What not to use in the bedroom

A new study finds that women who use petroleum jelly such as Vaseline vaginally can put themselves at risk for a common infection called bacterial vaginosis.

Prior studies have already linked douching with a host of ill effects, including bacterial vaginosis, but not much research has been done on how petroleum jelly affects female sexual organs.

Lead researcher Dr. Joelle Brown of the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleagues recruited 141 women in the study, with half of the women saying they had used some type of sexual lubricant, petroleum jelly, or baby oil vaginally in the past month.

When the researchers tested the women for infections, they found that those who'd used petroleum jelly in the past month were more than twice as likely as non-users to have bacterial vaginosis.

While the illness doesn’t cause long-term problems, it can be uncomfortable, and worse puts a woman at greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Your best bet: reach for water soluble products designed specifically as a vaginal lubricant, which are both safer and more cosmetically pleasing.