Is It Safe to Use a Vibrator While Pregnant?

More than half of all women use vibrators, yet, during my time working as a nurse-midwife, not a single woman (or her partner) asked me about the safety of using a vibrator during pregnancy. So, for all of you out there who are too embarrassed to ask about using a vibrator when pregnant, here is your answer.

The Short Answer? Yes! Oh Yes!

The muscles of your womb, amniotic fluid, and your cervix all cushion your baby from your vibrator. Even if you insert your vibrator into your vagina, the mucus plug of pregnancy in your cervix helps protect you from any infection. In the past, doctors used vibration while monitoring babies’ heart rates to test fetal wellbeing. Fetal monitoring with heart rate monitors today no longer incorporates this vibrator stress test component. Although we no longer use vibration and noise to test babies’ wellbeing, past testing reassures us that the noise or vibrations from vibrators does not cause any harm to babies.

Sexual activity and having an orgasm with a vibrator can lead to Braxton-Hicks-contractions. These contractions of your uterine muscles are highly unlikely to cause a miscarriage or trigger labor. Braxton Hicks contractions after orgasm should decrease and stop after a few minutes or half an hour, especially if you change positions, rest on your side, and have a glass of water to drink.

Pregnancy May Change How You Enjoy Sex, With or Without Your Vibrator

With all of the body changes in pregnancy, sex during pregnancy can be challenging, but also enjoyable. You may find new kinds of sexual satisfaction incorporating a vibrator into either masturbation or sex with your partner.

  • Increased blood flow to your vagina and your breasts make them more sensitive. You may need less stimulation from your vibrator than you needed pre-pregnancy.
  • Fatigue, morning sickness, and changing hormone levels early in pregnancy may lower your libido.
  • Hormones and swelling may change how vaginal penetration with a vibrator feels. Be careful to go slowly, use a safe lubricant if you need to, and do not penetrate yourself too forcefully, especially with a rigid vibrator.
  • During the third trimester, fatigue can impact your sexual desire. Major changes in the way your body looks and feels sometimes leave you feeling less-than-sexy. Vaginal penetration with a vibrator may not feel as comfortable, but external clitoral stimulation can be an alternative way to boost your libido and interest in intimacy.
  • Keep in mind that as you approach your due date, orgasms could trigger more intense uterine contractions. Avoid having sex flat on your back late in the third trimester because your large uterus could compress major blood vessels in your abdomen.
  • Some doctors and midwives even encourage expectant heterosexual couples to have sexual intercourse to induce labor after their due date. Your body releases hormones with orgasm that can help jumpstart labor if your body is ready, close to or after your due date. Male ejaculate also contains cervix-softening hormones.

Situations When It Might Not Be Safe to Use a Vibrator During Pregnancy

There are some conditions of pregnancy where either the vibrations, penetration with a vibrator, or orgasm may not make it safe for you to use a vibrator. These include:

Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about whether or not you can safely use a vibrator, internally or externally.

Correct Care and Keeping of Your Vibrator During Pregnancy and Beyond

Safe vibrator use during pregnancy may involve little extra TLC. Remember to:

  • Wash your vibrator after each use, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Use mild soap and warm water. Clean after use with different body parts such as your vagina and anus
  • If you are with a new partner, cover penetrative vibrators with a new condom before each use
  • Never share sex toys

Vibrators Can Be a Safe and Satisfying Part of Sex During Pregnancy

Just because you are pregnant, does not mean you stop being a sexual being. Only one out of every four women is able to have an orgasm from traditional penis-in-vagina sex. The rest of us need the super-charged clitoral stimulation a vibrator offers in order to be able to climax. Don’t short-change your sexual satisfaction for the nine months of your pregnancy by leaving your vibrator in the drawer out of fear.

The brain is one of women’s most important sexual organs, so tune into your thoughts and feeling during your pregnancy. Your sexual desire may ebb and flow. Remember to listen to your body and talk with your partner about how you are feeling and what feels good. Pregnancy brings complicated physical and emotional changes to your body, but does not mean you need to say goodbye to your sex life. Safely incorporating a vibrator into your sex life can help you find sexual satisfaction throughout your pregnancy.

Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a certified nurse-midwife with a Master's Degree in Maternal and Child Health from Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Her passions are health literacy and women's reproductive health. A recent two-year sabbatical with her family in Spain was the impetus for becoming a freelance women's health writer. An exercise nut, she is happiest outdoors and on adventures abroad.

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