How Healthy Is Masturbation? Know Its Pros & Cons


The arousal of one’s genital organs, to reach the peak of sexual pleasure, is masturbation, for sexual gratification or other sexual pleasing Masturbation may include hands, fingers, artefacts of daily life, sexual gambling or vibrators or combinations. Masturbation is a non-penetrative sexual act which can be performed independently or with a partner. 

Mutual masturbation includes a sexual partner for masturbation which can be non-penetrating sex or by manual stimulation of a partner’s genitals (fingers and handjobs). In both sexes and at any age, masturbation is normal. Various health and psychological benefits have been attributed to healthy sexual activity and masturbation in general. Sexual activities such as masturbation are attributed to normal healthy activity for sexual pleasure, whether done independently or with a partner.

The body releases certain hormones during masturbation. The following hormones are:

  • Dopamines- It is also called the happiness hormone as it helps relieve stress and give a feeling of happiness to oneself.
  • Testosterone- This hormone is released during sex to enhance endurance and excitement. According to a study conducted in 2011 claims that it is also released when you have sex fantasies.
  • Prolactin – also affects the mood and immune system as a hormone plays an important role in lactation.
  • Endorphins-  are a natural pain reliever for the body as they help to reduce stress and improve your mood.
  • Oxytocin- the common name for oxytocin is the love hormone, this hormone is related to social interaction.

Masturbating can result in safe hormone releases so that it can have a positive effect on your mood and physical health.

Benefits of masturbation

There are several benefits attributed to masturbation which can be beneficial for an individual. These are:

Masturbation helps improve concentration and focus

You may have learned about “post-nut clarity” – a state in which the brain unexpectedly feels concentrated after an orgasm. Many people also find that masturbating makes them focus. As such, before you work, research or test you should masturbate. No empirical reason is possible because it was not explicitly researched. This sense of focus and concentration may however come from the feeling of calm and pleasure after an orgasm.


It can help alleviate stress and anxiety

Though oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the love hormone and linked to social relationships, it is also associated with relaxation and calmness. As a 2005 study indicates, oxytocin plays a significant role in stress management and anxiety reduction. This is achieved by lowering the blood pressure and cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress-related hormone. Therefore, masturbating can be a decent form of relaxation if you hope to alleviate stress after a harder working day.

It helps you to fall asleep

Anecdotally, a lot of people sleep with masturbation and it is not surprising. Oxytocin and endorphins are calming, so masturbations will help you to sleep, particularly if you are not shut in with stress or anxiety.

It may also elevate your self-esteem

For others, masturbation may be a way to practise self-love, to learn about your body and to spend some quality time alone. Since you learn to love your own body and figure out what you want, masturbation can increase your self-esteem.

Masturbation and prostate cancer

Some studies indicate that frequent ejaculation may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, even though doctors aren’t sure why. Research in 2016 showed that the risk of prostate cancer in men ejaculating at least 21 times a month decreased by about 20 per cent. A 2003 study also found that regular ejaculation is similar to lower risk of prostate cancer. However, there is no evidence that ejaculation protects from progressive prostate cancer routinely.

Masturbation during the gestation period

Changes in hormones during pregnancy contribute to increased sexual desire for some pregnant women. The safe way to relieve sexual stress during pregnancy is masturbation. Self-pleasure can also help alleviate symptoms of pregnancy, including lower back pain. During and after orgasm you can have moderate, intermittent cramping or contractions of Braxton-Hicks.

They usually fade away soon.   Contact your doctor immediately if the contractions do not disappear and become more intense and regular. For women with high pregnancy risk, masturbation may not be secure. This may result in increased labour.

Other benefits include

  • Enhances the mood
  • Helps to relax
  • Helps to experience sexual pleasure
  • Cramp relaxation
  • Realize sexual tension
  • Have better sex
  • Helps discover one’s desires and fantasy

Pairs can also masturbate mutually it helps to avoid pregnancy and also explore each other’s desires. Self-pleasure also helps avoid infections that spread sexually (STIs). But how about the downside – is masturbation harmful?

Side effects of masturbation

  • Masturbation can lower the sperm count and therefore reduce the chances of conceiving. On average, a male regenerates sperms in around 74 days. However, it varies from individual to individual. Even if a man masturbates several times a day, he will still have sperms in his semen as the body does not ejaculate all the sperms in one masturbation activity. However, his sperm count tends to decrease.
  • Frequent ejaculation decreases sexual sensitivity. Due to their technique, masturbation can affect the sensitivity of men during sex. Research has shown that too strong penis grip may decrease the sensation during masturbation.
  • Rough hands can also cause scratches and rashes on the genitals.
  • One can even experience swelling in the genitals if masturbation is not performed in the right way?

In general, masturbation is a normal and harmless manifestation of both men and women’s sexuality. It does not cause bodily damage or harm and may be done as part of natural sexual activity in moderation over a lifetime. Certain societies and religions condemn or even mark masturbation as sinful. This can lead to culpability or disgrace. 

Some experts believe masturbation can also improve sexual wellbeing and intercourse. You will recognize what is erotically satisfying to you and explore it with your mate, by discovering your corpora by masturbation. Some couples use mutual masturbation to establish strategies to make sexual relations more enjoyable and to increase their mutual intimacy.

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