What Is Masturbation?
Before we start talking about it, we should make sure that we understand what masturbation is. The textbook definition tells us that masturbation is the stimulation of the genitals for sexual pleasure by various means, excluding sexual intercourse. When someone masturbates, they pleasure themselves to achieve orgasm.
Masturbation Side Effects
People have heard all kinds of things about masturbation, but it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. While some people believe that masturbating is a healthy practice, others insist there are adverse side effects of masturbation. Some believe that excessive masturbation can have significant side effects that can affect one’s relationship, health, and lifestyle.
Below, we will delve into some of these side effects and attempt to distinguish between myth and fact. These include:
- Masturbating often leads to erectile dysfunction
- Committed couples do not masturbate
- Masturbation has no health benefits
- Masturbating can lead to prostate cancer
- Masturbation is harmful during pregnancy
Penis Owners Who Masturbate Regularly Will Have Erectile Dysfunction
Does masturbation cause erectile dysfunction? The short answer is no. There is no scientific evidence that proves masturbating causes erectile dysfunction. Some believe masturbation has the opposite effect on erectile dysfunction. Some studies have suggested that abstaining from sex and masturbation may lower your sex drive and lead to erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction has many risk factors, one of the most common being anxiety. Still, research shows us masturbating is not one of those factors.
People in Relationships Do Not Masturbate
While women regularly masturbate, it is something that society traditionally associated more with men. So, a common question people ask is why men in relationships masturbate? This question has a more complex answer than “It feels good.” People who ask this question generally tend to believe that because the man has a committed partner, they should not need to masturbate anymore. Their partner should fulfill their sexual needs. However, solo sex is an important, healthy experience. It gives us time to ourselves. Masturbating also comes with less pressure because you do not have to worry about pleasing your partner or your partner pleasing you. It is just about you.
It is perfectly natural for men and women to masturbate, even if they are in a committed relationship. In fact, including masturbation in your relationship is a great way to maintain a healthy relationship. Studies have shown that solo sex can increase your sex drive and the likelihood that you will orgasm during sex.
There Are No Health Benefits to Masturbation
One of the big myths of masturbation is that there are no health benefits. This is indeed a myth, as masturbating has several health benefits for all of us, including:
- Relieves stress and tension
- Helps you fall asleep
- Can help boost your mood
- Helps to relieve pain and cramps
- Improves libido
Not only does masturbating offer these benefits, but it is also a safer option than sex. Masturbation comes with no risk of pregnancy or STDs. It also has specific benefits for older women going through menopause, as it increases the production of vaginal lubrication and reduces vaginal dryness.
Masturbation Causes Prostate Cancer
It is harder to tell if this potential side effect is fact or fiction, as different studies have had conflicting results. Right now, there is no conclusive evidence that masturbating leads to or prevents prostate cancer. A 2008 study has shown that it increases the potential for developing prostate cancer. However, a 2003 and 2016 study showed the opposite. It suggested that men who masturbate often have reduced chances of getting prostate cancer.
Masturbation During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can have various effects on a woman’s libido. Some experience lowered sex drives and lost interest in sex, while others have an increased sex drive. One common question pregnant women ask is whether masturbation is bad for pregnancy. While it is important to talk to your doctor about such matters, generally speaking, masturbation during pregnancy is completely safe, including using sex toys. However, it is imperative to make sure they are clean. Masturbating has a lot of health benefits that pregnant people might find extremely helpful, including reducing stress, inducing sleep, and relieving discomfort/pain. Masturbation is also generally safe during late pregnancy as well, though you may experience cramps similar to Braxton-Hicks contractions after orgasm. This is entirely normal and is not a cause for concern.
Sex and masturbation have been a taboo topic for hundreds of years. However, these topics are slowly but surely becoming less taboo, and there have been more and more studies done on them. Because masturbating was seen as immoral and forbidden, a lot of myths have sprung up around the topic. We must determine what is myth and what is fact. Masturbation is a healthy, natural part of life. There is no scientific evidence that suggests it causes erectile dysfunction. Some studies have shown that masturbating may prevent it. Masturbating is also a normal part of any relationship, with studies showing that couples who masturbate have higher sex drives and more pleasurable sex.
Masturbating has plenty of health benefits; some of the most common are relief from stress, pain, and tension. Speaking of health and masturbation, no evidence masturbating frequently will lead to prostate cancer. There is also no evidence that masturbation decreases the risk of prostate cancer. What there is evidence for is the benefits of masturbation during pregnancy. Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy, masturbating is a safe way to release tension and can help reduce stress and alleviate pain in pregnant women. It can also help them fall asleep, something many women struggle with during pregnancy.
Overall masturbating is a natural process and something that should not be discouraged. It is important to remember that if you have questions or concerns, you can always seek medical advice from your doctor. That being said, there is no evidence that masturbation is harmful to our relationships, lifestyles, or work lives.