Trust Me, You'll Want to Try These Vibrators the Next Time You're PMS-ing

When I say I’ve struggled with period cramps my entire life, I mean my entire life. From the time I started my period at 13 to well into my twenties, it’s always been an issue finding relief. (And trust me, I’ve tried all the heating pads, exercise, OTC meds, vitamins, looping in my ob-gyn, CBD, cream, you name it.)

But one day, a lightbulb went off in my head when a friend suggested I try masturbating. I thought, masturbating? Really?

I was skeptical, but not because of the many negative pre-existing sociocultural stigmas around menstruation. I know for some people, the thought of pleasuring yourself or even having sex during this time can be messy and awkward, but that wasn’t my issue. It was more about whether this would actually work?

So a few days later when my period hit, I turned on my Lelo vibrator. Why not try it? And several minutes and one orgasm later, I experienced almost immediate cramping relief. I was genuinely shocked.

Convinced it was a fluke, I tried again that same day and it was the same experience. My pain level from the cramps had not only subsided but they also didn’t come back. Plus, I was in a much, much better mood.

The next month, I repeated the routine and experienced relief again. And nearly a decade later, this has become my go-to method to manage cramps and other symptoms from my cycle, like bloating and moodiness.

Science also backs me up here: According to a 2020 study conducted by the sex toy company Womanizer with menstrual cup brand Lunette, 90 percent of participants said that masturbating combated their period pains.

The “menstrubation study” (ha, get it?) consisted of 486 participants in total, and it found that a little self love during this time of the month not only alleviated cramps, but also helped to reduce other symptoms associated with menstruation such as diarrhea, breast pain, pain in lower back, thighs and other areas.

This is most likely because when you masturbate, you may experience an orgasm, and after you orgasm, your body releases endorphins and “happy hormones,” says ob-gyn Kimberly Langdon, MD, member of Medzino Advisory Board. Just like the name suggests, these happy hormones will help alleviate some symptoms.

But if you want to get more specific, Dr. Langdon adds: “After an orgasm, there is vasodilation [aka widening of blood vessels, usually near the surface of skin, leading to increased blood flow] and relaxation of the pelvic organs with the release of happy hormones.” This = why you could experience almost immediate period relief.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that while masturbating didn’t make the overall pain associated with menstruation completely disappear for participants, it did offer some relief—and that’s amazing.

So because every body is different and PMS symptoms vary person-to-person (as do preferences when it comes to, say, whether you’re comfy using an internal toy during your period), I spoke to six other people who also turn to orgasms for period cramp relief to get the low-down on their fave toys that help them.

Remember though: While it’s possible these options may help you, be mindful it might also take some exploration on your end too. And TBH, that just sounds like a really fun science experiment.

1. Lelo Ina 2

This one is my personal fave. It has eight speeds and is one of the strongest vibrators you can get on the market—seriously, I’ve tried a lot of vibrators. It gets me off incredibly quickly, and when you are experiencing any type of pain, every second counts.

2. Doxy Wand Vibrator

This wand packs more speed than the original Hitachi, and has a lot of bells and whistles on it. For Mina, 32, she loves the variety it offers her since it’s 1) easy to use, 2) offers a lot of vibrating speeds, and 3) is rechargeable. Plus, for a lot of women, external pleasure is the preferred method of masturbating on le period since there’s so much internal pressure happening. (Understandable.)

3. Bedroom Kandy Make Me Over Massager

Morgan, 35, prefers the Make Me Over because it’s tiny, cute, discreet, and is designed to look like a makeup compact. This one has can be used up for 90 minutes, which is a win because, let’s be honest, you want to be comfortable when masturbating on your period. You don’t want to be stressing about whether or not the battery is about to give out while your cramps are literally wreaking havoc on your bod.

4. Womanizer Premium

Nyema, 29, says this is like the Lamborghini of sex toys. It has 12 speeds, an extra stimulator head, is waterproof, and even has an autopilot setting. Use it for if you’re sensitive to touch down there on your cycle because hi, this one touts some light stimulation options that aren’t too aggressive.

5. Dea by Bellesa

Millie, 27, picks The Dea since it offers seven different speeds and gives both internal and external pleasure for a blended orgasm. Plus, it’s waterproof (as are all the others on this list) and that’s helpful for any liquid down there.

6. Avant Purple Haze Dildo

While vibrators are great, Imani, 29, prefers something that allows you to go deeper, like a dildo. She likes that she is in complete control of this specific toy, but that it also allows her some flexibility. Plus, its fun multicolored design will also give a little flair to your nightstand as well. And depending on how you orgasm, a deeper penetration may get you there faster.

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