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While coconut oil is known to have moisturizing properties, it’s unclear whether it works well as a personal lubricant. It may also cause skin irritation for some people.

No matter the quality of your sex life, chances are it can be enhanced with a little lubrication.

In a 2015 study, about 30 percent of women reported pain during their most recent sexual encounter. Not only can lube ease some of the vaginal dryness that may cause this discomfort, it can also help increase sensitivity and arousal.

Lube works by decreasing friction in your genitals. This can be helpful if your body doesn’t produce enough lubrication due to aging, medications, or hormones.

While there are many different types of lube specifically designed for this purpose, you may consider coconut oil if you want to try something more natural and free of some of the chemicals found in other products.

It’s also known for its moisturizing properties, making it an especially appealing lubricant. Read on to learn if it’s safe to use coconut oil during sex.

According to a 2014 study, coconut oil is clinically proven for safe and effective use as a moisturizer. Its moisturizing properties may make the product an effective lube and allow for longer-lasting intercourse.

For women going through menopause, coconut oil may be especially helpful. It’s common to experience the following symptoms during menopause that may increase the need for lube:

In particular, vaginal atrophy may be combatted with more frequent sex, so it’s important to deal with any pain associated with sex.

For those with allergies or sensitive skin, choosing a more natural option like coconut oil, with no added chemicals or toxins, can also make for an appealing lubricant.

You may want to look for unrefined coconut oil, as refined oils are more processed. Unrefined coconut oil doesn’t undergo the bleaching process that happens with refined coconut oil.

In spite of these potential benefits, more research is needed to see exactly how using coconut oil as a lube can benefit you or your partner.

There are a few risks associated with the use of coconut oil as lube that you should consider before adding it to your routine.

There aren’t any scientific studies about how coconut oil works as a personal lubricant

Many of the claims touting the use of coconut oil as a personal lubricant have yet to be substantiated, so it’s important to proceed with caution until further research is done.

It may weaken latex condoms

A 1989 study showed that exposing commercial latex condoms to mineral oil for as little as 60 seconds can decrease their efficacy by as much as 90 percent.

If you’re using latex condoms or dental dams, it’s important to stick with water-based or silicone-based lubes to stay on the safe side.

It may increase the risk of vaginal infections

Coconut oil has a high pH, making it alkaline, while the normal pH of the vagina is acidic. These properties can disrupt the natural pH balance of your vagina. This upset can cause yeast infections or other vaginal infections.

If you’re prone to yeast infections, you may want to stay away from using coconut oil as a lube until further research is conducted.

It can cause an allergic reaction

Though rare, coconut oil can cause an allergic reaction. If you’re allergic and ingest coconut oil, it can cause symptoms such as:

It’s also possible to have a topical allergic reaction to coconut oil, which will usually result in more mild symptoms, like a skin rash or blistering.

It can stain your sheets

Like many other oil-based lubes, coconut oil may stain your sheets. If you do experience staining, apply baking soda to the area, and let it sit for an hour or so before washing your sheets.

You may be tempted to reach for coconut oil during intimacy, but more research is needed to determine how safe it really is.

In the meantime, there are plenty of tried-and-tested lubes you may consider. See our shopping guide here.