Masturbation Side Effects and Benefits

Male Masturbation: Side Effects, Benefits, and Risks



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Male Masturbation: Side Effects, Benefits, and Risks


In this article, we will look at:

  • What is masturbation? Is masturbation bad?
  • Is masturbation a common behaviour?
  • Is masturbation harmful?
  • Is it healthy for a man to masturbate daily?
  • How many times in a week is masturbation considered normal for a man?
  • Can masturbation replace having sex with a partner for men?
  • Can masturbation cause premature ejaculation?
  • Can masturbation affect your sperm count?
  • When is masturbation not safe for men? 
  • Can masturbation make you thin?
  • Will a man’s testosterone level lower due to masturbation?
  • What are the benefits of masturbation for men?
  • Is excessive masturbation harmful to a man’s health? Side effects of masturbation  
  • How do I know that I am masturbating excessively?
  • What is the treatment of excessive masturbation?
  • In The Spotlight – Latest news on masturbation

You can click on any of the links above to navigate to the section of your interest. 

What is masturbation? Is masturbation bad?

Masturbation is self-stimulating your genitals in a sexual way to the point of reaching an orgasm.

It is a very common behaviour among men and  women  and is a very normal part of growing up for children of both sexes.

(To know more about female masturbation please see:  Female Masturbation/Masturbation Facts for Women: Benefits and Risks )

Most children play with their genitals between the ages of two and six. To a grown-up person, the sight of children fondling their own genitals can feel disturbing because he/she looks at the act through adult filters. However, this act is a very normal part of growing up for every child, as it is a process of self-exploring their own bodies and discovering how each part of their body responds to touch, and how some parts are more pleasurable than others. To a child rubbing his/her genitals simply feels innocently pleasurable and is not “wrong” or “bad”. These “adult filters” are often introduced to the children by the adults, and often the child ends up feeling confused and worried.

These adults react to the child in the same way that they saw their own parents or grown-ups around them react, while they were exploring their own bodies as children. Therefore, they continue to carry those feelings of shame and never got a chance to get comfortable with their own sexuality.

The act in itself is not “good” or “bad”, though in some cases, religious beliefs may induce people to label it as “bad”.

The crucial factor in such a scenario would be how an adult approaches a child and makes the child feel comfortable with his/her own body and gently explains the propriety side of it, should the child indulge in the act in front of people, but without shaming the child.

Sexual development is a very much an essential part of normal growth and development for a child, just as physical development, emotional development, learning and developing language and communication skills are normal.

Having said that, what also needs to be stated is, even though there is nothing wrong with masturbation, it is also okay not to masturbate. Some people have naturally lower levels of sexual desire or may decide that they want to abstain from masturbation for religious or personal reasons. You can follow whatever option you feel is best for you.

Is masturbation a common behaviour?

Experts and researchers in sexuality agree that masturbation is a completely normal process for human beings and is a healthy sexual behaviour. It probably has a bad reputation because it is an intensely private sexual behavior, which no one discusses even with the closest of friends.

Is masturbation harmful?

No. From a health science perspective, masturbation is not at all harmful for you. Some people think masturbation is bad for moral reasons, however, that is a personal choice.

Is it healthy for a man to masturbate daily?

There is no right answer to this question. Masturbating daily can be normal for some men, whereas for others it can be excessive. As long as masturbating does not affect your overall energy levels, and does not encroach on your daily life and activities, you should be fine.

Though, few sex experts consider masturbating daily to be excessive. Masturbating daily can lead to weakness, fatigue, early ejaculation and may inhibit sexual activities with your partner.

On the other hand, missing out on regular orgasms increases stress levels and can add to mental health issues, frustration, and unhappiness in general. Masturbating aids stress release and helps to stabilize your mood, making you happier and healthier.

How many times in a week is masturbation considered normal for a man?

Again, there is no right answer to this question as the frequency per week can vary from man to man based on his general health conditions. There are men who masturbate two to three times a day, or five times a week, or even once a week.

Sexual drive is natural, however, an excess of anything is harmful. Therefore, rather than increasing the frequency of masturbation you can consider diverting your energy to things such as sports, or any other hobbies. This ensures that you live a balanced, healthy and happy life.

Can masturbation replace having sex with a partner for men?

Masturbation has its own place and so does sex with a partner. In fact, masturbation can enhance the experience with a sexual partner, because it helps you understand your own body better.

However, if masturbation begins to hinder sexual life with your partner then it could be a sign of a problem. Due to masturbation, if you miss out on sex with your partner you miss the experience of intimacy with a partner.

There are valid times though when masturbation can replace sex, for example:

  • if the partner’s sex drive is lower than yours then masturbation is an option
  • if the partner is sick
  • if your partner is pregnant
  • if the partner is not available

Can masturbation cause premature ejaculation?

Excessive masturbation may cause damage to the nerves that allow for the ejaculation. This can cause premature ejaculation or even an ejaculation during sleep.

Can masturbation affect your sperm count?

Masturbation does not affect the number of sperms you produce, as sperms are continuously produced in the bodies of men.

It does take time, however, after one ejaculation to ejaculate again. This is quite normal and in no way is an indication of your sperm count getting depleted.

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When is masturbation not safe for men?

Masturbation is generally safe. However, if it is done excessively and aggressively then it can be harmful.

  • When you touch the genitals of an infected person and then touch yours you may suffer from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). STIs can also occur if you share your sex toys with an infected person.
  • If you masturbate in a face-down position you tend to exert more pressure on the penis, and you may injure it. To avoid this you can masturbate while standing, sitting, or lying on the back.
  • You should avoid squeezing the penis while ejaculating, to prevent the flow of semen. Else, this can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the penis, and will also force the semen into the urinary bladder.

Can masturbation make you thin?

Masturbation does not make you thin. However, excessive masturbation can make you lose a little weight, as technically, it is like any exercise you perform.

Will a man’s testosterone level lower due to masturbation?

No. Masturbating only has a modest effect on circulating testosterone as a research shows. However, again moderation is the key. Masturbating excessively will definitely lower testosterone levels.

What are the benefits of masturbation for men?

Masturbation is a part of healthy sex life and research reveals plenty of health benefits for men after masturbation, it is beneficial in the following ways:

  • For men, masturbation may help prevent  prostate cancer . Toxins build up naturally in the urogenital tract.  Men who ejaculate over five times per week decrease these toxin levels. This significantly lowers their risk of prostate cancer.
  • When men ejaculate, a little cortisol gets released, which is the stress hormone. This boosts their immune system.
  • Masturbation can release stress and tension from the body by flooding the system with endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body and can lead to sound sleep.
  • With age men naturally lose muscle tone even in the penis.  Masturbation or regular sex in a way exercises the pelvic floor muscles and prevent erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
  • Masturbating releases feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin that lifts your spirits, boosts your satisfaction, and activates the reward circuits in your brain.
  • It can enhance your relationship with your partner since you know yourself physically.

Is excessive masturbation harmful to a man’s health? Side effects of masturbation

Excess of anything can be harmful. Masturbating excessively can cause:

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • early ejaculation
  • may also inhibit sexual activities with your partner
  • injury to the penis
  • vision changes
  • lower back pain
  • testicular pain
  • hair loss

If you find yourself excessively masturbating, you may want to divert the excessive energy in a more healthy way, such as :

  • yoga
  • meditation
  • listening to music
  • joining dance classes
  • following an exercise routine such as aerobics, running, cycling, swimming etc

If the tendency persists, you may want to consult a psychiatrist or a counsellor as it can also be related to mental stress.

How do I know that I am masturbating excessively?

You know you’re masturbating excessively when:

  • it causes you significant distress.
  • you are masturbating multiple times per day to escape from stress or realities of day to day life.
  • you regularly injure yourself by rubbing aggressively.
  • you hardly have time for your friends or family as you are too busy pleasuring yourself.
  • you constantly feel lustful and fight the urge to pleasure yourself.
  • you experience pain in your genitals.

What is the treatment of excessive masturbation?

You immediately need to consult a general doctor, who may, in turn, refer you to a psychiatrist or a counselor. Sessions with a psychiatrist or a counselor will help you to regulate and divert your energies in a more productive way and gradually wean you away from aggressive masturbation.

At times, medication may also be suggested depending on your symptoms and general health conditions.

In The Spotlight

  • Science Says Men Should Masturbate 21 Times a Month- Here’s Why
  • How a Bollywood Masturbation Scene is the Answer to India’s Rape Culture
  • Masturbation myths, sexologists on how much is too much, it’s ill effects and more
  • Masturbation: The taboo activity everyone does
  • Masturbation: Self-Abuse or Biological Necessity?
Would you like to consult a doctor for Male Masturbation ?
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Patient Experiences

Treatment for Excessive Masturbation
I m 23 yrs Kamal I was suffering from loss of desire,drive, weak erections,chronic sexual weaknesses due to excessive masturbation.
it takes approx 8 weeks to complete my treatment, to recover completely.
thanks for best treatment to make me healthy & active.…Read Less
I m 23 yrs Kamal I was suffering from loss of desire,drive, weak erections,chronic sexual weaknesses due to excessive masturbation.
it takes approx 8 weeks to complete my treatment, to recover completely.
thanks for best treatment to make me healthy & active.
Doctor in this story : Dr. Sukhjinder Singh Yogi
Yogis Ayurveda
Irfan batliwala
Controlling Excessive Masturbation With Treatment
l was doing lot of masturbation.l was seeing porn.l was feeling weak.l wanted to control my self but was not succeeding.Dr.fayyaz helped me to control myself .Thank you doctor.…Read Less
l was doing lot of masturbation.l was seeing porn.l was feeling weak.l wanted to control my self but was not succeeding.Dr.fayyaz helped me to control myself .Thank you doctor.
Doctor in this story : Dr. Fayyaz A. Sattar
Dr. Fayyaz Sex Clinic
Balwinder Singh
Recovering From Excessive Masturbation & Weak Erections
I m 26 yrs Balwinder singh from mohali,i started treatment on 31oct 2016 ,in 1 week I m 60%, fit,active.
i was suffering from indigestion,chronic constipation,low appetite,excessive anger,excessive masturbation,chronic sexual health weakness.weak erections.
I m quite satisfied,confident energetic too …Read Less
I m 26 yrs Balwinder singh from mohali,i started treatment on 31oct 2016 ,in 1 week I m 60%, fit,active.
i was suffering from indigestion,chronic constipation,low appetite,excessive anger,excessive masturbation,chronic sexual health weakness.weak erections.
I m quite satisfied,confident energetic too
Doctor in this story : Dr. Sukhjinder Singh Yogi
Yogis Ayurveda

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
I am masturbating more these days,how can i stop doing that,
does masturbation related to hairfall and what are the effects of masturbation

Dr. D.Senthil Kumar
Homeopath, Chennai
Doing masturbation is not a sin, Hair falling may be related with Dandruff or some other health issues, Limit your masturbation frequencies. If you have more doubt its good to consult a doctor near by you.

Verified User
Masturbation causes pain in bladder male
I am 24 year old male and I am masturbating everyday at night from the age of 11. Nowadays I feel pain in the bladder region occasionally in day time and it lasts for one or two hours. Is it make me impotent or cause any other serious problem please help me

Dr. Manikantan
Urologist, Visakhapatnam
It’s a problem which can be cured. Contact on for treatment.

Verified User
I am 17 years old male I masturbated everyday since age of 15 now I reduced it does it cause increase in prolactin which causes low testosterone and does now grow beard

Dr. Ramprasad Attur
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
Masturbation is a normal physiological response and it varies from person to person how much and when they do it.There is no evidence to suggest that the frequency ie how many times causes issues with any harmones in the body.It also does not have any impact on development of secondary sexual characterstics that you mention.

Dr. Venkat Raghav
General Physician, Bangalore
Hello…… Increased prolactin is one of the cause for decreased testosterone but you should decrease frequency of masturbation… Once a week masturbation is not harmful . But daily masturbation is not good for health… Weakness, early ejaculation, fatigue,

Verified User
I want to stop masturbation
I want to stop masturbation and i am not able to do it please help ……..

Dr. Pankaj B Borade
Sexologist, Pune
Masturbation can be addictive. Unable to control masturbating, irritability, guilt, etc  are most commonly associated symptoms of masturbation problem. It must be dealt by an expert and must be treated. With suitable medications and instructions it can be completely cured. It may risk for sexual disorders.
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Did you know?

Masturbating too hard can lead to fracturing your own err…ding dong

Tugging at it sure brings a lot of pleasure, but just keep in mind, tugging at it too hard could lead it to snap, yes snap, even though there are no bones there. You will actually hear a cracking sound, experience excruciating pain along with bruising and swelling – in other words all the signs of a fracture. Other actions that can lead to a penis fracture are, rolling over on the bed with an erection, and striking against a partner’s pubic bone while having an intercourse. A fracture needs to be treated immediately without any delay as the likelihood of getting an erection after experiencing a fracture is very low.

Perhaps India too needs to talk about masturbation more openly?

In the year 2009, the European nations, and the United Kingdom made a big pro-masturbation move with the aim of detracting teenagers from engaging in risky sexual behaviour that could lead to STDs or unwanted pregnancies. Pamphlets were created containing pertinent information about masturbation which were distributed to parents, teenagers and youth workers. This is an idea worth considering in India. In fact, not only about masturbation. Perhaps classes can be taken on comprehensive sexual education which can also include masturbation along with guidelines of how excessive masturbation can be detrimental and guidance on how to proactively channel away the extra sexual energy to highly creative pursuits.

Each year, about 1000 people die trying to strangle themselves while masturbating

This is known as Autoerotic Asphyxiation. When the brain’s supply of oxygen is cut off temporarily (asphyxia), a person experiences a euphoric high seconds before he loses consciousness. There are people addicted to this. These Autoerotic asphyxiators chase this high in order to experience the next level of sexual thrill, and end up strangling themselves with cords, ropes, scarves, and ties. Though bizarre some even resort to sealing their heads in plastic bags! Doctors, as well as psychologists never talk about this issue as they do not want to put dangerous ideas in the heads of young and inexperienced people. But such a step could be seen as a double-edged sword, as young people need to be made aware of the dangers they could put themselves in, in their search for pleasurable thrill but it could also give them dangerous ideas leading to serious harm, especially as sexual asphyxiation could lead to cardiac arrest and coma. Leave any such dangerous ideas to fantasy and pleasure yourself in a safe way!

Related videos

10 Harmful Effects Of Male Masturbation
Masturbation – Need to Know
Male Masturbation Techniques
Do You Masturbate? – Indian Youngsters Answer

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Masturbation Effects on Your Health: Side Effects and Benefits

Medically reviewed by Suzanne Falck, MD on June 5, 2017 — Written by Annamarya Scaccia


Masturbation is a common activity. It’s a natural and safe way to explore your body, feel pleasure, and release built-up sexual tension. It occurs among people of all backgrounds, genders, and races.

Despite the myths, there are actually no physically harmful side effects of masturbation.

However, excessive masturbation can harm your relationships and everyday life. Other than that, masturbation is a fun, normal, and healthy act.

Keep reading to learn more about the side effects and potential health benefits of masturbation.

effects of masturbation

Masturbation doesn’t have any harmful side effects. However, some people may feel guilty about masturbating or have issues with chronic masturbation.

Masturbation and guilt

Some people may feel guilty about masturbating because of cultural, spiritual, or religious beliefs.

Masturbation is neither wrong nor immoral, but you may still hear messages that self-pleasure is “dirty” and “shameful.”

If you feel guilty over masturbating, speak with someone you trust about why you feel this way and how you can move past that guilt. Therapists that specialize in sexual health may be a good resource.

Addiction to masturbation

Some people can and do develop an addiction to masturbation. You may be spending too much time masturbating if masturbation causes you to:

  • skip your chores or daily activities
  • miss work or school
  • cancel plans with friends or family
  • miss important social events

Addiction to masturbation can harm your relationships and other parts of your life. Masturbating too much may interrupt your work or studies, which can lower productivity.

It may also hurt your romantic relationships and friendships, because you don’t spend as much time with your loved ones as you used to, or don’t pay attention to their needs.

If you’re worried you may have an addiction to masturbation, speak with your doctor or a counselor about ways to cut down on masturbating.

Talk therapy can help you manage your addiction. You could also cut down by replacing masturbation with other activities. Next time you have an urge to masturbate, try:

  • going for a run
  • writing in a journal
  • spending time with friends
  • going for a walk

masturbation cause a decrease in sexual sensitivity?

For women who have sexual dysfunction, enhanced stimulation — including masturbation — can help increase sexual desire and sensitivity.

In fact, two 2009 studies found that vibrator use among women and men has been linked to an increase in desire, arousal, and overall sexual function. Women also reported an increase in lubrication, while men reported better erectile function, according to the studies.

Masturbation can affect sensitivity during sex for men because of their technique. Research has shown that too tight of a grip on a penis during masturbation can decrease sensation.

Sexual health experts recommend changing your technique during masturbation to restore sensitivity levels during sex.

of masturbation

Masturbation is a healthy sexual activity. It has many benefits for your physical and mental health.

There are limited studies on the benefits of masturbation, but there are studies on sexual intercourse and stimulation.

Research and anecdotal reports suggest that sexual stimulation, including stimulation through masturbation, may help you:

  • relieve built-up stress
  • sleep better
  • boost your mood
  • relax
  • feel pleasure
  • relieve cramps
  • release sexual tension
  • have better sex
  • better understand your wants and needs

Couples may also mutually masturbate to explore different desires, as well as avoid pregnancy. Self-pleasuring also helps you prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

and prostate cancer

Some research suggests that regular ejaculation may lower the risk of prostate cancer , though doctors aren’t exactly sure why.

A 2016 study found the risk of prostate cancer decreased by about 20 percent in men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month. A 2003 study also discovered a similar link between frequent ejaculation and lower prostate cancer risk.

There’s no evidence, though, that ejaculating regularly protects against advanced prostate cancer.

during pregnancy

Hormone changes during pregnancy cause some pregnant women to feel heightened sexual desire. Masturbation is a safe way to release sexual tension during pregnancy.

Self-pleasure may also help ease pregnancy symptoms, such as lower back pain. You may feel mild, irregular cramping, or Braxton-Hicks contractions , during and after orgasm.

They should fade away. If the contractions don’t disappear and become more painful and frequent, contact your doctor right away.

Masturbation may not be safe for women with high-risk pregnancies. This is because orgasm can increase your chances of labor.


Masturbation is a healthy, natural, and safe way to practice self-care and improve your health.

Masturbating may have many benefits for your mind and body. Despite the possibility of addiction, there are no harmful side effects.

Feel free to enjoy self-pleasure without guilt or shame. Speak with a therapist or someone you trust about any negative feelings you have.