Vaginal Moisturisers: What is Osmolality?
When looking at the product descriptions if you are considering purchasing a vaginal moisturiser you may have read the word osmolality.
What does osmolality mean and why is it important?
I certainly do not wish to take us back to GCSE chemistry but this bit is important so stick with it….osmolality is a measure of the strength and concentration of ingredients (osmoles) in a solution.
The strength and concentration of the ingredients used in YES VM matches the vulnerable tissues of the vagina. YES VM is iso-osmotic to vaginal tissues, this means that it will rehydrate tissues that need it, but will not pull or push water into the tissues, unlike strongly hypo or strongly hyper osmotic moisturisers, so minimising any chance of tissue damage.
YES VM has also been designed so the pH is balanced to match typical vaginal pH (fairly acidic at pH3.7-4.5).
These points are really important for a vaginal moisturiser as it is in contact with sensitive and dry tissues for much longer than an intimate lubricant, so it is even more important that a vaginal moisturiser is designed to release water where needed and to be formulated from ingredients that are gentle.
How does YES VM work?
YES VM lubricates the vaginal vault, the natural hydrocolloids (gums) are bio-adhesive, they gently hold on to the dry walls of the vagina and release water, where needed, rehydrating dry mucosa. When used regularly, YES VM will restore the natural protective acidity of the vagina.
Vaginal Moisturisers’ Ingredients & Osmolality Comparison Table, how does YES VM compare?
So we know that the vaginal moisturisers we use in our intimate areas should be gentle, pH balanced to match a typical vagina and iso-osmotic but how does Yes VM compare to other products?
When would you use a vaginal moisturiser like YES VM?
Approximately 80% of perimenopausal women will experience vaginal dryness due to hormonal changes. This condition can cause discomfort and pain, particularly during sexual intercourse. While there are a wide range of treatments on the market, some contain hormones or chemicals that you may prefer not to use on your delicate tissues.
Many other conditions such as vestibulodynia, vulvodynia or lichen sclerosus can result in extreme dryness and fragility of vaginal mucousal membranes, these painful symptoms and extreme dryness can be relieved with the regular use of a vaginal moisturiser.
What is the difference between a vaginal moisturiser and a lubricant?
This is a common question and in simplest terms an intimate lubricant is used to overcome dryness to aid intercourse by releasing moisture more rapidly whereas an intimate moisturiser would help improving tissue hydration over a longer period, perhaps 1-3 days.
Both YES VM and YES WB are pH matched to typical vaginal pH which means both are ideal for vaginal use but what about osmolality?
The perfect lubricant would be hypo to iso-osmotic, this means it would release water more rapidly, rehydrating tissues and enable intercourse. YES WB is slightly hypo-osmotic, designed to release water more rapidly than YES VM, to instantly rehydrate and lubricate dry tissues to enable intercourse.
The Perfect Vaginal Moisturiser’s osmolality would be iso-osmotic, this means it is identical in water concentration to vaginal tissues and will release water as and when it is needed over extended periods, such as 1-3 days. YES VM is iso-osmotic, designed to release water to rehydrate dry vaginal tissues as needed, over extended periods, such as 1-3 days. YES VM is more of a slow release moisturiser, the rate of moisturising is determined by the degree of vaginal tissue dryness. The drier they are the more water will be released. YES VM puts your body in control of rehydrating herself, perfect when a condition results in prolonged dryness compromising day to day comfort.
Moisturiser (YES VM) or lubricant (YES WB) – which product should I use?
There are always many questions to think about when taking care of your intimate health. The important thing is to discuss any condition with your healthcare professional. We work with YESYESYES because they design and formulate all their products responsibly to support rather than compromise intimate health.
Blog adapted with permission from YESYESYES lubricants