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Yes, if you use them responsibly and keep them clean – otherwise, sex toys can pass on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and infections passed on through the blood (blood-borne infections).
If you use sex toys, you can avoid STIs by:
keeping sex toys clean – wash them after each use
covering penetrative sex toys, such as vibrators, with a new condom each time they're used
not sharing sex toys
having a different set of sex toys for each partner
Sex toys can pass on:
There is an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis in women who have sex with women who have a history of sharing sex toys, or whose partners have bacterial vaginosis.
Don't share any sex toy that may draw blood from the skin, as this type of sex toy can pass on blood-borne infections.
Take care when using penetrative sex toys, particularly if there are any cuts or sores around the vagina, anus or penis and blood is present, as there's an increased risk of passing on infections such as:
How you clean a sex toy depends on:
Sex toys bought from a trusted source should come with advice about how to clean and store them. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
For sex toys that can be washed, make sure you wash them thoroughly with warm water and soap after each use.
You should also wash them between:
Check sex toys regularly for any scratches or breaks in the surface material where germs could be present and spread, as this can increase the risk of infection.
If you're allergic to latex, do not use sex toys that are made of, or contain, latex.
If you need advice or think you may have an infection, you can go to:
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.