Vibrators are good for women: study
Vibrators could benefit women’s health, according to a study that raises the question of whether it’s time for doctors to start prescribing the devices as treatments.
The stigma associated with using vibrators and other sex toys is starting to fade, although for many people they still remain taboo.
But research has found that their use could offer a variety of potential health benefits.
In the study, lead author Dr. Alexandra Dubinskaya of Cedar-Sinai Medical Center and her colleagues reviewed the current literature on this topic. The results of that survey were presented Friday at the American Urological Association’s 2022 annual meeting in New Orleans.
“As a urogynecologist, I spend my time talking to women about their genital and sexual health,” Dubinskaya said. Newsweek. “It is often shared that no medical professional has ever spoken to them about their sex life, or their solo sexual experiences.”
“There is a stigma associated with masturbation and vibrators. At the same time, the concept of ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ is well understood and applied to other parts of the body,” a- she declared. “However, this concept has not been applied to pelvic floor, genitourinary or sexual health. I wanted to learn more about this topic, so I created the literature review.”
In the review, the researchers’ aim was to analyze the effect of vibrator use on sexual function, pelvic floor dysfunction and vulvar pain.
To do this, Dubinskaya and her colleagues performed a systematic review of multiple medical databases, looking for studies on this topic that included certain keywords, such as “vibrator” or “sex toy.”
In total, the researchers identified 558 articles with relevant keywords, then narrowed that number down to 21 articles that met all of their criteria for the questions they wanted to study.
While the number of studies on vibrator use and its effects on pelvic floor health, sexual function, and vulvar pain was relatively limited, according to Dubinskaya, the few available studies showed an “overall positive attitude” towards vibrator. vibrator use among women and an acceptance of receiving vibrators from medical providers.
Additionally, studies have shown that vibrator use has a “positive effect” in several areas of women’s health, including improvements in urinary incontinence and pelvic floor muscle strength, as well as a vulvar pain relief.
“I was happy to see that there are studies on this topic,” Dubinskaya said. “I am not surprised by the results. I am convinced that there are many other benefits of using the vibrator that we are probably not yet familiar with.”
Based on the results of her research, Dubinskaya said that using a vibrator has a positive effect in all areas of the sexual response cycle.
“Vibrators reduce the time it takes to reach orgasm, facilitate multiple orgasms, and improve sex-related distress,” she said. “We know from female sexual medicine that positive sexual experiences encourage women to have sex in the future. It can be inferred that vibrators can improve a woman’s sexual desire by returning sexual pleasure easily achievable in a solo and/or couple relationship.”
Despite the existence of the reviewed scientific papers in the review, Dubinskaya said that vibrators were not well studied and their potential benefits or harms had not been comprehensively assessed (although no serious complications were been reported with their use).
Additionally, there is a lack of research on whether different types of vibrators produce different health effects.
“Different vibrators have different characteristics: vibration type, speed and intensity. They also vary in the route of application: vaginal or external,” Dubinskaya said. “As further studies are conducted, the specific benefit of different design features would be [better] understood.”
Scientists are now calling for new research and more detailed studies to better understand their effects on sexual health.
In fact, researchers suggest that given the potential health benefits of vibrators, they may one day be recommended to women by medical professionals for the treatment of certain conditions, such as pelvic floor disorders, that occur when the muscles or connective tissues of the pelvic area weaken or are injured.
“Medical providers, especially gynecology, urology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, need more extensive education about women’s sexual health and vibrators,” Dubinskaya said. “I believe all of this is possible because we are now normalizing the discussion of women’s sexual health.”