It amazes me how many products are still on the market that are anything but good to our lady parts. Seriously, how is Summer’s Eve still in business? Or how about Trojan’s “tingly warmth” lubricants and condoms? Like, really? The last thing we pelvic pain sufferers need is more burning!
When I was diagnosed with vulvodynia and vestibulitis (now referred to as vestibulodynia) I was educated on the importance of eliminating any possible irritants. I knew that fragrance and dyes found in body wash, laundry detergent, feminine hygiene products, and toilet paper should be avoided. However, I was completely unaware of the ingredients many popular lubricants (such as K-Y and Astroglide) contain ingredients that are bad for your skin.
The two most common irritants are glycerin and parabens. This does not mean that these ingredients are the sole reason for your pain. Some can use them without any issues, but if you’re already experiencing problems such as burning and itching, these should definitely won’t be avoided. Here’s why.
Glycerin, a sugar alcohol, is used as a humectant. That’s a fancy way of saying it helps retain moisture. Problem is, too much of this sugar alcohol can actually lead to bacterial growth, making you more susceptible to yeast infections and UTI’s.
Parabens are used as a preservative and are often found in cosmetic products. If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a lubricant that burned or felt sticky during and afterwards, it’s because of preservatives like these. There is also some debate about parabens being an endocrine disruptor; chemicals that interfere with with the body’s endocrine system. In other words, they might potentially be messing with your hormones.
So what should you use?
Lubricants come in three categories; water-based, oil-based, and silicone. Water-based tends to be least expensive and easiest to find. They also tend to have the longest ingredient list. Oil-based have less ingredients, but can breakdown latex; obviously problematic if using condoms. Silicone-based lubricants often last longer than their counterparts, but they are not recommended for use with silicone dilators.
in the end it’s a matter of preference.
Personally, I have had tried both water-based and silicone-based lubricants. Initially I used whatever I found at the drugstore, but that changed once I was diagnosed with vulvodynia and vestibulits. My physical therapist recommended Slippery Stuff (water-based). I used it for a while and was happy with it, until my doctor gave me a sample of Uberlube.
I couldn’t help but smirk at the name because, well, it just cracked me up. The first time my husband and I used it I was pleasantly surprised. It felt incredibly natural, to the point where I didn’t feel like I was using any kind of lubricant. It didn’t burn or irritate my skin, it wasn’t runny or messy, and it washed off easily afterwards. It also worked great with my dilators (mine are not silicone). For me, there was no comparison. I immediately got online to purchase a bottle. It is a bit pricier than others, but trust me when I say a little goes a looong way. A bottle typically last me close to a year… but I guess that varies depending on how often you are intimate.
Here’s what makes it so great:
- Uberlube is a registered medical device with FDA, CE, CCN, and ARTG.
- It’s pure silicone with a trace amount of vitamin E (which gives it that smooth feeling)
- It’s bio-static, meaning it will not harbor yeast, bacteria, or mold
- Cruelty free; no animal products and vegan friendly
- No glycerin, no parabens
- Odorless, dye and flavor free
- Preservative free
- Compatible with rubber latex and polyisoprene condoms
- Ingredients; dimethicone, dimethiconol, cyclomethicone, and vitamin E
Something that really surprised me was the other ways you can use the lubricant. It actually works great on your hair either as an anti-frizz or to protect against chlorine in the pool. I thought the company was joking, but I tried it and loved it! A few people even complimented me on how shiny my looked. I wanted so bad to say, “Thanks. It’s my new lube!” Hehehehe.
It also doubles as a massage oil, moisturizer, and anti-chafing product. It reduces fabric and skin rub while running, swimming, and biking. Crazy right?! They’ve got travel sizes and cases which I really enjoy. Aside from the obvious, it comes in handy when I have my period. I rarely use tampons, but on days I have to I can keep a travel size bottle of Uberlube in my purse to help me with insertion. It’s super discreet.
Last but not least, I just love the way it looks. It’s feels classy to me. I know it shouldn’t matter, but when you’ve got vuvlodynia sometimes you just want to feel like a lady. Between doctor visits, physical therapy and dilators, we’re constantly reminded of what’s not ‘working’ at the moment. Something about the appearance just makes me feel chic. It’s subtle enough to keep on my nightstand and I don’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious if someone sees it… like my kids. Call me vain, but it makes all the difference.
See what you think for yourself. As I mentioned earlier it comes down to preference. Everyone has their favorites, and you won’t know yours until you try.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement or sponsorship. The link provided is an affiliate code, basically a thank you for suggesting their product. I only recommend products that I have tried and personally believe in.