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Masturbation - Male and Female Masturabtion, Myths, Side Effects and Preventive Measures

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Masturbation - Male and Female Masturabtion, Myths, Side Effects and Preventive Measures

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There is a myth that masturbation results in many sexual and physical side effects. Read to know more about its side effects.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui

Published At January 24, 2019
Reviewed AtDecember 29, 2023

What Is Masturbation?

Masturbation is the sexual self-stimulation of the genitals for sexual arousal and pleasure to the point of a sexual climax (orgasm). It is a method of self gratification. It is usually achieved by touching or massaging the penis or the clitoris until you orgasm. It is a very common behavior among men and women. In a national study, 95 percent of males and 89 percent of females reported that they have masturbated at some point in their life. Some people do it ones or twice a day or less frequently or never masturbate, which is all normal.

Some people feel embarrassed to admit to masturbating, as there are a lot of myths associated with masturbation. It is generally considered to be a shameful and dirty act, and a lot of stigma is associated with it. Many think that people who are single or not sexually active are the ones who masturbate, but this is not entirely true. It is a personal choice, and you should do it only if you want to. A lot of engaged and married individuals too masturbate, and this is totally normal. In a number of cases, even partners understand and accept it. Sexologist and researchers believe that masturbating is a normal process of the body, and it is a healthy sexual behavior. Here, we have addressed some of the most

Why Do People Masturbate?

Individuals masturbate because it is a safe method. Masturbation results in stimulation of the pleasure center in the brain, which results in the release of dopamine and also indirectly endorphins, and this, in turn, results in relaxation. Some of the other reasons are as follows:

  • Because it feels good.

  • Helps in relieving sexual tension.

  • People without sexual partners.

  • Way to avoid pregnancy.

  • Enhances the quality of sleep.

  • Concentration booster.

  • Makes people understand their needs.

  • No danger of sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

  • During sperm donation or infertility testing.

  • Sometimes it is prescribed by a sex therapist for sexual dysfunction.

  • Endorphins are a feel-good chemical in your brain, which is released during orgasm and is a natural painkiller.

Is It Normal to Masturbate?

Masturbation was once considered perversion and a sign of some mental illness. But nowadays, it is considered a normal and healthy sexual activity. It is a safe, acceptable, pleasant, and fulfilling act. It is only considered not healthy if it hinders with the person’s work or school, inhibits sexual activity with the partner, done in public, and if it causes significant guilt to the person. Doing it compulsively might interfere with the day to day activities.

Can Masturbation Be Harmful?

If done in moderation, it is considered to be natural and harmless for both men and women. It usually does not cause any injury if done correctly and can be done throughout a person’s life. But, some religions consider masturbating as a sin, which can lead to guilt or shame about the behavior. A few sex therapists consider it to improve sexual health and relationship. It helps a woman to determine what is erotically pleasing, and in men, it can help them learn techniques to last longer during sexual intercourse.

How Many Times Can An Individual Masturbate?

There is no hard and fast rule saying that this is the number of times a person should masturbate daily. It is a personal choice, for both men and women. Some people do it daily or twice every day. While others find it to be excessive if done daily. You can do it as often as you want, but it should not interfere with your work, hanging out with your friends, spending time with your partner, and other routine activities.

How Much Masturbation Is Too Much?

If masturbation is resulting in impairment in social, occupational or academic functioning, then that is abnormal. If masturbation does not result in much loss of time, then it is normal. You should reduce the frequency if you notice the following signs:

  1. If it is the reason for distress.

  2. If you use it to escape from stress or realities of life.

  3. If you prefer masturbating over sexual intercourse with your partner. As a reason, you have stopped getting intimate with your partner.

  4. If you injure yourself by vigorous rubbing.

  5. If you constantly feel lustful and get an urge to please yourself.

  6. If your genitals become red and painful.

Can Masturbation Cause Sexual Dysfunction in Men?

It is a common belief that masturbation causes erectile dysfunction in men, but there is no research suggesting it. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man cannot get or maintain his erection long enough to have penetrative sex. It is more of a psychological problem than anything else. Some studies show that watching pornographic videos can desensitize you to physical intimacy. But, masturbation as such is not related to ED.

Does Masturbation Affect the Sperm Count?

No, it does not affect the sperm count because men produce sperm continuously. It is normal that after a man has ejaculated ones, it takes some time for him to do it again. It is the normal physiology of the body and has nothing to do with masturbation.

Can Masturbation Replace Having Sex with Their Partner?

When people get into a relationship, some think that it is wrong to continue masturbating as it is no longer required. But this is not entirely true, as the experience the person has with masturbation and sex is both different. During sex, both partners have to make sacrifices to make their partner happy and have to think about pleasing each other continually. But during masturbation, as there is nobody to please except you, it makes the experience enjoyable.

So, it is entirely reasonable if you and your partner masturbate while being sexually intimate. It does not mean that your partner is not interested in you or that you do not satisfy him or her sexually, but it is just a personal choice. But, if you prefer masturbation over being sexually intimate with your partner, then consult a sex therapist.

What Are the Myths About Masturbation?

There are a lot of myths surrounding masturbation, even though many of them have debunked. Most people claim that there are not many scientific evidence to show that masturbation does not cause any adverse effects. Some of the most common myths are that masturbation may cause:

  1. Blindness.

  2. Infertility.

  3. Hairy palms.

  4. Erectile dysfunction.

  5. Premature ejaculation.

  6. The penis to shrink.

  7. Damage to the genitals.

  8. Results in low sperm count.

  9. Mental illness.

What Are the Side Effects of Masturbation?

As too much of anything is not good, same goes for masturbation. Chronic masturbation might cause some of the following issues:

  • Guilt - Because of various cultural, spiritual, and religious beliefs, some people start feeling guilty. Masturbation is neither wrong nor shameful, but such beliefs are still prevalent in society. If you feel guilty, talk to someone you trust or seek help from a sex therapist.

  • Addiction - Spending too much time masturbating might cause addiction. Signs of addiction are skipping daily chores, canceling plans with friends and family, and having a constant urge to please yourself. It may interfere with your romantic relationships and friendships. If you feel that you are addicted, then consult a sex therapist at the earliest. Every time you have an urge to masturbate, try going for a run, walking, talking to friends, or writing something.

  • Decreased sexual sensitivity - Aggressive masturbation methods in men can decrease sexual sensation. Holding the penis too tight is the cause. A sex therapist will recommend a change in technique to restore sensitivity.

  • Interfering with daily life - If you masturbate more than you desire, it might interfere with the day to day activities, which in turn will cause distress and mental instability.

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) - You might get infected if you use sex toys, previously used by an infected person, during masturbation. So, always wash your sex toys if you share them or put a new condom on them every time.

How to Avoid Masturbation Addiction?

A positive and healthier approach can help overcome your urges. If can also gradually lower the masturbation addiction and help you lead a better life. You can try the following measures:

  1. No matter the temptation, avoid watching pornography.

  2. As you get the urge when you are alone, try to be in company with others as much as possible.

  3. Try to engage in some hobby, as it will keep your attention diverted.

  4. Spending more time in outdoor activities will help in reducing the frequency, if masturbation is in excess or resulting in guilt.

Conclusion

Masturbation is a natural, healthy, and safe act, which improves your general health. There is a possibility of addiction, but doing it in moderation has no harmful effects. If you feel guilty and are ashamed of doing it, it is better you consult a sex therapist. A sex therapist will help you with the feeling of guilt and shame and improve the quality of your sexual life. They also help you understand your sexuality and help you maintain a healthy and enjoyable sex life at any age.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Does Releasing Sperm Daily Affect the Body?

Releasing sperm is not harmful to the body unless it is associated with chronic masturbation. Releasing sperm daily reduces stress and anxiety and improves sleep quality. Research has also proved that the likelihood of prostate cancer is decreased significantly with the regular release of sperm. In addition, daily ejaculation helps release the happy hormone dopamine, thus keeping you happy and healthy. However, overdoing it due to addiction or chronic habit is not advisable as it could impair your personal, social and professional life.

2.

Does Masturbation Affect the Brain?

Masturbation is a personal choice though it comes with several positive attributes. Negative feelings are purely social and spiritual. The feeling of guilt and shame could be overly empowering post an act. The positive effects of masturbation on the brain are:
- It releases dopamine which is also known as a happy hormone. It helps keep you happy, focused, and cheerful.
- It releases oxytocin which is known as the love hormone. It promotes social bonding.
- Masturbation increases serotonin levels which is a mood enhancer.
- It releases prolactin, which plays a crucial role in reproduction, lactation, stress management, and emotional response.
- It helps release endorphins, which are the feel-good hormone. They help alleviate pain and also are excellent mood enhancers.
- They help rescue blood pressure and improve sleep.
- Improve cognition and sexual functions.

3.

What Makes a Man Release Quickly?

Premature ejaculation could be due to various factors. Psychological factors such as excitement or fear and anxiety about sex, stress, performance anxiety, and depression could be a few factors that could result in a man's release quickly. In addition, irregular hormonal levels and underlying pathological conditions may also result in premature ejaculation.

4.

How Many Times Should a Man Release Sperm in a Week?

The answer is debatable; however, studies suggest healthy ejaculation is more or less two to four times a week. Since ejaculation is subjective and personal, it is prudent to follow one’s own choice and let not numbers rule it.

5.

Does Masturbation Cause Weight Loss?

Masturbation is a normal physiological response of the body. It is not harmful physically or emotionally. Though masturbation improves blood circulation and makes the heart pump and work faster, it will definitely not cause weight loss.

6.

How Can I Control Quick Sperm Release?

The quick release of sperm is also known as premature ejaculation. This can be treated in various ways. Non-therapeutic methods include altering the sexual routine, certain pelvic floor exercises such as kegel therapy, start-and-stop technique, and squeeze method. Using a condom and decreasing the sensitivity help sustain the erection, thereby delaying the release. Chronic and persistent cases may have to be treated therapeutically with medications.

7.

When Do Men Stop Ejaculating?

Age does not define a man's sexual behavior though the sex drive tends to decline with age. The prime cause of this is reduced testosterone production. It is believed that men over 55 to 60 have declined sexual desire, reduced performance, and less intense orgasm and ejaculation. However, with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, even men over 70 can maintain a good libido and be sexually active.

8.

Does Masturbation Reduce Sperm Count?

No, masturbation does not reduce the sperm count. Sperms are produced continuously; hence frequent masturbation or frequent sex will not affect the sperm count. Though some studies show that in certain individuals, it may take two or three days to achieve an optimum sperm count after no ejaculation. However, men with normal sperm quantity and quality have no issues even with frequent ejaculation.

9.

How Often Should a Man Ejaculate?

It is estimated that roughly around 1,500 sperm are produced every second. A man may ejaculate either once or twice a day or three to four times a week. Frequent ejaculation does not reduce the sperm count; instead, it may benefit the individual by reducing the risk of prostate cancer, aiding in immunity, relieving stress, etc. However, ensure not to get addicted or make it a chronic habit. Ejaculation is a personal and natural response that should not be determined by specific figures.

10.

Can You Run Out of Sperm?

No, an individual cannot run out of sperm. The testes are constantly producing sperm. Roughly around 1,500 sperms are being produced every second, ensuring continuous supply even if a person masturbates a lot or has sex frequently.

11.

How Much Masturbation Daily Is Normal?

Masturbation is completely normal.Masturbating everyday or more than once a day, weekly, or any number of times is considered healthy and safe. Some people avoid masturbating; some do it once a month or even once a year. There are no specific figures to gauge this physiological response of the body.

12.

How Long Does the Sperm Live in the Testicles?

Though sperms are produced continuously in the body, however, if not ejaculated, they remain in the testicles for 74 days, after which they die and are reabsorbed in the body.

13.

How Can I Make My Sperm Thick and Strong?

Following a healthy lifestyle can help you with healthy sperm. A few tips for healthy sperms are:
- Take a balanced and healthy diet.
- Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
- Exercise regularly.
- Indulge in meditation or yoga for stress relief and relaxation.
- Avoid substance abuse.
- Vitamin C and E supplements have been shown to improve sperm quality and be beneficial in infertility.

14.

Can You Feel Your Sperm?

No sperm cannot be felt or seen with the naked eye. They are microscopic structures that are present within the semen.

15.

What Time of Day Is Sperm Count the Highest?

Studies have suggested that sperms are more potent and viable during the morning. Semen samples collected in the early morning hours between 5.00 am and 7.30 am were found to have an increased quantity of sperm with good motility, normal shape, and increasingly motile.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui

Psychiatry

Tags:

infertilitymasturbationsexually transmitted diseaseserectile dysfunctionpremature ejaculation
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