Vibrators May Have Health Benefits
While many people are aware of the existence of vibrators for the use of sexual pleasure, they might not know that these devices may also provide significant sexual and overall health benefits.
Nevertheless, until now, vibrators have not been well studied. Therefore, very little is known about their potential health benefits such as improving pelvic floor muscle strength, helping with mild urinary incontinence, decreasing time to orgasm, and facilitating multiple orgasms.
A recent systematic literature review of all studies related to vibrator use in the genital area among a sample of women from inception to March 2021 yielded a total of 17 original studies. Eight of these studies looked at vibrator use and sexual functioning, 8 examined vibrator use and pelvic floor function, and 1 explored vibrator use for vulvar pain (vulvodynia). The following is a short summary of what the authors found:
- In a survey of 3,800 women, 53% reported using a vibrator at least once in their lifetime.
- Most of the women who reported using a vibrator (83.8%, n = 888) used it to stimulate the clitoris.
- Vibrators were found to help widen the blood vessels and promote blood flow in the pelvic floor muscles and genital region.
- Women between the ages of 19 and 64 years who used vibrators in a prospective cohort study demonstrated significant improvements in arousal, as measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and other sexual function assessment tools.
- Vibrator use decreases time to orgasm and helps to facilitate multiple orgasms in some women. In one study of 500 women who had anorgasmia for an average of 12 years, 93% were able to orgasm with the use of a vibrator.
- Stimulation with a vibrator was associated with increased sexual desire and satisfaction, as well as better overall sexual functioning.
- Vibrator use may help women with pelvic floor muscle strength and mild urinary incontinence by promoting improved circulation and pelvic floor muscle tone. However, further research must be done on the topic to support this thesis.
- The study on vibrator use in 49 participants with chronic vulvar pain revealed that 73% of the women reported a decrease in pain and 74% felt increased sexual enjoyment with vulvar vibration therapy (VVT).
Although more research must be done to clarify the potential health benefits of vibrators, thus far all studies related to vibrators and sexual health show positive, encouraging results. As such, people may benefit from starting to think of vibrators not just as sex toys, but also as tools to improve their sexual health and well-being.
- Dubinskaya, A., Horwitz, R., Scott, V., Anger, J., & Eilber, K. (2023). Is it time for doctors to Rx vibrators? A systematic review of pelvic floor outcomes. Sexual Medicine Reviews, 11(1), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1093/sxmrev/qeac008