Doctors reveal if it’s safe to use coconut oil on your vagina

Many people use coconut oil as part of their beauty regimens, and lately it’s become increasingly common for women to use the oil as a vaginal lubricant. But when it comes to the products we use on our vaginas, it’s always better to be safe than sorry — so is it safe to put coconut oil on (or inside) your vagina? We spoke to gynecologists about whether or not it’s actually safe to use coconut oil in or on the vagina.

Dr. Peter Rizk, an OBGYN fertility and women’s health expert for Fairhaven Health, told HelloGiggles that the body doesn’t generally use oils for vaginal hydration.

"Although oils can temporarily relieve vaginal dryness and discomfort, they have to then be cleaned out by the vagina and can actually interfere with vaginal self-cleaning," Rizk explained. "Topically applied oils have been associated with an eight fold increase in vaginal infection."

Michael Krychman, M.D, Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine, has similar concerns.

Krychman noted that although many women find products like coconut oil soothing and helpful in the short-term, they have been linked to severe vaginal infections.

Rizk explained that coconut oil has a significant impact on antimicrobial activity, and its effect on the vaginal micro-biome hasn’t been well-studied to date. (Note to scientists: here’s something to research.)

"We do know that coconut oil decreases water movement across cell membranes. Consistent production of mucus and exfoliation of the vaginal mucosal barrier is important for healthy vaginal physiology," Rizk said. "Unfortunately, we don't know how coating of the mucosa with coconut oil changes water permeability of these tissues, and it may negatively impact normal healthy vaginal function."

Few things are more unpleasant than a vaginal infection — so it seems like a good idea to listen to the experts and keep coconut oil out of your vagina.

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