Considering the various benefits of female masturbation, it should come as no surprise that pregnant women—especially those that see an increase in libido—continue to masturbate. Typically, some of those benefits include “relaxation, anxiety and stress reduction, and intimacy with a partner (such as during mutual masturbation),” says Dr. Millheiser.
During months when a lot of things may not feel so good—let’s hear it for morning sickness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, heartburn, hemorrhoids, constipation, and headaches—self-pleasure doesn’t need a justification. “I literally just masturbated because I was that horny during pregnancy,” says Angela, 38. “I probably did it every day during my third trimester and still had sex with my husband that night.” Sarah, 39, agrees. “During my second pregnancy, all of my appetites were increased,” she says. “I probably masturbated a couple of times a week, in addition to having sex with my husband.”
Is Masturbation During Pregnancy Safe?
In most cases, masturbating during pregnancy is perfectly safe. “In general, a woman cannot hurt the baby during masturbation,” Millheiser says. “However, placing sex toys inside of the vagina during masturbation should be avoided if conditions such as preterm cervical dilation, preterm premature rupture of membranes, vaginal bleeding, abnormal positioning of the placenta, or preterm contractions and labor are present.”
Hearing this came as a real relief. Before this pregnancy, I suffered a miscarriage. And like so many women, I questioned every little thing in fear that it might happen again. “I had suffered a miscarriage prior to my pregnancy and I knew that an orgasm was a ‘wee little contraction,’ so I made my ob-gyn swear on his life that orgasming wouldn’t make me lose this totally viable, healthy pregnancy,” says Sarah, 39. “I probably asked him nine times and didn’t even care if he and his nurses talked about the weird horny lady after I left my appointments.”
I know what she meant; when I masturbated early on in pregnancy, I could feel my uterus contracting and it freaked me out for sure—but since Millheiser confirmed that a woman cannot hurt the baby during masturbation, I tried to stress about it less. I also spoke to my own doctor about my situation—something that all pregnant women should do—who echoed Millheiser’s words.
Masturbating during pregnancy is a regular routine for me—and many other women. With as much as goes on in our bodies and minds during pregnancy, masturbating is something within a our control to make ourselves feel a little better. And, honestly, anything that helps me relax, quiet my anxious brain, and lets me fall asleep quickly is something I will certainly continue to do.