Is it safe to use a vibrator while pregnant? Here's what you need to know

Sexual Health

5 min read

Is it safe to use a vibrator while pregnant? Here's what you need to know

Written by Team NORMAL on 24 Mar, 2022

Reviewed by Georgia Grace (Sex Coach)

In news that will surprise absolutely no one: During pregnancy, lots of things change. Besides the obvious transformations a pregnant body goes through (while working overtime to grow a new life!), you might experience some other things too... like an increased libido.

And, if you've found yourself here after Googling whether it's safe to use a vibrator while pregnant, we've got you sorted.

Below, we'll be diving into whether it's safe to use a vibrator during pregnancy. Plus, we'll also be looking into some other frequently asked questions like whether sex or an orgasm can induce labour or put your unborn baby at risk, and how you can use a vibrator safely during pregnancy.

How does your libido change during pregnancy?

First, we'd like to set something straight because this is one area of women's health that's never been discussed enough and it's something you're *pretty* unlikely to find in the pregnancy and parenting information leaflets handed out at the doctor's office.

If you've found your sexual appetite has substantially increased during pregnancy, it's important to know that that is a totally normal part of any healthy pregnancy.

The end of the first trimester is a time many women experience a heightened sexual appetite... It may then taper off a little before popping up again (surprise!) as the pregnancy progresses into the third trimester.

Again, seeking sexual pleasure during pregnancy is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of. If you have a partner, try to keep them informed of how you're feeling along the way. We suggest leaning into your newfound sex drive and embracing it because once the baby arrives, you (and your partner if you're coupled up) will have a lot less time on your hands!

Is it safe to use a vibrator while pregnant?

Using a vibrator while pregnant is generally safe and will not affect the health of your growing baby. Hormonal changes in your body may have you feeling the urge to enjoy masturbation or sex more than usual — particularly at certain stages in your first and third trimester.

There's no need to worry about impacting all that busy baby growth happening inside your body as long as you're keeping your sex toys safe for use with regular cleaning and following any specific advice from your health care provider.

That said, there are a few cases when it's not safe to insert objects into the vagina or orgasm during pregnancy which brings us to our next couple of points...

When shouldn't you use vibrators and sex toys during pregnancy?

Although it's widely considered perfectly safe to have penetrative sex and use a vibrator during a low-risk pregnancy, it's not advised for those with high-risk pregnancies. It's thought that around 10 to 15 per cent of women fall into the 'high-risk' category in Australia.

Pregnancy can be classed 'high-risk' or 'complicated' based on heaps of different factors but some of the most common ones include:

Have a chat with your doctor or ob-gyn specialist if you're unsure about whether you've got a high-risk pregnancy.

Can orgasm induce labour in pregnant women?

Good news dear friends, orgasms will not induce labour and there's no need to avoid sexual activity except in exceptional circumstances. In a healthy pregnancy, uterine contractions will only begin once the body is ready to give birth.

However, there are some cases in which doctors suggest pregnant women exercise caution when it comes to having an orgasm. If you're at risk of preterm labour (premature delivery occurring before the due date between pregnancy weeks 20 and 37) or have placenta previa (a condition where a low lying placenta covers all or part of the opening of the cervix) it's wise to avoid vibrators, vaginal penetration and sex.

There's currently limited evidence from academic research institutions and other credible sources to support abstaining from sex or vibrator use in these circumstances but it is advisable based on the peer-reviewed studies we currently have.

Which sex toys are safe to use during pregnancy?

Most types of sexual wellness products are fine for use during pregnancy — as long as your doctor hasn't told you sexy playthings, masturbation or sex with a partner is off the cards.

Unless your pregnancy health care provider has told you sex toys are a no go, body-safe silicone, metal and glass sexual wellness products are all fine to use as long as they don't cause you pain during sex. Just avoid oversized toys as well as anything with sharp edges.

If you have a short cervix, your doctor will also probably advise you not to use sex toys that are inserted into the vagina. If that's the case, you can stick with manual masturbation or sexual wellness tools that provide external stimulation instead. There are also some positions which may be safer for pregnancy sex which you can explore with your partner.

Keep your toys clean to prevent infection

Cleaning probably seems like the most unsexy part of using a vibrator but during pregnancy, it's more important than ever. Pregnancy can make you more prone to getting infections so it's crucial to ensure you're practising good hygiene with any sexual wellness products you're using in the genital region.

Plus, being extra careful with cleaning and storing vibrators properly won't just help you avoid infection, it will prolong the life of your toys, too. Bonus!

If you're someone who often gets UTIs or vaginal infections, you'll need to be even more mindful about sex toy hygiene. If you're using these items with a partner, make sure they're aware of all of this stuff, too.

How to keep sex toys clean:

  1. Check what the product is made from as this will determine what you can use to clean it. Silicone toys — like NORMAL's range — can be cleaned using antibacterial hand soap or an oil-free sex toy cleaning spray and this method is fine to use on other sex toys made from metal and glass products as well. NORMAL's Toy & Hand Cleaning Spray is a citrus-scented product that is perfect for cleaning your toys.

  2. Read the manufacturer's instructions to see whether they've provided any specific tips.

  3. Cleaning time! Grab a warm, soapy cloth — or your toy cleaning spray — and gently wipe the surface of the product.

  4. If the sex toy has any hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to thoroughly clean them, too.

  5. Finito! Repeat this process after every use to keep your vibrator clean and avoid a nasty vaginal infection from popping up (ain't nobody got time for those).

How to store sex toys

Keep sex toys stored away in a safe spot out of reach of children and animals when not in use. If your product came with a storage pouch, keep it wrapped in this to prevent dust from getting on it, otherwise, simply use a clean cloth bag.

Want some more info on keeping vibrators clean? Check out our guide to cleaning sex toys.

Increased sexual libido is just one of the new and exciting things you might experience during pregnancy.

If you're interested in learning more, we love Kin's Pregnancy Checklist. It's got everything from tips on tracking pregnancy milestones right down to all the key baby products to have ready when your bub arrives.

To learn more about the foundations of great sex from acclaimed sex coach Georgia Grace, check out NORMAL's online video masterclass The Modern Guide to Sex.