Masturbation During Pregnancy
This article was medically fact-checked by Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Shree Datta.
When you think of pregnancy, we doubt that the first thing that comes to mind is masturbation.
Well just because someone is pregnant, doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of having a wonderfully sensual masturbation practice. Pleasure and pregnancy are not mutually exclusive!
Just in case you’re wondering – yes, masturbation during pregnancy is absolutely safe. Unless advised against by your medical provider.
It’s also important to note, that it’s totally normal and ok to not want to masturbate or have sex while pregnant. There are so many things going on in your constantly changing body, that it can be hard to feel aroused.
Why Should You Masturbate While Pregnant?
The biggest reason to masturbate while pregnant is of course – because you want to!
After that, masturbation offers a myriad of benefits, especially for pregnant people.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time. Masturbation is a great way to blow off some steam, and relieve stress. If you’re feeling anxious, or having any difficulty sleeping – which can both be common during pregnancy, masturbation can be a great way to combat these feelings, and help you regulate.
Masturbation is self care after all, and what better time to be practicing self care than when pregnant?
Tune into Your Body
It’s normal to feel disconnected from your body and sense of pleasure while pregnant.
Masturbation gives you time to connect with your body in a way that doesn’t have to do with the fact that you’re currently growing a human.
You deserve to feel as sexual, sensual, and connected as you want to be while pregnant.
While orgasms by no means have to be the ultimate end goal of masturbation, they sure are nice when they do happen!
In fact, your orgasms may be even stronger while pregnant.
A pregnant person’s blood volume can increase by up to 50%! This means some of that extra blood is flowing straight to your genitals. An extra sensitive vulva means your orgasms may be that much stronger.
Increased levels of the hormones progesterone, estrogen, and oxytocin can also make for extra charged orgasms and masturbation sessions.
Prepare for Labor
Orgasms cause the uterus to contract over and over, in a similar, but different way than it does during labor.
Masturbation during pregnancy can help to tone the uterus, which may help prepare the body for labor.
Not only that, but some people even find relief through sexual stimulation during labor. It’s not unheard of for people to use vibrators, breast stimulation, or manual clitoral massage whilst laboring. Some people even have orgasmic births!
Why not prepare for labor, by masturbating while pregnant?
An Altertnative to Sex
Whether or not you have a partner, sex may not be on the table for you while pregnant.
If you normally have penetrative sex, you and your partner may not be as open to it for whatever reasons. Masturbation gives you an opportunity to stay sexual, while respecting each others’ comfort zones.
If you do have a partner, you can also try mutual masturbation. Watching each other touch yourselves is a hot exercise. It gives you a chance to connect on an intimate level, while still being conscientious of any sexual limitations due to pregnancy.
Pregnancy Masturbation Tips
Your go to masturbation routine may not be comfortable or accessible while pregnant.
Just like other forms of pregnancy sex, you might have to get creative when it comes to positions.
Here are some techniques to try:
- The Pillow Palace: Prop yourself up on a whole bunch of pillows, and support your knees with even more cushions. This gives you easy access to your clitoris, while still supporting your pregnant body. You can even prop your butt up a bit on a cushion, and adjust to try different angles.
- Side-Lying: This may be the most reliable position, especially as you get further along in your pregnancy. Again, pillows are your friend here. You can use cushions to support your belly, between your knees, under your head, and behind your back.
- Get on All Fours: If this is comfortable for you, try doggy style during solo sex! If it’s too much pressure on your knees, once again pillows are your friend. This may be easier in the early stages of pregnancy.
- The Bathtub: Talk about the ultimate self-care session. Grab a waterproof toy, some epsom salts, and say “Ahh, OHHHH”!
Any Reasons to Avoid Masturbation while Pregnant?
If your medical provider advises against masturbating while pregnant, it may be because you are high risk, or have a condition that could potentially cause complications.
Pregnancy complications that may inhibit your ability to masturbate include placenta previa and a history of preterm labor.
It’s important to note that if your provider tells you not to have sex, that may not necessarily rule out masturbation. Be sure to ask for clarification, and if masturbation or external stimulation is still on the table!
Facts Checked By:
Dr. Shree Datta is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in London, specialising in women’s health including all menstrual problems such as fibroids and endometriosis. Dr. Shree is a keen advocate for patient choice, having written numerous articles and books to promote patient and clinician information. Her vision resonates with INTIMINA, with the common goals of demystifying periods and delivering the best possible care to her patients.
Article written by:
Natasha (she/her) is a full-spectrum doula and health+wellness copywriter. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, health, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more education and empowerment. You can connect with Natasha on IG @natasha.s.weiss.