Using a Vibrator During Pregnancy

Being pregnant can mean changing a lot about your lifestyle for you and your growing bb’s health. Suddenly, caffeine and sushi come with way more limitations and you’re probably generally Googling a ton of otherwise everyday activities to make sure they’re safe during pregnancy. It makes sense that you’d wanna be as careful with your body as possible! After all, you are growing a whole new human being inside you.

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Being careful about otherwise normal activities also applies to, you guessed it, sex. Turns out plenty of women report their partners try to be more gentle with them during sex, but what about masturbation? Is it safe to use a vibrator or dildo while pregnant? Here are some things you should know about using a vibrator if you’re expecting:

1. Clear it with your doctor first to make sure you’re not at risk of any potential complications.

Don’t be embarrassed, that’s what a doctor is there for! The best thing to do is to always ask your physician, says Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, FACOG, double board-certified in OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, Director of Perinatal Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. If you’re at risk for any potential complications like placenta previa or rupture of membranes (more on some of these below), vibrators are a no-no. The best way to determine this? Talk to your physician and make sure.

2. Generally speaking, if you’re free from any complications, it’s safe.

Unless your doctor hasn’t put you on pelvic rest (which means nothing going into your vagina, whether that’s a penis or a vibrator) for a medical reason (like vasa previa, placenta previa, preterm labor, or cervical incompetence), you should be fine to vibe along, explains Dr. Tamika K. Cross, M.D., FACOG, a board-certified OB/GYN at Serenity Women’s Health & Med Spa in Pearland, Texas.

3. Using external clitoral vibrators is not “more safe” than internal vibrators or vice versa.

Both kinds of vibes are fine, says Dr. Cross. What you use is up to your own preference, she explains adding that you can use whichever you like, “there’s no specific pregnancy [vibrator]” to look for.

4. While there’s no one specific pregnancy vibe you should or have to buy (as Dr. Cross mentioned), there may be certain features in sex toys that prove to be more useful during pregnancy for you.

Design details like offset handles for a better grip, remote controls, tethered toys, and toys that can go hands-free can make navigating around your bump easier.

Tethered Vibe: OhMiBod Rev

vibrators during pregnancy

LoveLifeToys


Shop Now Rev, OhMiBod, LoveLifeToys, $70

If you just want a simple vibe, this one is waterproof, rechargeable, has a simple one-button control, and five patterns. What makes it a great choice for pregnancy is the finger tether, which means you don’t have to worry so much about positioning as long as you can get your hands somewhat in the vicinity of your clitoris.

Offset Grip: SmartWand by Lelo

vibrators during pregnancy

Lelo

Shop Now SmartWand Large, Lelo, $189

The curved angle of the handle here can really only help you clear your pregnancy bump without any awkward angles. As a bonus, it also works as a body massager which will probs come in handy at some point in your pregnancy.

Hands Free Play: Vibe Pad

pregnancy vibrators

Lovehoney

Shop Now Vibe Pad, Lovehoney, $109

Slap this rechargeable, waterproof vibrating pad on the floor and ride to your heart’s content if you find being on top more comfy for you during pregnancy. There are two vibration points (a small one and a large one) that can be controlled independently with the remote. Each nub has three speeds and four patterns so you def won’t be bored playing with this toy.

Remote or App Controlled Panty Vibe: WeVibe Moxie

pregnancy vibrators

Babeland

Shop Now Moxie Panty Vibe, We-Vibe, Babeland, $129

While most panty vibes are limited to a specific pair of panties, the Moxie has a cool magnetic attachment that lets you use it with any set of undies, meaning you can also use it with maternity underoos. It’s waterproof, rechargeable, and features We-Vibe’s signature rumbly, deep vibrations (as opposed to more surface-level light buzzy vibrations that might not get you off as quickly or as efficiently). You can also control the vibrator with your phone using We-Vibe’s app or the included remote, for even more convenience.

5. Don’t worry, using a vibrator shouldn’t disturb your baby!

Lest you worry that vibration might wake your fetus up or bother them, don’t worry! Dr. Cross explains that the baby is fine if you use a vibrator. “The baby is surrounded by fluid and myometrium muscle, which is your uterus,” she says, adding that there are “so many layers, I wouldn’t be worried about that.” The only time anything could disturb your baby, she adds, is in instances like preterm labor where your cervix has already opened up, but if you’ve been cleared for that per #1 above, you and your baby should otherwise be totally fine.

6. Using a vibrator isn’t that different from having sex while pregnant.

Dr. Michael Ingber, at the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at Garden State Urology, says, “In general, we tell patients sexual activity, foreplay, and orgasms are all very healthy and encouraged throughout pregnancy. The mechanical actions of a dildo going in and out of the vagina, hitting the cervix, are no different than a penis doing the same thing.”

7. In fact, it may even be good for you.

Ingber notes that using a vibrator to reach orgasm could also help your relationship. He explained that oxytocin (often called the “love hormone”) is released during orgasm and can trigger emotional thoughts, bonding, and maternal instincts. These feelings, he explains, are “essential for maintaining a healthy relationship both during pregnancy and after delivery.” But even if you don’t have a partner, oxytocin still just makes you feel good in general.

8. But there are risks for certain women with placental abnormalities.

In a condition called placenta previa, the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus and covers the mother’s cervix. Dr. Ingber explains that in the case of placenta previa, it’s not so much the vibrator that’s the issue, but the insertion of anything at all into the vagina, whether it’s a penis, a finger, or a vibrator.

“The placenta in women with this condition either partially or completely covers the cervix, and an inserted object can penetrate it and cause bleeding, abruption and possibly a miscarriage,” Dr. Yana Markidan, a Princeton, NJ based OBGYN explains.

In Vasa previa, the “blood vessels within the placenta or the umbilical cord are trapped between the fetus and the opening to the birth canal.” In these instances, Dr. Kyrin Dunston, a board certified OBGYN explains, “vibrator use could dislodge the placenta or damage these blood vessels, causing a potentially life threatening situation both mother and baby.”

In instances of placental abnormalities, Dr. Markidan adds that, “orgasms reached without penetration are less of a concern, unless they cause contractions,” so technically if you were to masturbate with a clitoral vibrator, you should probably be fine.

9. And women predisposed to preterm labor should stay far away from vibrators.

If you’re pregnant with multiples, have previously had a premature birth, have certain uterine or cervical abnormalities, or are otherwise at risk for preterm labor, you should avoid vibrators all together. Even if you’re using a clitoral vibrator that doesn’t penetrate your vagina, it’s still a no-no as it’s the orgasm itself that causes the problem. Dr. Markidan says, “The concern is that the orgasm releases chemicals called prostaglandins that can cause the uterine muscle to contract. Women who are predisposed to preterm labor, and already had a preterm contractions episode, should avoid orgasms regardless of how they are achieved because they might cause further episodes.”

10. And if you have issues with cervical incompetence, you should also stay away from vibrators.

Conditions like premature cervical dilation or cervical incompetence can “cause the cervix to be slightly open,” according to Dr. Dunston. “The concern with vibrator use would be that it could possibly rupture the membranes or introduce bacteria high into the cervix that could cause infection. The resulting infection can lead to a premature delivery or even cause an infection in the baby.”

11. Make sure your vibrator is clean.

Even if you don’t have any of the risks above, if your vibrator is dirty and carries bacteria, the risks are pretty serious. Dr. Markidan says that vaginal infections in pregnant women can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria that has been linked to preterm labor.

Dr. Ingber also notes that UTIs tend to be more common in pregnant women because of hormonal changes and pressure from the uterus on the bladder. He says, “Women with UTIs during pregnancy are at an increased risk of preterm labor, and, because of this, even women who are asymptomatic, but have bacteria found in their urine during screening visits are treated with antibiotics.”

To prevent UTIs, make sure to wash your toys well and pee after using a vibrator, just like you’re supposed to after sex.

12. Small amounts of bleeding are normal.

Dr. Markidan says that it’s normal to have a small amount of bleeding after intercourse or dildo use when pregnant — yes, even if you don’t typically bleed after intercourse or dildo use. She explains that this is because there’s an increase in blood supply to the cervix when pregnant. Combine that increase in blood with the fact that the cervix also becomes more sensitive while pregnant, and your likelihood of bleeding while pregnant from any contact with the cervix increases. “It will usually start as a pink or bright red spotting that progresses to dark brown discharge and is resolved within 48 hours.” However, if it’s been over 48 hours, and it looks more like a normal period instead of spotting, you should see a doctor.


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