Vibrators are personal massagers that can stimulate sensitive areas like the vagina, clitoris, nipples, anus, and penis to help induce orgasm. You can use them alone or with a partner and they can be a great way to spice up sex.
For low-risk pregnancies, vibrators are safe to use assuming you’re taking the proper precautions and listening to your body.
Unless your doctor has placed you on pelvic rest (meaning no sexual stimulation of any kind, including penetration with a penis or clitoral stimulation), most women are safe to use vibrators throughout their pregnancies. During the second trimester, libido is often back, and foreplay that leads to gentle orgasms can be just fine.
In the third trimester, you’re still OK to use a vibrator as long as you’re comfortable doing so. You may want to try some different positions, such as seated or spooning sex, since laying on your back can put pressure on blood vessels. It’s also important to listen to your body—if it doesn’t feel good, take a break.
You’ll also want to keep your sex toys clean. “You should be sure to wash your toys regularly, following the specific cleaning directions on your toy,” says Ross. This can help protect against bacterial infections. In addition, be sure to empty your bladder after masturbating—you’re more prone to UTIs during pregnancy, she adds. The last thing you want is for bacteria to enter your vaginal canal and potentially harm the baby.
While your OB-GYN might have given you the green light to enjoy some sexy vibrators in the third trimester (so long as your pregnancy is low risk and you listen to your body), it’s important to make sure that any sexual wellness tools you use are truly “body safe.” Checking for any scents, advertised “cooling” or “warming,” or chemicals is always a good idea.
Some women will experience spotting during orgasms, especially in the first trimester of their pregnancy, due to hormone shifts and the fact that their cervix is dilating. This is nothing to worry about, though, and it is normal.
As long as your doctor hasn’t put you on pelvic rest – which is basically a medical term that means no penetration at all, whether from a penis or a vibrator – you should be fine to vibe it up as usual. However, using an external clitoral vibrator can be safer if you do have a condition like placenta previa or cervical incompetence that makes penetrative sex dangerous. Just make sure you always use lube and never expose your vulva to any bacteria that could cause an infection.
Using a vibrator is safe during the third trimester as long as your doctor has given you the go-ahead. As you enter the final stretch of your pregnancy, your sex drive may wane and some women find that using their clitoris or vaginal area with a vibrator gives them more powerful orgasms than usual because of increased blood flow to the erogenous zones.
Vibrating during the third trimester can also help ease aches and pains from the changes to your body, as well as relieve some of the pressure on your blood vessels that comes with laying on your back for prolonged periods of time. However, you should stop if you feel any pain or spotting/bleeding from your use of the vibrator.
In the third trimester, you can also experiment with other ways to explore eroticism, such as seated positions and spooning sex, if your doctor has cleared it for you to do so. Just make sure that you keep your vibrator and other sex toys clean and use proper hygiene.
Most people experience a decrease in their libido when pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you should put your vibrator away. Vibrators are safe for most people to use during pregnancy if their pregnancy is considered low-risk, as long as they don’t have any complications like bleeding or other pregnancy problems (1).
While a woman can use her external vibrator safely, she should avoid penetrating her vagina too deeply with a sex toy or sharing her vibrator with anyone unless she has a doctor’s approval to do so (2). Vibrators and sex toys can harbor bacteria if they are not properly cleaned after each use, which is why it is important to sanitize your pleasure tools before each use while pregnant (3).
You should also avoid sex and vibrators if you have any pregnancy complications that prevent pelvic stimulation, such as placenta previa. This is when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix and can cause dangerous complications, including bleeding, miscarriage and premature labor (4). Those are the only instances in which a person should stop using a vibrator.
The answer to the question of whether vibrators are safe to use during pregnancy depends on your individual circumstances. If your doctor hasn’t put you on pelvic rest (which means nothing can go in your vagina other than a penis) or told you to avoid sexual activity, body-safe silicone and metal vibrators are fine to use as long as you keep them away from the cervix.
During the third trimester, you’ll want to be careful with clitoral toys that insert into the c-spot area as these can potentially cause a uterine contraction. It’s also a good idea to choose a toy that is less intense in terms of vibration intensity and size as a larger toy could be painful.
The age-old wisdom is that sex and orgasms during pregnancy are a good thing as they can help stimulate the womb to prepare for labor. However, this is only true for women who aren’t in the high-risk category of early labor, such as those with a short cervix or who have experienced complications such as leaky amniotic fluid.