Using sex toys is a medium-risk activity for most sexually transmitted infections if you share them with a partner (there's no STI risk if you use them alone). However some sex toys present other risks to health.
Want to know how to reduce the health risks from using sex toys? You've come to the right place.
Sex toys can be used to stimulate you or your partner. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be bought or homemade. If you use home-made sex toys make sure that it isn’t going to break and is clean – if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth don’t use it as a sex toy.
Commercial sex toys are widely available and can be bought online or in shops including some high street stores.
If you use sex toys alone there is no risk from sexually transmitted infections although you should still be sure to keep them clean to stop bacteria and viruses.
When using sex toys, you need to be careful not to hurt yourself or your partner with them. If you use something that's too big, you could rip or tear the skin inside the vagina or anus. Sex toys can break during use and damage the genitals or become stuck deep inside the body.
Prolonged use can also damage the skin of the penis or around or inside the vagina or anus.
If sharing sex toys, bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause sexually transmitted infections can easily be passed between partners.
The health risks from using sex toys can be reduced if you:
Sexting and online sex are less risky than sharing sex toys.
Find out more about safer sex alternatives.