Is Masturbation Harmful? - Myths, Side-Effects, and Health Benefits

Masturbation is viewed differently in different parts of the world. Many people believe it is harmful to your health, while others believe it is sinful and impure.

Masturbation is a way to stimulate your genitals for the purpose of sexual pleasure. It is a completely normal activity performed by both men and women and is also an essential component of healthy development. Masturbation is done for both pleasure and relaxation. However, it is shrouded in myth, and people are concerned about its side effects.

Give a read further to learn about myths, health benefits, and masturbation side effects.

What is masturbation?

Masturbation is a common activity in which the genitals or other sensitive areas of the body are touched for sexual arousal or pleasure. It is a natural and safe way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension. It affects people of all ages, genders, and races.

Fact Check One study of older adults found that between 27% and 40% of women and 41% to 65% of men had masturbated every month.

Are there any side effects of masturbation?

Masturbation is not harmful. Nevertheless, if they are too rough, some people may experience chafing or tender skin, but this usually heals in a few days.

If men masturbate frequently in a short period of time, they may develop a minor swelling of the penis known as edema. This swelling usually goes away in a few days.

Some of the other masturbation side effects include:

Feeling guilty

Some people who are concerned that masturbation will conflict with their religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs may feel guilty. Masturbation, on the other hand, is not immoral or wrong, and self-pleasure is not shameful.

Discussing feelings of guilt with a friend, healthcare professional, or therapist who specializes in sexual health may assist a person in overcoming feelings of guilt or shame associated with masturbation.

Low sexual sensitivity

Men who use an aggressive masturbation technique that involves a too-tight grip on their penis may experience decreased sensation. A man can solve this over time by changing his technique.

Women who use vibrators report improved sexual function and lubrication, while men report improved erectile function.

Nightfall problem

Men who ejaculate in their sleep or have wet dreams may experience nightfall issues. Men who are overly exposed to sexual substances or engage in masturbation for an extended period may experience nightfall problems, a common side effect of masturbation.

Redness or rashes

Pulling or tugging the penis too hard at the climax or holding the genitals too tightly can cause rashes and redness that may necessitate medical attention. These rashes result from skin dryness or skin infection, which can be caused by dirty hands or low-quality lubricants and can be used to treat masturbation side effects. daily skin side effects of masturbation in males.

What do research studies say? According to 2022 research, too much stimulation on the penis during masturbation can reduce sensation.

Adversely affects daily life

In some cases, some people may masturbate more than they want, which can lead to:

    • Make them miss work, school, or important social gatherings

    • Disrupting a person’s daily functioning

    • Influence their roles and relationships

    • Serve as a distraction from relationship problems or as a substitute for real-life experiences

Anyone who believes their masturbation practice is causing them harm should never hesitate to consult a medical professional.

What are the myths surrounding masturbation?

There are numerous masturbation myths. Despite the fact that myths have been debunked numerous times, they seem to resurface time and again. The majority of masturbation claims are not supported by science. There is no scientific evidence that masturbation has any negative effects.

However, following are the certain disbeliefs regarding masturbation:

    • Mental illness

    • Vision loss

    • Shrinkage of penis

    • Penis curvature

    • Impotence

    • Hairy palms

    • Physical weakness

Some couples are concerned that their relationship will be unsatisfying if one of them masturbates; however, this is also a myth. When married, most women and men continue to masturbate, either alone or together. According to one study, masturbating women had more successful marriages than non-masturbating women.

How can masturbation be beneficial?

Masturbation has numerous psychological and health benefits. Some studies have focused on the advantages of masturbation. Following are the advantages of masturbation according to some findings:

Physical Benefits:

    • Reduces stress

    • Relieves tension

    • Improves sleep quality

    • Increases concentration

    • Improves mood

    • Reduces pain

    • Reduces menstrual cramps

Masturbation has been identified as a strategy for improving sexual health by promoting intimacy and desires, reducing unwanted pregnancies, and preventing sexually transmitted infections and HIV transmission. Masturbation has sexual health benefits, particularly for older women, such as less vaginal dryness and less pain during sex.

Healthy hormonal secretion:

Masturbation triggers chemical and hormone release that can elevate the brain’s pleasure-reward center.

Following are the hormones that get secreted while masturbation:

Dopamine – Known as the ‘happiness’ hormone, it aids in motivation and enthusiasm.

Oxytocin – Also known as ‘love’ hormone, it promotes sexual, social, and maternal behaviors.

Serotonin – This hormone helps in enhancing mood and manifests optimism and satisfaction.

Endorphins – These are ‘feel good’ hormones that reduce pain and make you feel better.

Prolactin – It promotes reproductive physiological responses, stress management, and emotional regulation.

Adrenaline – Adrenaline reduces stress by regulating the heart rate, blood vessel and airway diameters, and aspects of metabolism.

How to avoid masturbation addiction?

Masturbation is beneficial, but overdoing it or becoming addicted to it can be harmful. Many people are addicted to masturbation and now have a strong desire to stop. It may also harm your romantic relationships and friendships if you don’t spend as much time as you used to with your loved ones or don’t pay attention to their needs.

Here are a few ways to avoid masturbation addiction:

    • Accept that you have a constant or genuine physical need. Sexual desire is normal, and there are some inorganic ways to control it.

    • Avoiding sexual content allows your mind to focus on something more appropriate and productive.

    • Deal with sexual issues, whether they are expected for physical or mental reasons.

    • Sleep when it’s time. Spending too much time in bed before falling asleep can cause your mind to wander through unnecessary stuff available on the internet. Some of this content can make you horny and cause you to masturbate.

Seek the best sexual treatment and advice from the best sexologist consultant in Pune

Dr. Ramit Kamate is a reproductive medicine consultant and top sexologist in Pune with over a decade of experience. He specializes in male and female sexual medicine, fertility treatment, pre and postnatal care, normal vaginal delivery (NVD), tubectomy/tubal ligation, natural cycle IVF, and MTP.

Dr. Kamate is a renowned sexologist doctor in Pune with extensive experience, skill, and recognition in his field and a highly regarded member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA). He is truly dedicated to his field and believes in contributing his best to make his patients overcome their issues and lead a healthy sexual life. He ensures they receive an effective line of treatment that can cure the problems right from the roots. Make an appointment for a detailed discussion.