Dear Dr. Myrtle,
I am using a moisturizing lubricant for my vaginal dryness, but I find that when I use it during intercourse, it disappears quickly and doesn’t provide much slipperiness. Is there anything I can do to make it last longer, or is there another lubricant you can recommend for use during intercourse?
Moisturizing lubricants are very important for some women in helping to add/maintain moisture inside of the vaginal canal. However, people often find that while it works wonders on their dryness and general vulvar skin tone, it doesn’t stay slippery during intercourse.
What sometimes happens in women with moderate to severe vaginal/vulvar dryness is that the moisturizing lubricant soaks into the tissues right away to moisturize, but because it soaked in, it isn't available on the vaginal surface to provide slippery sensations for comfortable penetration. Think of it like hand lotion - the drier your hands are, the more quickly the lotion will soak in.
We’ve found that in this case, it’s best to use a moisturizing lubricant for the moisturizing massage of the vaginal/vulvar tissue prior to penetration. Then use a silicone lubricant on top of it for slipperiness during penetration. Before you have intercourse, either you alone or you and your partner can massage the moisturizing lubricant into your vaginal and vulvar tissues for about five minutes. You can even make it a part of foreplay if you want.
After the massage, apply a small amount of a silicone lubricant to these same areas. The moisturizing lubricant will have soaked in, bringing moisture to the tissues, and then the silicone lubricant will form a protective seal on top of that moisture, keeping it in your tissues and providing a slick surface on top of your skin to make penetration comfortable. Because silicone lubricant doesn’t soak into the skin, it will remain slippery - even in water - until you choose to wash it off with soap and water.