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The urge to masturbate is natural. However, there are limited discussions about it, as the topic is deemed a taboo. This is why pregnant women may find it difficult to initiate a conversation about whether engaging in masturbation during pregnancy is safe. Left in the dark as they cannot find answers, they tend to forgo the idea.
To all the pregnant women wondering if they can masturbate during pregnancy, the answer is yes! It is natural and safe unless you have a high-risk pregnancy (in which case, some degree of caution should be exercised).
Is It Safe to Masturbate During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, some women find that their libido increases due to hormonal changes. An increase in the level of oestrogen and progesterone will likely boost your sexual appetite. Engaging in masturbation and even sex during this time is completely safe. You may experience mild cramps once you achieve an orgasm due to muscle contractions. This can further cause Braxton Hicks contractions, which decrease and eventually stop.
It is also possible that due to intense nausea and fatigue, some women may lose interest in sex or masturbation.
Reasons to Masturbate When Pregnant
It is undeniable that the benefits of masturbating while pregnant are plenty. Some of them are:
- It relieves stress: When you orgasm after masturbating, your body releases oxytocin, which is a natural stress-reliever.
- Orgasms can be even better during pregnancy: Orgasms experienced during pregnancy are a notch above regular orgasms, which means added pleasure.
- It’s a great alternative for sex: Your growing belly or a medical condition may prevent you from having sex or make it difficult for you, which is when masturbation can come to your rescue.
- It can provide relief from pregnancy symptoms: Some of the least enjoyable things about pregnancy are symptoms like morning sickness, swollen feet, back pain, etc. Having an orgasm can provide natural pain relief from these symptoms.
- It can help you sleep: When the growing belly makes sleeping difficult, you can rely on masturbation, as orgasms lower blood pressure and release endorphins that can help you sleep.
- It can make labour easier: A strong pelvic floor can be beneficial during labour and delivery. Masturbation and orgasms can strengthen your pelvic floor.
- It can make you love your body: You may feel a little disconnected with your pregnant body owing to all the changes that your body is going through. Masturbating and exploring yourself can help you feel connected to your body again and make you love it.
Aside from these benefits, some doctors also believe that babies may be soothed or comforted by the rhythmic contractions that are caused by orgasms!
Masturbation Hacks for Pregnant Women
With all these benefits, you will, no doubt, want to give yourself a much-deserved break and indulge in self-love. Here are a few hacks that can make the whole masturbation experience even better.
1. Keep Your Sex Toys Handy
Using your sex toys during pregnancy is not only safe, but also more pleasurable. Pick up your vibrator for some mild thrusting that can leave you elated.
2. Use Lubricants
Before getting down to it and using your sex toys or fingers, you may want to use a lubricant. Vaginal dryness in common in many women during pregnancy and applying lubricant can make the entire experience better as it tends to make the genitals extra sensitive.
3. Take All the Time You Need
Due to the changes in your body, your masturbation experience may be different from before. For some, it may take more time to get in the mood, and for others, it may take no time at all! The added blood flow to the genital region during pregnancy can make it super sensitive, so take time with your body and explore it at your pace. Work with what suits your pregnancy body.
4. Explore Different Positions
Your body has changed a lot, and you now have a large belly that can make regular masturbation tough – you may need to go through a lot of trial and error to zero in on a comfortable position. It is said that lying on your back isn’t ideal during pregnancy; you may want to try lying on your side, standing on all fours, or even bending over the bed.
5. Draw Yourself a Bath
Water can have a soothing effect on the body during pregnancy. You can also take a warm shower for your back, provided the water is not too hot. It can also prevent discomfort and help you achieve orgasm faster.
6. Do It Before Bedtime
Masturbating right before bedtime can help you sleep better, as orgasms boost endorphins and relax the body.
7. Clitoral Stimulation for People on Pelvic Rest
If your doctor has put you on pelvic rest for any reason, it most likely means that you are off sex. However, you can still engage in masturbation by stimulating your clitoris and achieve an orgasm! However, confirm the feasibility of this with your doctor beforehand.
8. Set the Mood
Many women may not particularly experience an increase in libido due to stress caused by symptoms. If you are one of them, you can try setting the mood with some scented candles, erotic books, slipping into your favourite lingerie, etc. Make masturbation a pleasurable experience from start to finish, and make it worth your while.
Precautions to Take While Masturbating
Although masturbation during pregnancy is largely safe, a few precautions can help you enjoy it without any complications.
- Ensure that the sex toys that are being used are properly cleaned and sanitised to prevent infections. Clean it after every use and store it in a cool, dry place.
- Do not use any foreign objects to masturbate, as the chances of them carrying bacteria and viruses are higher. Also, small objects tend to get lost in the vagina and sharp objects can injure the walls of the vagina, so stay away from them.
- Keep your nails short. Long nails can cause tears in external or internal genitalia, which can invite bacteria.
- Stop when you experience any kind of discomfort of pain. If the pain persists, consult a doctor for assistance.
When Should You Avoid Masturbation?
Although there aren’t many side-effects of masturbation during pregnancy, it is best to avoid masturbating if you are at risk of pre-term labour or have had a risk of pre-term labour in your previous pregnancy. If you suffer from vaginal bleeding, refrain from masturbating. Also, in case you have been diagnosed with a condition called placenta praevia – where the placenta covers the opening of the mother’s cervix – it’s best to avoid masturbation. Some other conditions that would require you to steer clear of masturbation during pregnancy are:
- A weakened cervix
- Premature rupture of membranes
- Uterine infections
- Intrauterine growth restrictions
Masturbation is natural, safe, and a great stress-reliever, especially in a low-risk pregnancy. However, in case you have a high-risk pregnancy or have been asked by your doctor to refrain from sexual activity, you must abide by it. It is important that you discuss the feasibility of masturbating with your doctor to understand what is permitted and what is not.
Resources and References: Healthline