BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new study by sexual health researchers at Indiana University found that women who used lubricant during sex reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction and pleasure.
The study, involving 2,453 women, is the largest systematic study of this kind, despite the widespread commercial availability of lubricant and the gaps in knowledge concerning its role in alleviating pain or contributing to other health issues.
"In spite of the widespread availability of lubricants in stores and on the Internet, it is striking how little research addresses basic questions of how personal lubricants contribute to the sexual experience," said Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. "These data clearly show that use of the lubricants in our study was associated with higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction and low rates of genital symptoms."
While these findings, reported in the November issue of the "Journal of Sexual Medicine," involve the use of water-based and silicone-based lubricant, researchers also found that study participants reported fewer genital symptoms -- and, in particular, fewer reports of genital pain -- when they used a water-based lubricant.
Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and co-author of the study, said public health professionals have long recommended the use of lubricants as an important safer sex tool, particularly when used with latex condoms.
"These findings help us to reinforce to sexually active individuals that not only are lubricants important to safer sex but that they also contribute to the overall quality of one's sexual experiences," he said.
Here are some of the findings:
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