Can You Use Lube During Pregnancy? Here's What's Safe & What's Not

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Pregnancy means giving up things like coffee, soft cheeses, and deli meats, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you enjoy, especially sex. But, naturally, you may be cautious with your sexual activity when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your pregnancy and baby. If you have been thinking of using lubricants to get your groove on, you may want to know, can you use lube during pregnancy?

Luckily, some lubricants are perfectly safe to use during pregnancy. Birth and postpartum doula, and founder of Birth Your Own Way, Liza Maltz, tells Romper in an interview that water-based lube is safe to use during pregnancy, but with all the excess pregnancy discharge your body is producing, you may not even need it. But because all women are different, some may feel dryer than others, in which case water-based lubricants should be safe to use.

But when you choose your lube, make sure to check the ingredients. According to Parents, lubricants that contain fragrances, parabens, glycerins or any other additives (that make you feel hot, cold, or tingly) can irritate your already engorged vaginal tissue, and the sugars from flavored lubes can even go on to cause a yeast infection. The website explained that other lubricants, like silicone or oil-based lubes, can mess with the pH balance of your vagina, putting you at a higher risk of infection.

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You may want to steer clear of using other products as lube, even if you’ve used them in the past. Products like body lotion, petroleum jelly, or baby oil, may also increase your risk of vaginal irritation, noted Parents, because they could also contain irritants such as chemical coloring, fragrances, and glycerin. If you are thinking of using natural lubes, like olive oil or vegetable shortening, Parents suggested waiting until after your pregnancy to use them. According to Self, natural oils, like coconut oil, can make it easier for bacteria to stay and grow in your vagina, which could lead to bacterial infections, yeast infections, itching, or strange discharge.

If you are practicing safe sex during your pregnancy, you should stick to a water-based lubricant. Oil-based lubricants can interfere with the latex barriers on condoms, noted Self, which can increase your risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. So if your partner is using a latex condom, you may want to stick to a water-based lube anyway. Safe sex is the best sex, even when you're pregnant.

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Naturally, you may be worried about lubricants reaching or harming your baby, but luckily, they can’t get up that far. According to Baby Center, your cervix is tightly closed during your pregnancy, so there is no risk of it reaching your baby. If you are planning on using lube with sex toys, there is also no need to fret about it reaching your baby or placenta, noted What To Expect, because the mucous plug in your cervix acts as a safety seal for your uterus. You should just avoid penetrating too deeply so it doesn’t cause you any pain.

Whether you are planning a romantic evening in by yourself or with a partner, make sure to talk to your doctor about any sexual activity during pregnancy. Some pregnancy complications may warrant avoiding sex, so it’s important to get the green light from your doctor first. Even when it comes to using lube, even a water-based, safe lube, you should still run it by your doctor, because everyone’s situation is different. Once you get the OK from your doc, go ahead and take some time out to enjoy some sexy, pregnant fun.

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