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Doing MRIs to See Where the Lube Goes

February 26, 2008

I just came across a study in the March issue of the journal “Contraception” entitled “Vaginal distribution of Replens® and K-Y® Jelly using three imaging techniques.” Yes, they really did lube up some women and then do MRIs, gamma scintigraphy, and imaging with a fiberoptic probe at intervals (5 minutes, 20 minutes, etc.) after the lube was inserted. Yes, they checked on the effects of walking around on lube spread, and whether obesity or not having had a baby previously made a difference. No, they did not study what happens to the lube when you apply and then immediately get it on, as I would assume is the normal method of lube use. The article is all “linear spread” and “maximum coverage area.”

You might be wondering, as I did, what was the point of the study. As it turns out, it has a pretty clever purpose – trying to figure out how effective these types of products would be at distributing microbicides as a non-barrier, woman-controlled method for protecting against HIV infection, and was funded by USAID. Sometimes, the studies that seem the weirdest at first glance actually have an interesting purpose. See the microbicides post below for links to more info on this topic.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    February 26, 2008 7:57 am

    Ask and you shall receive…. that study has already been done:
    Pretorius ES, Timbers K, Malamud D, and Barnhart K. Magnetic resonance imaging to determine the distribution of a vaginal gel: before, during, and after both simulated and real intercourse. Contraception 66 (2002) 443-451.

    I was one of the clinical research coordinators involved in conducting this (and similar) research.

  2. February 26, 2008 8:48 am

    Amy, thanks!

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