Q. I have been amused reading your columns about sexual lubricants and would like to offer a cheaper alternative. Years ago I found out about Corn Huskers Lotion for this purpose. The ingredients in this hand lotion are quite similar to those found in drug store brands of personal lubricants, but the price is only $3.79 in the grocery store.
A. Some of the moisturizing ingredients in Corn Huskers Lotion include glycerin, guar gum and algin. Glycerin is a key component in many vaginal lubricants such as K-Y, Replens and Astroglide.
A reader reported many years ago that “My wife and I have used Corn Huskers for over 25 years. It’s just the right consistency, very slick, not greasy and stays where you put it.”
People use a variety of slippery substances to facilitate intercourse including olive oil, vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel, Albolene moisturizer and Corn Huskers. There are also many commercial products available in pharmacies. Some people may find one or another of these lubricants irritating, so skin testing prior to use is a good idea.
Q. I have struggled with chronic halitosis and heartburn for many years and doctors have never been able to pinpoint a cause. I have heard this is sometimes associated with the bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori.
I have a doctor’s appointment soon and would like some information to take along. How is that infection treated?
A. Helicobacter pylori has been implicated in a wide range of health problems. This bacterium is responsible for many cases of ulcers, chronic heartburn and gastritis. Scientists have linked its presence to a higher risk of gum disease, bad breath and stomach cancer.
This bug may also make stomach problems worse for people taking aspirin and other arthritis medications. Some research even suggests that stroke and heart disease may be more common among people infected with Helicobacter because this germ triggers inflammation. Getting rid of Helicobacter pylori requires a combination of antibiotics and other drugs. Bismuth, an ingredient in Pepto-Bismol and Tritec, has been found to facilitate this process. We’re sending you our Guide to Digestive Disorders with additional details on effective treatment. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $2 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped, self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. G-3, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Q.I have a suggestion for the woman who wrote to complain that taking Prozac for bad PMS has robbed her of libido. I was given 20 milligrams of Prozac a day when I first went through menopause to help with mood changes. I also found it reduced my interest in sex to nil.
Several months later, with my doctors permission, I lowered the dosage to 10 milligrams per day and now after four years I take it every other day. As soon as the dosage was lowered, I noticed a tremendous return of my sexual appetite, which is now almost back to normal. The woman who wrote should talk to her doctor about trying a lower dosage.
A. Thank you for the reminder that one dose does not fit all. Patients can sometimes avoid side effects by working with their doctors to find the lowest effective dose.