Why not use K-Y Jelly or Vaseline as a lubricant

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Dear Dr. Myrtle,

I use lubricant sometimes: either KY jelly or Vaseline. Is there something wrong with those?


There is definitely something wrong with using any oil-based or petroleum product in the vagina. Vaseline is an oil based petroleum product that is very difficult to naturally clear out of the vaginal space. It can cause something similar to vaginal acne, and can cause or intensify yeast infections if you get them fairly often. In addition, if you are using latex barriers (condoms, dams, or gloves) for protection against sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy prevention, Vaseline will create tiny holes in the latex, making them worthless.

The original K-Y Jelly (the kind that is sold in a tube) is a water-based lubricant that is widely available, and for that reason many people are familiar with it. Unfortunately, it has some major drawbacks as a sexual lubricant. K-Y Jelly was not developed as a sexual lubricant per se, it was developed as a medical lubricant. Medical lubricants are used when something needs to be introduced into a body, usually once (like when a physician uses a speculum during a vaginal exam, for example). Sexual intimacy often involves a lot of back-and-forth motion and friction, and under these conditions, medical lubricants dry and become sticky and gloppy. Lubricants which were developed as sexual lubricants will take the friction of sexual activity, be slicker in use, and stay wetter, longer.

K-Y has developed some "personal" lubricants that are a better choice than the thicker jelly. You can consider them along with the other lubricants available that have been designed for sexual use. Use our "How to choose a lubricant" brochure to help you choose which lubricant might work best for you.

Sexual lubricants are a very sexy sex toy. In our store, people who take sample packets home to try them out invariably come back with rave reviews. Sexual lubricants come in many different varieties and properties, and most people can find the lubricant(s) that work best for themselves. No taste? Really slick? Doesn’t cause yeast infections? Flavored? Just ask--all of these (and more) have been developed for the sole purpose of increasing your sexual pleasure.

Dr. Myrtle