Sex Toys and Pregnancy: Safety and Pleasure
Sexual Wellness

Sex Toys and Pregnancy: Safety and Pleasure

19/01/2024

Growing into a pregnant body feels like a moving target- and with constantly changing hormone levels, so can your sexuality during pregnancy. For some, your libido can take a serious hit, but for others, pregnancy can take your desire to the next level. But this begs the important question- what’s safe to use during pregnancy? How can toys and tools fit into this new stage of life? Addressing these concerns is crucial for ensuring your well-being and comfort. From choosing the right materials to understanding the importance of communication, let’s discover how we can embrace intimacy safely during this unique time.

Are sex toys safe to use during pregnancy?

TL; DR: yes! Sex toys are generally safe to use during pregnancy in the absence of complications. The fetus is safely housed in the uterus, not the vagina, meaning there’s plenty of real estate for you to play as you please. For vulva owners, sex toys are typically used externally (over the clitoris or other erogenous zones), or internally, via the vagina or the anus. This doesn’t need to change during pregnancy, but the main area to avoid is stimulating the cervix, which can signal the body to jump start labor. There are a few reasons why you’d want to proceed cautiously using internal sex toys, such as…

  • Incompetent cervix: this is where the cervix opens, weakens or shortens too early in pregnancy. This can increase your chance of premature labor, so it’s especially important to avoid stimulation here. 
  • Pregnancy with multiples (twins, triplets) with a risk of premature labor: again, avoiding stimulating the cervix is key here!
  • Persistent bleeding in the 2nd and 3rd trimester: this can be due to a variety of conditions, like placenta previa. Internal toy use may be discouraged if there’s a concern from your healthcare provider that it may increase your bleeding.
  • Infections: with any vaginal infection, like group B strep, it’s important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection as much as possible. This often means avoiding internal vibrators that could transport the infection elsewhere.

If you have concerns, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a OB/GYN, midwife or primary care provider. As always, remember that your sexual experience is yours to claim. If internal toys don’t feel safe for you and your body, skip them! There are lots of ways to experience pleasure during pregnancy safely without the use of a toy.

Benefits of using sex toys during pregnancy

Most of the same benefits of using sex toys remain the same during pregnancy, but they can feel especially luxurious when your body doesn’t feel great and your sleep is variable.

  • Reduce stress: orgasms release dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and testosterone, which can all help to boost your mood
  • Improved blood flow: sex toys can help to jump start the sexual response cycle by increasing blood flow and sensitivity to the genitals, heightening your sense of touch
  • Improved sleep: sex and masturbation have a positive effect on sleep, with orgasms promoting relaxation, and releasing serotonin
  • Relax the pelvic floor: after an orgasm, the pelvic floor relaxes, easing discomfort and helping prepare to lengthen for labor
  • Foster intimacy with a partner: if you're partnered and penetrative sex is off the table, using a toy together can offer a pleasurable experience for both of you. Try using a toy for partnered play, or let your partner watch you while you play solo

Which sex toys are best for pregnancy?

  • The Dip: the shorter length will help you avoid running into the cervix, and its versatility means it can be used both externally or internally.
  • External vibes like Eva, Pom, or Aer can feel amazing all over the body. Experiment with using over the clitoris, nipples, or neck
  • The Arc can hit the G-spot like a pro
  • For partnered play with penetrative sex, if deep penetration feels painful, the OhNut can offer a solution to make penetration more shallow and comfortable. It’s adjustable with 4 rings, so you can choose the depth that feels right for you

Tips for using sex toys during pregnancy

It’s not always about what you use, it’s how you use it! A few tips can make your sexual experience more comfortable while you’re pregnant. 

  • Positioning: sitting in a reclined position can often feel most comfortable. But don’t forget to pile on the pillows, like a coiled-up pregnancy pillow or Dame’s Pillo. Laying down for prolonged periods is generally a position to avoid after the first trimester, because the weight of the uterus can compress the abdominal aorta, impaired blood flow.
  • Add some water: if your toys are waterproof, try reclining in the bathtub while you use them. The buoyancy of water can help offload your joints and make you more comfortable while you play
  • Angle your toys: if you’re using internal toys, angling them away from the center of the pelvis can help you avoid running into the cervix. Once the toy is inserted, try angling it to the right or left, rather than pushing it straight forward. 
  • Safety and Materials: ensure that the sex toy is made of non-porous, body-safe materials, such as medical-grade silicone, and is free from harmful chemicals. Avoid materials that may cause irritation.
  • Hygiene: maintain good hygiene by cleaning the sex toy before and after use to prevent infections. Use a toy cleaner or mild, unscented soap and warm water for cleaning.

There’s no right way to experience sexuality during pregnancy. It’s also really normal to have a different relationship with sex depending on where you are in your pregnancy. However you choose to play during pregnancy, options abound! Sex toys are safe to use in most cases of pregnancy and offer a host of benefits to enhance your sexual experience.

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