200248 How and why women use lubricants during sexual activity

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kristen Jozkowski, MS , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Devon Hensel, PhD , Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Michael Reece, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Background: The use of lubricants during sexual activity has been recommended as a strategy to reduce the likelihood of vaginal tearing that can increase risk for HIV and other STI. To date, no prospective reports have described, in any detailed way, how women use lubricants during sexual activity, why they use them, and how they feel about them.

Methods: Women (n = 2,453) enrolled in a prospective daily diary study, providing event-level reports describing their use of water-based or silicone-based lubricants during sexual activity. Analyses included descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: Participants were primarily heterosexual (85.6%) and married (56.4%), with a mean age of 32.5 years. When applying lubricant, 58.4% of events involved application to the woman's genitals by their sexual partner, 54.7% involved women applying lubricant to their own or their partner's fingers, and 53.4% involved women applying lubricant directly on their partner's genitals. Most frequently reported reasons for lubricant use included the desire to reduce the risk of tearing (22%) and to make sex more comfortable (21.8%). Women strongly endorsed the notion that lubricant use improved the sexual experience; in over 70% of events women indicated that lubricant use made sex feel very pleasurable and more comfortable (65.5%).

Conclusions: These insights into women's use of lubricants can be helpful to medical and other public health professionals who routinely make recommendations to women about ways to incorporate products into their sexual activities.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will: •Be able to list the reasons women use lubricant, how lubricant is used and how women feel about lubricant use during sexuality activity. •Be able to utilize knowledge regarding lubricant behaviors to make more accurate medical and public health recommendations to women using lubricant during sexuality activity.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have earned my Masters degree in Applied Health Science and am currently working toward my PhD in Health Behavior. During my graduate school career, I have been involved with sexual health related research. I have been involved with this particular study from the data recruitment phase through analyzing the data and drawing conclusions. I am familiar with the data and methodology of this study as well as the background.
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.

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