Lube for Every Body - UnityPoint Health

Express Care - Bettendorf

3415 53rd Avenue
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

01 Patients
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Express Care - Moline

106 19th Avenue
Suite 103
Moline, Illinois 61265

08 Patients
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Express Care - North Port

3426 North Port Drive
Suite 200
Muscatine, Iowa 52761

05 Patients
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Express Care - SouthPark Pointe

3904 16th Street
Moline, Illinois 61265

02 Patients
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Pediatric Urgent Care - Cedar Rapids

855 A Avenue NE
Suite 300A
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402

00 Patients
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Proctor First Care - East Peoria

2535 E. Washington St.
East Peoria, Illinois 61611

00 Patients
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Proctor First Care - Morton

621 W. Jackson Avenue
Morton, Illinois 61550

00 Patients
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Proctor First Care - Peoria Heights

1120 E. War Memorial Drive
Peoria Heights, Illinois 61616

00 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic - Express

8914 N. Knoxville Avenue
Peoria, Illinois 61604

00 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Washington)

209 N. Cummings Lane
Washington, Illinois 61571

00 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine and Walk-In Care - Cascade

610 2nd Ave. NE
Cascade, Iowa 52033

00 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine and Walk-In Care - Peosta

8456 Peosta Commercial Court
P.O. Box 80
Peosta, Iowa 52068

01 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th St. SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009

06 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - East

1550 University Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52001

01 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Ave., Ste. 2
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

02 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - West

2255 JFK Road
Dubuque, Iowa 52002

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Anamosa

1795 Hwy 64 East
Anamosa, Iowa 52205

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Ankeny

3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Suite E
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

06 Patients
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Urgent Care - Hiawatha

1001 N. Center Point Road
Suite A
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
Suite 101
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

03 Patients
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Urgent Care - Marion

2992 7th Ave.
Marion, Iowa 52302

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

05 Patients
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Urgent Care - North Crossing

2134 Logan Ave.
Suite A
Waterloo, Iowa 50703

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Prairie Parkway

5100 Prairie Parkway
Suite 101
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613

01 Patients
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Urgent Care - San Marnan

1655 E San Marnan Dr.
Suite H
Waterloo, Iowa 50702

01 Patients
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Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Sunnybrook

5885 Sunnybrook Drive
Sioux City, Iowa 51106

01 Patients
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Urgent Care - United Medical Park

1731 W Ridgeway Ave.
Suite 100
Waterloo, Iowa 50701

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Urbandale

2901 86th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

04 Patients
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Urgent Care - Westside

2375 Edgewood Rd SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404

00 Patients
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Walk-In Care

800 Kenyon Road
Suite S
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

09 Patients
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Lube for Every Body

by -

A couple laughing and having a good time on a bed.

When it comes to the most intimate part of your anatomy, it’s important to know the ins-and-outs of any product you put down there. UnityPoint Health OB-GYN Alex Dickinson, MD, explains the differences in lubricants and lube alternatives and when and what to use based on your life stage and sexual needs.

Lubricants & Lube Alternatives

From cooking oils to premade store-bought brands, there are a wide variety of lubricants on the market. Dr. Dickinson recommends three most often:

  • Coconut oil
  • Silicone-based lube
  • Water-based lube

Coconut Oil as Lube

First up: coconut oil. For those who feel embarrassed at the thought of buying lubricant, Dr. Dickinson says this type is a good lube alternative and the easiest to purchase discretely — i.e. you won’t have to worry about running into your neighbor in the checkout line with this one. 

“It lasts the longest and creates less mess than other types of cooking oils — like olive oil,” she says. “But it can still stain your bed sheets.” 

Dr. Dickinson says coconut oil also acts as a natural antimicrobial and antifungal but using too much at once can lead to infections such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast. Another word of advice, it’s best to avoid coconut oil-based lubricants when using condoms because they can degrade the latex causing questionable protection.

Silicone-based Lube

A second type to consider for extra lubrication are silicone-based products. 

“These are good lubricants for people with sensitivities, because they’re hypoallergenic. In addition, silicone-based are safe lubes for condoms. However, use caution when integrating silicone-based lube with sex toys in the bedroom. They can degrade other silicone products. As the silicone toy degrades, it can easily harbor bacteria and lead to infection,” Dr. Dickinson says.

Water-based Lube

Dr. Dickinson’s least favorite lubricant to recommend are those that are water-based. 

“They last the shortest amount of time and can cause discomfort if they dry up,” she says. 

However, water-based lubricants are safe to use with condoms and sex toys. K-Y, the popular store-bought brand, is an example of a premade lubricant that comes in many varieties with most being water-based. 

Vaginal Dryness and Lubricants

Dickinson says there a handful of scenarios where people would be interested in trying lubricants — the most frequent she sees are for vaginal dryness experienced in women. Common conditions that can lead to vaginal dryness include: 

  • Perimenopause or Menopause
  • Surgical menopause (For example, from an oophorectomy — when the ovaries are removed.)
  • Breast feeding
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Medications such as anti-estrogens, SSRI antidepressants, antihistamines for allergies or chemotherapy
  • Lack of arousal or interest in partner (These conditions are typically treated with behavioral therapy, couples’ therapy, sex therapy or learned masturbation techniques.)
  • Douching, use of soaps or other vaginal irritants

Dickinson warns that douching or putting normal body lotion on the vulva or vagina should always be avoided.

“This is a big no-no. Soaps and ‘feminine cream’ can mess with the pH of the vaginal environment and kill the good bacteria called lactobacillus. They keep things like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections from overgrowing and causing irritation. Also, douching takes away your body’s natural moisturizing oils,” Dickinson says.   

What Lubricants to Use and When

Dr. Dickinson advises on several scenarios where the type of lubrication you use makes a difference.

Sex Toys

Stay away from silicone-based lubes with sex toys, because they can deteriorate the product. Instead, Dickinson says water-based lubricants are best here. 

Sexual Dysfunction

Depends. The lubricant needed is based on what the sexual dysfunction is — for example: hypo-arousal, lack of interest or difficulties having an orgasm (anorgasmia). Dr. Dickinson says using lubricants is a simple solution that makes sex more enjoyable. 

Sensitivities

Avoid fragrances, flavors, dyes, warming or tingling lubricants. Dr. Dickinson says make sure you don’t have a latex allergy when using condoms with lubricants or an allergy to coconut prior to using coconut oil. She also suggests trying silicone-based over water-based as they glide better and cause less friction or drying.

Lube Safe for Conception

It’s best not to use any lubricants. Dr. Dickinson says they can be your enemy if you’re trying to have a baby. They can change the pH in the vagina and create an environment that’s not great for sperm to live in. If you absolutely need to use a lubricant during sex, Dr. Dickinson recommends talking to your doctor about a product that will keep your pH balanced.

Reoccurring Vaginal Infections

Use silicone-based or water-based lubricants — but sparingly. Dr. Dickinson says not to glob them on. Also, because coconut oil is natural, it can increase bacteria and wreak havoc in the vagina when you use too much. Less is more.

Post-Menopausal

Coconut oil is best for most situations. Dr. Dickinson says she recommends coconut oil for women who are out of their fertility years. 

“These ladies are less likely to need to use condoms for pregnancy prevention. The drawback of the condom degrading isn’t there, which coconut oil can do. However, for post-menopausal women who aren’t in a monogamous relationship, we don’t recommend coconut oil because you cannot rely on the condom to prevent STDs,” she says.

Talking to Your OB-GYN

If you’re interested in trying lubricants for additional pleasure during sex, or because of a sexual dysfunction you’re experiencing, Dr. Dickinson reassures it’s a totally normal thing to talk about with your doctor.

“Don’t be worried about what your OB thinks. It’s more common than people realize, and we see patients with vaginal dryness and similar issues all the time. People just don’t talk about it, but it’s nothing taboo for us. We’re more than willing to discuss lubricants with you, help you come up with a solution and be that go-to person to chat about any sensitive issues that come up for you.”