One of the most controversial health topics of our time is masturbation. It has had several pieces of research conducted on it to find its benefits or effects.
The results have been enormous and some falsehood has been put on the internet. Here are truths about masturbation even doctors don’t share.
They may surprise you.
1. Masturbation doesn’t have the health benefits that sex does.
“It appears that not all orgasms are created equally,” says Tobias S. Köhler, MD, MPH, an associate professor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.
Study after study shows that intercourse has all sorts of benefits for men — for your blood pressure, heart and prostate health, pain, and more. You’d think that masturbation would, too. But it doesn’t.
Why would it make a difference whether you ejaculate during sex or on your own? No one’s sure. But your body seems to respond differently. Even the makeup of semen is different if you masturbate instead of having sex.
Still, does it really matter? Have you honestly been masturbating all these years only because you wanted to boost your prostate health? Didn’t think so. But one study, Harvard’s Health Professional Followup, showed that Masturbation may help lower risk of prostate cancer.
2. Masturbation is not risk-free.
Sure, it’s low-risk. It’s the safest form of sex possible. No one ever caught an STD from himself or made himself pregnant. But like other low-risk activities (chewing, walking), it still has some risks.
Frequent or rough masturbation can cause minor skin irritation. Forcefully bending an erect penis can rupture the chambers that fill with blood, a rare but gruesome condition called penile fracture.
Köhler has seen guys with it after vigorous masturbation. “Afterward, the penis looks like an eggplant,” he says. “It’s purple and swollen.” Most men need surgery to repair it.
3. There’s no “normal” amount of masturbation.
Guys can get hung up on whether they masturbate too much. But it’s not how many times you masturbate in a week (or day) that really matters, says Logan Levkoff, PhD, a sexologist and sex educator. It’s how it fits into your life.
If you masturbate many times a day and have a healthy, satisfying life, good for you. But if you masturbate many times a day and you’re missing work or giving up on sex with your partner because of it, consider seeing a sex therapist.
Even then, there’s nothing specific about masturbation that’s the problem. Compulsive masturbation is like any behavior that disrupts your life — whether it’s compulsively playing poker or checking your social media every other minute.