Thursday, July 28, 2011

K-Y Jelly Brand Warming Gel: WARNING

Warning- Mature Content

I debated for awhile now about whether or not to write about K-Y Jelly Warming Gel and its' counterparts such as "Intense" "Yours and Mine" and "Tingling" since it relates to women and men on a very personal level and the intimacy they share.

However, bottom line it is also a personal care product and I decided it was important to let other women know my experience, along with others that have shared through scattered reviews and complaints over the internet on their own issues after using these products.

Although the article will touch on a level of a mature intimate subject matter, I have done my best to provide the information in a manner that is sensitive to those reading it and for any young ladies who may stumble upon the article.

Re-Igniting That Spark

As we become comfortable with our partners and have been with them for many moons now, sometimes we think of ways to spice things up between the sheets. No matter our sexual persuasion and the things we look for to create and play around with behind closed doors, sometimes new ideas can bring about a whole set of problems we could never have imagined.

K-Y Jelly has been a trusted brand for decades and has been used by doctors for years in the exam rooms, especially during those lovely pelvic exams we all enjoy doing annually.

Recently however, basically in the last 10 years or so, K-Y Brand decided to create some innovative jellies that are designed to improve intimacy, create better stimulation, allowing the main event of climax to go to incredible new heights.

First one on the market was the K-Y Warming Gel and the one that this article is mainly about, since this was my first experience with being intrigued by a gel that claims to warm things up, so no more freezing touch. I am all for that, especially on those chilly winter days.

It was quite a few years back that I introduced the Warming Gel into our shared intimacy, and for the most part, the sensation was benign except for the warmth it did generate upon contact. My initial reaction was satisfaction since I no longer had to endure that first chilly response which typically follows when first applied.

The Aftermath

Within a couple of days following, I thought I had contracted honeymoon cystitis which I had suffered from in the past. Not having a bout of it though for many years and always taking care to prevent it, I was surprised that I now was having another symptomatic occurrence. The burning and stinging and a constant urge to relieve myself was overwhelming.

I immediately went to my urologist to start my next bout with antibiotics, only to learn I did not have cystitis. No bacteria, so now what?

I suffered with this for a few more days trying to flush my system, since the urologist felt I may have a bladder stone, again another thing I suffered from before. I even had a CT scan done, but nope, no bladder stone. The urge to "go" continued for another week, even though the burning and stinging had subsided. I would have to describe the feeling at this point as what some women complaints are in relation to "over active bladder syndrome." It was endless!

I asked the doctor to calm down my bladder with the medication that controls the spasms the bladder goes through causing the urgent need to go. He refused to do that without performing a Cystoscopy to insure I wasn't dealing with bladder cancer or something else. This is essentially inserting a small camera into the urethra up into the bladder to take a looksie.

Sounds simple enough doesn't it?...... but let me tell you, it was the most painful, horrendous procedure I have ever endured in my life.....a whole new meaning to pain and suffering. I practically launched from the table. The procedure was over in less than a minute but the aftermath following for several days was akin to a severe cystitis due to trauma to the urethra, a burning pain bringing tears to my eyes, and something I had never experienced before. Pain medication was prescribed until the discomfort subsided.

So I got the all clear there, and since he could not explain why my bladder was having spasms or feeling of urgency, he chocked it up to "all in my head" so to speak, since there was nothing physical he could see. Never once inquiring about anything new being added to my diet or other. Even when it is a known fact that citric juices can have a similar reaction on the bladder, causing irritation for some people, and is a reason why they cannot consume them. But since I have drank these juices for years, I felt this wasn't my problem either.

Second Opinion Time And Much Needed Help

After enduring frustration and discomfort and the tests and spasms for close to a month, and after some research on the internet, I finally went and saw my GP. Once she saw all test results showed clear, she agreed with my request for meds and felt comfortable that the drug for bladder spasms was the next course of action, knowing it would not mask some underlying problem. True to form, she took the time to ask questions and be very involved in my life at the initial onset of my symptoms.....women doctors are just better I think!

In researching changes to my routine, it was only when she jogged my memory about what had been different, we came up with the answer to the problem.....K-Y Jelly Warming Gel was the new ingredient that had been added to my non-boring, never a dull moment it seems, life. Other women she had seen had similar experiences with this warming gel. Too bad my urologist didn't know about it. I could have saved tons of time and money if I had only just gone to my GP in the first place.

She prescribed Detrol LA and within 30 minutes the spasms subsided. She gave me enough to last a week and told me that if the bladder was reacting to the ingredients in the warming gel, then the medicine would allow the bladder to calm down and the spasms will subside as the bladder goes about the process of healing......oh how right she was.....I had regained my sanity and all was right with the world again. Incredible stuff....only side effect, was dry mouth and I had to make sure I consumed large amounts of water to not become dehydrated or constipated, as these are also a side effect to the drug because women who suffer from the spasms, worry about drinking water in order to avoid the urgency to go.

After all was well again, my doctor advised I stick with Astroglide since she found it to be the safest lubricant on the market. They now offer a version made up all natural ingredients and removed other ingredients one may not be keen on. Plus, they also now provide a warming lotion, but again the list does not indicate the chemistry, so I would keep it simple and steer clear of this one.

Did My Research

On message boards and review boards I soon discovered other women complaining about the lasting pain they experienced after using this version of K-Y Jelly or any other of the formulas designed to increase stimulation. "Tingling" for instance actually includes "mint" in their ingredient profile, along with "Menthyl Lactate" a derivative of menthol. Are you kidding me?....this would be akin to smearing Vicks vapo rub on beforehand, and in my opinion belongs nowhere near our most delicate area.

After a couple thousand dollars later in medical bills, I contacted K-Y Jelly brand to find out what ingredients were used in the product and to inform them of the reaction I sustained, since the list they show on the package consists of benign ingredients of: Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Honey, Methylparaben, Sucralose. These ingredients provide no chemistry to create the warming sensation.

Yet they have a Warning of: If irritation or discomfort occurs, discontinue use and consult a doctor. This product is not a contraceptive and does not contain a spermicide. Keep out of reach of children and away from eyes and ears. Do not use if quality seal on the opening of the bottles are broken or missing.

They advised me that the blend to create the warming sensation is proprietary, so they would not divulge it even though I had a medical reaction to the product.

Needless to say I was outraged, yet they noted my complaint and would pass it along. This was clearly a sidestep due to legal issues and their insurance I am sure.

Private Parts Are Our Most Vulnerable Parts

For many of us, we have experienced cystitis after intimacy with our partner because the friction moves bacteria up the urethra and if not flushed it will travel up to the bladder causing a full blown infection. So now based on this same premise, it is only reasonable to assume that a product we apply externally, would travel the same way....and of course any potentially irritating ingredient.

Who could have imagined, a trusted brand like K-Y, would be so secretive when it came to my health and the injury I suffered in the interim of trying to discover what was wrong with me.

In an area that contains a high level of sensitivity to begin with and is a mucous membrane, irritating ingredients don't have to work very hard at permeating this delicate barrier to go on to cause excruciating pain or discomfort. Plus, why introduce chemicals into an area that has a direct upward connection to our bladder and blood supply?

Sticking To My Guns

Despite all the hoopla that the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 is causing and many of the revisions are indeed onerous and without science based criteria, this is my sticking point as a victim myself to the proprietary blend of a product. Full disclosure on an ingredient list should be mandated by the FDA in order to protect the consumer from making the same mistake I did.

Without a list of ingredients how are we to make an educated decision as to what we are placing on our bodies if we don't know what is in it?

Am I asking for their ingredients to be banned?.....NO, because there are also many of the population that had no problem with these lubricants and quite frankly enjoyed them. But if I had known there was an ingredient like menthol or something similar that created the warming sensation, I wouldn't have touched this with a ten foot pole, especially in my private area that is already delicate. Essentially my choice was removed through omission.

I am also an extreme case, but nonetheless, my pain and suffering was real and it cost me dearly in monetary damages. Did I plan on suing KYBRAND?....certainly not since I am not a litigious person, but to be helpful more than they actually were, would have gone far to smoothing my ruffled feathers over my reaction.

Personal Care products and Cosmetic companies owe it to the public to be more informative in proprietary blends in order to assist them with any medical issue that may be a result of contact with the product. Poison Control is a good example for instance.....but since it wasn't ingested and I wasn't dying or anything, they remained closed mouth to protect their bottom line and any liability they may have thought was forthcoming.

My Entrepreneurial Belief

I am always about protecting formulas in terms of construction of the product, but all ingredients should be divulged except for the case of Fragrances in Perfumes. These are the namesake of the company, and are used for a pleasurable experience. They are not something we need in our arsenal of everyday personal care.....basically an olfactory choice.

We are free to choose to not use a product if we have a known allergen or reaction to a certain ingredient and the only way we know this is by having it disclosed on the ingredient list. If we commonly react to fragrances, let's say, then we don't buy perfumey products.

There is no reason to remove or ban a certain ingredient if I am that 1 in a million that reacts when all others do well.....nope.....I just learn to avoid that ingredient by not purchasing products that contain it....but knowing what they are would certainly help me in my decision making.

Furthermore, let's get today's technology, most anything can be reversed engineered if another company wants to steal another's thunder, so to claim "proprietary" these days, especially when receiving a call from an upset, injured customer, is disingenuous to be sure.

So needless to say, I was injured by a hidden ingredient that caused severe distress and because of the current laws for proprietary blends, I could not know what caused harm or if I should have avoided it until the damage was already done.....but now I know!

So if you are wondering about these fun looking, stimulating, intimacy enhancing products, just realize they have a propensity to causing injury and one should be seriously cautioned about using any sort of personal care product in the genital area, since it is so delicate and is an open pathway to the internal workings of our bodies.

Protected by Copyscape Online Infringement Detector


  1. Katherine, I'm sorry for your experience, but I believe you rant to be improperly directed. I have been in the cosmetic industry for about 15 years, and I beleive the biggest issue that you faced with regards to finding your answer is an incompetent customer service rep. The current legislation in place (the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1907 - which established the existance of the FDA) already requires all ingredients that are not part of "Fragrance" to be listed on the packaging in descending order to 1%, and then in random order below that. "Fragrance" is a special area that is proprietary (and cannot be easily reverse engineered regardless of current technology), but is not part of THIS issue, because it is not part of the ingredient statement of the KY jelly that you listed above. Based on the ingredients that you listed, I'm not sure what caused your reaction, however, I can tell you that the company is relying on the glycerine and propylene glycol to provide the warming sensation. Anhydrous (containing no water) glycerine and propylene glycol release energy from intermolecular hydrogen bonds as they absorb water from your skin. The product would rely on the high moisture content of the mucus membrane where it is being applied to supply enough water to create a warming sensation from the release of energy as the hydrogen bonds are broken. This "warming" sensation is very small, and in fact many people (like myself) cannot even feel it. There are still, however, a small portion of the population that will be highly sensative to this. I hope this helps you.

    1. Hi John,

      Thank you very much for providing the chemical reaction of two ingredients that could have been the problem. I am very aware that a single ingredient can be quite benign, but once combined with another, the chemical reaction can be a problem for the user.

      You are correct, Fragrance is not part of this label that I dealt with, nor did I state it was, however it did use methylparaben as well, which some, including myself, also have a reaction to when used in skincare products. Plus, though the article addresses my situation, I also am referring to fragrance used to mask preservatives and the like in many cosmetics, and the menthol constituent of another ingredient being used in their other intimate products. This article was not totally geared toward a single issue, but a broad review of proprietary blends and derivative ingredients being used in many personal care products that really have not undergone extensive testing in regard to sensitivities which was widespread on many forums and message boards conveying similar problems as mine when using this brand of intimate gels.

      However, with a clearer understanding of the chemistry used with the combination of the two ingredients and the fact that the rep misled me with words such as "proprietary", the article can only be written to the degree of full disclosure provided me by the KY Jelly brand company.

      Thanks again though for the cause of the warming sensation. I am sure future readers will benefit from this explanation.