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Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013

Body-Safe Vaginal Suppositories: Do They Exist?

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Do you have any information about vaginal suppositories that aren't made with yucky, unsafe ingredients? I've thought suppositories might be a good way to get the lube where it needs to go. Or would you suggest a "lube launcher?"

Vaginal suppositories are small pellets that dissolve when inserted into the vagina. They are commonly used as a delivery system for vaginal moisturizers, spermicide, hormones and medication to treat yeast infections.

I haven’t seen any suppositories designed for use as a sexual lubricant. I think there is a difference between products that are marketed as “vaginal moisturizers” and those that are marketed as “lubricants.” Moisturizers are meant to be used regularly (like you might use a hand cream) to prevent dryness and irritation. Lubricants are meant to be used during sex to reduce friction and increase pleasurable sensations.

Many suppositories that are designated as vaginal moisturizers do contain ingredients that I don’t recommend in lubricants, such as glycerin (which may cause yeast infections in some women) and oils (which may cause bacterial growth in some women). Even suppositories marketed as “natural” may contain these ingredients. This doesn’t mean that you should stop using them if they’re working for you and not causing any problems—some people find that glycerin and oils do not irritate them at all.  But that does mean that there aren’t any suppositories that I’m aware of that I would currently recommend.

If you’re looking for a convenient way to get lubricant inside the vagina (or inside the anus, for that matter), “lube launchers” can be used with any type of lubricant you desire, so I do think that they’re a safer choice than suppositories for people with sensitivities. “Lube launchers” are basically plastic syringe-like devices that you can insert into a bottle of lubricant, draw up the plunger to pull lube into the device, insert into the bodily orifice of your choice and then depress the plunger to place lube right where you want it. You can use them with a lube that you already know works well with your body and you can wash and reuse them for added environmental friendliness.

If anyone is aware of moisturizing suppositories that do not contain glycerin or oils, please let me know! Just because I haven’t heard of it yet does not mean it doesn’t exist out in the wild.

Laura Anne Stuart owns the
Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than fifteen years. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.
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