Women who use lubricant during sex have higher levels of satisfaction and less pain than those who don't, according to a new study.
The finding showed that women using lubricants reported higher ratings of sexual pleasure, and lower rates of negative genital symptoms, such as pain or burning, than those not using lubricant.
More women also reported that water-based lubricant was more effective in reducing negative symptoms than silicone-based lubricant, the report said.
For example, 8.9 percent of women reported discomfort during sex without a lubricant. But for women who used a water-based lubricant, only 3.1 percent reported discomfort. Silicone-based lubricant didn't fare as well 9.7 percent of women who used it experienced discomfort during sex.
Lubricant also reduced entry pain for women, the study said, with 9.4 percent of women experiencing entry pain without lubricant, compared with 4.1 percent of women who used a water-based lubricant. However, 10.6 percent of women who used silicone-based lubricant experienced pain, the study said.
"These findings demonstrate how lubricant can be used during foreplay or sex play with a partner, and incorporated into a couple's sexual experience," study researcher Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University Bloomington, said in a statement.
Researchers randomly assigned 2,453 women ages 18 to 68 to use one of six lubricants for two weeks, and asked them to compare their levels of sexual satisfaction and any negative symptoms they experienced when they used it with when they didn't. Four of the lubricants were water-based and two were silicone-based.
Researchers analyzed the ratings these women gave for more than 10,000 acts of penile-vaginal intercourse and more than 3,000 masturbation experiences over the study period.
Two of the study researchers received funding from Pure Romance, the company that produces two of the lubricants. The study was published in the November issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Pass it on: Lubricant may lessen a woman's pain during sex.