Amazing Side Effects from Masturbation

Masturbation is an activity few talks about but in which many partake. Despite being taboo in many parts of the world, history tells us that masturbation has been around pretty much forever, and it's not going away anytime soon. We know the most obvious side effect of masturbation (it feels good), but few realize that the pastime can have many other side effects, both good and bad.

Stress and Pain Relief
Masturbating, like any sexual activity, releases endorphins, chemicals in our body that promote a sense of happiness and can relieve stress, Best Health Mag reported.

"In both men and women it [masturbation] provides release of stress, a time to commune with oneself (taking stock of one's emotional state and needs), and for some even the possibility of greater self-awareness or insight," Dr Jordan Tishler, of, a Harvard physician who focuses on human sexuality, told Medical Daily in a recent email.

In addition, the calming effects of masturbation can also help you sleep better, and can even reduce the pain associated with menstruation and postmenopausal intercourse.

"It causes more blood flow to the pelvic region, which hastens periods and decreases pain," Dr Sandra LaMorgese PhD, author of Switch: Time for a Change, and an expert in sexual intimacy, told Medical Daily. "For postmenopausal women, a narrowing of the vagina can make pelvic exams and intercourse painful, but masturbation, particularly with a water-based lubricant, increases blood flow to the sex organs."

Disease Prevention
Believe it or not, there may actually be some positive health benefits associated with masturbation, for both men and women. For example, according to LaMoregese, masturbation could help to prevent prostate cancer by allowing men to safely get rid of toxins that naturally build up in their urogenital tract.

"Men who ejaculate over five times per week decrease these toxin levels, and thereby possibly lower their risk of prostate cancer by a third," wrote LaMoregese.

In addition, LaMorgese explained that masturbation could help to fight urinary tract infections in women by flushing out the cervix.No, you won't get cross-eyed or grow hair on your palms, but masturbation does have some pretty amazing side effects.

Pathway to Addiction?
Unfortunately, not all of the possible side effects of masturbation are necessarily good. For example, Dee Wagner, a licensed professional counsellor and a board-certified dance therapist told Medical Daily that, in some cases, masturbation can serve as a chronic way to avoid intimacy with others, which in the long run can cause anxiety.

In addition, masturbation stimulates a reward response in the brain, and just as with any rewarding activity, it is possible to get addicted to the chemistry of an orgasm. Not only is this bad for your mental health, but orgasm addiction can require individuals to need more and more stimulation to get the same results, which can lead to bodily harm, Wagner explained.

At this point, you've probably got your masturbation routine down to a science: you rub things, it feels nice, it feels really nice, and then it's over and you're left feeling pretty damn relaxed. But what really happens to your body when you masturbate? What are the physical and emotional side effects?

To be clear, despite the urban legends and myths you heard when you were younger, nothing bad will happen to you if you masturbate. "Masturbation is harmless to the human body and is also known as solo sex. Period," says sex therapist Tom Murray, PhD. "The sexual self is normal and naturally expressed by means of masturbation."

While there is such a thing as too much masturbation, the general consensus in the medical and psychological community is that it only becomes a problem when it starts to take away from your ability to function healthily in society or in a relationship. Due to desire to stay at home and masturbate you should be cautious to miss out on dates or social events, says Amanda Pasciucco, a certified sex therapist and author of Playtime: The Sex Book.

But for the most part, if masturbation doesn't get in the way of your daily routine, there's little reason not to do it. "If there's nothing else going on, why not have a date night with yourself and your fantasies?" Pascucci says.

Phew, so now that we've gotten that out of the way, read on to discover the amazing health benefits of spanking the monkey.

1) Masturbation makes you feel happy.
When you have an orgasm, your brain is flooded with dopamine and serotonin, the so-called "feel-good" chemicals that make you happy.

"An orgasm is the biggest non-drug blast of dopamine available," clinical sexologist Gloria Brame, PhD, previously told

2) You'll relieve stress.
There's a reason why it feels like all of your troubles have melted away after you have a good orgasm: as far as your body is concerned, they totally have. "The release of stress and muscle tension calms the central nervous system and can boost testosterone, as well," says Pasciucco. The end result is that incredibly blissed-out, sipping-margaritas-on-a-private beach feeling.

3) You'll sleep like a baby.
Signs stop breathing when sleeping

If you're one of the approximately 30-40% of Americans with insomnia, you've probably tried every sleep aid under the sun — but maybe, all you really needed was a good nighttime wank. "People report improved emotional and psychological health from masturbation," says Murray. "[And] masturbation aids in sleep quality for many."

4) It'll relieve your headaches.
Signs stop breathing when sleeping

Got headaches? While not really a cure in itself, having an orgasm can decrease the effects of migraine headaches for nearly one-third of migraine sufferers, according to one 2013 study.

5) Your sex life will improve.
If you masturbate frequently, you know exactly where you like to be touched, how you like to be touched, for how long, etc. Once you are comfortable with your own sexual responses, you can better communicate them to a partner, which makes for much better sex. As Pasciucco puts it, "masturbation can improve the quality of your sex life by helping you understand your sexual response as well."

6) You may reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
While we're not exactly sure why, multiple studies have suggested that frequent ejaculation via solo or partner sex "improves prostate health and may lower the risk of prostate cancer," Murray says.