9 health benefits of using a vibrator, whether alone or with a partner

Your favorite sex toy can give you more of a boost than you think—these are the benefits of a vibrator you didn't know about...

Pink vibrator on blue background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Using a vibrator can deliver a lot more than great orgasms, as plenty of health benefits are associated with picking up the world's most popular sex toy, from helping you to discover new sexual fantasies to combating sexual anxiety. 

But using a vibrator can also help with daily life outside the bedroom too, as rumors that orgasms can help with period pain are not so mythical after all and you can reduce stress with the touch of a wand. 

Whether you're a fan of a rabbit or one of the best bullet vibrators, the type of sex toy that you use doesn't matter when it comes to reaping these benefits. It's all about how often you use it, explains Lovehoney (opens in new tab)'s resident sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight.

The health benefits of using a vibrator

1. Help you sleep soundly

While your favorite vibrator isn't something you'd want to cuddle up with at night, an orgasm before bed can do wonders for those who want to know how to sleep better, according to a study by Central Queensland University (opens in new tab)

They found that over half of participants reported improved sleep quality post-masturbation with a vibrator, with 47% reporting that they fell asleep quicker after masturbating. 

"Having an orgasm can lead to sounder, better-quality sleep, thanks to the fact that when you climax you produce the sleep-inducing hormone, prolactin," says Annabelle Knight. "So theoretically, you should enjoy better and more restful sleep after an orgasm. And, with a good night's sleep under your belt, you'll be better equipped to face the day."

2. Help you beat stress

An orgasm can improve your mental health and happiness, thanks to those mood-boosting hormones. As a study from the University of Rome Tor Vergata (opens in new tab) found when looking at those who were sexually active during lockdown compared to those who weren't, sexual activity and using a vibrator can contribute to lower anxiety and depression scores, thanks to the mood-boosting hormone oxytocin. 

“When you climax, you produce hormones called oxytocin and serotonin,” explains Knight. “These hormones are known as the ‘feel-good’ hormones because they are linked to happiness. Regular boosts of these hormones through orgasms with a vibrator, like one of the best wand vibrators, can contribute towards feeling less stressed and more positive.”

3. Aid heart health

While there's no doubt that monitoring your cholesterol levels and exercising regularly will do more for your heart health in the long term than using a vibrator will, research from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (opens in new tab) argues that masturbation can be beneficial for improving the health of your heart. 

When women orgasm, their heart rate shoots up at the beginning and gradually goes back to a baseline level at the end. While it's not going to have the same effect as a HIIT treadmill workout, the research found that it was comparable to walking on a treadmill at 1.7mph at a 10% gradient. 

Other research from Michigan State University (opens in new tab) also found a link between sexual activity and improving heart health for women in rewarding sexual partnerships. They discovered that those in relationships where the quality of the sexual experience was high had a lower risk of hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure, which in turn reduced their risk of a heart attack or stroke.

4. Keep your vagina healthy

With age, vaginas become less elastic, shorter, and narrower because the lack of estrogen causes the tissue to constrict, Dr Alex Eskander, consultant gynecologist at The Gynae Centre (opens in new tab), says. It's just one of the many reasons that some choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy as the first symptoms of perimenopause begin.

However, Dr Eskander says, "This often means less pleasurable sex but regular sexual activity can actually help prevent these changes." 

This is because, when aroused, the lining of the vagina produces secretions that help to provide moisture to the area. “This helps to increase vaginal elasticity, which is one of the ways our vaginas stay healthy,” says Annabelle. 

Plus, combined with the best lube it can help combat common causes of vaginal dryness and post-menopausal vaginal atrophy, and make sex with a partner much more enjoyable. 

5. Help reduce pain

“Lots of women report that regular orgasms aid in the relief of period pains and cramps,” says Knight. And there's plenty of research to back up this claim, as the area of the brain involved in pain reduction is highly activated during arousal. 

Endorphins are 'feel-good' hormones that are produced and stored in the pituitary gland before being released during pleasurable acts⁠—like exercise, laughing, and satisfying sexual activities, according to research in association with Harvard Medical School (opens in new tab). They naturally soothe nerve impulses that cause migraines and joint pain, among other conditions. 

To test the theory, sex toy brand Womanizer asked people to trade pain medication for masturbation to deal with period pain. The study (opens in new tab) found that 70% of those who switched said that masturbation relieved the intensity of the pain, and 90% said that they would recommend the technique to a friend to combat period cramps in the future.

6. Expand your pleasure horizons

Just want to have some fun? Using a vibrator will definitely help, Knight says. “A vibrator is a great way to expand your pleasure horizons, especially if you choose one with different settings and modes that you haven't tried before." 

The best rabbit vibrators are great for trying something new, for example. “They’re one of the only sure-fire ways to enjoy stimulation both internally and externally," she says. "They'll increase your chances of hitting all your hot spots, resulting in mind-blowing pleasure and intense orgasms aplenty.” 

7. Have better bladder control

Pelvic muscles contract and release during orgasm, giving that distinct feeling of letting go that comes with climaxing. But it's not only orgasms that these muscles are involved in. They also play a prominent role in helping to maintain bladder control, according to research by the University of New Mexico (opens in new tab)

“When you orgasm, your vagina contracts—think of it as a mini-workout for that entire area,” explains Knight. “An orgasm exercises your pelvic floor muscles, too, meaning better bladder control. A strong pelvic floor can also lead to stronger, more intense orgasms.” Win-win! 

8. Help you work through sexual issues

Using a vibrator can also benefit your sexual health and wellbeing overall. There are multiple conditions associated with pain during sex for instance, including vaginismus. “This is a condition whereby the vaginal muscles spasm, which causes penetration to be extremely difficult or even completely impossible,” explains Knight. 

A sex toy can be a great vaginismus treatment. “Dilator kits can help with this condition in some cases," she suggests. "Just start with the slimmest toy and, when your body is comfortable and accepting of the width, you can move onwards and upwards."

If you think you have vaginismus or are experiencing other issues that are affecting your sex life, speak with your doctor or a sex therapist for advice. “There are also fabulous online hubs to support women with this condition, such as The Vaginismus Network (opens in new tab),” says Knight.

Using a vibrator can also help you overcome any sexual anxiety you're experiencing, and help you get more comfortable with your body.

9. Boost your sex life

Without a map to guide you, sometimes navigating where you prefer to be touched can feel confusing. And if you don’t know your own body, how can you begin to tell someone else what you like or dislike? That’s where a vibrator comes in.

“Experimenting with a sex toy, such as a vibrator, may help you to explore further than manual female masturbation alone,” says Knight. “As a result, you’ll widen the range of sensations you experience, meaning that you may find new and exciting pleasure points. This can be communicated to your partner for a more enriched and satisfying sexual experience.”

Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021. Currently Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships.

With contributions from