, it doesn’t mean you’re suddenly immune to sexually transmitted infections.
It’s also possible to find water-based lube free from ingredients like glycerin, which is perfect if you have sensitive skin. In general, water-based lube can be a great go-to if you’re worried about irritation.
There are two main downsides when it comes to water-based lubricants. For one, water dries much more quickly than oil, silicone, or other lubricating ingredients — so its effects aren’t likely to last as long and may not be as effective as you need, depending on how much lubrication you need.
The second potential con is that lubricants that don’t use glycerin and aren’t made from naturally tasty ingredients can be bitter. So if you’re using lube for oral sex, it might not be the best choice.
Sometimes, brands seek to cover the taste by adding glycerin to flavored or warming lube that can be water-based. While these options may be fun (and who knows, they may work for you!), it’s important to be aware that they often have a high sugar content and can cause yeast infections or other less-than-appealing side effects.
Oil-based lubricants can be both natural and synthetic. They’re safe and effective, but let’s get into the nitty-gritty details.
Oil-based lubricants, especially natural ones formulated with edible oils like avocado, coconut, or vegetable, are great for use on any part of your body for any type of sexual play.
They’re safe to use internally and can even be good for your skin if you use them for foreplay or a massage! Our Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD is an example of a great, all-natural oil-based lubricant that helps keep things moving and enhances your pleasure.
There’s one major flag on the play regarding oil-based lube: they’re known for degrading latex condoms. So if you have a consistent partner whom you trust implicitly or regularly test with your sexual partners, oil-based lube may be good for you.
But if you’re seeking to alleviate postmenopausal vaginal dryness because you have or are seeking a more varied love life, this may not be the one for you. Synthetic oil-based lubes can also be irritating to your vagina because it’s harder for your body to clear out than other types of lubes, leading to potential infections.
But this shouldn’t be an issue if you stick with natural oil-based lubes. If you want to give oil-based lubricants a shot, our Teaser duo is a great way to experiment!
Silicone-based lubricants are the final option if using a natural product isn’t necessary for you.
Silicone-based lube has one pretty major pro: it’s the longest-lasting of the bunch. They’re also safe to use with condoms, and they even hold up to water — so if you’re worried vaginal dryness and water-based lubes will mean the end of steamy shower sex, silicone-based lubricants have you covered.
Its long-lasting nature can also make silicone-based lube difficult to remove. And as we mentioned, it’s not “natural,” so if that’s a priority for you, you’ll want to dry another type!
Menopause symptoms can be frustrating. You’re used to your body reacting in one way, and suddenly you have side effects that remind you that your body is changing. While these changes may impact parts of your life that used to be fun and worry-free, there are easy solutions.
Menopause doesn’t have to be the end of anything except for remembering to take your birth control and period cramps! With the right lubricant, there’s no reason you need to let the side effects of menopause get in your way.
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