WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — When it comes to the most intimate part of your anatomy, it’s important to understand the products you put down there. UnityPoint Health OB-GYN Alex Dickinson, MD, explains the differences in lubricants and lube alternatives.

From cooking oils to store-bought brands, there are a variety of lubricants on the market. Dr. Dickinson recommends three most often:

  • Coconut oil
  • Silicone-based lube
  • Water-based lube

Coconut Oil

For those who feel embarrassed buying lubricant, Dr. Dickinson says coconut oil is a good lube alternative and the easiest to purchase discretely — i.e. no need to worry about running into your neighbor in the checkout line.

«It lasts the longest and creates less mess than other types of cooking oils — like olive oil,» she says. «But it can still stain your bed sheets.»

Dr. Dickinson says coconut oil also acts as a natural antimicrobial and antifungal but using too much at once can lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast. Another word of advice, avoid coconut oil-based lubricants when using condoms because they can degrade the latex causing questionable protection.


«These are good lubricants for people with sensitivities, because they’re hypoallergenic,» Dr. Dickinson says. «In addition, silicone-based are safe lubes for condoms. However, use caution when integrating silicone-based lube with sex toys in the bedroom.»

«They can degrade other silicone products. As the silicone toy degrades, it can easily harbor bacteria and lead to infection,» she says.


Dr. Dickinson’s least favorite lubricant to recommend are those that are water-based. «They last the shortest amount of time and can cause discomfort if they dry up,» she says.

However, water-based lubricants are safe to use with condoms and sex toys. K-Y, the popular store-bought brand, is an example of a premade lubricant that comes in many varieties with most being water-based.

Talking to Your OB-GYN

If you’re interested in trying lubricants for additional pleasure during sex, or because of a sexual dysfunction you’re experiencing, Dr. Dickinson reassures it’s normal to talk to your doctor about it.

«Don’t be worried about what your OB thinks. It’s more common than people realize. We’re more than willing to discuss lubricants with you, help you come up with a solution and be that go-to person to chat about any sensitive issues that come up for you.»

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SOURCE UnityPoint Health