Your first pregnancy can be an exciting time. You’re preparing to bring a new life into the world and are on a journey to becoming a parent for the first time. While there’s a lot to be excited about, pregnancy can also be a time fraught with anxiety and worry. It’s hard to know what’s safe and what isn’t when you’re carrying a baby, especially with so many pregnancy myths in the world. And because masturbation is such a taboo subject, people may be afraid to ask if it’s safe to masturbate while pregnant.
There’s this weird idea that being a pregnant person is completely removed from being a sexual person — that pregnancy and sexuality cannot co-exist and, if they do, that it’s somehow wrong or dirty. So let’s just clear that up right now: You are allowed to be both a parent and a sexual being. You are allowed to orgasm while carrying a baby. You are allowed to seek pleasure while pregnant, whether that’s with a partner or by yourself. It is not weird or gross — it’s natural.
It is totally normal to want sex when you’re pregnant. And since pregnancy results in hormonal changes that bring about a mega libido boosters, you might find that you want sex more now that you’re pregnant. As your progesterone and estrogen levels rise, so might your libido. And, as long as your doctor says that you have a low-risk pregnancy that is progressing normally, masturbating during pregnancy is totally safe.
Why Would I Want To Masturbate During Pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, you might actually find that pleasuring yourself serves multiple purposes. There’s the obvious purpose of orgasmic release, but there’s another, more personal and intimate purpose that masturbation can serve. During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes that can feel incredibly jarring. When I was pregnant, my body changed so rapidly that most days I didn’t recognize it as my own. While I was excited about the life growing inside me, I sometimes felt very disconnected from my physical self.
Masturbation was a great way for me to explore my new body, learn my new body, and connect with my new body. It allowed me to touch myself in soft, gentle, and exploratory ways without pressure or expectation from a partner there to distract me. I could take my time and do what felt right for me. I could experiment with hard touch and light touch. I could stroke this place or that place. And in doing that, I was able to feel present in my new body.
Masturbation also served another purpose for me during my pregnancy. I had an incredibly rough pregnancy. I was sick a lot and carried a lot of pain in virtually every part of my body. More often that not, being in my body was a miserable experience for me when I was pregnant. Masturbation provided an escape from that pain, and allowed me to find actual pleasure in my body. It was really important for me to find a way to feel good in my pregnant body because I spent so much time feeling bad in it.
How Can I Masturbate While Pregnant?
Masturbating during pregnancy isn’t all that different from masturbating when you’re not pregnant. Although if you usually lie on your stomach to pleasure yourself, that position will no longer work for you.
Another option that might seem appealing during pregnancy is to masturbate in the bath. Many people find that the water is good for sore, achy body parts, according to Fit Pregnancy. When I was pregnant, being submerged in water was the only time I didn’t feel giant and bloated. If you have a removable shower head, the water pressure can feel good on all your body parts — vulva and clitoris included. Just make sure that the water temperature isn’t too hot and that you keep your bathing time under 15 minutes, as BabyCenter notes that extremely hot temperatures can cause problems for you and your baby.
Using sex toys to assist with masturbation is also a fun option, and BabyCenter notes that it’s safe to use vibrators during pregnancy if you’re cleared to be able to have sex and orgasms by your doctor. A long-handled vibrator used clitorally may help with reach. Sex toy blogger and expert, Epiphora, recommends the Lelo Mona 2 for this purpose. For an inexpensive option, try the Blueberry Buzz, which has many speed options and, since it’s made of hard plastic, it conducts vibrations strongly. It’s important to be gentle if you decide to use an insertable toy, as toys that are too long or too hard can cause discomfort during pregnancy. Epiphora recommends something made from dual density silicone, like the O2 line from Tantus or VixSkin from Vixen Creations.
Shanna Katz, board certified sexologist, reminds us that it’s important to use a 100 percent silicone or hard plastic toy, as toys that contain phthalates can cause irritation or other problems and haven’t been studied for their impact on pregnant bodies Just be sure to use a water-based lubricant if you use a silicone toy, as the additional silicone causes a chemical reaction that will ruin your toy.
Whatever route you choose, don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself — and your body — while you’re pregnant!