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9 Reasons To Masturbate While Pregnant

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Almost all of the bizarre things that come along with pregnancy can be traced back to hormones. The surges of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are the reason you burst into tears because you saw a cute kitten gif. And they can also be responsible for your urge to get it on. It's not uncommon for pregnant women to be in the mood for sex, and when nature calls, there’s no reason not to answer. You don't have to be shy about your body's needs. In fact, the reasons to masturbate while pregnant outweigh any embarrassment you may feel.

If, for no other reason, think of the release your pregnant body will enjoy. It's hard work growing a human, and sometimes you need a little something awesome to get through the day. “Many pregnant women find that their libido or sex drive has kicked into high gear and they are very interested in sex,” nurse practitioner Barbara Dehn, author of Your Personal Guide to Pregnancy, tells Romper. “Masturbation is a terrific release.”

All the good feels aside, pregnant women can soak up some additional benefits to packing some Os in here and there throughout each trimester. So when you feel the need, don't wait for your partner to make things happen — take matters into your own hands and make the most of those nine months.

1. It's A Stress Reliever

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Everyday life can be stressful enough, but add being pregnant to the mix and your anxiety about everything can increase. Self-pleasure is one way of addressing this. Obstetrician and gynecologist Brittany Noel Robles, M.D., says, “Masturbation can help lower feelings of stress or anxiety. Orgasms have even been associated with improving your sleep.” So wash away the worries of the day by giving yourself a relaxing O. It won’t fix everything, but it certainly can help.

2. It's Safe For Your Baby

When pregnant, women find themselves second-guessing every decision they make, questioning whether or not it is good for their baby, but having an orgasm shouldn’t be a concern. “Masturbation during pregnancy is generally safe for most women,” says Robles, but notes that women with prior preterm delivery, a short cervix, premature rupture of membranes, a low lying placenta, or unexplained vaginal bleeding should consult their doctor first whether any penetration is OK.

If you’re using fun toys or little novelties, Robles reminds women, “Always make sure that toys are clean to decrease the risk of introducing bacteria near your cervix.”

3. Orgasms Are More Intense

If you thought a normal orgasm was amazing, your pregnancy climax just might send you over the pleasure edge. The increased amount of blood flowing to your genitals makes the right spots more sensitive, and the extra hormones in your body make pregnancy orgasms more intense, according to What to Expect.

4. It Won't Make Your Baby Come Early

The research is mixed on whether sexual activity can induce labor, but experts seem to agree that orgasm is OK during a pregnancy without complications. “As of right now, there is no evidence that orgasm increases your risk of preterm labor,” says Robles. “With that said, we do know that nipple or genital stimulation can increase oxytocin levels in a woman, which is the hormone responsible for uterine contractions. The theoretical risk is there, but definitely not proven.”

5. It'll Give You An Oxytocin High

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One hormone that deserves a high-five is oxytocin. It's responsible for putting you in a good mood, and when you have an orgasm, oxytocin has a party in your brain. Oxytocin is also responsible for labor contractions, per Healthline, which is where the notion that sex in the third trimester can lead to preterm labor began. However, research on the connection between orgasms and labor induction is mixed, so if you don’t have any preterm labor risk factors, just sit back and enjoy that glorious mood.

6. It May Be Your Only Option

“Many women pregnant or otherwise are not in a partnered relationship. Those that are may find that their libido and their partner’s do not match,” says Dehn. She says men might be hesitant to have sex with their pregnant partner for many other reasons, including fear of hurting the baby. This means that your only chance for an orgasm is from taking matters into your own hands (literally).

7. It Reminds You Of Your Identity

As soon as I became pregnant, I started to feel my identity shift. Taking on a new role as "mom" can bring up a lot of questions and emotions. But letting go and enjoying an orgasm can remind you that you're more than just someone's mother — you're still a woman and a sexual being.

8. It May Help Your Immunity

You may have heard that orgasms can boost your immunity. While there isn’t enough evidence to prove that this is most certainly the case, some researchers have found some correlation between the two. “There have been a couple of very small studies suggesting that chemicals related to the body’s immune system are impacted by sexual stimulation,” psychiatrist Gail Saltz, M.D., at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, told Health. Even if this were the case, however, it would not be enough of a boost to fight off infection, she said. If anything, orgasms don’t have any adverse effect on your immunity, so as long as your doctor gives you any reason not to self-pleasure yourself, you might as well indulge.

9. It Can Make You Love Yourself Even More

As you experience physical changes throughout pregnancy, it's common to start to feel a little disconnected from your body. A 2016 study in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology found that orgasm in women is associated with better self-esteem. It’s an excellent form of self-care, and you might as well put those nine months of pregnancy hormones to good (and pleasurable) use. And as Dehn says, “Why not start or end your day with a smile?”

Studies referenced:

Kontula, O. & Miettinen, A. (2016). Determinants of female sexual orgasms. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5087699/

Experts:

Barbara Dehn, N.P., women’s health nurse practitioner at El Camino Women’s Medical Group and author of Your Personal Guide to Pregnancy

Brittany Noel Robles, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist and certified personal trainer specializing in postpartum

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