10 Health Benefits of Masturbation
Masturbation is a controversial subject to consider. The controversy is however driven by different cultural, religious and pre-conceived views. Masturbation is the stimulating of one’s genitals (either by self or other person) by means of touching, stroking, massaging and/or using toys, often to the point of achieving a climax(orgasm).
One study has demonstrated that upto 95% of males mustaurbate in their life time; and 89% of women reported to have masturbated. This implies that despite widely held divergent views, masturbation is a common practice. So are there any health benefits of Masturbation? Yes. Here are some:
- Managing Premature Ejaculation. Sex therapist have found that men who experience premature ejaculation during sexual intercourse can benefit from masturbation about 2 hours before sex. This enables them to have a longer duration of intercourse before another ejacualtion comes on.
- Helps women achieve orgasm. Women with delayed orgasm can achieve their orgasm earlier when they self masturbate or do mutual masturbation(where the partner masturbates them).
- Improves sperm motility. Some studies found that masturbation improves some quality and motility. Theoratically, a man mansturbating before intercourse, releases the residual sperms in the semen transporting tubules. This paves way for new ‘better’ sperms which are released during the sexual act and increase the chances of conception.
- Reduce risk of Prostate Cancer in men. Two studies done showed that the risk of prostate cancer was reduced with increase in the number of ejaculations per week . However one of them shows a relative increased risk in young adults, showing the benefit of masturbation to be with males above 50years of age.
- Reduces Nasal Congestion. Another small study demonstrated reduction of swelling of vessels in the nose during sex and masturbation. This theoratically may improve on symptoms of the common cold, hay fever and allergic rhinitis.
- Improve sleep. The relaxation accompanying masturbation especially when done in bed, results in better sleep and it may be an aid to sleep in tense people.
- Managing Stress and Depression. Masturbation has been used in the management of stress as it results in release of good feeling hormones in the body. It has also been found useful in depression.
- Collection of semen samples. Semen samples required for analysis of sperms or when intended for donation(in artificial insermination) are collected by the male masturbating and putting semen in a clean sample bottle.
- Relieves sexual tension. If one’s partner is sick, unavailable, pregnant, withholds sex, or has just delivered, masturbation is a safer alternative than looking for other sex partners. Sex therapists have also prescribed it in case partners have different levels of interest in frequency of sex. This mantains sexual harmony.
- Prevents pregnacy and STDs. For couples not intending to get pregnant, masturbation is a safe way of attaining sexual satisfaction without vaginal penetration which would otherwise lead to an unintended pregnancy. If the man’s penis is rubbed around the vulva and spills sperms there, there could be a chance of getting pregnant however. Self masturbation poses no risk of contracting an STD. Mutual masturbation may however result in exchange of sexual fluids when partners touch eachother’s genitals.
Health Dangers of Masturbation
Previously there have been myths of masturbation causing mental illness, blindness, impotence, cancer and birth defects. These have not been proven to true. Medically, masturbation is normal and healthy. However it poses a few health risks;
- Urethral injury. For people that use toys and instruments to masturbate, there is a possible risk of injury to the urethra with possible complications of bleeding and blockage(stricture).
- Skin irritaion. If one uses a hard surface or certain types of creams, the skin around the genitals may get iritated and sore.
- Retarded ejaculation and delayed orgasm. As already mentioned, masturbation before sex may result in delayed orgasm and ejaculation in the man and woman respectively during sex.
- Guilt. For individuals that subscribe to religious or belief systems and cultures that forbid masturbation, they may feel a sense of guilt after masturbating. This may result in a low self esteem.
Masturbation is probably a nuisance if done in public, done compulsively, or reduces desire for sexual activity with a partner. However studies have not found that masturbation reduces desire for sex with a partner; contrally, some have found it improving sexual dysfuntion between partners.