I'm a title. Click here to edit me.
Need an idea for a New Year's resolution? Rejuvenate your vagina.
If you've had a baby or two or even more, you may be the one in four women who experiences involuntary loss of urine (urinary incontinence) or part of the over 3 million women who has vaginal prolapse (falling bladder, uterus, and/or rectum). And if you have incontinence or prolapse, it's also likely that you've been putting up with these symptoms for a while wondering how and when you can take care of these bothersome issues. Well don't wonder anymore -- the new year is the perfect time to finally take care of your intimate parts. Vaginal rejuvenation is not one medical procedure but an all-encompassing term that includes things like procedures to treat incontinence, lifting of the bladder, vaginal tightening, and reshaping of the labia. Regardless of how the term is used, the basic premise is tidying up things down there so that you can have a happy, healthy, functioning vagina. It's very important to keep in mind that a happy, healthy, functioning vag is relative. How you view your vaginal health should be compared to the old saying regarding beauty -- it's in the eye of the beholder, i.e. if you are happy with your vagina and as far as you're concerned nothing is wrong down there, then stop reading and find another New Year's resolution; but if you aren't happy with what's going on in that area, then read on... There are two main types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence is leakage of urine with physical (not emotional) stress such as coughing, laughing, and jumping and is commonly caused by vaginal childbirth. Treatment options include observation (keeping an eye on things) if the incontinence isn't that bothersome, Kegel exercises or pelvic floor physical therapy, and surgery. Thankfully surgery for stress incontinence has improved over time so that it's typically a same-day (outpatient) procedure and you can resume exercise within a few weeks of surgery. Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, is loss of bladder control associated with an overwhelming urge to urinate. This is most commonly due to aging, hormonal changes, certain neurologic conditions, and pelvic surgery. The non-surgical treatment options of observation, Kegel exercises, and pelvic floor physical therapy are the same as for stress incontinence, but urge incontinence is often treated with overactive bladder medication, Botox injections into the bladder, and neuromodulation (pacemaker for the bladder). Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, colon) falls into the vaginal canal. Like stress incontinence, this is also usually due to vaginal childbirth. A woman might feeling pelvic heaviness as the day progresses or even see or feel a bulge coming out of her vagina. Also like incontinence, this is not life-threatening just potentially alarming and annoying. Prolapse that is mild can be observed, Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy can be helpful, and a bonus of surgery for prolapse is that invariably the vagina gets tightened when the organs are lifted. During childbirth, the muscles and connective tissue of the pelvic floor get stretched and torn which allows the pelvic organs to "fall" and also makes a woman's vagina feel larger. Prolapse repair brings the muscles and tissues back together and thus "tightens" the vagina. And while prolapse and incontinence procedures are considered elective, meaning they have a medical necessity but are not urgent conditions, they are not considered cosmetic and are usually covered by insurance; however, if a woman just wants vaginal tightening and there is no prolapse diagnosis then the procedure could be considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance (although this would be very unusual as a woman's vagina almost always becomes lax due to prolapse). And what if you don't like the appearance of your labia? Join the club since very few women look like Barbie down there. Unless there is a lot of extra labial/vulvar tissue that is causing pain or interfering with sexual activity, labiaplasty or labial reduction is generally considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance. The good news is it's a minor procedure so the cost can be reasonable. What are you waiting for? 2022 is the year to celebrate you by taking care down there.
US WOMEN ARE USUALLY ON THE NICE LIST, but it's time to get on the naughty list.
It's not that you don't appreciate gifts your friends and family give you, but when's the last time you got something that you were REALLY excited about? Or that actually got you excited? You can keep on waiting for someone to give you a gift that makes you want to "Come all ye faithful", or you can make your own Christmas miracle -- gift yourself something that will make you want to be on the naughty list. Let's face it, with all the time and effort spent making holidays special for those around you, getting sexy and using the last little bit of energy you have on being someone else's stocking to stuff doesn't sound all that appealing. Realistically, another holiday will pass with the most excitement being watching a champagne cork pop unless you make an effort. (Yes, I am aware that women are generally the ones making all the effort as I too have two X chromosomes. My girlfriend told me that the Y chromosome is a defective X which explains a lot, but I digress.) Why can't we get in the sexy holiday spirit? A few reasons and solutions: Did you know that up to 75% of women experience pain with intercourse at some point in her life, and for many of these women it's because of vaginal dryness? If you're already exhausted because of holiday demands, going to sleep instead of doing something that hurts seems like a no brainer. But the holiday season is a time to BELIEVE you can have enjoyable sex. If you're dry, don't be shy and pull out the lube. GLISSANT lubes come in chic, discreet packaging so you can keep it on your nightstand without your kids knowing what it is. If pain is the main issue, I recommend our CBD & CBG Huile d'Amour. If you just need extra lubrication and prefer a water-based lube, then try the Sea Salt & Caramel Intimate Lubricant. Pain with intercourse can also be due to increased muscle tone which can be aggravated by stress. Plan a pre-holiday party for yourself starting with a relaxing bath. I suggest GLISSANT CBD & CBG Sels et Huiles de Bain that as one person put it "made her body feel high when she got out of the tub." (Clarification: you can't really get high from CBD, it's just a figure of speech). Add a glass of wine or egg nog (or two), and then go back to the advice in #1 and get lubed. Exhaustion is a libido killer. Don't feel bad about buying a dessert rather than making it from scratch, and take advantage of all the on-line shopping you can do. While you're at it, order yourself some lingerie--feeling sexy almost always puts you in the mood. Just imagine yourself in your hot lingerie reaching for the GLISSANT lube on your nightstand... So just like the Christmas tree doesn't decorate itself and the holiday parties don't plan themselves either, you can't get on the naughty list without some effort...but the holidays and getting in the mood are worth the effort.
WHAT TO EXPECT DOWN THERE AFTER DELIVERY?
Speaking from personal experience, pregnancy is one of the most amazing experiences a woman can have. The thought of growing another human inside of you is absolutely mind boggling -- almost as mind boggling as the first time you feel the baby moving. (Come on, admit it, the movie Alien crossed your mind when it happened). From other people touching your belly and confidently telling you the gender of your baby to being told what foods to eat to bring on labor, pregnant women are given a TON of (mostly unsolicited) advice. But I bet no one ever told you what to expect down there after you deliver the baby. Women just aren't given much insight into the fact that after delivery it's likely her vagina won't be the same...and that's normal. BIG DISCLAIMER: I am not an ob-gyn, but I do have over 20 years' experience treating women's pelvic floor disorders that are often the result of vaginal delivery. I have treated thousands of women immediately post-partum and years later, and think I have some good information to share. For the record, by no means do I think women should stop having vaginal deliveries. I just think women need to be informed of what to expect down there after delivery. In fact, my colleagues interviewed women during their first pregnancy and asked what their birth plan was. As expected, most women planned on a vaginal delivery. Even after being told of the risks of vaginal delivery such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, most women still planned on having a vaginal delivery, but they were extremely appreciative of knowing what to expect after delivery. What can you expect down there? Let's start immediately after delivery. Up to 34% of women report some degree of urinary incontinence in the first three months postpartum. Likely the same percent or higher number of women have some degree of pelvic organ prolapse (bladder or uterus "falling" into the vagina). How can incontinence and prolapse occur so often? An easy to understand analogy I often use with my patients: if I took a golf ball and forced it through your nose, you wouldn't be surprised if your nose didn't look or function properly for a while, if ever. What happens to your pelvic floor after delivery makes sense if you think about it this way. Women who don't know that incontinence and prolapse are common after delivery feel ashamed and abnormal since these conditions aren't openly discussed. I have had many women shed tears of relief in my office after hearing the words "this is normal." Fortunately for most women, the vagina returns close to its pre-pregnancy state. If a woman's vagina/pelvic floor doesn't function the way it should, there are things she can do such as Kegel exercises. If she needs instruction and/or motivation, home biofeedback devices and pelvic floor physical therapy can be very helpful. There are also vaginal devices, such as a pessary, that can be used to provide support to the pelvic organs. While all of these things are great, sometimes they aren't effective. A woman shouldn't feel badly that she didn't do enough exercises or blame herself in any other way. When the baby comes through the vaginal canal, the ligaments that attach the pelvic floor muscles to the pelvic sidewalls can get stretched and torn. If there is excessive damage to the ligaments, pelvic muscle exercises aren't as effective because a woman is exercising muscles that aren't attached properly. In this case, surgery may be the best option. Women are strong, resilient and can handle the truth which is why I think we need to tell women what to expect down there after delivery.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CONDOMS ARE LUBRICATED WITH?
Probably not. Have you ever wondered why you feel irritated after sex? If you use condoms regularly, the irritation might be due to the type of condom you're using. Many people have latex sensitivity or allergy, but more likely the irritation is due to what the condom is lubricated with. Want to know what is used to lubricate condoms? Good luck trying to find out. Ironically, while the FDA requires personal lubricant packaging to disclose all ingredients, condom manufacturers are not regulated the same way and do not have to list all additives. Whether that makes sense or not, that's the way it is. A common ingredient used with lubricated condoms is the spermicide nonoxynol-9. Repeated exposure to nonoxynol-9 can cause inflammation of the vagina, cervix and rectum. If you have oral sex, nonoxynol-9 can even make your tongue feel numb. While a few condom manufacturers have removed nonoxynol-9 from their products, many others continue to use it without providing information regarding possible side effects. Parabens and glycerin are also commonly found in condom lubricants and have been linked to certain types of cancer and vaginal infections, respectively. And although you might be using a condom to avoid pregnancy now, that might not be the case later. Phthalates, one of the "forever chemicals", has been linked to male infertility and is often used in lubricants. One suggestion to get around not knowing what a condom is lubricated with is to use non-lubricated or "dry" condoms. Using dry condoms allows you to be in control of what the condom is lubricated with, and you can use as much lubricant as you want and need. When using a condom, lubricated or not, it's recommended to use extra lubrication because the condom itself creates more friction. This friction can result in tearing of vaginal or anal tissue resulting in increased irritation and increased risk of infection. And when using lubrication with a condom, it's important to use lubricant that is compatible with the type of condom you're using. Oil-based lubricants should be avoided with latex condoms because they can degrade latex and increase risk of breakage. GLISSANT water-based lubricant is compatible with latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene condom based on FDA standards. Another added bonus of using GLISSANT water-based lube with dry condoms is that it has a subtle and delicious sea salt & caramel taste to overcome the otherwise pretty disgusting taste of most condoms. But wait, there's more! GLISSANT FDA-cleared Intimate Lubricant isn't just safe for use with condoms, it's actually good for your vagina. GLISSANT Intimate Lubricant is made with natural ingredients that all serve a purpose. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, lactic acid maintains normal vaginal pH which means less infections, l-arginine increases vaginal blood flow for increased arousal so that a woman can increase her own lubrication, and aloe soothes irritation. All of this is brought to you in chic, discreet packaging. What else would you expect from a product that was made by women for women? Do yourself a favor. Use a lubricant when using condoms, whether you use lubricated condoms or not, and MAKE SAFE SEX SAFER and more enjoyable.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU BE IN THE MOOD?
Normal is relative when it comes to how often you are or aren't in the mood... but it's not normal if your libido (or lack thereof) is negatively affecting you and/or your partner. Sometimes a woman is in the mood, and sometimes she's not. No one would consider this abnormal. What isn't normal is if a woman has persistently low desire that causes her personal or relationship distress. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), also known as female sexual interest/arousal disorder, is the lack or absence of desire and sexual fantasies or thoughts that causes distress and interpersonal difficulties. The distress is an important aspect of HSDD as some women who might be considered to have a low libido have no personal distress or relationship problems. The Society for Women's Health Research estimates that one in ten women has HSDD, making it the most common female sexual dysfunction disorder. The causes of HSDD can be physical, psychological, or a combination. The main hormones influencing libido are estrogen and testosterone, so anything that impacts these hormone levels can affect libido: perimenopause and menopause, hormonal birth control, breastfeeding, and medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can affect libido. Medications that can decrease libido are antidepressants and antianxiety medications. Psychological causes include relationship issues, history of sexual abuse, anxiety, and depression. It's ironic that if someone's libido is low because of anxiety and depression, the medications used to these conditions can lower libido even more. The good news is HSDD is treatable: Stress reduction. Stress can not only impact your mod, it can disrupt your hormone levels. Regular exercise. A study on exercise-induced arousal showed that just 20 minutes of exercise could boost arousal by 169% (and GLISSANT lubricants can increase arousal too). Maintain ideal body weight. Obese women have lower libido both because of potential effects on hormone levels an negative body image. Hormone replacement. If estrogen and/or testosterone levels are low, hormone replacement can be extremely beneficial. Medication. For premenopausal women with HSDD, there are two FDA approved medications medications flibanserin (pill) and bremelanotide (injection) that may improve desire and the number of satisfying sexual events. Sexual experimentation such as different positions or introducing sex toys. Couples/sex therapy. The bottom line is normal libido varies among women, but if your wanting to want it is causing you and your partner distress, then it's probably time to seek help.
Birth control pills and painful sex...
Ever wonder if there's a connection? There definitely is. If you're using birth control pills, chances are you are of the age when getting pregnant is a distinct possibility. And in that case, at your age you should be able to get aroused and lubricate easily. So why aren't you? Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) contain estrogen that should be good for vaginal lubrication, but low-dose birth control pills, especially combination pills (contain estrogen and progestin), can have the opposite effect. Anything that lowers the amount of estrogen circulating in your body will reduce blood flow to the tissue (increased genital blood flow is a major part of arousal), resulting in dryness of the vagina and/or vulva. The reduced vaginal blood flow can make it tough for you to self-lubricate during sex (which is why GLISSANT lubricants contain ingredients that promote genital blood flow), and it can even make you feel constantly irritated and uncomfortable down there. Vaginal tissues are supposed to have a thin layer of protective, lubricating fluid, but these tissues are highly sensitive to changes in hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. Even slight fluctuations in hormone levels (for instance, the result of taking a new medication) can affect blood flow, ultimately leading to dryness. If you're experiencing vaginal itching, irritation, burning, and/or pain during sex, it may be due to the oral contraceptive you are taking. In particular, combined OCPs reduce testosterone levels by inhibiting ovarian and adrenal gland androgen production and by increasing levels of sex hormone-binding globulin. Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is a protein that is responsible for binding excess estrogen and testosterone. Increased SHBG results in more estrogen and testosterone being taken out of the bloodstream. With less hormones in the bloodstream, vaginal thinning and dryness can occur over time. Very low-dose estrogen OCPs can also have a similar effect. While the great majority of women taking OCPs don't experience these problems, the women who do experience painful sex from vaginal dryness due to OCPs are quite unhappy. Decreased circulating levels of androgen (testosterone) can also affect your libido. Libido is controlled by your circulating levels of androgens, and it is androgens that chemically drive a woman's sexual desires and fantasies. Decreased hormone levels can start a vicious circle: if a woman has low libido already, then she has pain because of vaginal dryness due to low hormones, this can lower her libido even further. Why would anyone want to have sex if it hurts? The solution: if possible change or discontinue OCPs and use a different form of birth control such as condoms or an IUD. Vaginal estrogen and/or testosterone can also help. The bottom line is you were right...there is a connection between birth control pills and painful sex. If you think this might be your situation, talk to your doctor about an alternative form of birth control or other solution because you are the biggest advocate for your sexual wellness.
Why does sex cause UTIs?
It's not because of poor hygiene or your partner is dirty. Although it would be convenient to blame your partner, the reality is UTIs (urinary tract infections or bladder infections) are very common in women, and especially so with sexual activity because of our anatomy. The main issue is that the female urethra is very short compared to a man's. During sexual activity, bacteria from the vaginal, anal and oral areas are introduced to the opening of the urethra. The bacteria then just have to ascend a small distance up into the bladder to cause a UTI. UTIs are much less common in men because the male urethra is about four times longer than the female urethra. This means that organisms have to travel much farther to cause a UTI in a man than a woman. There are many women who rarely had UTIs that become more susceptible to them at different times in their life. Sometimes is just takes getting used to a new partner (or maybe it's because a new partner usually equals more sex). Another common reason is hormonal changes. It's not uncommon for a women to never have infections until perimenopause or menopause, while other women become prone to UTIs during a certain time of their cycle or after changing their form of birth control. Family history also plays a role as women with recurrent UTIs often report their mother or sister having recurrent bladder infections as well. The only guaranteed way to prevent UTIs related to sexual activity is to not have sex, but if this was my only recommendation I wouldn't have any patients. While some women can decrease their risk of infection with showering or urinating right before or after sexual activity, this doesn't work for everyone. Some women benefit from taking a cranberry or other supplement around the time of sexual activity, but other women can only prevent infections by taking a single dose of an antibiotic at the time of sexual activity. In my experience, most women don't want to take an antibiotic to prevent UTIs because it seems like an excessive amount of medication; however, if a woman has an infection every month, she ends up taking a lot less antibiotic preventatively than if each UTI had to be treated with a full course of antibiotics. The benefit of oral probiotics is controversial, but perhaps the best probiotic is avoiding repeated courses of antibiotics to allow a woman's own vaginal microbiome to replenish. And for those women who start getting infections during menopause, they may benefit from hormone replacement. Whatever the reason a woman is prone to UTI with sexual activity, it can almost always be treated and shouldn't be a barrier to her sexual wellness.
Why do women fake orgasms?
The reason may not be what you think. Most of us have been there. You just want to want to make your partner happy and/or you just want to go to sleep. So you fake it. (If my husband reads this: sorry honey, but it's true). In a 2010 study, 67% of heterosexual women admitted to occasionally faking an orgasm. The rub? (no pun intended) Only 20% of men think their partner has ever faked it. But us women aren't the only ones faking it -- 28% of men report faking orgasm as well (although as a urologist I still can't quite fathom how a guy can fake it as easily as a woman, but I'll get back to you on that). So why do us women fake orgasms? One reason might be basic biology: reproduction. One study showed that the more vocal a woman was helped speed up their partner's orgasm, which may increase the likelihood of conception. Another way to think about it is that faking an orgasm is a way to manipulate a male partner's behavior. (I mean, why wouldn't I fake it if I can get something out of it???) A less self-serving reason women might fake orgasm is simply not to hurt their partners' feelings, or even make a woman feel "normal." The inability to achieve climax may not only affect a partner's feelings, it can also make the woman feel abnormal as well. Although movies make it seem that female orgasm is inevitable every time she has sex, in reality 75-90% of women do not consistently orgasm with a partner, and 5-10% of women don't orgasm at all. Cooper and colleagues actually created a Faking Orgasm Scale for women in an attempt to determine women's self-reported motives for faking orgasm. Their group found that women have both self-focused and relationship-oriented motives when faking orgasm. They describe four factors related to faking orgasm with intercourse: 1) altruistic deceit; faking out of concern for a partner's feelings, 2) fear and insecurity; avoiding negative emotions, 3) elevated arousal; a woman's attempt to improve her own arousal by faking orgasm, and 4) sexual adjournment; faking it to end intercourse. Whatever reason a woman has for faking it, it's her reason. And that should be good enough for all parties involved.
The clitoris is just like the penis...wait, what?!?
When a woman looks down there, she certainly wouldn't think her lady bits look anything like a man's. And they don't. But when it comes to anatomy and physiology, the clitoris is just like the penis. Wait, what?!? During early embryologic development, both sexes look the same. Around eight weeks of gestation, if the embryo makes testosterone and the tissues respond normally to testosterone (abnormal response to testosterone in a genetic male is a whole other topic), then the same basic parts gets rearranged into a penis. In the absence of testosterone, the tissues become the clitoris. Both the clitoris and the penis have a head, or glans, and paired corpora cavernosa that contain erectile tissue (yes, women get erections too--is your mind blown yet?). Unlike the glans penis, the glans of the clitoris has an extremely high concentration of nerve endings which is why the clitoris has only one main function: sexual pleasure. The number of nerve endings in the glans of the clitoris is twice as much as the glans of the penis making this part of a woman's body the OG of G spots. During arousal, the blood flow into the genitals increases while the outflow decreases. The result is engorgement and erection of the clitoris. A substance that plays an important role in genital arousal is nitric oxide. Nitric oxide regulates relaxation of blood vessels. When the blood vessels are relaxed, more blood can flow through them which ultimately results in engorgement of the genitals during arousal. L-arginine is actually converted in to nitric oxide which is why l-arginine is often used supplements for sexual function. It's also why GLISSANT Intimate Lubricant contains l-arginine. Another interesting factoid? The clitoral hood or prepuce, is analogous to the foreskin. The clitoral hood is the skin that covers the clitoris and is connected to the labia minora. When you get aroused and the clitoris becomes engorged with blood, the hood is passively pushed out of the way which helps keep the skin from getting stuck in place (clitoral adhesions or clitoral phimosis) and it also allows any debris that collects under there to come out -- don't think about it too much or you'll get grossed out. The clitoral hood likely serves a protective function since the glans clitoris is so sensitive. Imagine not having a clitoral hood and your jeans rubbing against your clitoris all day-. It might feel good for a hot minute then it's just going to hurt. Although I do agree with the saying that women are from Venus and men are from Mars, when it comes to "down there" men and women are very much alike.
ATROPHIC VAGINITIS: A real thing or just another term to make women feel bad about themselves?
Did you know that up to 15% of premenopausal women have symptoms of vaginal atrophy, or atrophic vaginitis, while almost 60% of menopausal women experience symptoms? With so many women affected by atrophic vaginitis you would assume that most are familiar with it; however, the reality is that atrophic vaginitis isn't discussed as often as it should be, so many women are not prepared if it happens to them. Before getting into what atrophic vaginitis is, let's start with the definition of atrophy: at·ro·phy /ˈatrəfē/ verb 1. (of body tissue or an organ) waste away, especially as a result of the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution. Similar: waste away, wither, shrivel, dry up, decay... 2. gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect. If you're like me, you don't appreciate (and maybe even feel a little bad about yourself) if someone were to use phrases like "waste away" or "dry up" to describe your vagina. Unfortunately us vagina owners are stuck with the term atrophic vaginitis when referring to the normal effect of low estrogen levels, mainly menopause, on the vagina. So what is atrophic vaginitis? Basically it's thinning and loss of elasticity of the vaginal walls that can result in painful sex, irritation, and increased risk of vaginal and urinary tract infections. The most common reason atrophic vaginitis occurs is because of low estrogen that naturally occurs with menopause, but other causes of low estrogen levels include breastfeeding, prolonged birth-control pill use, and anti-estrogen medications used to treat conditions such as breast cancer and endometriosis. What can be done about atrophic vaginitis? Despite the bothersome symptoms of atrophic vaginitis, approximately 70% of women do not discuss or get treatment for their symptoms. This is likely due to embarrassment and/or bad advice if they did ask about it. Hopefully some of the 70% of women who haven't been treated are reading this so that they can learn about their options. One of these options is vaginal estrogen replacement that can come in the form of a cream, vaginal tablet (suppository), or vaginal ring. The advantage of using vaginal estrogen is that no significant amount ends up in the bloodstream so that even women who have a history of breast cancer can use certain vaginal estrogens. For those who don't want to use vaginal estrogen, a vaginal moisturizer or lubricant that doubles as a moisturizer can be used (may I suggest GLISSANT FDA-cleared water-based lubricant???). Another option is vaginal laser treatment specifically for atrophic vaginitis. You can think about it in terms of how lasers for the face increase collagen and make the skin younger appearing. Laser treatment of the vagina can make it "younger" too. The only downside is that it's not usually covered by insurance.) Why are most things that make us feel prettier and younger not covered by insurance?!?) If you have symptoms of atrophic vaginitis, don't feel bad about yourself -- take charge and fix it just like you do with everything else in your life. You got this.
HOW TO USE A LUBRICANT
Your initial reaction to this might be, "Duh, I know how." But do you really, and are you getting the most out of your lubricant? Before even getting to the "how to", let's start with the basics like what type of lube is best for you: water-based, oil-based, or silicone-based. In general, owners of a sensitive vagina should opt for a water-based lubricant because they tend to be less irritating. And if you use condoms or toys, water-based lubricants are the best option because they are compatible with most condoms and toys. Water-based lubricants wash off easily and usually don't stain, but they do need frequent re-application. Oil-based lubricants are more slippery (FUN FACT: GLISSANT means slippery in French) and longer-lasting than water-based lubricants. The main downsides are that oil-based lubricants cannot be used with latex toys and condoms and don't clean off as easily as water-based lubricants.
Silicone-based lubricants are even more slippery than oil-based ones, but they don't wash off easily. Silicone lubricants can break down silicone toys making them more difficult to clean because of the uneven surface. controversy exists So how to use a lubricant? I know you are going to roll your eyes when you read this: there is no "right" way to use a lubricant---but there are some tips you may not have thought of: 1) Use as much as you want where you want. The only disclaimer here is you should avoid lubricants with possible irritants such as glycerin, parabens, propylene glycol or phthalates. 2) Use your lubricant as part of foreplay. Pour (or spray in the case of GLISSANT) a generous amount of the lubricant in your hand and rub on your own intimate parts and/or those of your partner. Doing this not only lubricates all the necessary parts, but it also gets all parties involved in the mood. 3) Oil-based lubricants can double as a massage oil (you'll appreciate this if you're a multi-tasker like me). 4) If you're feeling a bit cool, warm up your lube by rubbing it in your hands before applying to yourself or your partner to get things heated up faster. 5) "Lubricated" condoms do have lubricant on them, but it's usually added after the condom is rolled up so the shaft of the condom can still be dry. Water-based lubricants can be applied to the condom after it's been put on to decrease friction. Less friction means less possible tearing and transmission of sexually transmitted infections. 6) And most importantly, the best way to use a lubricant is any way that makes you feel good.
5 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT PERSONAL LUBRICANTS
Now that I am of a certain age, I am even more aware of those jokes about the "dried up old lady." Many women (and men) think this is the only scenario that a lubricant is needed. Let's dispel that myth and a few others... Myth #1: Only old women with vaginal dryness use lubricants. When it comes to sex, in general the wetter the better. Isn't that why the term WAP is so popular?!? A study of almost 2,500 women age 18 to 68 years (average age 32.5) found that 70% of the time, lube made sex pleasurable and more comfortable. The most common reason cited for using a lubricant was to avoid tearing of the vagina. Avoiding tearing obviously means more comfortable sex, but reduced friction and tearing of the vagina can also decrease risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Myth #2: A woman is dry only when she isn’t turned on. Just because a woman is in the mood (libido) doesn’t mean her body always responds the way it should (arousal). There are multiple reasons a woman might not be able to lubricate -- certain hormonal birth control methods, postpartum hormonal changes, breastfeeding, (peri)menopause, medications such as antihistamines or some antidepressants, diseases that cause overall dryness such as Sjogren's syndrome, and even stress. For all of these reasons and more, many women of all ages can experience vaginal dryness that has nothing to do with desire for her partner. Myth #3: I can just use any body oil as a lubricant Technically you could, but it might not be the best or healthiest thing for you. Because oils don’t wash away easily, if the oil is too thick and/or the pH isn’t optimal for the vagina it may cause irritation or infection. If you use condoms or toys, oils and oil-based lubricants are not a good choice as they can weaken latex condoms and break down silicone toys. Myth #4: Lubes are all the same That’s like saying all lipsticks are the same! Look for quality ingredients and avoid ingredients like glycerin (can make you prone to yeast infections), propylene glycol (used as an ingredient in antifreeze), parabens (linked to infertility and may mimic estrogen so probably breast cancer patients should avoid), and phthalates (can affect thyroid function). At GLISSANT we protect your vagina by making lubricants without harmful chemicals! Myth #5: Lubricated condoms are just as good as using lubricant Interestingly, the lubricant is usually added after the condom is rolled up so the shaft of the condom is often dry so adding lubricant after the condom is unrolled can reduce friction. More important for you to consider is what the condom is lubricated. One common ingredient is the spermicide nonoxynol-9 that can make a woman more prone to irritation and infection. Parabens and glycerin are also commonly used. Other ingredients are unknown because condoms are not required to disclose this information. Ridiculous I know, but stay tuned on that matter...