The Centre for Sexual Health Promotion (CSHP), Indiana University (I-U), studied 2,453 women aged between 18 and 68.
Participants strongly endorsed that lubricant use improved their sexual experiences in more than 70 percent of the events. Women indicated that using lubricants made sex feel very pleasurable and more comfortable.
Personal lubricants have long been recommended to women to improve the comfort of sexual intercourse and to reduce the risk of vaginal tearing, yet strikingly little data is available on women’s use of lubricants or associated vaginal symptoms.
The study, conducted by Debby Herbenick, associate director of CSHP, involved women who used one of six different water or silicone-based lubricants.
The study also found that side-effects were rarely associated with lubricant use; vaginal tearing occurred during less than one percent of vaginal intercourse and genital pain was reported in less than five percent of intercourse.
The CSHP study examined their use of water-based or silicone-based lubricants during sexual activity.
The use of lubricants during sexual activity has been recommended as a strategy to reduce the likelihood of vaginal tearing, which can increase risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
The women in the study primarily were heterosexual (85.6 percent) and married (56.4 percent), with an average age of 32.5, says a CSHP release.
Another CSHP study involving 1,834 men examined the use of lubricants during vaginal intercourse. The study involved 8,876 coital events, 46.8 percent of which involved the use of a latex condom and 24.7 percent of which involved the use of a lubricant.
These findings were presented Monday at the Innovative Research on Sexual Health session.