Lube for sensitive lady parts...
May 30, 2019 1:25 AM   Subscribe

... and condom use! After a long period of having my IUD in, we are back to using condoms and find ourselves in need of lube. My area down there is notoriously moody and I've unfortunately had my share of BV, yeast infections, etc. Is there a lube out there that is gentle and plays well with condoms?
posted by madonna of the unloved to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I'm allergic to most brands of commercial sex lube and have had a lot better luck with brands that are specifically intended for medical use (e.g. for use with catheters). The brand I use in the UK is called Optilube; I'm not sure what brands exist in other countries, but try looking for medical-grade lube as it's less likely to be perfumed or have a ton of random ingredients that can cause irritation.
posted by terretu at 2:48 AM on May 30

I use Slippery Stuff Gel.

It’s amazing.
posted by nikaspark at 3:11 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]

If you're prone to yeast infections, then the problem may be glycerin. A lot of lubes use glycerin as an ingredient, but glycerin is sugar-based, and that can exacerbate yeast infections. There aren't many glycerin-free lubes, but they do exist; try ordering online from a site specifically catering to sex toys and such, they'll probably have an entire section of glycerin-free lubes in their stock.

(Exhibit A: I made that glycerin-yeast connection back in about 2003 and experimented by cutting the glycerin out, and I have not had a single yeast infection since.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:22 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]

GLYCERIN is the devil. KY is OUT. OUT! (sorry very angry still, and it's been a few years now. "Why is my vagina unhappy? more lube. More lube. ow ow. google. realise. BIN." )

I've tried Sliquid with some success, especially their unflavoured one.

Try whatever on your lips before trying it on sensitive parts.

Also, some unsolicited additional advice, but try different brands of condoms to keep your vagina happy.
posted by freethefeet at 4:44 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]

The, ahem, aptly-named F**k Water is great. It's glycerin-free and also free from a bunch of other problematic stuff.
posted by blerghamot at 4:54 AM on May 30

I like Yes WB. No glycerin, nice texture.
posted by featherboa at 4:58 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]

Seconding Slippery Stuff. Also, you can buy it in a pump bottle, which is really convenient because you can dispense more with one hand instead of fiddling with a tube or cap.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:09 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]

Thirding slippery stuff! I am sensitive to most other ones and this was actually recommended by my doctor. I've never had an issue with it.
posted by Katie8709 at 6:11 AM on May 30

I use Slippery Stuff, but a friend who more often has the types of difficulties you do recommends It has a more acidic pH than most lubes which apparently is closer to the vagina's natural pH.
posted by metasarah at 6:23 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]

sliquid is pretty good, and they have a lot of variety to try.

Have you tried non-latex condoms? Slightly more expensive but I have found they are less irritating than latex and it was worth it. I don't have a latex allergy.
posted by arachnidette at 6:33 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]

We've got surgilube around for medical reasons, so it's also what we use for sex reasons.

Advantage: has only three ingredients, so whatever you're sensitive to probably isn't in it. Disadvantage: doesn't last quite as long as good lube that was made for sex. But it's perfectly fine, pretty cheap, and would work well if you wanted to do the lube equivalent of an elimination diet and try one that's basically guaranteed not to be irritating.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:26 AM on May 30

If you play with silicone based toys, don't get silicone based lube.

I am a fan of Good, but don't know if you can get it in the UK.
posted by brookeb at 8:21 AM on May 30

Nthing the Sliquid water-based lube and non-latex condoms as my own personal solution to exactly this problem.
posted by merriment at 9:50 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]

Slippery stuff. I prefer the liquid as it comes out of the bottle faster and spreads better. It’s water SOLUBLE not just water based. So natural body fluids and bathing rinse it away.

Sliquid if I remember is water based but not water soluble. What I do remember is the near instant raging UTI it gave me.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:53 AM on May 30

I'm abnormally qualified to answer this question. I am a toxicologist who works with personal lubricants. A company called Good Clean Love is a bit of a scientific leader in this regard, specifically for this product, because they've done a lot of the necessary benchwork to settle on a formula that matches human vaginal osmolality (and other measures).

Little known fact: lubes are classified by the FDA as medical devices, and regulated as such. That means they have to go through some very dubious biocompatibility tests before they can be marketed, including rabbit vaginal irritation tests. In a nutshell, lubes are all kinda bad because they're optimized for use with rabbit vaginas. Through the vagaries of FDA regulation, most companies just copycat existing formulas from other companies through an abbreviated approval pathway (a 510(k) approval, if you're curious), so the net result over the years is that the market is pretty much a bunch of different names on the same few varieties of product. That Good Clean Love product is an exception, and it's worth giving it a try.

And FYI, all lubes approved for the market in the US have to pass condom compatibility tests, so you're safe there with pretty much anything you can buy off the shelf.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:49 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]

The Natural Moisturizing Lubricant by DreamBrands does not sting on contact like other brands of lubricant we've tried, does not cause irritation like the other lubricants, and comes in a container that is designed to prevent contamination of the contents when dispensing it. As a bonus, a spill does not turn to glue when it dries up.
posted by chromium at 1:13 PM on May 30

Coconut stuff ever.
posted by OkTwigs at 7:30 PM on May 30

Coconut oil is NOT compatible with latex condom use.
posted by augustimagination at 10:28 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]

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