couple in bed

Use of Lubricants During Sex

How often is lube used during sex?

Few studies have explored the frequency of lubricant use and the reasons why some women wish to include them in their sex lives.

A related study was carried out in the USA on a representative sample of women. 65.5% said they had used lubricant in the past, while 20% said they had used lubricant in the past month. Regardless of age, most women reported using it during intercourse more than during masturbation. They also reported that their reasons for using the lubricant are to increase their pleasure, to make the experience more enjoyable, and to reduce pain or discomfort.

Previous research has shown that women who use lubricant believe that the lubrication it provides helps them to orgasm and that the sensation of lubrication stimulates their partner as well. In other words, it seems that the use of lubricant during intercourse is not limited to women who have difficulties with arousal or pain during intercourse.

Are lubricants enough to treat sexual pain?

Lubricant ointment placed on the female genitals is often recommended by doctors when there is difficulty in arousal or dryness and pain during intercourse. The relevant data support that the use of lubricants is more common in women with pain than in women who do not have a problem during intercourse. However, many women do not hurt but use them mainly to increase pleasure. In fact, women without pain are more satisfied with their effectiveness, while women with pain are moderately satisfied. This fact is to be expected since, usually, to effectively treat sexual pain, its cause must also be addressed (it can be, for example, vaginal atrophy during menopause, inflammation, difficulty in arousal due to insufficient stimuli, or psychological causes).

Therefore, when a woman feels pain during intercourse, she should investigate the causes of the problem with a specialist before resorting to the use of lubricants.


Herbenick D, Reece M, Schick V et al. (2014) Women’s use and perceptions of commercial lubricants: prevalence and characteristics in a nationally representative sample of American adults. J Sex Med 11:642-652.


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