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Masturbation during pregnancy: Everything you need to know

When women think of pregnancy, masturbation and sexual pleasure are both words that are unlikely to come to mind. This often forgotten area of a woman’s life shouldn’t take a back seat just because you are pregnant, and if anything, maintaining a healthy and active solo sex life is important for both your physical and mental well being (if your doc has given you the all clear for sex – make sure you ask at your first appointment).

Of course in the first trimester many women struggle with morning sickness and feeling particularly unsexy. This is completely normal and should pass as you move into the second trimester. Once this passes, you might feel ready for you and your partner to reconnect sexually, but no matter where you are in your pregnancy, there are certain things that are really helpful to know when it comes to self-pleasure.

  1. Being pregnant doesn’t mean your usual routines should stop, and this includes masturbation. If you’ve always been a woman who’s keen to explore her body and bring herself pleasure, pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to slow down. You should most certainly listen to your desires and meet them in whatever way works for you. If you’ve always been a woman who likes using her hands to masturbate, there’s no need to stop.
  2. Most sex toys for women are safe for masturbation during pregnancy, but check the label and listen to your body. If you’ve been using toys pre-pregnancy, you don’t have to stop using them! If your doctor has said sex is fine, then most sex toys will be safe for you to use as well. With any sex toy use (pregnant or not) you should follow usual routines such as cleaning them properly with a suitable toy cleaner or hot soapy water, and store them in a clean place. Never use a toy anally and then vaginally without cleaning in between! Sex toys are also usually harder and more solid than an actual penis, so it’s important to be aware of being too rough. Again, listen to your body! If you’re keen to buy a new toy when you’re pregnant, make sure it “phthalate free” as this type of plastic can be harmful to pregnant women. If in doubt, rather don’t use your old toy internally.
  3. Lotions and potions need a little extra care. Make sure you read the labels of any new product you’re using to pleasure yourself. Some products are heavily scented or contain ingredients that aren’t suitable for pregnant women. If you’re unsure, don’t use it. Stick to more natural lubricants, such as the Pjur silicone lubricant or an organic range like Yes!
  4. Things will feel even better than usual. Due to the increase in hormones in your body during pregnancy, you’re likely going to experience more arousal and sensation. You might find that the sensations from your rabbit vibrator are even more exciting and pleasurable. Learn to go with what feels good for you and explore your body while it’s in this heightened state. Erogenous zones are as important as clitoral stimulation. Don’t just focus on your breasts, nipples and vulva when you masturbate. Include your neck, lips, ears, lower stomach etc. These areas are heightened to sexual pleasure and will lead to a more satisfying sexual experience overall

About Catriona Boffard

Catriona Boffard

Catriona Boffard is a Sexologist, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist, Sexuality Researcher & Educator and Author. She is a globally recognized authority on sex, and has delivered her expert advice on TV, radio, corporate and public platforms. She is an expert in the field of sexual behaviour and well-being, with a particular interest in helping couples reestablish their sexual intimacy and empowering women to embrace their sexuality. She works from a biopsychosocial perspective; assessing and treating clients through an integrative approach which explores the physiological, psychological and social factors behind their concerns.

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