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Coconut Oil for Vaginal Dryness Poses Problem for Sex

Coconut oil helps ease vaginal dryness, but it should not be used with latex condoms.

Q. I have had terrible trouble with vaginal dryness. The Vagifem estrogen tablets my doctor prescribed cause yeast infections that I have been fighting off for nearly a year. He then suggested I try coconut oil instead for the dryness.

That works, but he did not mention that coconut oil is not compatible with latex condoms. I read that on your site. So what’s a girl to do? Does that mean no sex ever? I have herpes, so my partner must use a condom for protection.

A. Coconut or olive oil can be helpful as personal lubricants, but they should not be used with latex because they can make it deteriorate quickly. This could lead to condom failure. A polyurethane condom would be a safer choice than latex when using oil for vaginal dryness, but you need to keep in mind that condoms are not a perfect protection against herpes transmission. Regular use of an antiviral medication such as acyclovir, famciclovir or valaciclovir may provide some additional protection for an uninfected partner.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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