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Vaginal dryness impacts roughly 13 to 31 percent of vagina owners. It can strike at any time, but some people are more likely to have vaginal dryness than others — 50 percent of postmenopausal individuals and 63 percent of those treated for breast cancer report vaginal dryness.
A range of factors may cause vaginal dryness. These
Vaginal dryness can cause discomfort, itching, and burning, especially during sex. However, vaginal moisturizers and lubricants from companies like Replens can ease the symptoms.
Here’s a closer look at Replens products to help you decide if they could help with symptoms of vaginal dryness.
- estrogen-free, making the products suitable for people who can’t use hormone therapies
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance after clinical tests, and some doctors recommend the products
- provide immediate relief
- fragrance-free and free from well-known chemical irritants
- can be used safely with most types of condoms
- potential side effects, such as vaginal bleeding, unusual thick white or brown discharge, burning, itching, and abdominal cramping
- may degrade silicone and Cyberskin sex toys (but should work fine with those made from other materials, like rubber and glass)
Replens is a company specializing in products to combat vaginal dryness. It’s one of several companies overseen by Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
Founded in 1846 and headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. is the parent company behind many leading personal and home care brands, including Trojan, Nair, First Response, Arm & Hammer, and OxiClean.
Replens products are for any person who experiences vaginal dryness.
Since its products are free of estrogen and other hormones, they may suit
- pregnant people
- individuals with undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- those with diagnosed or suspected breast or endometrial cancer
- people with liver disease and abnormal liver function tests
- anyone with a recent blood clot or heart attack
- people with porphyria cutanea tarda
Replens products often help with vaginal dryness. They contain glycerin and polycarbophil, which are effective moisturizing ingredients that
However, the products garner mixed reviews. Some users say the products lubricate their vaginas and allow them to have comfortable penetrative sex. However, there are also some negative reviews online.
Common complaints include:
- unusual white or brown discharge
- stinging or burning sensations on application
- abdominal cramps
- vaginal bleeding
- redness at the application site
- yeast infections
It’s worth noting that few people say Replens left their vaginas feeling dry. However, others found the side effects they experienced too painful to continue using the product.
Some suggest that adverse side effects may subside once the vagina sheds older, dry tissue.
- Replens lubricant and gel are made for external use. Place a little of the product on your finger and apply it to your genitals. You should use the gel daily and the lubricant before sex.
- The long lasting moisturizer is made for internal use. The applicator, sold with the product, can help you apply it inside your vagina.
- Most people use the moisturizer every 3 days, but you may use it daily or less often, depending on the severity of your dryness.
Replens products get mixed reviews.
However, other websites report more negative experiences.
Additionally, there’s a 2014 FDA report describing a case of a kidney infection possibly related to Replens use.
There are three products in the Replens range.
- Use: This gel is meant to supplement the body’s natural lubrication and reduce vaginal irritation. It can relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness.
- Who it’s best for: People experiencing discomfort due to vaginal dryness. The gel can help to make daily activities like sex, walking, prolonged sitting, or exercise more comfortable.
- How to use: Apply a fingertip amount of gel to the external vaginal area.
- Duration: The brand recommends applying the gel externally daily or as needed for continuous comfort and relief.
- Key ingredients: It contains moisturizing ingredients, including vitamin E, an essential nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties, and pro-vitamin B5, one of the eight B vitamins that can help with skin, hair, and eyes. Other ingredients include glycerin and mineral oil, which are common additives in skin care products that can help relieve dryness.
- Use: To provide continuous relief from vaginal dryness by supplementing the body’s natural lubrication and reducing irritation. The moisturizer coats the vaginal lining cells to provide relief and then delivers continuous moisture absorbed by the cells. As a result, dead vaginal cells shed and the tissue is left feeling moisturized.
- Who it’s best for: People experiencing discomfort due to vaginal dryness and are looking for a longer lasting moisturizing alternative to the external comfort gel, since this product can last for up to 3 days.
- How to use: Apply the moisturizer directly from the sealed applicator into the vagina. If you want to use it before intercourse, you should apply it 2 hours before.
- Duration: You can use it any time of day, but the company recommends using it on a regular schedule every 3 days (not just before intercourse). However, it’s safe to use more or less frequently.
- Key ingredients: The active ingredient in the moisturizer is polycarbophil, a bioadhesive gel that attaches to the vaginal wall to promote water absorption. The long lasting moisturizer also contains glycerin for relief from vaginal dryness.
- Use: Used to lubricate the vagina for more pleasurable and pain-free sex. This silicone-based lubricant complements the Replens moisturizing products, but it’s not a treatment for vaginal dryness.
- Who it’s best for: Those who want a silicone lubricant that moisturizes and lubricates to enhance the ease and comfort of sexual activity. Like the other Replens products, this formula is estrogen-free. It’s also compatible with natural rubber latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms. However, it’s not recommended for use with silicone sex toys.
- How to use: Apply a small amount of the product where additional lubrication is desired before or during sex.
- Duration: You should apply it before sexual activity to reduce friction and increase pleasure.
- Key ingredients: The active ingredient in the moisturizer is polycarbophil, along with other ingredients including glycerin and mineral oil.
All Replens products contain polycarbophil, a bioadhesive. It helps the ingredients bond to cells to keep them moisturized for longer.
In addition, the Replens Moisture Restore External Comfort Gel has the following active ingredients:
- vitamin E to nourish cells and protect them from free-radical damage
- pro-vitamin B5 to form a barrier on the skin’s surface that protects cells and locks in moisture, helping to reduce irritation and itching, both common side effects of vaginal dryness
The Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer contains glycerin, a common ingredient in commercial moisturizers. Glycerin helps moisturize and promote long lasting hydration. It may leave the vagina feeling moist for up to 3 days.
Replens Silky Smooth Lubricant is a silicone-based lubricant. It provides longer lasting moisture than a water-based lubricant. In addition, it doesn’t contain preservatives, parabens, or petrochemicals, so it’s less likely to cause topical irritations.
Replens aims to provide safe, risk-free products by avoiding estrogen, preservatives, parabens, and petrochemicals.
While the products are free of these key ingredients, there’s still a risk of irritation and side effects. For example, some users have reported:
- pain at the application site
If your skin is sensitive, it’s always best to test the product on a small patch of skin first. Then, if you notice any adverse effects, you should discuss them with your doctor before continuing with the products.
You can safely use the Replens lubricant with condoms made from natural rubber latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane. However, the silicone in the lubricant can degrade silicone sex toys and make them more porous, encouraging bacterial growth.
Replens is one of several brands dedicated to helping vagina owners overcome dryness and associated symptoms. Here’s how this brand compares to some of its competitors:
|Ingredients||– chemical-free |
– contains vitamin E
– certified organic
– pH neutral, meaning they won’t mess with the vagina’s natural pH level
– contains vitamin E
|Customer ratings and reviews||mixed, but generally positive ratings on websites like Amazon and Walmart||reviewers note that the brand’s moisturizing gel does a great job of mimicking natural vaginal lubrication||reviewers prefer Replens over Carlson’s suppositories, which can feel more invasive than a lotion|
|Possible side effects and considerations||– yeast infections|
– thick or chunky discharge
|irritation at the spot of application||takes longer to work|
Replens products are available over the counter.
You can find them at most drug and discount stores, smaller regional retailers, and online outlets, such as:
Many people experience vaginal dryness from time to time, but it’s usually a temporary condition.
A vaginal moisturizer or lubricant can ease the symptoms and reduce damage until the body restores its natural lubrication. However, you should see your doctor if the problem persists or causes troubling side effects.
Contact a doctor if:
- you experience vaginal dryness for more than a week
- your vagina has severe itching
- your vagina is very swollen for an extended period
- you experience pain during sex
- you bleed after sex
Your doctor can assess your situation and diagnose any underlying causes of the problem. They may encourage you to continue using Replens or suggest other treatment options.
Does Replens have any side effects?
Some users have reported vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and yeast infections after using Replens products. If you experience unwanted side effects from Replens products, stop using the product and consult your doctor.
How long does it take Replens to work?
Replens products are made to work instantly. Some may need to use the moisturizer every 3 days and the external gel once daily to achieve optimal results.
Can you use Replens every day?
Replens is safe to use daily. For most, Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer should be used every 3 days for best results. However, it can be used more or less frequently, as needed.
Can you use Replens before a Pap smear?
Replens recommends stopping the use of its products 4 days before a Pap smear to avoid affecting the test. You can resume regular use immediately after your Pap smear.
Can you use Replens during your period?
You can safely use Replens during your period, but many people choose not to. Some people find that Replens creates an unusual discharge at this time.
Other individuals find menstruation sufficiently lubricates their vagina and reduces any symptoms of dryness.
If you choose not to use Replens during your period, you can resume it again once your flow stops.
Can Replens lubricant stain sheets?
Since it’s silicone-based, the Replens lubricant can stain sheets more than water-soluble, water-based lubricants.
If you get any on your sheets, you can reduce the chance of stains setting in by washing them immediately. Use a mild laundry detergent and choose a warm water washing machine cycle to lift stains.
You may also prefer to have sex on a towel to protect more expensive sheets.
Can you use Replens lubricant when pregnant or trying to conceive?
You should choose a different sperm-safe lubricant while pregnant or trying to conceive.
While Replens doesn’t contain a spermicide, some common lubricant ingredients can harm sperm.
After passing clinical trials and earning the approval of the FDA and doctors, Replens is a great choice for many people experiencing vaginal dryness.
The moisturizers and lubricants get positive reviews, and they’re readily available at leading pharmacies, retail outlets, and online stores without a prescription.
While Replens can help many people lessen symptoms of vaginal dryness, it’s worth noting that some users experience uncomfortable side effects. Try these products yourself to find out if they’re beneficial.
Zia Sherrell is a health copywriter and digital health journalist with over a decade of experience covering diverse topics from public health to medical cannabis, nutrition, and biomedical science. Her mission is to empower and educate people by bringing health matters to life with engaging, evidence-based writing.