Masturbation occurs when an individual stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure, which may or may not lead to orgasm. Masturbation is common among teenage and adult men and women. According to statistics from a research, adolescents aged 14–17 years in the United States, around 74 percent of males and 48 percent of females masturbate.
A lot of reasons ranging from fun, pleasure, and tension release, can make a lot of people to masturbate. Some individuals masturbate alone, while others masturbate with a partner.
There are many myths hovering around the act of masturbation and most claims about masturbation are not backed up by science. There is often no scientific evidence to show that masturbation causes any of the adverse effects suggested.
Contrary to what most people believe, masturbation will not cause:
- Blindness or sight-related issues
- Low sperm count
- Erectile dysfunction
- Mental illness
- Hairy palms
- Shrinkage of the penis
- Physical weakness
READ ALSO: 8 Ways to Improve Male Sexual Performance
Some couples are not okay with the act of masturbation because they feel it would affect their relationship. However, most men and women continue to masturbate either alone or together when they are in a relationship or married, and they consider it pleasurable for their relationship.
Side effects of Masturbation
Some people may experience chafing if they are too rough, but this will usually heal in a short period of time. Men may experience a condition called edema if they masturbate frequently and this puffiness usually resolves on its own within a couple of days.
Other potential side effects include:
Decreased sexual sensitivity
This tends to affect men who have forceful masturbation method that involves too tight a grip on their penis. This can lead to decreased sensation. This can be checked with a change of method. In men and women, sexual function and arousal may be increase by using a vibrator.
Researchers need to conduct more studies before they can conclude whether masturbation can lead to prostate cancer. Results from a 2003 study showed that men who ejaculated more than five times each week during their 20s were one third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those who ejaculated less often.
Researchers reason that the reduced risk was because frequent ejaculation may prevent the build-up of cancer-causing agents in the prostate gland.
A similar link between frequent ejaculation and a lower risk of prostate cancer was discovered in a 2016 study. Researchers found that men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more had a low risk of developing prostate cancer.
However, this contradicted a 2008 study that found that frequent masturbation increased a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
Some people may experience guilt feelings after masturbating if the act conflicts with their religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs. However, masturbation is not immoral or wrong, and self-pleasure should not be dishonorable. Anyone experiencing guilt should seek the counsel of a sexual health expert.
Affecting daily life
In rare cases, some individuals may masturbate more than they desire, which may affect their daily activities. Areas it may affect includes:
- cause them to miss work, school, or important social events
- interrupt a person’s daily functioning
- affect their responsibilities and relationships
- serve as an escape from relationship issues
Health benefits of masturbation
Masturbation has many benefits which borders on physical and mental health. Few studies focus specifically on the benefits of masturbation, but research suggests that sexual stimulation, including stimulation through masturbation, can:
- release tension
- elevate mood
- improve sex
- reduce stress
- reduce pain
- enhance sleep quality
- boost concentration
- relieve menstrual cramps
- Masturbation can be very beneficial for people who choose to abstain from sexual activities for fear of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
- Also, masturbation is considered a strategy to improve sexual health by promoting intimacy, exploring self-pleasure, desires, reducing unwanted pregnancies, and preventing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Older women can equally benefit from masturbation as it takes care of vaginal dryness issues.
- Masturbation can benefit people who do not currently have a sexual partner.
Disclaimer: The content provided on healthdiary365.com is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.