Condoms and Lubricants for Pelvic Floor Health

Itchiness or burning sensation after sex? Frequent UTIs? Chronic yeast infections? TTC? Using contraception? Whether you are trying to conceive or in the height of contraception, understanding the pros and cons of condoms and lubricants can help you enjoy sex without the negative side effects.

Condoms and Lubricants to Support Pelvic Floor Health

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t initially think about what goes into a condom. I’m normally pretty thorough when it comes to looking at what I put in and on my body but for some reason condoms and lubricants weren’t high on my list of things to look at. But then a time comes that you learn more information and you are able to do better. Below are a list of Ingredients to avoid in condoms and lubricants to help support optimal pelvic floor health

  • Parabens: parabéns can disrupt estrogen and also may lead to increased risk of cancer. It is ideal to avoid parabens in condoms because they can affect the bacteria in the vagina and lead to increased UTIs

  • Glycerin: glycerin can convert into sugar and cause increased yeast…something we don’t want in the vagina as it can lead to yeast infections

  • Alcohol / Acetate: acetate has a drying affect and can dry out the vaginal tissue causing more irritation, dryness and itching afterwards

  • Nonoxynol-9: while most products have already removed these, it is important to avoid N-9 as it has been shown to attack all bacteria, good and bad. That can leave you susceptible to both STDs and UTIs

  • Casein: this one isn’t inherently bad but if you have a diary allergy it may cause issues with inflammation or unpleasant reactions

  • Oil-Based lubricants: synthetic oil-based lubricants can alter the pH of the vaginal flora and may lead to increased risk of UTIs or yeast infections

Lubricantions when Trying to Conceive (TTC)

Sesame oil and synthetic oils (Astroglide, Aquagel and KY products) have been shown to decrease sperm motility. If you are TTC, then these oils are best to avoid as lubricants. Coconut oil can be useful as a lubricant without causing a disruption in the vaginal flora pH and increasing the risk of yeast infections.

Water-based lubricants were shown to immobilize all of the spermatozoa within 5 minutes of exposure and killed over 95% within 1 hour. If you are TTC, then water-based lubricants are not your best option as they may decrease sperm motility and vitality.

Best lubrications for TTC: coconut oil or Pre-Seed

Condom and Lubricant Considerations for Contraception

Oil-based lubricants can decrease the effectiveness of condoms. You heard me right, oil-based lubricants (yes, even coconut oil) can degrade the latex making condoms more susceptible to breakdown..and surprise babies. If you are using condoms as a form of contraception this is important because you probably want to avoid all oil-based lubricants.

References:

  1. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.12.024

  2. PMID: 29624933

  3. PMID: 24390681