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Can you use coconut oil as a lube for vaginal dryness?

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While it's natural to experience vaginal dryness as you get older, it can lead to painful sex. It may take some time and experimentation, but you can enjoy sex at any age by being open to exploring new ways of staying lubricated and comfortable.

Here's where coconut oil comes in. Applying a product like coconut oil during sex can help reduce friction and provide added moisture and comfort.

But is coconut oil good for your vagina? Is it safe to use coconut oil as lube? How does it compare to other vaginal dryness products? If you're experiencing vaginal dryness and thinking of using coconut oil for sex, here's what you should know before applying coconut oil in your vagina (or around it).

Why am I so dry down there?

Research shows that vaginal dryness is more common in older women than younger women. While natural lubrication can disappear for a number of reasons, it’s generally associated with a drop in estrogen. Causes of declining estrogen levels include:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Peri-menopause
  • Menopause
  • Surgical menopause
  • Breast cancer treatment

The vagina thrives on estrogen, so when our bodies stop producing estrogen, the vaginal skin becomes thin, dry, and less elastic. This can affect your sex life and lead to painful symptoms:

  • Low desire for sex
  • Painful sex
  • Tearing or bleeding during sex
  • Vulvar irritation

Even though vaginal dryness is common, many women have never discussed it with their healthcare provider. Why? A study from 2013 showed that women felt their symptoms were a natural part of aging or were not bothersome enough at the time.

It may not be uncomfortable now, but vaginal dryness can get worse with time - so if it does become bothersome, it's best to talk to a healthcare provider and address it sooner rather than later. 

Coconut oil for vaginal dryness

Can you use coconut oil as a lube for vaginal dryness and is it safe? Coconut oil is a popular natural product that has been proven to be safe and effective as a moisturizer, however, its efficacy and safety as a lube has yet to be researched.

  • Apply externally as a moisturizer. If the outer vulva is irritated and dry, coconut oil may provide temporary relief from itching and irritation. However, coconut oil applied in the vagina as a lube or moisturizer may present risks, especially for those who are trying to prevent vaginal infection that can happen due to menopausal changes.
  • Avoid if you are prone to vaginal infection. Using coconut oil in the vagina can make the vaginal pH higher, disrupting the delicate balance of the vaginal microbiome and potentially leading to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. So, it’s best to avoid using coconut oil if you’re prone to these kinds of infections.
  • Not latex condom-friendly. Be aware that oil-based lubricants like coconut oil should never be used with latex condoms. The oil can cause the latex to disintegrate, so consider using a polyurethane condom instead.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about the safest and most effective products for your needs. If you find that coconut oil works well for you without causing problems, then keep at it!

How to use coconut oil for lube

If you’re using coconut oil for lubrication, look for an unrefined version. The less processing and bleaching it has gone through, the better. 

When trying any new products, including coconut oil, you should always test a small amount to ensure you don’t have a reaction to it.

Coconut oil comes in larger containers and can also be used for cooking or moisturizing. Minimize contamination by keeping a small jar of coconut oil for sex, and use a clean spoon to scoop the coconut oil from the jar.

When it comes to sex, there's no wrong way to use lube. Try warming a small scoop of coconut oil in your hands and spreading it on you or your partner. Not only does it feel smooth and silky when applied, but it also has a pleasant aroma. Its taste is light and sweet - not too overpowering - making it a stimulating addition to any intimate encounter.

Other natural lubricants for female dryness

If you don't love coconut oil as lube, you can try other natural products to use as lube during sex. Look for products with no processed ingredients or additives:

  • Olive oil 
  • Avocado oil 
  • Pure aloe vera 

For everyday comfort and relief from vaginal dryness and itching, a vaginal moisturizer can be applied to the skin in and around the vagina to help temporarily soothe dryness. 

But OTC lubricant or moisturizer for vaginal dryness isn’t for everyone. One study of OTC lubricants and moisturizers highlighted the top complaints

  • Messiness
  • Vaginal moisture not restored
  • Lack of symptom relief
  • Loss of sexual spontaneity
  • Issues with administration, inconvenience, lack of privacy, and vaginal discharge  

For women going through menopause, vaginal estrogen helps restore natural lubrication and may be more effective and convenient than coconut oil or OTC products. Vaginal estrogen is a prescription cream that’s applied twice weekly before bed and that works with your body to reverse and prevent vaginal dryness. Up to 90% of women report subjective improvement in their symptoms. Vaginal estrogen has been shown to restore natural lubrication to the vaginal tissues. You may notice more increased moisture within one month of use, with full effects in 3 months. 

Whatever route you choose, no treatment is a substitute for communicating your needs so that you can enjoy intimacy with your partner. Exploring different options can be an exciting journey to finding what works best for you and bringing you the comfort and pleasure that comes with an enjoyable sex life! After all, everyone deserves great sex.