Homemade Lubes: Benefits and Risks

June 11, 2020
Although they may seem more natural and eco-friendly, the use of homemade lubes can cause allergic reactions, irritation, and, in addition, condom breakage.

Perhaps you’ve thought about using homemade lubes, either because there’s a lubrication problem or because you think it’ll make sex more satisfying. If this is your case, you should first know the benefits and risks of using these types of lubricants.

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Lubricants

Vaginal dryness is a very common problem that affects many women. It can be caused by many things, from infections such as candidiasis, to stress, and it prevents the proper lubrication of the vaginal area.

In any case, the consequence is the same: the sex act isn’t as pleasurable as you’d like. Therefore, experts recommend the use of lubes in order to safely facilitate painless and satisfying sexual encounters.

A woman with vaginal dryness.
Vaginal dryness can affect a woman’s well-being, as well as the couple as a whole, which is why experts recommend the use of lubes to improve sex.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has established a series of criteria regarding the characteristics and requirements that these products must meet in general. Thus, they indicate that a lubricant should be:

  • Compatible with male and female condoms and shouldn’t affect their integrity
  • Long-lasting

The lubricants available on the market meet these and other requirements, meaning they’re considered safe. Now, does the same thing go for homemade lubes?

Homemade lubes

Many women prefer to discard commercial lubes and opt for more affordable, natural, and environmentally friendly lubes, such as:

  • Cooking oil
  • Infusions (chamomile, for example)
  • Aloe vera
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Body creams
  • Saliva
  • Yogurts
  • Eggs

However, you must bear in mind that, although some of them may possibly provide temporary lubrication that allows you to have more pleasant sex, they aren’t without risks.

In addition, you must remember that the vagina is extremely sensitive. Inside the vagina is the vaginal flora, which can easily become unbalanced, causing even more problems. So, you must bear in mind that homemade lubes can affect vaginal health.

You may also want to read: 5 Natural Lubricants for Your Intimate Zone

The risks of using homemade lubes

Moisturizers and lubes aren’t the same

A woman holding a cream.
The composition of moisturizers can seriously affect the skin of the genital area.

Many women decide to opt for moisturizing body creams, as they believe that their texture may favor penetration or sex without discomfort. However, this is a serious mistake.

Indeed, the skin usually quickly absorbs moisturizers. Thus, the lubrication will last for a minimum time, after which irritation may appear. Furthermore, given the chemical composition of this type of cream, it can affect the integrity of a condom, damaging the latex and causing breaks.

They can cause infections

The use of saliva, for example, can make bacteria from the mouth reach the most intimate area if you use it as a lubricant.

Similarly, you should keep in mind that the use of other homemade lubes, such as yogurts, eggs, or cooking oil, may not completely eliminate after sexual intercourse. Indeed, even if you clean yourself after sex, possible remains can cause an infection.

They can cause condom breakage

A person holding a condom.
One of the basic requirements that lubes must meet is that they can’t alter the structure of a condom.

Condoms are normally made from latex. Although this material is really resistant, the use of other products can affect it.

Thus, while the lubes you find on the market ensure the integrity of condoms, we can’t say the same about homemade lubes. For example, the use of cooking oil or body creams can cause latex deterioration and condom breakage.

On the other hand, petroleum jelly, well-known and used as a lubricant, has numerous risks. It can favor condom breakage and can even cause bacterial vaginosis.

They can affect sperm

In general, commercial lubes can affect sperm, so they aren’t usually recommended for couples who are trying to have children. Indeed, their composition and chemical characteristics (pH, osmotic concentration) can become toxic to sperm.

Fortunately, specific lubes on the market promote the survival and vitality of sperm.

In the case of homemade lubes, you can’t be sure that their composition or chemical characteristics aren’t counterproductive for fertilization. Furthermore, its texture is normally quite thick, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.

Therefore, homemade lubes can hinder fertilization. For this reason, experts don’t recommend them for couples who want to conceive.

This article may interest you: How to Prevent Pain During Sex

Beware of allergic reactions

A woman with vaginal discomfort.
The main risk of homemade lubes is that their safety isn’t assured. Thus, they pose a risk of allergies and irritations.

We indicated above that the vagina is a really sensitive area. In this sense, you must be very careful before applying a homemade or natural remedy in this area. Indeed, some kind of allergic reaction that causes a lot of discomfort and irritation may appear.

For this reason, you should always consult the doctor before applying these types of remedies to such a delicate area.

In short, you may think that homemade lubes are cheaper and more natural than commercial ones at first glance. However, the vagina area is highly sensitive and, by using them, you run the risk of infections, allergic reactions, irritations, and other imbalances. In addition, the risk of condom breakage.

For all these reasons, it’s best to avoid applying products whose adverse effects are unknown for such a delicate and sensitive area. Therefore, it’s always best to opt for scientifically proven products.

  • Anne Z. Steiner et al. “Effect of Vaginal Lubricants on Natural Fertility”, Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Jul; 120(1): 44–51.
  • Steiner, M., Piedrahita, C., Glover, L., Joanis, C., Spruyt, A., & Foldesy, R. (1994). The Impact of Lubricants on Latex Condoms during Vaginal Intercourse. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 5(1), 29–36. https://doi.org/10.1177/095646249400500108
  • Organización Mundial de la Salud, Programa para el uso del condón y los lubricantes, s.f. https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/sti/sex_worker_implementation/swit_4_es.pdf?ua=1