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Can using lube cause a yeast infection?

Vaginal yeast infections are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they are also incredibly common. In fact, three out of four women will experience a yeast infection  at some point in their lifetime [1].

What can cause a yeast infection?

Yeast infections are caused by a range of factors and can strike at any time. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help prevent yeast infections and plenty of ways to treat them.

The vagina is incredibly sensitive and using certain products can cause a yeast infection, but can lube cause a yeast infection?

What is a yeast infection?

Also known as vaginal candidiasis, a vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge, and itching of the vagina and vulva [2].

Symptoms of yeast infections are wide ranging but some that you should look out for include:

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva
  • A burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Swelling of the vulva
  • Vaginal pain
  • Vaginal rash.

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of candida bacteria in the vagina. Factors that can cause a yeast infection include [3]:

  • Antibiotics
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Weak immune system
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Stress

Can lube cause yeast infections?

Using certain lubricants can trigger yeast infections.

A study conducted by UCLA in California has indicated that the use of certain lubes can be linked to an increased risk of developing a yeast infection.

The two-year study, which involved 141 sexually active women aged between 18 and 65, revealed that their chances of contracting bacterial vaginosis increased by 22%. Those using oils inside the vagina had a 32% increased risk for yeast infection [4].

It is thought that some products change the delicate balance of vaginal flora and acidity in a healthy vagina. Any changes in that balance, whether it's due to irritating lubricants or otherwise, can trigger an infection.

Do water-based or flavoured lube cause yeast infections?

Flavoured lubes can cause yeast infections, so you should avoid them if you are prone to infections [5]. These types of lubricants contain high sugar levels to make the flavour,  the sugar feeds the bacteria naturally found in the vagina, encouraging the growth of yeast.

Water-based lubricants containing glycerin are also linked to an increased risk of developing a yeast infection [6]. Why? Glycerin is similar to glucose sugar, which creates a breeding ground for yeast.

What is the best lube to use that won’t cause yeast infections?

If you’re looking for a lube that won’t cause a yeast infection, make sure you avoid the following ingredients [7]:


As discussed above, glycerin creates the perfect environment for yeast to grow in the vagina.


If you spot any ingredient ending in ‘acetate’, it means the lubricant contains alcohol. You should avoid this at all costs – alcohol is naturally drying and can be irritating to delicate skin.

Propylene Glycol

This is often used a preservative in lubricants but can cause irritation.

If you want to avoid yeast infections, your best bet is to stick with glycerin free water-based lube, avoid fragranced and oil-based products, even if they are natural.

Glycerin free water-based lubes offer a whole host of benefits, including enhanced sexual pleasure, better PH balance for the vagina, no smell, no taste, and no stickiness. They  rapidly relieve dryness and discomfort.

Remember, if you do find that you keep getting yeast infections, you should consult your doctor who will prescribe you medication if needed!

Menopausal woman researching yeast infection