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 , tells Romper. “Masturbation is a terrific release.” Your Personal Guide to Pregnancy
All the good feels aside, pregnant women can soak up some additional benefits to masturbation during pregnancy 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
Everyday life can be stressful enough, but add being pregnant to the mix and your anxiety about everything can increase. m=Masturbating while pregnant is one way of addressing this. Obstetrician and gynecologist
Brittany Noel Robles, 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 Masturbating while pregnant is safe
Pregnant women often find themselves second-guessing every decision they make, questioning whether or not it is good for their baby, but if you have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, 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.
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 can be more intense during pregnancy
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.
4 Masturbating while pregnant doesn’t induce early labor Pedro Linares / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
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 Masturbating while pregnant you an oxytocin rush
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, which is where the notion that sex in the third trimester can lead to preterm labor began. However, if you don’t have any preterm labor risk factors, our experts say it’s just fine to sit back and enjoy that glorious post-O mood.
6 Masturbation 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 Masturbation during pregnancy can help you feel like yourself
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 you, and a sexual being.
8 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?”
In case you need a reason to seek out a little pleasure during these long months, now you’ve got eight great ones.
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
This article was originally published on
May 31, 2016