Pregnancy

Masturbation in the first trimester of pregnancy is absolutely safe, as long as your doctor agrees.
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What You Need To Know About Masturbation In The 1st Trimester

Experts are debunking the outdated myths.

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Masturbation and sex are still considered taboo topics by many people, and unfortunately, alongside that social stigma are some misconceptions that need to be debunked — especially when you talk about masturbation and sex during pregnancy. Words like cramping and spotting leads to concern over masturbating in the first trimester and causing a miscarriage, but just like the "facts" about sex you heard from your curious-but-ultimately-clueless middle school classmates, it's important not to believe everything you hear.

Is Masturbation Safe During Pregnancy?

While it’s important to speak with your doctor or midwife about whether or not intercourse or masturbation is safe for you during pregnancy, in most cases, both masturbation and penetration are perfectly safe during pregnancy. Neither is known to cause a miscarriage during the first trimester.

Dainis Graveris, a certified sex educator and relationship expert at SexualAlpha, tells Romper that as long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, you should be able to masturbate without issue in the first trimester. “Masturbation with vaginal penetration will not harm the fetus as the amniotic sac, the cervix, and muscular uterine walls protect it,” Graveris says.

While it might seem logical to blame masturbation, sex, or any other external force and/or situation for a pregnancy loss, Graveris explains that chromosomal defects cause most of the miscarriages that happen during the first trimester. “Other factors leading to miscarriage include uterine polyps and fibroids, increased maternal age — 40+ — drug and alcohol abuse, etc," Graveris says.

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Other Myths About Masturbation In The First Trimester

Unfortunately, outdated myths about pregnancy sex exist and they can lead to some scary thoughts — like the possibility of masturbation or orgasm causing a miscarriage. These thoughts may lead you to try to take extra steps to prevent such occurrences, but obstetrician Dr. Kim Langdon explains that unless your doctor says so, no extra precautions are needed for sex or masturbation during the first trimester.

“Orgasms do not cause problems, but you may feel crampy or have contractions in the second or third trimesters,” Langdon tells Romper. “Because the hormones are higher, arousal and orgasms may come sooner.”

Another outdated myth that might scare you into changing up your bedroom routine during the early days of pregnancy is the possibility of an orgasm sending you into early labor. Langdon explains that unless you’re in the later stages of pregnancy and already experiencing contractions, this won’t be the case. “Premature labor is generally due to an infection in many cases, so as long as you do not have a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, then masturbation will have no ill effects,” Langdon says.

Staying Safe During First Trimester Masturbation

While pregnancy can definitely change your solo sex life, sometimes, that change is a great thing. Graveris recommends taking some time to “explore your new pregnant body” and “figure out what works best with these changes.”

Additionally, if you’re using any toys during masturbation, Graveris recommends considering using a lubricant to help with any potential dryness or sensitivity that comes with pregnancy, and make sure to keep safety and sanitization a priority. “If you’re going to use sex toys during clitoral or vaginal play, make sure that you clean and sanitize them properly before use. Doing so minimizes the risk of infection.”

If you’re still unsure about what’s safe and what’s not when it comes to masturbation in the first trimester, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor. Graveris says your doctor may have specific recommendations depending on your medical needs. If you’re having bleeding or spotting during masturbation, it is important to stop and contact your doctor.

The internet is rife with rumors about pregnancy sex (like masturbation causing miscarriage), but trust your body, trust your doctors, and trust your gut. Yes, the one that's growing a baby. Armed with information, you'll likely be able to enjoy a healthy sex life (if you want) while pregnant.

Experts:

Dr. Kim Langdon, OBGYN with Medzino

Dainis Graveris, certified sex educator, relationship expert at SexualAlpha

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