The outcomes of two scientific tests had been released this year (in the Overseas Microbicides Conference) which, some may think, phone into question the security of employing lubricants for anal intercourse. Exactly what do these results reveal? Could be the proof sufficient to alter our safer intercourse texting? We do not think therefore — check out the explanation for the reason we do not think our texting about lube usage for anal intercourse should change.
Lubes and Tissue Harm
For just one for the studies, scientists analyzed various lubricants (lubes) in a lab. They unearthed that most of the lubes had greater levels of dissolved salts and sugars than ordinarily present in a cellular. This is why, a few of the lubes possessed an effect that is toxic the anal tissue examined in a test pipe within the lab. This caused anal tissues to be stripped away. 1 If these items have actually the effect that is same utilized in individuals, the damaged anal tissue might be more in danger of HIV along with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than it currently is.
The researchers tested six lubes that are being sold over-the-counter. Five had been water-based lubes (Astroglide, Elbow Grease, ID Glide, KY Jelly and Prй genital lubricant) and another had been silicone-based (damp Platinum).
The real properties regarding the lubes had been calculated and four (Astroglide, Elbow Grease, ID Glide and Jelly that is KY found to draw water from the cells lining the anus and in to the anus it self, damaging the cells. Whenever these four lubes had been tested on anal muscle in a test pipe, they certainly were discovered to remove cells within the external layer of anal muscle. Two associated with the lubes, Prй and damp Platinum, caused damage that is relatively little.
Lubes and Intimately Sent Infections
The 2nd research discovered that people whom reported utilizing lubes for receptive rectal intercourse in the last had been around three times almost certainly going to have rectal STI if they had been tested through the research compared to those whom failed to report utilizing a lube. This increased risk for the STI had been current whether or not a condom had been used. 2
Between October 2006 and December 2008, 879 women and men from the rectal microbicide research effort had been surveyed about their intimate behavior and had been tested for 2 anal STIs (gonorrhea and chlamydia). Somewhat not even half for the research individuals (421) reported having receptive anal sex in the previous 12 months. Associated with the 229 males and 192 ladies who had had receptive rectal intercourse, intimate behavior interviews and anal tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea had been readily available for 302 among these research individuals. Through this team, about three-quarters (230) stated that they had used a lube the final time they’d rectal intercourse. Of these, 67% utilized a lube that is water-based 28% utilized a silicon-based lube, 17% utilized how to order a wife an oil-based lube ( e.g., Crisco), and 6% used numbing lubes. These numbers total up to a lot more than 100% because some people utilized one or more variety of lube.
Anal chlamydia or gonorrhea had been present in 5.6% of females and 10.2% of males. About one out of nine (11.7%) associated with individuals who used lube the final time they had anal intercourse had an anal STI, compared to about one in 22 (4.5%) associated with the individuals that has perhaps not utilized lube. Over two-thirds (68%) of men and women clinically determined to have an anal STI had utilized a lube in comparison to one-third (32%) that has perhaps perhaps perhaps not utilized a lube. Once the researchers looked over other facets such as for instance condom usage, quantity of lovers, how many times somebody had intercourse, their sex, or HIV status, the analysis indicated that the application of some lubes for rectal intercourse may boost the threat of getting A sti that is rectal by 3 times.
What Exactly Performs This Suggest?
Definitive conclusions can’t be made centered on these studies alone. The researchers looked at the effects of lube in a test tube in the first study. This doesn’t inform us in regards to the aftereffect of utilizing lube during sexual intercourse. Regardless if lubes could harm tissue that is anal it might be that their usage results much more good than harm. Making use of a lube while having sex helps it be more unlikely that the condom will break or slip down. This alone decreases the possibility of HIV or STI transmission. Even though condoms aren’t utilized, lube use may reduce upheaval to anal tissues, bringing down the danger for disease with HIV or any other STI. It is impossible for people to understand with this research whether utilizing lube during anal intercourse, with or with no condom, wil dramatically reduce or increase harm to anal muscle or influence the danger for disease with HIV or any other STI.
The study that is second a correlation amongst the usage of lubes together with transmission of STIs. But, correlation and causality are a couple of various things: an analytical correlation doesn’t show a relationship that is causal. The scientists attempted to eliminate other causal facets. But, this sort of analysis cannot rule out all prospective factors that are causal. As an example, individuals who utilize lubes may be much more very likely to transfer STIs amongst the penis and anus along with their hands once they use lube before having anal intercourse. Also, this research only investigated the connection between lubes and specific STIs (gonorrhea and chlamydia). This research would not view HIV transmission so we can’t draw conclusions concerning the aftereffects of lube on HIV transmission.
There isn’t evidence that is sufficient those two studies to express without a doubt (a) simply how much harm lubes can perform to your rectal muscle whenever utilized for rectal intercourse and (b) whether lube usage can impact the possibility of getting HIV or any other STI. More research should be achieved to see which lubes are safe, which lubes could harm tissue that is rectal if some lubes are far more harmful than the others, and exactly exactly exactly what the consequences of this possible harm on HIV and STI transmission can be.
Definitely, individuals must not call it quits lubes that are using combination with condoms, which offer optimal security during anal intercourse.
Zak Knowles is CATIE’s manager of site content. Before arriving at CATIE he worked being an HIV counsellor at straight forward Clinic, a intimate wellness clinic in downtown Toronto. Zak happens to be coping with HIV for two decades.