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Masturbation, side effects, and tips to stop it

First, we have to know what is masturbation then we discuss how to stop it if you find yourself as an Addict

Masturbation is when an individual stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure, which may or may not lead to orgasm. Masturbation is common among men and women of all ages and plays a role in healthy sexual development.

Are there side effects to masturbation?

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST on January 23, 2020 — Written by Hannah Nichols

Masturbation is a normal and healthy sexual activity with few side effects. Many bizarre claims surround masturbation, such as going blind, and most of these claims are untrue.

Masturbation is when an individual stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure, which may or may not lead to orgasm. Masturbation is common among men and women of all ages and plays a role in healthy sexual development.

Research has found that among adolescents aged 14–17 years in the United States, around 74 percent of males and 48 percent of females masturbate.

Among older adults, roughly 63 percent of men and 32 percent of women between 57 and 64 years of age masturbate.

People masturbate for many reasons. These include pleasure, enjoyment, fun, and tension release. Some individuals masturbate alone, while others masturbate with a partner.

This article looks at the potential side effects of masturbation and sorts the facts from the fiction regarding masturbation myths. It also identifies some of the health benefits of masturbation.

Are there side effects to masturbation?

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST on January 23, 2020 — Written by Hannah Nichols

Masturbation is a normal and healthy sexual activity with few side effects. Many bizarre claims surround masturbation, such as going blind, and most of these claims are untrue.

Masturbation is when an individual stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure, which may or may not lead to orgasm. Masturbation is common among men and women of all ages and plays a role in healthy sexual development.

Research has found that among adolescents aged 14–17 years in the United States, around 74 percent of males and 48 percent of females masturbate.

Among older adults, roughly 63 percent of men and 32 percent of women between 57 and 64 years of age masturbate.

People masturbate for many reasons. These include pleasure, enjoyment, fun, and tension release. Some individuals masturbate alone, while others masturbate with a partner.

This article looks at the potential side effects of masturbation and sorts the facts from the fiction regarding masturbation myths. It also identifies some of the health benefits of masturbation.

Masturbation myths
Depressed and anxious man sitting cross-legged on bed.Share on Pinterest
Many myths exist about the risks of masturbation, however none of these have been proven.

There are many myths about masturbation. Even though many of these have been debunked several times, they seem to resurface time and time again.

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. Masturbation will not cause:

  • blindness
  • hairy palms
  • impotence later in life
  • erectile dysfunction
  • penis shrinkage
  • penis curvature
  • low sperm count
  • infertility
  • mental illness
  • physical weakness

Some couples worry that their relationship must be unsatisfying if either one of them masturbates; this, too, is a myth.

Most men and women continue to masturbate either alone or together when they are in a relationship or married, and many find it an enjoyable part of their relationship.

One study found that women who masturbated had happier marriages compared to those who did not masturbate.  Tips to stop masturbation:

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Ways to stop masturbating

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST on July 12, 2019

Masturbation is a normal part of sexual expression. It can relieve stress and help a person determine what they enjoy sexually. If it becomes compulsive, however, it may become a problem. If this is the case, there are many ways a person can stop masturbating.

In most cases, masturbation is a normal sexual practice that does not cause any physical or emotional distress.

However, it can become a problem if it is interfering negatively with a person’s life.

In the sections below, we discuss why it may be beneficial to stop masturbating, how to stop, and how to recognize when it may be becoming a problem.

Why stop?
People running in a forest which may help to stop masturbatingShare on Pinterest
Staying active can help a person lower tension and focus their energy.

In some cases, masturbation can lead to negative emotions or interfere with certain aspects of a person’s life.

For example, if a person limits their interaction with others or misses work to masturbate, it may be time to consider how to stop masturbating.

Although uncommon, frequent masturbation can cause skin irritation and swelling of the penis.

When this is the case, it may be necessary to stop masturbating to ease the symptoms.

Ways to stop masturbating

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST on July 12, 2019

Masturbation is a normal part of sexual expression. It can relieve stress and help a person determine what they enjoy sexually. If it becomes compulsive, however, it may become a problem. If this is the case, there are many ways a person can stop masturbating.

In most cases, masturbation is a normal sexual practice that does not cause any physical or emotional distress.

However, it can become a problem if it is interfering negatively with a person’s life.

In the sections below, we discuss why it may be beneficial to stop masturbating, how to stop, and how to recognize when it may be becoming a problem.

Why stop?
People running in a forest which may help to stop masturbatingShare on Pinterest
Staying active can help a person lower tension and focus their energy.

In some cases, masturbation can lead to negative emotions or interfere with certain aspects of a person’s life.

For example, if a person limits their interaction with others or misses work to masturbate, it may be time to consider how to stop masturbating.

Although uncommon, frequent masturbation can cause skin irritation and swelling of the penis.

When this is the case, it may be necessary to stop masturbating to ease the symptoms.

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTER
Stay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter

Expect in-depth, science-backed toplines of our best stories every day. Tap in and keep your curiosity satisfied.

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How to stop

If masturbation is becoming a problem, there are strategies and techniques to help a person stop.

A combination of techniques may be helpful, including the following:

1. Avoid pornography

Exposure to pornography may trigger the desire to masturbate.

People who want to stop masturbating should avoid pornographic movies, images, and websites. If a person can place a barrier between themselves and pornography, it can help them break the habit.

It is now very easy to access pornography in just a few seconds. However, people can try to limit their access to pornography by using filters on electronic devices that block certain types of content, such as pornographic material.

Although a person can unblock such websites, taking the time to do so can give them time to regain control of their impulses and allow the urge to pass.

2. Stay active

It can be helpful for a person to find ways to occupy their time that does not trigger the desire to masturbate.

Finding outlets for energy release can replace the time spent masturbating. People can consider taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill, such as learning a musical instrument or trying a new sport.

Developing new goals can help a person refocus their energy and find excitement and fulfillment in other things.

It may also be helpful to determine when the urge to masturbate is highest and plan other activities for that time.

3. Seek professional help

When masturbation is negatively affecting a person’s life, it may be helpful to seek advice from a mental health professional who specializes in human sexuality.

It is possible that additional issues, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, are the underlying problem. Talking with a therapist or psychologist is useful to work through negative feelings and learn behavior modification strategies to stop masturbating.

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapistsoffer resources to find help.

4. Spend more time with others

Some people may masturbate because they feel lonely or have nothing else to fill their time with.

Spending less time alone reduces the opportunities to masturbate. Spending time with others will not only keep a person occupied, but it might also redirect their focus.

There are several ways to decrease solitude. People can meet up with friends or family, take a class, or join a gym to stay socially engaged with others.

5. Exercise

Exercise is an effective way to both lower tension and positively focus energy.

Activities such as running, swimming, and weight lifting can strengthen the body and release endorphins that promote feelings of well-being.

Feeling happier and more relaxed may reduce the urge to masturbate as frequently.

6. Find a support group

Ways to stop masturbating

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST on July 12, 2019

Masturbation is a normal part of sexual expression. It can relieve stress and help a person determine what they enjoy sexually. If it becomes compulsive, however, it may become a problem. If this is the case, there are many ways a person can stop masturbating.

In most cases, masturbation is a normal sexual practice that does not cause any physical or emotional distress.

However, it can become a problem if it is interfering negatively with a person’s life.

In the sections below, we discuss why it may be beneficial to stop masturbating, how to stop, and how to recognize when it may be becoming a problem.

Why stop?
People running in a forest which may help to stop masturbatingShare on Pinterest
Staying active can help a person lower tension and focus their energy.

In some cases, masturbation can lead to negative emotions or interfere with certain aspects of a person’s life.

For example, if a person limits their interaction with others or misses work to masturbate, it may be time to consider how to stop masturbating.

Although uncommon, frequent masturbation can cause skin irritation and swelling of the penis.

When this is the case, it may be necessary to stop masturbating to ease the symptoms.

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTER
Stay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter

Expect in-depth, science-backed toplines of our best stories every day. Tap in and keep your curiosity satisfied.

Enter your email

Your privacy is important to us

How to stop

If masturbation is becoming a problem, there are strategies and techniques to help a person stop.

A combination of techniques may be helpful, including the following:

1. Avoid pornography

Exposure to pornography may trigger the desire to masturbate.

People who want to stop masturbating should avoid pornographic movies, images, and websites. If a person can place a barrier between themselves and pornography, it can help them break the habit.

It is now very easy to access pornography in just a few seconds. However, people can try to limit their access to pornography by using filters on electronic devices that block certain types of content, such as pornographic material.

Although a person can unblock such websites, taking the time to do so can give them time to regain control of their impulses and allow the urge to pass.

2. Stay active

It can be helpful for a person to find ways to occupy their time that does not trigger the desire to masturbate.

Finding outlets for energy release can replace the time spent masturbating. People can consider taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill, such as learning a musical instrument or trying a new sport.

Developing new goals can help a person refocus their energy and find excitement and fulfillment in other things.

It may also be helpful to determine when the urge to masturbate is highest and plan other activities for that time.

3. Seek professional help

When masturbation is negatively affecting a person’s life, it may be helpful to seek advice from a mental health professional who specializes in human sexuality.

It is possible that additional issues, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, are the underlying problem. Talking with a therapist or psychologist is useful to work through negative feelings and learn behavior modification strategies to stop masturbating.

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapistsoffer resources to find help.

4. Spend more time with others

Some people may masturbate because they feel lonely or have nothing else to fill their time with.

Spending less time alone reduces the opportunities to masturbate. Spending time with others will not only keep a person occupied, but it might also redirect their focus.

There are several ways to decrease solitude. People can meet up with friends or family, take a class, or join a gym to stay socially engaged with others.

5. Exercise

Exercise is an effective way to both lower tension and positively focus energy.

Activities such as running, swimming, and weight lifting can strengthen the body and release endorphins that promote feelings of well-being.

Feeling happier and more relaxed may reduce the urge to masturbate as frequently.

6. Find a support group

Support groupShare on Pinterest
Joining a support group can help decrease feelings of guilt and shame associated with compulsive masturbation.

When masturbation is compulsive, it might be due to various reasons. For example, it may be due to:

  • untreated mental health conditions
  • relationship issues
  • restrictive views on sexuality
  • poor sexual communication or conflict resolution skills
  • cultural differences in sexual expression
  • cultural and religious conflicts

However, having support from a trusted group of people may be helpful for some people to quell the habit. Finding a support group can give them the space they need to express concerns and develop positive coping strategies.

When a person talks openly about the challenges they face, others can help them feel validated. This can decrease any feelings of guilt or shame associated with compulsive masturbation.

Ways to stop masturbating

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST on July 12, 2019

Masturbation is a normal part of sexual expression. It can relieve stress and help a person determine what they enjoy sexually. If it becomes compulsive, however, it may become a problem. If this is the case, there are many ways a person can stop masturbating.

In most cases, masturbation is a normal sexual practice that does not cause any physical or emotional distress.

However, it can become a problem if it is interfering negatively with a person’s life.

In the sections below, we discuss why it may be beneficial to stop masturbating, how to stop, and how to recognize when it may be becoming a problem.

Why stop?
People running in a forest which may help to stop masturbatingShare on Pinterest
Staying active can help a person lower tension and focus their energy.

In some cases, masturbation can lead to negative emotions or interfere with certain aspects of a person’s life.

For example, if a person limits their interaction with others or misses work to masturbate, it may be time to consider how to stop masturbating.

Although uncommon, frequent masturbation can cause skin irritation and swelling of the penis.

When this is the case, it may be necessary to stop masturbating to ease the symptoms.

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTER
Stay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter

Expect in-depth, science-backed toplines of our best stories every day. Tap in and keep your curiosity satisfied.

Enter your email

Your privacy is important to us

How to stop

If masturbation is becoming a problem, there are strategies and techniques to help a person stop.

A combination of techniques may be helpful, including the following:

1. Avoid pornography

Exposure to pornography may trigger the desire to masturbate.

People who want to stop masturbating should avoid pornographic movies, images, and websites. If a person can place a barrier between themselves and pornography, it can help them break the habit.

It is now very easy to access pornography in just a few seconds. However, people can try to limit their access to pornography by using filters on electronic devices that block certain types of content, such as pornographic material.

Although a person can unblock such websites, taking the time to do so can give them time to regain control of their impulses and allow the urge to pass.

2. Stay active

It can be helpful for a person to find ways to occupy their time that does not trigger the desire to masturbate.

Finding outlets for energy release can replace the time spent masturbating. People can consider taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill, such as learning a musical instrument or trying a new sport.

Developing new goals can help a person refocus their energy and find excitement and fulfillment in other things.

It may also be helpful to determine when the urge to masturbate is highest and plan other activities for that time.

3. Seek professional help

When masturbation is negatively affecting a person’s life, it may be helpful to seek advice from a mental health professional who specializes in human sexuality.

It is possible that additional issues, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, are the underlying problem. Talking with a therapist or psychologist is useful to work through negative feelings and learn behavior modification strategies to stop masturbating.

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapistsoffer resources to find help.

4. Spend more time with others

Some people may masturbate because they feel lonely or have nothing else to fill their time with.

Spending less time alone reduces the opportunities to masturbate. Spending time with others will not only keep a person occupied, but it might also redirect their focus.

There are several ways to decrease solitude. People can meet up with friends or family, take a class, or join a gym to stay socially engaged with others.

5. Exercise

Exercise is an effective way to both lower tension and positively focus energy.

Activities such as running, swimming, and weight lifting can strengthen the body and release endorphins that promote feelings of well-being.

Feeling happier and more relaxed may reduce the urge to masturbate as frequently.

6. Find a support group

Support groupShare on Pinterest
Joining a support group can help decrease feelings of guilt and shame associated with compulsive masturbation.

When masturbation is compulsive, it might be due to various reasons. For example, it may be due to:

  • untreated mental health conditions
  • relationship issues
  • restrictive views on sexuality
  • poor sexual communication or conflict resolution skills
  • cultural differences in sexual expression
  • cultural and religious conflicts

However, having support from a trusted group of people may be helpful for some people to quell the habit. Finding a support group can give them the space they need to express concerns and develop positive coping strategies.

When a person talks openly about the challenges they face, others can help them feel validated. This can decrease any feelings of guilt or shame associated with compulsive masturbation.

Side effects

Masturbation does not typically cause side effects.

However, if masturbation is compulsive, constant, or vigorous, it may cause the following side effects:

  • Edema: In males, gripping the penis too tightly during masturbation can cause mild swelling, or edema.
  • Skin irritation: When masturbation is too vigorous, it might lead to chafing or skin irritation. Skin irritation is usually mild and goes away after a few days.
  • Guilt: Although masturbation is not wrong or unhealthy, some people may experience negative feelings afterward, such as guilt or shame.

Myths that masturbation causes blindness or infertility are not true.

When is masturbation a problem?

Masturbation becomes a problem if it is negatively affecting a person or impacting other areas of their life.

For example, if it starts to interfere with their ability to orgasm or have sexual relationships with a partner, it may be worth addressing the habit.

Compulsive behavior

In some instances, masturbation can be a compulsive sexual behavior.

A compulsive sexual behavior involves an intense and repetitive preoccupation with sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviors.

It is worth noting that this is not the same thing as having a high sex drive.

Compulsive behavior causes psychosocial issues or distress. This makes it hard for a person to actually enjoy the behavior.

When masturbation is a compulsion, it is a mental health issue. According to a case study report in the Journal of Psychiatry, compulsive masturbation is usually either an impulse control condition or a type of sexual dysfunction.

Feelings of guilt

For some people, masturbation also causes feelings of intense guilt.

One study in the journal Sexual Medicine, which involved 4,211 men attending a sexual medicine outpatient clinic, found that 8.4% of the men reported feeling a sense of guilt after masturbating.

All the participants completed a questionnaire and a structured interview regarding their frequency of masturbation and associated feelings.

Feelings of guilt may also lead to other issues. For example, higher levels of guilt was linked to increased alcohol use, which may cause other mental and physical health concerns.

Summary

In most cases, masturbation is a normal part of sexuality. Masturbation frequency varies greatly from person to person, and there is no “normal” frequency.

However, if masturbation begins to interfere with other parts of a person’s life or starts to cause distress, it might be helpful to stop or reduce the frequency.

There are several ways to stop masturbating, including avoiding pornography and focusing on other activities. However, if someone suspects that they have a problem with sexual compulsion, it is best to seek professional help.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Reply

    This is very nice and helpful

    • Reply

      Masturbation is a normal and healthy sexual activity with few side effects. Many bizarre claims surround masturbation, such as going blind, and most of these claims are untrue.

      Masturbation is when an individual stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure, which may or may not lead to orgasm. Masturbation is common among men and women of all ages and plays a role in healthy sexual development

  2. Reply

    It really helped

  3. Reply

    Cool

  4. Reply

    It does more harm than good

  5. Reply

    True talk

  6. Reply

    Good info, thanks for the update

  7. Profile photo ofExcel01

    Reply

    Interesting

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