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Q: What’s the difference between lubricants and moisturizers?

Q: What’s the difference between lubricants and moisturizers?

by Dr. Barb DePree MD

The real difference between a lubricant and a moisturizer is duration. Lubricants coat the vagina to ease penetration, which adds comfort during intercourse. They provide a benefit at the time of use, but are not designed to last.

Moisturizers (like those we offer at MiddlesexMD) are designed to be longer lasting. They replenish and help maintain water content in the vagina, clinging to the vaginal walls so they are effective for several days. Mineral- and vegetable-oil-based moisturizers are not recommended because they can cause irritation, providing a habitat for abnormal bacteria. Vitamin E oil, on the other hand, can be a helpful ingredient.

A vaginal moisturizer is used every 3 days or so. Some women prefer more frequent use, others need it a little less often to stay comfortable. You can determine your own frequency with use.


  • The body has natural cleansing mechanisms, there is no need to clean the inside of the vagina, it is self-cleaning! Avoiding douches is best. Whether or not you have a cervix/uterus or not (surgical menopause) the process is the same. The vagina has secretions that cleanse and those cells of the surface of the vagina turnover or renew themselves on an ongoing basis. You may choose to cleanse the external genitals gently after sex, but don’t do anything to the vagina. That’s also whay you need to be careful about which products you put in there, you don’t want to disrupt what it is designed to do on it’s own.

    barbdepree on

  • after sex, how do we wash off the lube or semen that is inside the vaginal …considering the fact that itis a surgical induce menapause .thanks

    kay on

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