Q&A: Lube for Pregnancy & Diabetes

Hello Ladies,

I have a few questions about lube I hope you can help me with: 

1. What kind of lubricant should I use during pregnancy? And why would some lubricants be suitable and others not?

2. Lubricants for people with diabetes – I’ve heard some lubricants contain sugar? 

3. Can sex toys cause cystitis? What are the safest practices for people affected by this condition?

Can you help me out?


(Names Have Been Changed for the Purposes of Anonymity)

Hi Laura,

Many thanks for your email – these are all excellent questions and we think a lot of people will be interested in finding out more about lubes.

Generally, use of lubricants is not harmful to either parent or child, and we have a selection of good waterbased lubes to choose from.. During some stages of pregnancy, lubricant can also help enhance pleasure and alleviate any dryness caused by over-active hormones. (Although many women find they do not need lube during pregnancy as the body will naturally produce a lot of extra lubrication.)

Lube enhances every kind of sex and keeps the pleasure going on ...and on

Products with mild formulations are much better for the skin as pregnancy can cause hypersensitivity to certain ingredients that may have previously caused no problem.

Lubes with glycerine/sugars, parabens and fragrances should be avoided. These ingredients can be irritating at the best of times, but as pregnant women are more prone to yeast infections and UTI’s, we recommend giving them a (wide) berth.

Silicone-based lubricants are not generally recommended as they are not water soluble, and could cause bacteria to collect inside the vagina and, over time, cause infections.

Also avoid lubricants with additives  designed to enhance pleasure, like warming or tingling lubes – they may cause unpleasant side effects when/if your vagina is extra sensitive.

Products containing L-arginine, Lidocane, Capsicum and Menthol are not advised for use during pregnancy. This is because they could cause irritation to extra-sensitive pregnant skin and there is not enough research into the effects of topical use of these ingredients on expecting mothers. Using these products could carry possible health risks to both mother and baby. It is always best for mum-to-be to get advice from their GP about these ingredients.

List of lubes suitable during pregnancy:


Vegan-Friendly Lubes

sliquid vegan organic lubeFor a product to be classified as vegan, it needs to not contain any ingredients derived from animals or from animal by-products. They must be safe to ingest, contain no hormones and not be tested on animals. Currently, the products we stock that are Vegan-friendly (no animal products, synthetic alternatives and vegetable glycerine) are as follows:


Lubes Suitable for People with Diabetes

When it comes to diabetes some flavoured lubes do contain sugar, so it’s best to avoid those for oral sex. Glycerin, which is a common ingredient in many lubricants, is a form of sugar but not one that will be processed by your body or raise your bloody sugar. Still, diabetes can make you more prone to cystitis because it raises the sugar levels of your urine making a happy breeding ground for bacteria – so you might want to avoid putting any kind of sugar in your vagina as it could increase your chances of getting yeast infections.

Lube and Cystitis

Cystitis is also known as the “honeymoon disease” – it is very common to experience an unpleasant bout  of cystitis after an intense sex session, especially if there hasn’t been any sexual activity for a while. The friction of sex can be a little too much for the sensitive urethra, and bacteria may make their way into the bladder. Make sure to always go for a pee after sex, this will help keep urethra and bladder as happy as can be.

Try positions that cause little or no friction on the urethra, and use a good lube to ensure no unnecessary rubbing of a sensitive area.

Sh! Sex Toy Cleaner £5

As far as avoiding cystitis in general goes, the important thing is to clean your toys. You can use something like Sh! toy cleaner to make the process of cleaning your favourite toys easy peasy – spritz it on, rinse off and leave your toy to air dry (it’s better to let your toys air dry as towels or tissues can leave behind tiny particles). Or, use an antibacterial hand soap and warm water but be careful with toys that aren’t waterproof.

Sh! own brand dildo’s can also be sterilised by boiling them in a pan for three minutes (just remember to remove the vibrating bullet, if you have a vibrating dildo) or putting them through the dishwasher.  Then store them somewhere clean and fluff-free.

Avoid swapping toys between partners without cleaning in between (or cover with condoms for easy clean-up mid session), and never go from back to front without washing your vibe/dildo in-between. The anus is full of bacteria that you won’t want in your vagina – this is often an excellent way of inadvertently giving oneself an infection.

Also, as an added bonus to your questions, we’d like to add some information about pregnancy and massage oils.

We all agree massages are lovely, but when it comes to products created for body massage for pregnant women it is very important that anything containing essential oils is not used. The reason for this is that some compounds in certain essential oils actually have hormone-like behaviours (because of their molecular structure). Another risk is that some have an emmenagogue (em·men·a·gogue) action when taken orally or applied onto the body (these are herbs that stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus). They are traditionally used to help to promote and regulate menstrual flow (periods), and so should be avoided during pregnancy.

Use of essential oils, ultimately, can cause birth defects or can start premature labour (intrauterine contractions) resulting in miscarriage.

Massage Candle

Frequent use of almond oil in pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of premature birth. Almond oil is the main component of many massage oils as it is a basic carrier oil for other essential oils.

The range Earthly Body massage candles are safe for use when pregnant – AND they are vegan-friendly too!

Hope that helps as a comprehensive guide to health and lube!

If you have any questions about health, toys, sex or relationships email us at


Team Sh! xx






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