Personal Lubricant

It’s Not TMI: Personal Lubricants

Let’s talk about personal lubricant. Lubricant is great for reducing vaginal dryness, which is highly necessary in the early post-partum period or with menopause.

Lubricants come in a variety of forms, the most common being water-based options, followed by silicone and oil-based varieties. Choosing the type of lubricant that works best for you is primarily based on what you plan to use it for.

Types of Lubricants

Water-based: These lubricants are readily available at most drug stores and adult stores.


  1. Compatible with condoms
  2. Compatible with silicone based as well as all other sex toys
  3. Easy to clean and won’t stain the sheets


  1. Absorb easily (you’ll have to re-apply)
  2. Can get sticky
  3. Usually a bit thinner
  4. Many drugstore brands had additives which may irritate the body

Silicone-based: These lubricants often have a bit more longevity, therefore do not need to be re-applied as often.


  1. Condom compatible
  2. Thicker than water-based
  3. Longevity because the silicone sits on the skin and is not absorbed
  4. Fairly simple to clean with mild soap and warm water


  1. Silicone-based lubricants are not compatible with silicone toys

Oil-based: This is my personal favorite because of the longevity factor, however oil-based come with some cons as well.


  1. Longevity and friction reduction (which is great for tissue that has thinned)


  1. Not condom/latex compatible
  2. Harder to clean so may stain your sheets
  3. May contain allergens (nut-oils: read the labels).

Other Considerations

In addition to choosing the right type of personal lubricant, there are several other considerations to make. Look for organic, free-from parabens, glycerin and propylene glycol and these additives can be irritating.

Parabens: this is a preservative and often creates a scent.

Glycerin: this is found in flavoured or warming lubricants and while make work for some, if you are sensitive to infection, this is something to avoid.

Propylene Glycol: also found in flavoured or warming lubricants, again if you are sensitive to infection, then something to avoid.

With so many personal lubricant options to discover, it can be an overwhelming process, if you have questions about the best type of lubricant for you, ask your local adult store (like Venus Envy Ottawa ) or your local women’s health physiotherapist.

Lisa Flanders sat down with Sam Whittle, owner of Venus Envy Ottawa to find out more about lubricant from an experts perspective, check out the video below!

Lisa Flanders Physiotherapist

Written by Lisa Flanders, Physiotherapist. Lisa has a clinical focus on women’s health including pre and postnatal, gender diverse and applied pelvic health and high performance athletes. She currently lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Disclaimer – Everything shared is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for assessment, diagnosis or treatment purposes. If you feel there needs to be further investigation, please seek out a qualified health care professional for a proper assessment.