When you're pregnant, your body wants what it wants, and good luck to anyone who gets in the way of that. Sometimes it craves certain foods; other times, it wants to watch certain movies or get a foot massage. And then there are the times when you're horny as all get-out and are in dire need of a reliable orgasm. If you happen to have a partner, you may look to them to scratch this particular itch, but for a variety of reasons, that's not always feasible. Perhaps your partner is out of town or simply not as interested in sex as you are at the moment. Or maybe you're all about efficiency and just want to get off without having to think about other people or their needs. And that's where pregnancy masturbation comes in.
Solo sex may be exactly what you need to handle pregnancy horniness (and the rest of the time, too, tbh). But you may also have a lot of questions about it. Here's what you need to know about pregnancy masturbation, including how to make the most of your time alone.
Can I masturbate while pregnant?
First of all, Jennifer Lincoln, MD, an OB-GYN and author of Let's Talk About Down There: An OB-GYN Answers All Your Burning Questions…without Making You Feel Embarrassed for Asking, says that in most cases, it's totally fine for pregnant people to masturbate — whether it's to orgasm, or to experience other types of pleasure. "In fact, for some pregnant people, penetrative sex doesn't always seem appealing or comfortable, and masturbation — solo or with your partner — can be a great way to still feel connected," she tells Scary Mommy.
If you need more convincing, some pretty sweet benefits come with a solid session. "Masturbation can help with insomnia — something that many pregnant people experience," Lincoln explains. "It's also a great stress reliever."
Is it safe to masturbate while pregnant?
According to Lincoln, masturbation is generally OK unless your provider has counseled you to avoid sex or orgasm. "Typically, we might caution against this for issues such as placenta previa — where the placenta covers the cervix and is at a higher risk of bleeding — or if you are at high risk for preterm labor," she explains. "This is because orgasm can lead to uterine contractions, which could cause issues in these kinds of pregnancies."
How can pregnant people get ready to masturbate?
Fun fact: Moms (and moms-to-be) get horny and enjoy porn, too. So if that's what gets you going, go for it. Otherwise, do whatever usually works for getting you in the mood, and then have at it.
"Luckily, there are no special rules for solo sex in pregnancy," Lincoln explains. "Advice such as not sharing toys, following instructions for cleaning and disinfecting toys, and washing your hands before and after are good for everyone!" So, go ahead and do what feels best for you: There aren't any specific masturbation techniques or positions you should avoid during pregnancy, she adds.
Here's a bit more to keep in mind:
- In addition to washing hands before masturbating, trim your fingernails if your fingers are doing most of the work. That way, you won't unintentionally scratch any vulvar or vaginal tissue.
- As always, lube is your best friend — no matter how you decide to masturbate.
- If anything hurts or feels uncomfortable, stop doing it
- Before using any of your sex toys, make sure they are clean. The last thing you want is an infection, especially while pregnant. So before breaking out your vibrator, wash your toys in warm, soapy water.
- Take your time while masturbating so you get a feel for what you like. Because of the extra blood flow, your genitals may be supersensitive. Techniques that may have turned you on before may not work now. Don't feel discouraged if things take a little while to build up but instead use that time to explore your body and see what works for you.
- This is not something that happens for all pregnant people, but masturbating may help ease discomfort. Some women have reported that having a big O reduced their aches and pains, especially in their feet. Is it foolproof? No. But it could be worth a shot, right?
As far as the best masturbation positions during pregnancy, that's also entirely up to you and what feels most comfortable. One exception? If your doctor tells you to avoid spending long periods of time lying on your back. In that case, try it while on your side or seated. And if lying on your back is your masturbation position of choice, now's the time to experiment with finding something new. But most importantly (after staying safe, of course), do what you need to do (within reason) to get off.
In other words, you do you — literally.
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