Masturbation is a natural and widespread activity of every human being, especially men. It is the safest way of exploring once body pleasure and sexual tension irrespective of background, genders, and races. Well, there are no physically harmful side effects of masturbation. But, excess of anything is bad.
In fact, excessive masturbation can also harm your relationships and everyday life because of the excessive male semen release. Everybody has a different metabolism, and so the amount of release of the male hormone differs from person to person.
As per the research in the United States, 74% of males and 48% of females aged 14-17 years masturbate. In the case of adults, 63% of men and 32% of women between the age of 57-64 also masturbate.
If you masturbate as per your body metabolism, it can be fun, normal, and healthy for you. Read this article to know about the side effects and potential health benefits of masturbation. There are many myths and rumours related to masturbation among people. Let’s discuss them along with the actual fact.
There are many myths regarding masturbation, but none of them are proven right. People just hear about them and start believing without having any second thoughts. Here are points that will help you to know the actual facts.
There is not any scientific evidence to show that masturbation causes adverse effects, such as:-
- Hairy palms
- Impotence in future
- Painful intercourse
- Low sperm count
- Mental Illness
- Physical weakness
- Penis shrinkage
- Erectile dysfunction
Some couples also think masturbating can lead to unsatisfying sexual life. But in fact, men usually masturbate before having sex just because to increase their timing for more intense sexual intercourse. This is an ideal and natural way of increasing timing in men rather than consuming pills or drugs.
However, masturbation helps you increase your timing but is an essential part of sexual intercourse. Masturbation provides lubrication that reduces painful sex. It acts like foreplay while having sex.
Excess Of Anything Is Bad Even Masturbation
Masturbation is not harmful, but the excess of masturbation can lead to harmful effects. The most common side effect of masturbating is edema(slightly swelling of the penis), which can get resolved within a couple of days on its own. Some other consequences of excessive masturbation are as follows:-
- Guilt: Many people believe masturbation conflicts with their religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs, making you feel guilty. But in fact, masturbation is not immoral or wrong. There is nothing to be shamed off if you masturbate. After getting familiar with the benefits of masturbation, you might get clear and stop feeling guilty. If you still have any doubts, consult with your doctor or healthcare specialist, which will help you to move on with past feelings of guilt or shame they experience because of masturbation.
- A decrease in sexual sensitivity: Aggressive and excessive masturbation reduces sexual sensitivity. It is because doing so will tighten the grip of your penis, decreasing the sensation. Most of the sensory nerves are located on the grip of the penis which can get damaged during rough masturbation. Such damages are temporary which gets resolved within a short period of time with a change in technique. Changes, such as using a vibrator, may also increase arousal and overall sexual function in both men and women. Using vibrators in women has helped them improve sexual function and lubrication while men have improved erectile dysfunction.
- Prostate cancer: A study in 2003 says that men who ejaculated more than five times in a week during their 20s may end up with a chance of one third or less likely to develop prostate cancer as compared to those who ejaculate less often. On further research, it was found that a reduction in the risk was because frequent ejaculation prevents the production of cancer-causing agents in the prostate glands. The same study with the same outcome was conducted in the year 2016, stating that men who ejaculate 21 times in a month or more had a low risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Daily activity: In very rare cases, many men masturbate more than their desire and can lead to:-
- Interruption in their daily activity
- Affects a person’s responsibilities and relationships
- A person may miss work, school, or important events
- Relationship issues or substitute for real-life experience
In case you face any severe complications because of masturbating, do consult with your healthcare specialist. You might understand about masturbation and their effects in a much better way.
How Does Masturbation Affect Your Brain?
Before understanding the consequences of masturbation on the brain, you need first to understand the chemical secretion in the brain. So when you masturbate, your body releases some types of hormones, such as:-
- Dopamine: It is a type of happiness hormones related to your brain’s reward system.
- Endorphins: It is a human body’s natural pain reliever that helps in de-stressing and mood-boosting effects.
- Oxytocin: Such type of hormone is also known as the love hormone associated with social bonding.
- Testosterone: This hormone is released during sexual intercourse in order to improve stamina and arousal. It also gets released when you have sexual fantasies.
- Prolactin: It is a type of hormone that plays a vital role in lactation, which influences your mood and immune system.
Dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin are happiness hormones that get released while masturbation and reduces your stress, bonding, and relaxation. That’s why you may feel better sometimes after masturbating when your mood is low.
As per the study in 2005, oxytocin helps in regulating stress and anxiety. Thus masturbating helps in reducing tension on a tough day at work.
Oxytocin and endorphins are linked with relaxation, so when you masturbate your brain releases these chemicals making you feel relaxed and help you to fall asleep.
Is Masturbation Healthy?
Masturbation not only have side effects, if you do it adequately, you may not have to face any side effects, but you may experience some health benefits, such as:-
- Reduces stress
- Lowers tension
- Gives you quality sleep
- Boosts your concentration
- Elevates your mood
- Relieves menstrual cramps
- Alleviate pain
- Improves sexual performance
- Lowers the risk of prostate cancer
- No risk of any sexually transmitted disease
Couples also masturbate in order to explore different desires or to avoid pregnancy. It also helps you to prevent from getting infected with the sexually transmitted infection(STI).
In some cases, having sexual intercourse is not possible, such as pregnancy. But that doesn’t mean you will not feel like having sex. During pregnancy, couples are asked to avoid sexual intercourse. In such cases, masturbation is the possible way to satisfy yourself and your partner as well.
Once you start enjoying and loving your own body while masturbating, your self-esteem gets boosted. Thus, masturbation also improves your self-esteem.
In women's cases, self-pleasure may ease pregnancy symptoms by lower back pain and may make women feel mild, irregular cramping, or Braxton-Hicks contractions.
How Would I Know That I Am Masturbating Excessively?
There are some changes a man will start facing once he starts masturbating excessively, such as:-
- It will cause significant distress
- You may start facing difficulty in doing day to day activity as you are busy with self-pleasure
- You may injure yourself while rubbing excessively
- You may masturbate multiple times in order to escape from stress or realities, but nothing will change after you ejaculate and may end up with some gut feeling.
- In some cases, despite the gut feeling, you will still want to masturbate.
- You will start feeling lustful and may fight the urge to pleasure yourself
- Due to the aggressive and excessive rubbing, you might feel pain in your genital areas.
Some people get to know that they are excessively masturbating and may feel the need to divert their energy from masturbating to some more healthy activities, such as:-
- Listening to music
- Join dance class
- Need to live a disciplined life with some sports, such as swimming, aerobics, running, cycling, etc.
- Another alternative is to masturbate regularly on a fixed interval of time. Doing this will make your body produce testosterone in a definite cycle. Once your body adapts with the regular interval of producing and releasing testosterone, he will start growing.
Once you start to change your life from the lust of masturbating to healthy habits, you will start gaining enough confidence to avoid masturbating.
Is Masturbation Related To Weight or Muscle Gain?
One of the most commonly asked questions when a man starts thinking or talking about masturbating. If thinking technically, yes, it does affect the growth of mass and weight. When a man masturbates, testosterone gets released from the body. This testosterone helps in the building of the muscles and gives strength to your body.
It is like an exercise you perform. Once your body adapts with the process of releasing and producing testosterone, your body will start growing. In the process of masturbation, moderation is the key. Masturbating regularly will help you grow, but excessive masturbation can lower the level of testosterone.
When Should A Man Avoid Masturbating?
Masturbating is usually safe until you perform excessively and aggressively. But apart from this, there are some other conditions in which a man should avoid masturbating, such as:-
- After touching the genital areas of a person infected with any of the Sexually Transmitted Infections(STIs) a person should not masturbate as the infection may get transmitted from the infected person to him.
- A man should not masturbate in a face-down position as it exerts extra pressure on the penis and may lead to structural complications. Thus, it is advised to masturbate while standing, sitting, or lying position but avoid masturbating in a face-down position.
- While masturbating, you might feel like getting rough but never squeeze your penis while ejaculating. This prevents the smooth flow of semen and can damage the nerves and the blood vessels of the penis. Such a condition further increases the risk of blockage in the urinary tract.
Finally, masturbation is only a problem when it starts to interfere in your daily habits and relationship with your others. Thus, feel free and enjoy self-pleasure without having any guilt or shame. In case you still have any problem, consult with your doctor or healthcare specialist to resolve any negative feelings you have.