176352 Young women and vaginal lubricants: Implications for sexual health promotion

Monday, October 27, 2008

Amanda E. Tanner, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Greg Zimet, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Michael Reece, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: The use of vaginal lubricants in sexual interactions has been touted as a means to prevent condom breakage and increase effectiveness of disease and pregnancy prevention. Little is known, however, about the acceptability and use of lubricants among young women.

Methodology: Daily diaries were collected and in-depth interviews were conducted with 40 women (18-23 years old; 85% African American; 47.5% mothers) following use of a commercially available vaginal lubricant (VL) during coital events. Content analysis of interview data identified lubrication as an integral factor in VL evaluation.

Results: The daily diaries indicated VL use with 367 of 556 (66.0%) reported coital events, with condoms used at 175 (31.5%) events. The majority reported the VL felt somewhat messy (75.7%), felt very wet during sex (71.5%) and the sex felt very good (82.5%). Qualitatively, most women (n = 25) evaluated the VL as “okay,” seven assessed it positively, five negatively, and three did not use it, with evaluations often based on the “messiness” or lubricating characteristics. Some women appreciated use with condoms as sometimes “it takes a while for your juices to get going.”

Conclusions: While there was individual variability, the data suggest that women generally enjoyed using the VL and have an interest in future use of lubricants. The results have implications for the role of providers in promoting lubricant use with condoms to increase condoms effectiveness for pregnancy and disease prevention as well as sexual comfort and for acceptability of future microbicides that have lubricating qualities.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1. Recognize factors that may facilitate or inhibit young women’s ability to use a vaginal lubricant. 2. Discuss the implications of lubricant use on the sexual and reproductive health of young women. 3. Identify ways in which health care providers and educators can encourage lubricant use for young women.

Keywords: Women's Sexuality, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research with the research team.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.