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Sexual lubricants increase STD infections

Category: Chlamydia

The findings of a recent study suggest that individuals who use sexual lubricants may want to seek an STD test, as they have been shown to increase the risk for Chlamydia.

The findings, which were presented at the Microbes 2010 Conference, show that the use of lubricants can damage the tissue of sexual organs, leaving them more vulnerable to infections.

Researchers examined the properties of six of the most popular brands of sexual lubricants and found that they can actually cause more damage.

Lead investigator Charlene Duzzetti said that they also appear to cause inflammation, though the study did not look at this effect in particular. Inflammation can leave sexual organs more vulnerable to HIV infection, the report said.

"What we saw was the gels were actually damaging the epithelium of the rectal and cervical tissue," she said. "We speculate that this [physical damage] leaves one more vulnerable to infection because you are breaking that epithelial barrier."

Chlamydia infections continue to rise, as over 2 million people currently carry the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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