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Can You Use a Vibrator While Pregnant?

Take matters into your own hands with these empowering tips—and a few favorite sex toys.
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By Emma O'Regan-Reidy, E-Commerce Editor
Updated January 27, 2023
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Just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean everything else has to be put on pause—and that includes your sex life. The truth is, your libido will fluctuate in the coming months, as those all-important hormones (hello estrogen and progesterone!) surge and eventually wane. One day you may be raring to go. The next? Not so much. Either way, if and when you’re feeling lustful, know that masturbation during pregnancy should be anything but taboo. It can help you satisfy your urges, explore your desires and enhance your overall sex life. Better yet, masturbating offers an array of real physical and emotional benefits (think: stress relief and improved sleep!). But are there restrictions—and can you use a vibrator while pregnant? As long as your doctor gives you the thumbs up to engage in sexual activities, feel free to experiment and enjoy!

Ready to get a few sexy solo-play tips? Read on for the full lowdown on using a vibrator while pregnant, plus our picks of the best sex toys to try out now.

Is It Safe to Use a Vibrator While Pregnant?

First and foremost: Can you use a vibrator while pregnant? More often than not, it’s totally fine, but there may be some exceptions. “Assuming a pregnant person has a healthy and low-risk pregnancy, it’s safe to use a vibrator and other sex toys during any trimester of pregnancy,” says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn and author who completed her residency at the University of Southern California School Of Medicine.

But if your doctor has ordered pelvic rest, you’ll need to abstain, adds Heather Bartos, MD, an ob-gyn and the medical director of Be. Women’s Health and Wellness in Frisco, Texas. They may want you to hold off from sexual activity for a number of reasons, including threatened miscarriage, recurrent pregnancy loss, in vitro fertilization (IVF) or placenta previa.

Still unsure about whether masturbation is safe for your pregnancy? Have an open and honest conversation with your OB or midwife. (Don’t let fear or embarrassment impede your sex life.) And if they give you the go-ahead, well, then go ahead! That said, if you experience uterine cramping, vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain during or after masturbating, hold off and consult your doctor for further guidance.

Benefits of Masturbation During Pregnancy

Whether you’re pregnant or not, masturbation has many benefits, says Alejandra Lucatero, LCSW, a Honolulu-based social worker specializing in sexual health. These include stress reduction, pain alleviation and improved cognition, mood and sleep. “Pregnancy can be an incredibly stressful time,” adds Ross. By taking matters into your own hands—quite literally—you can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, and allow yourself to have uninterrupted sexual pleasure as an added bonus.

What’s more, many women say that their orgasms are more powerful during pregnancy, says Bartos. (On the other hand, they could feel less intense or just plain different.) Either way, there’s an added bonus that comes with climaxing: “It also helps tone the pelvic floor, which can help later on for the birth and postpartum process,” Bartos adds.

Tips and Advice For Masturbation During Pregnancy

Whether you’re satisfying your needs by yourself or with a partner, safety and comfort are key to pleasurable pregnancy masturbation. Below, expert tips to make the experience more enjoyable.

  • Keep sex toys clean. To protect yourself from getting a vaginal or bladder infection, Ross says to clean your sex toys between uses. Follow specific cleaning directions for your toy; typically, warm water and soap will do the job!
  • Wash your hands. Yes, you can use a vibrator while pregnant! But you can also use clean fingers, advises Bartos. And since hormones may make things feel a little different down there, feel free to try some lube, if needed.
  • Empty your bladder. You’re more prone to UTIs during pregnancy, so after masturbating—with or without a vibrator—go to the bathroom and empty your bladder, Ross advises.
  • Try nipple stimulation. Exploring external erogenous spots (like the nipples) during pregnancy masturbation is a safe, pleasurable option. But be aware: Steer clear in the third trimester, since nipple stimulation has the potential to naturally induce labor. Bartos says that if your doctor has advised against sexual activity, this includes nipple play.
  • Check toys regularly. Your favorite vibrator or sex toys might not last forever, and since they’re used on a super-sensitive part of your body, you’ll want to check for wear and tear. Bacteria can hide in cracks and scratches, so you‘ll want to retire any toy with abrasions. Moreover, Bartos warns that sharp pieces or edges can cause pain and cuts.
  • Switch positions. If your go-to pre-pregnancy masturbation positions aren’t quite working, don’t be afraid to try something new. Ross says the best sexual position for a pregnant person is often lying on their right or left side, as remaining flat on your back for extended periods can cause dizziness and decrease blood flow to baby. “Ultimately the best position is whatever is most comfortable for you,” she adds.
  • Stop if it feels uncomfortable. If anything doesn’t feel right, take a breather. Moreover, if you experience pain, cramps or bleeding, reach out to your doctor to play it safe.
  • Stay curious. Last but not least, Lucatero encourages pregnant people to be gentle with themselves and embrace their sexuality. “Focus on what keeps you comfortable and brings you pleasure!”

What To Look For in Pregnancy-Safe Sex Toys

Whether you know the exact type of vibrator you’re looking for or aren’t sure where to begin, keep these features in mind when shopping for pregnancy-safe sex toys:

  • A smooth, silicone design. Silicone is easy to clean and offers a buttery smooth texture that will feel great against your skin, says Lucatero. Whatever you’re looking for, avoid sex toys that contain phthalates, PVC, vinyl or jelly rubber, advises Ross. To prevent bacteria buildup, stay away from sex toys with materials that are absorbent, spongy or permeable.
  • Ergonomic or remote-controlled options. Masturbating with a big bump in your way can prove a little challenging. Vibrators with remotes—and hands-free options—can help make things feel a little less awkward.
  • Toys for external stimulation. “The most common cause of bleeding in pregnancy is from sexual activity irritating the cervix,” says Bartos, which is why she usually recommends that pregnant people avoid sex toys that are inserted deep into the vagina. Instead, start with sex toys that stimulate the clitoris or other external erogenous zones. (That said, you can try internal toys and continue to have sex as long as you haven’t been told otherwise by your doctor or midwife.)

While shopping the options, be open to diversifying your collection. If you’re eager to expand your sexy toy selection, consider different types of vibrators; you may discover new sensations you enjoy. A few popular vibrator shapes and styles include the classic wand, the egg and air-pulsing arousers, but there are plenty of other designs out there to explore.

Best Pregnancy Sex Toys to Shop

Ready to find the best pregnancy-safe sex toy to fulfill your desires? From discreet, remote-controlled devices to ride-on grinders, check out our picks of the best vibrators and other toys for masturbation during pregnancy.

Modern external wand vibrator

What We Love
  • Features five intensity levels and five pattern modes
  • Runs for up to an hour on its highest setting
  • Comes with a charging cable and a storage bag
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say the vibrations aren’t as strong as they anticipated

This wand-style vibrator from Dame is great for any mom-to-be looking for a powerful device for some quality “me time” under the covers. With a curved, ergonomic shape and flexible silicone head and body, you can count on it to deliver steady vibrations to the right spots every time. As you play, switch between five intensity levels and pattern modes to find your favorite. This personal massager comes with a magnetic USB charging cable and runs for up to an hour on its highest setting. Plus, it’s available in two pretty colors: periwinkle blue and quartz pink.

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Minimalist flutter-tip personal massager

maude vibe Flutter-Tip Personal Massager
Image: maude
What We Love
  • Discreet, minimalist design
  • Runs for up to two-and-a-half hours
  • Made from 100 percent phthalate- and latex-free silicone
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say it's louder than expected

Next up on our list of the best vibrators for masturbation during pregnancy is this hand-held option from maude. Don’t be fooled by its discreet and minimalist style—this flutter-tip massager offers three pulsating speeds that are sure to surprise and delight you. The water-resistant device can even be used in the bath or shower—just don’t fully submerge it. When you’re done enjoying, simply charge it via USB so it’s ready for up to two-and-a-half hours of fun the next time you reach for it. What’s more, its convenient size and travel lock feature make it ideal for travel and portability.

Buy Now

Ride-on vibrator with remote

Ruby Glow Blush Grinder
Image: Lovers
What We Love
  • It comes with a remote for endless play opportunities
  • Made from smooth silicone
  • It can be used with water-based lube
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say the buttons aren’t user-friendly

If you find that you’re more comfortable on top during pregnancy sex, then this might be the right vibrator for you. Depending on your mood, it can be used as a classic wand-style vibrator or a ride-on option. Just set the toy in its base, straddle it and enjoy the powerful waves of stimulation it delivers. When using it as a wand vibrator, you can explore 10 speeds and pulsating patterns to help you reach the pinnacle of satisfaction. This sex toy is perfect for under-the-covers fun by yourself or with a partner, thanks to a nifty remote control.

Buy Now

Rechargeable egg vibrator

Desire Luxury Rechargeable Remote Control Love Egg Vibrator
Image: Lovehoney
Buying Options
Lovehoney|$89.99
What We Love
  • Operated by a remote control
  • Features 12 intensity levels and various patterns
  • Runs for up to 60 minutes on one charge
Things To Consider
  • Designed for internal stimulation

Egg-style vibrators are ideal for those who prefer internal stimulation while masturbating. After covering it in a water-based lubricant, insert this slim sex toy and choose between eight wave patterns and 12 intensity levels for blissful satisfaction. When you’re done, remove the device by gently pulling the attached cord. Better yet, it comes with a remote control so you can get creative in the bedroom by yourself or with a partner.

Buy Now

Ergonomically designed vibrator

What We Love
  • Unique design
  • Up to four hours of use on one battery
Things To Consider
  • It requires batteries

Created by the brand Smile Makers, this pregnancy sex toy is sure to make you glow. Reminiscent of a flame, this smooth silicone vibrator’s unique shape was designed to provide powerful, focused stimulation for the clitoris. Build arousal with four speeds and two pulsing patterns. No matter which setting you land on, this firefighter-inspired toy is sure to heat up your next solo session!

Buy Now

Air-pulsating clitoral massager

Womanizer Liberty
Image: Womanizer
What We Love
  • Reviewers say it’s super quiet
  • Operates for two hours
  • Available in four fun colors
Things To Consider
  • Creates air pulsations rather than vibrations

Expand your pregnancy sex toy collection by giving this clitoral massager a try. The arouser’s compact design and sleek protective case allow you to take this device on the go, so it’s always there when you need it. Simply press the on button and experience the pleasurable air pulsations this device provides. It features six intensity levels for you to explore, and even comes with two stimulator heads in different sizes to ensure your toy is attuned to your unique body.

Buy Now

Mini vibrating massager

LELO NEA 2 Mini Vibrating Massager
Image: LELO
What We Love
  • It can be used hands-free
  • Features a compact, ergonomic design
Things To Consider
  • Some say the charge doesn’t last very long

Last on our list of the best vibrators for masturbation during pregnancy is this pick from LELO. The silky-smooth, petite personal massager can be held in the palm of your hand and used to discover new pleasure spots throughout the body. And, if you’re using it with a partner, its ergonomic shape makes it easy to nestle between you both. Equipped with eight stimulation patterns, it’s 100 percent waterproof and can easily be recharged via USB.

Buy Now

About the experts:

Sherry Ross, MD, is an ob-gyn and women’s sexual health expert. She is also the author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. She received her medical degree from New York Medical College.

Heather Bartos, MD, is an ob-gyn and the medical director of Be. Women’s Health and Wellness in Frisco, Texas. A navy veteran, she spent 12 years serving the women and spouses of the armed forces, and was an associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine, and earned her medical degree at The University of Texas.

Alejandra Lucatero, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in sexual health at the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health in Honolulu.

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