As a sex educator, some of the questions that I field the most are about sex during pregnancy, and especially toy usage. On some level this was surprising for my first few years in the field - Hey! You got pregnant doing this! - but we all know sexual expertise is not a pregnancy requirement - in some cases it’s how you achieved the blessed miracle! - and the body changes, hormones pile up, and paranoia about harming your baby or yourself rages. So I’m going to take a few moments today to answer some of the most common questions and give advice on how to care for yourself and your toys during this time, while still having some of the best sex and orgasms of your life!
The most common question I get is this - “Is it normal that I want sex ALL THE TIME now?” Why yes, yes it is! Estrogen and progesterone are off the charts during pregnancy, and that makes your labia and vagina engorged and super-lubricated, sometimes with increased sensitivity too. You aren’t having devious naughty thoughts all the time because your precious seed growing inside has turned you into a pervert - it’s because the chemicals coursing through your body are making you more sensitive and you are aroused! Now the next thing I would tell you is to remember that every body and every pregnancy is different - I have had five pregnancies and while most of them fit this model, in the first I didn’t notice a difference and in the last, it was probably better to stay away from me completely - the idea of sex induced rage.
So should you have sex differently - or use different toys? This one makes us laugh when we aren’t pregnant, but everyone asks during the first pregnancy! “Normal” sex is fine - if you deviate a bit - rougher or maybe with particular fetishes, use some common sense. If your partner is 10 inches and he’s lacerated your non-pregnant cervix before with rough sex, don’t have rough sex now. If you’re into extreme BDSM, be more careful with the activities you consent to. Other than that, unless certain positions or activities are more uncomfortable - which is possible, due to the aforementioned engorgement of the area - you don’t need to refrain from any particular activities. The baby can’t see you, and the baby won’t be harmed by a penis poking into the uterus - promise!
As for toys, there may be some you shouldn’t use, but again this is going to come down to common sense. Most vibrators, bullets, rings, and eggs are fine. The 12-inch long, 7-inch girth dildo should probably be put away for awhile. Most of the advice for how to use and care for sex toys during pregnancy follow normal standards of practice, but if we’re honest we all slip sometimes. Don’t while pregnant!
- Clean your toys! Especially anything that penetrates the vagina should be thoroughly cleaned before and after every use, and stored properly. The Antibacterial Cleaning Spray from Lelo is one of our favorites. It kills 99.9% of germs. It’s pH-balanced, with low irritation - perfect for pregnancy - with antifungal and antiviral properties. It works with latex, rubber, and silicone. Store in a clean and protected place - not tossed in a bedside table drawer filled with candy wrappers, your journal, and dust, for example.
- Don’t mix and match, and be careful about anal sex in general. This is all year-round information, but don’t use a toy in your vagina that you used anally, especially when pregnant. Fecal contamination can cause a nasty infection! You’ll be even more uncomfortable than you normally would. Quick treatment shouldn’t harm the baby, but treatment options may be limited. Consider avoiding anal as much as possible anyway though - it’s easy to get hemorrhoids during pregnancy, and they’ll bleed easily (and hurt!) with the tiniest amount of pressure. If you do continue anal, use smaller toys than usual - try the Anal Fantasy Collection Beginners Anal Anchor.
- Check labels! How often do you see labels that say “For external use only” or “Do not use if pregnant” - avoid those products, obviously! Also avoid anything cooling, warming, or containing sugar. Be careful with scents and flavors too. Normally, I recommend silicone lubricants almost exclusively, but there’s evidence they can upset the pH balance in the vagina, so when pregnant or with an infection, use a water-based lube. If you’re looking for a good lubricant to use during pregnancy, try Erosense Aqua Water-based Lubricant.
- Avoid plastics. Plastics aren’t found in most baby products anymore, unless they’re marked “phthalate-free”. Phthalates disrupt hormones and you’ve got enough of that happening right now, and it may be harmful for a developing fetus. If you’re looking for a PVC dildo though, try the Colours Softie - it’s realistic and body-safe - even pregnant body-safe!
- Careful! Don’t try anything new right now - your breasts are sensitive so avoid nipple clamps; your joints are loosening to prepare your hips for birth so avoid bondage. Your cervix is more fragile so avoid extremely large or inflexible dildos or vibrators.
- Now is a time for creativity! If your doctor has told you to avoid sex, you should avoid penetrative sex toys too. But why must you avoid? You might still be able to orgasm, so try the Le Wand Massager. But if that’s off-limits too, well, let’s face it, you’ll probably be having lots of muscle ache because you’re not moving too much - try it on your back and sore legs for a little relief!