Can Condoms Prevent Or Cause Yeast Infections
It’s tricky. Condoms put a barrier between your partners genitals–and any bacteria in/on them–and your own. For some people, though, condoms may make sex more irritating.
This is likely because theyre not using enough lube and are experiencing friction. It may help to choose a condom with high quality lube already on it, add more lube , or switch to a condom thats not made of latex. Very few people are actually allergic to latex but some people do find they are sensitive to it.
Best For Condoms: Lulu Lube
Why We Like It: Lulu Lube is a water-based formula that wont degrade condoms, and has a gel consistency that doesnt get sticky.
Its Worth Noting: It doesnt last as long as other types, so you may have to reapply.
The whole point of using a condom is for its pregnancy-preventing, STD-preventing barrierbut using an oil-based lube can compromise that security as it can degrade latex condoms. Only water-based lubes should be used with latex condoms, Dr. Sophocles advises.
LuLu Lube is a water-based lube that’s safe for use with condoms and it’s glycerin- and paraben-free, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skin. The lube comes in a discreet, attractive bottle with a pump for easy, mess-free application. And because its water-based, it wont stain your sheets or clothing. The gel consistency glides on smooth to prevent pain or friction. But, because its water-based, it may dry out more quickly, so keep the bottle handy for adding more when needed.
Price at time of publication: $17
Price at time of publication: $17
How We Made Our Picks & Features We Considered
When we first began researching pH-balanced lubes all of which are water-based we spoke with members of our medical review board to understand why pH matters so much and how to verify that a lubricant meets that safety criteria.
In fact, Dr. Susan Milstein, a human sexuality health educator on our review board, wrote an article on the importance of using a pH-balanced lubricant.
She explained that a safe, well-formulated pH-balanced lube should be made with a limited number of high-quality ingredients that you are not allergic or sensitive to and that it should also be pH-balanced for the body part it will come in contact with , have a safe osmolality, and be FDA approved.
Thats a tall order and its also what eliminated a great many lubricants from contention and personal testing by our team.
When choosing the best pH-balanced lubricants, we considered:
How a personal lubricant performs was the last feature we considered because even if a lube works great, its performance is secondary if it contains harmful additives or an unbalanced pH or osmolality that can increase the risk of irritation and infection.
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Preventing Genital Yeast Infections
For the prevention of genital yeast infections, consider the following:
- Avoid sexual activity while a partner has a yeast infection, even if they dont have active symptoms. Yeast infections can be passed back and forth. They can also be transferred from one area of the body to another, like genitals to mouth.
- Wear cotton underwear and change it regularly. Also wear loose, cotton clothing. Tight clothing might trap in moisture and cause friction on your skin, making areas more susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
- Wash certain garments like underwear in hot water. Add bleach if necessary. Also, be sure to use gentle detergents that are free of fragrances and colors. These will be less irritating to your skin should an infection develop.
- Let your bathing suit dry fully. Avoid constantly re-wearing the same wet bathing suit.
- Eat foods that help balance out microflora in the body. These can include yogurts containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, a type of natural probiotic.
- Take a probiotic supplement. Always let your doctor know what supplements you take.
- Take antifungal medications whenever youre prescribed an antibiotic. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if youre prone to yeast infections.
Lube Up For Better Lovin’
Slip Slide and Away
Tucked away in New York’s Lower East Side, among a jumble of old tenement buildings crisscrossed with iron fire escapes, is a boutique called Toys in Babeland. The storefront doesn’t scream “sex shop” to passers-by, but it’s a famous emporium of sexual aids.
There I met the store’s co-owner, Claire Cavanah, to learn about sexual lubricants. Having opened Toys in Babeland in 1993, she’s had nearly a decade of experience selling and using the stuff. Bottles and tubes of various lubes stand in rows on a counter, color-coded according to their properties: water-based or silicone-based, gloppy like hair gel, slick like saliva, or silky like lotion.
Silicone-based lubes, Cavanah says, tend to be her customers’ favorites. They stay wet for a long time, which is good for extended intercourse. “According to the manufacturer, it will stay wet for 10 years in the lab,” she says. But silicone-based lubes may not be the best choice for people using sex toys made of silicone. Cavanah and others who sell them recommend silicone dildos and vibrators over those made of rubber because they’re easier to clean. The surface has fewer tiny pores that could trap germs. But she says customers have reported that silicone lubes, over time, seem to react with the silicone toy and make its surface feel tacky, in effect ruining it.
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Benefits Of Using Coconut Oil As Lube
As Dr. Landry said, coconut oil is moisturizing. That’s something Florida-based OB-GYN Jennifer Landa, MD, chief medical officer at BodyLogicMD, also pointed out to Health.
“One of my favorite natural lubricants is extra virgin coconut oil,” said Dr. Landa. “It is moisturizing and lubricating and doesn’t ball up like a lot of lubes you can buy.”
Coconut oil’s consistency is also a draw. Dr. Ross said it’s thicker and longer-lasting than silicone- and water-based artificial lubricants. At the same time, it won’t get clumpy like other lubricants can, added Dr. Ross.
Yeast And Bacterial Infections
Any disruption of the vaginal balance can lead to dryness or infection, both bacterial or yeast. Their symptoms are different, which aids in diagnosis and treatment.
While both conditions produce itchiness and vaginal discharges, bacterial infection discharges can have a fishy smell and a greyish color. In contrast, yeast infection discharges are usually odorless, of a thick texture, and white in color.
Other yeast infection symptoms include genital redness, swelling, and irritation. In addition, there can be a burning sensation while having intercourse or urinating. Furthermore, you can develop a complicated infection from lack of treatment or catching Candida fungus strains in rare cases. If you get this, symptoms can be severe, including skin tearing, cracking, or the apparition of sores.
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What Is Natural Lube Exactly
Natural lube is considered to be lube that’s free from harsh chemicals and is made from natural ingredients, such as nut oils and aloe leaf juice.
The neat thing about natural lube is that you can technically use ingredients you might already have in your kitchen . You can get any kind of plant-based oil online or at specialty stores, where you can find high-quality, organic stuff. Just be sure youre buying oil-based plant oils that are 100% organic and 100% pure, Gigi Engle, certified sex coach, sex educator, and Womanizer sex expert, tells Glamour.
How To Prevent Yeast Infections
Preventing yeast infections is easier and less risky for your health. Use underwear with cotton layers around the crotch area and wash them in hot water. Other fabrics dont breathe sufficiently and can keep your natural moisture trapped, creating a suitable environment for yeast proliferation. This situation can also occur if you stay for too long in wet clothes, like swimsuits, or use very tight leggings or pantyhose frequently.
In addition, using scented intimate products, vaginal douches, or taking scalding baths can harm your natural lactobacilli. This will not be enough to contain the yeast growth, and the fungus might return, and proliferate.
Despite having a higher risk in sexually active people, yeast infections are not Sexually Transmitted Infections . However, you can get it from unprotected intercourse with a partner who has it. If you or your partner have doubts about having a yeast infection or any other genital condition, use condoms for any point of contact and check with your doctor.
Having a healthy lifestyle is an excellent way of preventing yeast infections. A well-balanced diet with regular exercise and bathing will keep your immune system active and vigilant for any disruption. In addition, the ingestion of probiotic yogurt and supplements will help your body maintain a healthy amount of lactobacilli and naturally regulate your yeast population.
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Are You Sure Its A Yeast Infection
Yeast infection symptoms can sometimes be confused with other types of infections such as bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted diseases. Some of them, such as gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can severely affect your health if left untreated, so getting tested on a regular basis is paramount.
Check my article about OTC yeast infection and STD tests and order your test as soon as possible to verify whats causing your symptoms and start your treatment immediately in case you test positive.
Best Organic: Good Clean Love Almost Naked Organic Personal Lubricant
Courtesy of Thrive Market
Easy to clean up
The water base behind the Good Clean Love Almost Naked Organic Personal Lubricant will leave you feeling almost naked. Its highly recommended by gynecologists and is free from petrochemicals, parabens, and glycerin and is made with organic aloe leaf juice.
The formula is long-lasting, moisturizing, and easy to clean up. You wont have to worry about it leaving behind any bothersome stains. Its infused with light lemon and vanilla scents without irritating chemical additives making it ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. Almost Naked lube is safe for silicone toys and latex condoms, and is also safe to ingest.
Price at time of publication: $13
Type: Water | Key Ingredients: Aloe leaf juice | Scent: Lemon and vanilla | Size: 4 ounces
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What Exactly Is Natural
What counts as a natural lubricant is somewhat open to interpretation. When searching for a lubricant, you might want to avoid certain chemicals and toxins that you also avoid in food, makeup, and hair products.
For example, if you dont know how to pronounce an ingredient, theres a chance your body doesnt quite know how to process it.
Many experts recommend avoiding lubricants that contain parabens, petroleum, and glycerin and other sugars.
If a product has a small number of ingredients and you can pronounce most of them, its a good sign that the product is natural.
Theres some debate about whether natural also counts as organic.
Organic ingredients are generally understood to be free of additives like synthetic chemicals, artificial fertilizers, and hormones.
You might find a lube with an ingredient like coconut oil, which is natural in the sense that it comes from fruit found in nature rather than being created in a lab.
But that coconut oil may not be organic. It could be made from coconuts that are grown and processed using chemicals like pesticides.
If youre looking specifically for a lube thats natural and organic, you may want to take the extra step of looking into how the ingredients are sourced.
We considered plenty of natural lubricants before creating our final list of recommendations. Heres how we decided which ones to include:
Other Qualities To Consider When Using Coconut Oil As Lube
Whether you’re using solid or fractionated coconut oil, Dr. Ross recommended checking the label, adding that pure coconut oil will be:
“Look at the ingredient list on the bottle to make sure the only item listed is coconut oil,” said Dr. Ross.
For coconut oil in solid form, make sure to use a clean spoon to scoop it out. Sticking dirty hands into the oil might increase the chances of turning the jar of coconut oil into a bacterial or yeastypetri dish.
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What Are The Different Types To Try
There are different types of lubricants to suit different needs. Its totally normal if you favor one over the rest, or if you like to switch things up depending on the situation. Whether youre a first-time buyer or looking to expand your lubricant collection, theres one out there for you, guaranteed.
Water-based lubricants are the most common. They come in two varieties: with glycerin, which has a slightly sweet taste, or without glycerin.
Best Water Based: Lola Personal Lubricant
Flavor and fragrance free
Expensive for size
Remember, you can never go wrong with a water-based lube. The LOLA Personal Lubricantfeatures a simple, one-click pump that you can use one-handed so application is a breeze and saves you from unnecessary messes.
Its completely hypoallergenic and is made up of only six ingredients. The aloe leaf juice, vanilla, and lemon are all organic. There are no fragrances or synthetic flavors to complicate the moment, youll just be left with safe, sexual fun. Additionally, it has a pH-balanced formula to support better vaginal health and we like that it’s gynecologist-approved.
Price at time of publication: $8
Type: Water | Key Ingredients: Aloe leaf juice | Scent: Unscented | Size: 1.7 ounces
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Best Silicone: Sliquid Organics Silk Lubricant
Courtesy of Amazon
Has a thin consistency
When being intimate, the last thing you should be thinking about is harmful chemicals in your body. Sliquid Organics Silk Lubricants silicone and water-based formula is free of any unwanted additives and is safe to use with rubber, plastic, and latex.
This lube is botanically infused and vegan, and the 12% silicone blend makes it longer lasting and perfect for sensual massages. If you apply it to your skin, the Aloe Vera in the formula acts as a natural moisturizer along with vitamin E. Green tea and hibiscus in the lubricant offer invigorating sensations that support skin elasticity.
Price at time of publication: $30
Type: Hybrid | Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, Vitamin E, Green Tea | Scent: Unscented | Size: 8.5 ounces
Condoms Lubes Sex Toys And Yeast Infections
We hate to say it but there is a complicated relationship between yeast infections and condoms, lube, and sex toys. All of these things that make your sex life spicy when youre feeling good actually have the potential to trigger a yeast infection. And yet, some of them may also help keep yeast away. We told you it was complicated. Heres what you need to know.
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Coconut Oil Might Cause An Allergic Reaction
Any time you apply a product to your skin, whether it’s all-natural or not, there is a chance of having a sensitivity to itor in some cases, an allergic reaction. This can also be the case with coconut.
So before using it, test it out by applying a small amount of coconut oil to your inner forearm and wait a few minutes to see if there’s any reaction.
How To Apply Lube
1. Squeeze a few drops of the lubricant on your fingertips. 2. Gently rub it between your fingers to warm it up 3. Apply the warm lube to the genitals, sex toys, condom, or fingers. When using condoms, apply a non-oil-based lube. 4. Reapply when you feel a little dry during your intercourse.
|Our Top Picks|
The Aloe Cadabra Personal Lubricant & Moisturizer is designed to eliminate any form of vaginal pain and irritation caused during menopause. Unlike silicon-based lubes, it is sex toy-friendly. It is a stain-free and pH-balanced lube. It contains aloe vera that replenishes your natural moisture and helps you enjoy your intercourse. The product is specially built to provide abundant moisture during intimate moments. It gets absorbed after, thus offering sustainable vaginal health. This chemical-, estrogen-, and hormone-free lubricant is manufactured in a licensed organic processing facility, making it entirely safe for use. Check the video to watch a detailed review of the lubricant.
Everyone has a different skin type, so using a random lubricant can bring adverse effects. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the requirements of ones skin and check for the most suited product. Before purchasing a lubricant, lets dig in and see what should be considered.
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What Causes Yeast Infections
Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus candida albicans, but another type of candida may be responsible. You can get a yeast infection due to hormones , taking antibiotics, or even stress.
You may be at increased risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection if:
You are pregnant.
You have recently taken an antibiotic.
You use birth control or hormone replacement that increases your estrogen levels.
You have a compromised immune system from steroids, HIV, cancer treatment, etc.
You swim or workout frequently and do not remove your wet clothes quickly.
You have recently had your menstrual period.
You drink alcohol or consume fermented food or drinks frequently.
Main Points For Choosing The Best Lubricant Ingredients
- Research into personal lubricant safety is lacking
- Women can often benefit from using an appropriate personal lubricant
- There is no one best lubricant for all women
- Read the label of your lubricant
- Avoid lubricants containing known irritant additives and preservatives
- Choose paraben and glycerol-free water based lubricants
- Choose additive-free silicone-based lubricants
- Avoid oil or petroleum-based lubricants
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