Best Sex Toys For Period Pain

A woman holds the Womanizer Premium 2 to her body.
Science suggests period pain can be relieved via orgasms and masturbation. But is that really true (pictured, the Womanizer Premium 2)

Period Pain. The bane of my existence. In fact, as I write this, I’m sitting outside on my patio, trying very hard to ignore the cramping in my uterus, the ache in my boobs and the tired heavy feeling draping over my entire body. I have taken painkillers, but they haven’t kicked in yet. There’s a famous quote about the only constants in life being death and taxes. For many of us, you can add period pain to that list as well.

It’s hard to explain the sensation of cramps and how debilitating and painful they can be. When I was in high school, I would get cramps so bad that I’d have to leave class to writhe around and groan on a bed in the sick bay. The school nurse never believed that the pain could be that bad. In my early 20’s, my cramps were often so bad I’d throw up. These days, my cramps aren’t so severe, but each month you will still find me pacing around my house, clutching my stomach and grimacing as my boyfriend looks on helplessly.

Why is period pain a thing?

Period pain, AKA dysmenorrhoea (ancient Greek for ‘difficult monthly flow’) is caused primarily by the contractions of the uterus as it sheds its lining. These contractions are spurred on by the release of chemicals called prostaglandins. More prostaglandins = stronger and more painful contractions.

According to Women’s Health Concern, 80% of women/menstruators experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime. Officially, about 20% experience severe symptoms that disrupt their life. From surveying the women in my friendship circle, I think this figure is higher. For 40% of people, period pain is accompanied by other PMS symptoms like tender breasts, bloating, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, clumsiness and tiredness.

All sorts of things can influence the pain, including age, hormonal changes, side effects from contraceptive devices and underlying medical conditions. Like as endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease and adenomyosis. This is why, if you are experiencing severely painful periods, it’s important to see a doctor. According to Health Direct, you should see a doctor if:

  • You start to get period pain when you haven’t had it in the past
  • Your period pain becomes more severe
  • Your period pain lasts longer than it used to
  • Your pain lasts longer than 2 days
  • Your pain doesn’t go away when you take a hormonal contraceptive or pain-relieving medicines
  • Your pain stops you from doing your normal daily activities

Masturbation: what the doctor ordered?

A woman leans up against her bed
Oh well, if science says masturbation is good for period pain we might as well try it, right?

According to a 2021 study on menstruation, masturbation is an effective pain relief method for cramps. Of 341 people surveyed, 90% recommended masturbation to combat period pain and while 70% said that regular masturbation had an impact on the intensity of their period.

But how so? Well, masturbating – and orgasms specifically – releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. These hormones are like natural pain relievers and also improve mood, sleep and overall wellbeing. Additionally, the muscular contractions that occur during orgasms can also contribute to the relaxation of the uterine muscles, which can reduce discomfort, and can actually shorten your cycle due to pushing out the uterine lining faster than it’d come out on its own. Some even say period orgasms are even better than regular ones, due to increased blood flow, circulation and sensitivity.

I have tried most things to make my period pain better. But masturbating? Not an appealing idea right now. I feel bloated, crampy, sweaty, and gross in almost every way. My stomach’s upset, I’m wearing dirty pyjamas, and I’m not feeling sexy in the slightest. I have a mission though: to try out a bunch of different sex toys, have an orgasm or three, and see if it helps my cramps. And I choose to accept it.

Yes, I suffer for my art.

Sex toy reviews: period pain edition

Adam & Eve Ravishing Rose Clitoral Stimulator

The Adam And Eve Rose Toy is a powerful clitoral pleasure device that does offer period pain relief as well as orgasms.
The Adam and Eve Ravishing Rose Toy went viral on TikTok, but does work for cramps – as long as you like powerful suction!

If you’re on Tik Tok, you might have heard of the Rose Toy. It’s generated  over 100,000 hashtags (including #TheRoseReview or #TheRoseToy), featured in videos with hundreds of thousands of views, and given at least one happy camper a powerful orgasm in just 30-seconds.

The Ravishing Rose uses pulsing air to create suction over the clitoris, resulting in strong clitoral orgasms. It is fully waterproof, has 10 pulsating air functions, and is very simple to operate with just one button. When I unboxed this toy, I was pleasantly surprised at its luxurious look and feel. It’s made from very smooth, silky body-safe silicone, and it fits nicely in the palm of my hand.

The verdict

I first tried this toy when I wasn’t on my period and found it too intense. I have never tried a suction toy before, and the sensation was a lot stronger than what I’m used to. So I didn’t have high hopes for using this toy with cramps and on my period, when my nether regions are even more sensitive than normal.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. It took me a while to find the right placement, angle and pressure. Once I did find the spot though, let’s just say I was not thinking about my cramps any more… and that I may or may not have been heavy-breathing with both legs in the air within a few minutes. I did have to take breaks from the suction (even on its lowest setting), and I noticed my clit was a bit sensitive after I was finished, so it’s possible that I worked it a little too hard. Honestly, it was worth it though.

Overall thoughts: Intense but effective. Might be too strong for those who are sensitive downstairs, or new to using sex toys.

Wild Secrets Flirt Rabbit Vibrator

The Wild Secrets Flirt Rabbit Vibrator is ergonomically crafted from plus silicone and has a heating function.
The Wild Secrets Flirt Rabbit Vibrator has a heating function that’s great for period pain. It’s also crafted from plush, body-safe silicone and ergonomically designed for amazing orgasms.

The Flirt Heated Rabbit Vibrator has separate g-spot and clitoris stimulating shafts, with dual independent vibrations. It also has a gentle, gradual heating mode that warms to body temperature (optional), and it’s fully waterproof.

I’m a big fan of rabbit vibrators, because I like to be able to choose between blended, g-spot and clitoris orgasms, and I feel like these vibrators give me the best of all worlds.

The verdict

I had a feeling that I’d like this vibrator a lot because of its heating function, and I was right. I like some heat at the best of times, but during cramps, anything warm feels especially pleasant.

As when I unboxed the Rose, I was really happy with the look and feel of this toy. The design is thoughtful, ergonomic and high-quality, and it is made of silky, flexible silicone that feels nicely fleshy. I didn’t use this vibrator to its full potential, because in the throes of cramps, I didn’t feel like using something internal/invasive. I was right about the heat though – it felt warm, comforting, relaxing and very pleasant. This vibrator isn’t intense like the Rose, but it’s the perfect choice if you want something versatile, customisable, familiar and sure to get the job done. I’m looking forward to using it more and exploring all of its capabilities, both on and off my period.

Overall thoughts: Love the heating function and the feeling of the soft silicone, very versatile, ticks all my boxes – this is my favourite toy of the bunch.

Calexotics Opal Handheld Massager

The Calexotics Opal Massager is great for period pain and sensual massage.
The Opal Massager is a great all round toy that I highly recommend having in your side drawer.

The Opal Smooth Handheld Massager is designed for whole-body exploration. It has 10 functions (vibration, pulsation and escalation), is perfectly palm-sized and comes with a discreet protective case. Made from body-safe silicone, it is waterproof and submersible.

The verdict

This toy is ideal for using during cramps, because you can use it anywhere – on your sore lower back, your abdomen, your neck and shoulders, and of course any erogenous zones of your choosing. I have had my boyfriend give me a few massages using the Opal and some massage oil, and they have been divine.

The Opal has a nice steady vibration that is neither intense nor mild. If you like to be able to target specific pleasure points, this might not be the ideal toy for you, because of its domed shape and large-ish surface area. It gives more generalised pleasure than something like the Rose, which is intensely specific. However, it got me off just fine, and is a great multi-purpose toy that I highly recommend having in your side drawer.

Overall thoughts: Highly versatile, perfect for both sexual and regular massage & discreet. Not ideal if you like strong and specific vibrations.

JimmyJane Santal Natural Massage Oil Candle

A woman holds a JimmyJane Santal massage candle in her hand.
The JimmyJane range of massage candles provide a divinely intimate experience that’s wonderful for period pain.

I’m not sure if this is a ‘sex toy’ necessarily, but I requested this candle because when I’m on my period and experiencing cramps, I love nothing more than a good ol’ massage. Especially a massage with warm massage oil. Yes, warmth is very important during period pain!

This JimmyJane Santal Natural Massage Oil Candle is scented with smoky leather, sandalwood, lemon and cardamom. It is made from high-quality, natural ingredients including soy oil, jojoba, shea butter, vitamin E and aloe, and is formulated to melt at body temperature.

The verdict

I’ve never used a massage oil candle before, and I was a little concerned that the wax would be hot when my boyfriend poured it onto my back. But it was fine. Once you blow the candle out, just make sure to wait a couple of minutes and to test the wax temperature with your finger before you pour it onto your body.

I really liked the whole experience of using this candle. My boyfriend and I lit it and chilled in bed for 15 minutes, which was relaxing and peaceful. And then my boyfriend gave me a lovely, soothing and warming massage that seriously eased my cramps and my aching back. It wasn’t sexual, but it was essential, intimate and extremely pleasurable.

The scent is musky, woody and sweet, and the oil smelled and felt nice on my skin. The only downside for me is that for some reason, the scent reminded me of the smell of ants (if you know you know). I showed it to a few friends to see if they had the same association, and they did not (and looked at me like I was kind of crazy when I mentioned the ant thing), so I think this is just a me problem.

Overall thoughts: Relaxing, peaceful, pleasant, sensual & soothing. I’m keen to try out the other scents.

Tips for choosing sex toys for period pain

The right toy for you will depend on your preferences, so I highly recommend that you do some experimenting next time you have cramps. If you want something non-penetrative and clitorally stimulating, opt for something like the Adam & Eve Rose or Lelo Sila Sonic Wave Clitoral Massager if you like stronger stimulation. The Satisfyer Pro 2 and Wild Secrets Envy offer gentler stimulation while still providing stronger options, while the Womaniser Liberty 2 is better if you just want gentle. If you want something without suction, try the Wild Secrets Delight Lay-on Vibrator or the Pipedream Licking Tongue with Heat Function. For something usable for penetration, I highly recommend a simple but effective heated vibe or a rabbit vibrator vibrator. If you want something versatile and mild, a massager like the Opal is perfect. Whatever the toy, look for something from a reputable store that is body-safe, easy-to-clean and waterproof.

Non-sexual period pain relief options

Sometimes you’re just not feeling masturbating and that’s completely okay. There are a range of other period pain relief methods available. Personally, I have found that taking Naprogesic early – for about 3 days before my period starts – significantly reduces the severity of my cramps. I am also a massive fan of hot water bottles and heat packs, hot baths, and I have a TENS machine that helps to distract my mind and body from the pain.

I’m also learning to accept my cramps. I used to fear them and fight them. My whole body would tense up whenever they started. But these days, I try to ride the wave of the cramps, breathe deeply, and surrender to them. Finding the best pain relief methods for yourself with take some exploration. Chat to your doctor if your cramps are severe or interrupting your life, and always seek medical advice before trying a new medication, supplement or treatment.

The verdict on masturbation for period pain

A woman touches her face with a finger in a fogged up bathroom mirror.
Masturbation is probably the last thing you think of when you’re in the midst of period pain. But it helped me. Maybe it’ll help you too.

Initially, when I was experiencing cramps, I really wasn’t in the mood to masturbate. To be honest, I kind of dragged myself to the shower with my hands full of sex toys (the daily grind, am I right?). But I’m very happy to report that once I got into the warm, steamy shower and started playing with the toys, I had heaps of fun. My cramps eased as soon as I started masturbating. I was distracted from the pain, and I felt empowered in a feral, feminine, raw sort of way. Having an orgasm reduced my cramps to almost nothing, and left me feeling happy, soothed, and like I could ease into a peaceful nap.

All of the toys I tried had their benefits. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be the Flirt heated rabbit. You just can’t beat a versatile, warm, customisable, two-pronged vibrator made of lovely soft and flexible silicone.

Except perhaps a 3 pronged one…?