What do I need to know about sex toys?
Sex toys are becoming increasingly popular and are widely available. They are perfectly safe to use, as long as you act sensibly with them and follow any specific guidance that comes with the individual product.
Sex toys should be cleaned with baby soap and water only, unless manufacturer guidelines state otherwise. Using chemicals on anything connected to the vagina, anus or pelvic floor can upset the delicate balance of the area and cause skin or membrane irritation.
If your sex toy has a battery, do not submerge it in water, just give it a wipe with a damp, soapy cloth. Make sure you let them dry thoroughly before packing them away.
Choosing lubricants wisely is also important. Some lubricants are much better quality than others, and using cheap lubricants may also irritate the delicate tissues in the pelvic floor area. Oil-based lubricants are incompatible with condoms and silicone sex toys, so choose water-based for most situations.
Sex toys may even have a positive impact on your pelvic floor muscles! In particular, gadgets such as vibrators can be fantastic tools to help relax tense pelvic floor muscles.
They can also be used in place of dilators for women experiencing vaginal or vulval pain, and as part of a treatment programme. If you have any concerns about the way your pelvic floor feels when using a sex toy, consider asking a pelvic health physiotherapist for advice.