Pros: application can last 72 hours; non-staining; odorless; balances pH levels; non-irritating
Let me begin by saying, if you are at all offended by reviews such as these - and yes, this is a review of a vaginal lubricant, then please don't read it and please don't email me or leave comments stating you are offended. You make the choice to continue or to leave at this point.
Honestly this is completely out of character for me. A very personal topic that I can't believe I've chosen to write about. But Rephresh Vaginal Gel is a product that has benefited me from a medical standpoint, that being in conjunction with fertility treatments. I'm hoping that maybe anyone else who is facing the hard road to parenthood will benefit from this review as well.
Let's face it, vaginal dryness can be quite an embarrassing topic to discuss. It's not only personal, but it can be down right frustrating too. For many it comes with age. For others it happens during certain times of the month/cycle during estrogen fluctuations. It can be caused by a host of things from antibiotic use to diabetes or pregnancy and even high emotional or psychological stress. Also, there are a host of other medications which can interfere. And for some like myself, it's just one of the many side effects of certain fertility drugs such as Clomid which can also create a hostile environment to begin with.
My first year journey through fertility treatments was not a good one. The doctor left me on Clomid for a year and didn't bother to offer up any advice. Finally after seeking treatments elsewhere, a doctor advised my husband and I to use Astroglide mainly because that's what they recommended. Finally after searching and learning that Clomid is famous for creating hostile cervical mucus I found Rephresh Vaginal Gel.
First of all, Rephresh is water based, it is not a contraceptive, does not contain a spermicide, and contains no antimicrobial agent. It can be used prior to intercourse which means not interfering in the "moment". Another key factor for me was it contained several of the same ingredients of Astroglide. Rephresh also contains polycarbophil which is a patented bioadhesive polymer used in medical and healthcare products. And unlike other products Rephresh can maintain the vaginal pH in the normal range for up to 72 hours with just 1 application (thus the polycarbophil bioadhesive polymer). Maintaining that normal pH was important too considering the hostile environment Clomid could create.
Now to clarify things, Rephresh was not recommended by any fertility specialist. This is a product that I sought and researched myself and found to be more useful than any other vaginal lubricant on the market.
More Specifics About Rephresh
OK, now if you've had enough it might just be time to turn away because I'm going into a little more detail about the product. However, you can't say I didn't warn you.
As a note, Rephresh Vaginal Gel isn't marketed as a product used to treat infertility. It is found in a cardboard box on the isle with all those other personal lubricants. The box states eliminates vaginal odor and maintains physiologic pH. My main concern in purchasing this product was to balance pH due to Clomid use and to have a water based product.
This product claims that it maintains normal vaginal pH and eliminates vaginal odor for days. The normal vaginal pH of 4.5 or less helps maintain a delicate natural balance which favors normal vaginal flora. It also claims to eliminate odors often from the first dose. Rephresh can be used 2 times a week in the mornings following a bath or shower or as a personal lubricant when vaginal dryness causes discomfort.
Furthermore, Rephresh is safe to use with a condom as it will not alter the effectiveness of it.
purified water USP, glycerin, polycarbophil, carbomer 934P, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, sodium salt.
Rephresh also claims to be non-staining, non-greasy, non-irritating and fragrance free.
The particular 0.7 oz gel tube I'm reviewing comes in a white box with light and dark blue lettering. The box has a lot number and expiration date stamped on the bottom. The tube itself is white and has a plastic twist on/off cap. Inside the box is a clear plastic multiple use syringe as well. Now when I purchased this particular box of Rephresh the individual 4 pack of tubes were not available or else I would have not bothered with the hassle of the one multi-use syringe.
As for filling and using the syringe, here it goes:
1. Remove the cap from the gel tube.
2. Pull end of applicator. Gently squeeze opposite end of tube, pushing the clear gel into barrel of applicator.
3. When the barrel is full, unscrew applicator form tube.
4. Insert the applicator as you would a tampon and press the plunger until it stops. Withdraw the applicator.
5. Wash both parts of the applicator in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Whew, that part is over!
Now, I guess I have to share the experience...
without being too graphic this product worked quite well for me...ummm...us. As a matter of fact it worked so well we did achieve not only 1 pregnancy but 4 of them over the course of time. Unfortunately my pregnancies didn't make it as we had prayed yet still I do give some credit to this product and it helping to create a more "normal balanced environment" which is obviously needed for sperm to survive.
Also, Rephresh lived up to its claim of being non-staining, non-greasy and non-irritating. It doesn't have any kind of scent because it is fragrance free just as it claims. And you don't even know it's there, the gel just sort of sloughs away over time. And yes, it does help with vaginal dryness. Maybe not quite as much as some of the other products on the market, but it does help.
As far as recommending it, absolutely. If you are going through fertility treatments, especially with the drug Clomid, give Rephresh a try at least through 1 cycle. You never know, right?
Even if you are not going through fertility treatments and need a little extra lubrication for whatever reason I would still recommend this product mainly because of convenience and not spoiling the "moment". However Rephresh is more expensive (about $16.00 per box) than KY, Astroglide or any other personal lubricant. It can be found in most drug stores, discount stores and online at drugstore.com, walgreens.com among many other online stores.
You can visit www.lildrugstore.com to read more about this product or to read comments from physicians and other healthcare professionals or you can call 1-877-507-6516.
Thank you for reading =)