Does Masturbating While Pregnant Hurt The Baby? Science Responds

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Let's be honest for a moment, shall we? Just because you're pregnant, and practically the epitome of all things motherly and exalted at the moment, doesn't mean your urges have disappeared overnight. In fact, those urges might be even more, well, urgent. Truly, sometimes you just need to get off, and you're not waiting around for a hand up from your partner. But, you're worried. Is it safe? Does masturbating while pregnant hurt the baby?

Masturbating, like any form of intercourse, can pose potential risks to the mother and child. However, these are minimal and provided proper permission has been granted by your provider, and proper precautions taken, there's no reason not to have a fulfilling sex life during pregnancy whether you're solo or with your partner, according to The Mayo Clinic.

If you fall down the rabbit hole of message boards and mom blogs, you'll quickly find any number of old wives' tales regarding sex, masturbation, and pregnancy, and most of them are patently untrue and completely disregard contemporary scientific studies on the issue in favor of fear mongering and ridiculousness. (Sorry, dude who thinks urinating before sex means your girlfriend won't get pregnant if you ejaculate inside her.) But that fear? It's real. I know I worried over everything during pregnancy, including sex and masturbation. It's a legitimate concern. Thankfully, there's been a lot of research in this area.

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According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, sex and subsequently masturbation during pregnancy can be perfectly safe. The website noted that you need to obtain your provider's permission first, and be aware of your body. If you feel more tender, be more gentle. When you're pregnant, the blood flow to your genitals is increased, making it more sensitive and also more easily injured. The capillaries are full and close to the surface, making tearing a common occurrence.

Also, according to a study published in American Family Physician, you have to be careful with sex toys like vibrators and dildos. They must be very clean, to the point where you might want to consider covering them in a condom. They're also really hard. Much harder and with less give than your hand or an erect penis. You want to make sure you're not being overly rough in your penetration, as that can cause damage. Even if you normally love really rough sex and penetration, you'll have to dial it back until after you deliver. After that, if you're into Hulk smashing, go for it.

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Does masturbating while pregnant hurt the baby if you're hugely pregnant and feel like the baby is going to shoot out of your vagina like a rocket at any moment? According to Kidspot? It is no more likely to make you go into labor earlier than wishing on every star you can see. Which, if you're that pregnant, is a huge letdown. Heck, if masturbating brought on childbirth, there wouldn't be a vibrator available on Amazon. They'd all be sold out. At the end of my first pregnancy, I'd have gladly wore a pair of those vibrating panties to work if I thought it would have evicted my son any sooner. I'd have embarrassingly orgasmed all over the place in the name of childbirth.

You should note that spotting and cramping after orgasm during pregnancy are normal, and only worrisome if the cramping continues and becomes regular, and if the spotting increases instead of stops after your orgasm, according to The Mayo Clinic. But your baby is perfectly fine.

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If you're feeling randy, and find yourself alone, it's fine to get handsy with yourself as long as your doctor says it's OK, and you don't jackhammer your vag with a plastic phallus. Other than that? Keep the toys clean, kids.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

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Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

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