“My husband has recently availed himself of the little blue pill and clearly has had a sexual reawakening. I am postmenopausal and suffer from vaginal dryness. Our amorous encounters are very uncomfortable to me. I’ve tried a couple of lubes. One was so slippery and messy, I couldn’t stand it. The other I’ve tried had a pleasant scent but it actually caused a vaginal infection. I could use some help.”
Unfortunately most women know little about proper hygiene and care of the intimate area. It is not coincidental that many women call the private area “down there” because they are nervous to spell out the proper names for the vagina, pubis, clitoris etc. Worse is the fact that besides avoiding open communication about sexual concerns, their hesitance to deal with intimate issues such as painful sexuality, proper vaginal cleansing, and dealing with vaginal conditions from dryness to irritation or infection causes them not only physical but often also emotional relationship problems. The third largest reason after the flu and common cold why women go to the doctor is for vaginal problems. Over 30% of such visits are due to the use of improper products and/ or improper care of the vaginal area. The fact that many women avoid seeing a medical professional when they first detect a vaginal condition such as a yeast infection can have serious health consequences. There are many strains of the yeast fungus. Not all can be treated effectively by the most common over-the-counter yeast remedies. Sometimes these well known yeast remedies can stop the symptoms such as itching and discharge, but they don’t eliminate the infection and more serious problems may result.
According to statistics, 43% of women suffer from vaginal dryness. That is why women use a lubricant and/or intimate moisturizer before and during sexual activity. What they don’t know is that the lubricant they chose may not be FDA approved for intra-vaginal use, i.e. in the vaginal arena or canal. There are two classes of lubricants/moisturizers, both available over-the counter and without prescription. They appear to be the same, but they are not. Many common lubricants are classified as cosmetics. These are not approved by the FDA for inside vaginal use and internal use.
The others, medical grade class of lubricants/intimate moisturizers are FDA approved for intra-vaginal use. They have been tested for safety by the FDA and are classified as medical device products. Obviously simple cosmetic lubes that are not allowed to be used inside the vagina cannot be effective or, if used anyhow, can represent a health risk. To eliminate the potential discomfort or pain of vaginal dryness the product must be applied between the vaginal lips and inside the vaginal canal. Two safe choices that are FDA approved are KY® lubricating Jelly and Very Private® Intimate Moisture. Very Private also received the OB/gyn.net “Seal of Approval” for safety and efficacy. Both brands are available on many internet sites such as drugstore.com.
For daily vaginal hygiene most gynecologists advise against douching. They advise against scented washes, soaps or bubble baths containing unnecessary additives such as flavors or plant extracts that may disturb the delicate vaginal environment. Recommended are pH balanced soaps or cleansers such as the Very Private Body Wash. Women spend lots of time and money preserving their beauty. A little intimacy care and knowledge may well make their intimate lives much more satisfying.