Regular masturbation is a normal, healthy act for most guys.
Masturbation can help relieve stress with or without a partner, and while masturbation has many health benefits (with plenty of supportive research), excessive masturbation can come with side effects. Men that masturbate too much can develop sexual dysfunctions, including premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, pain, anxiety, and more.
Here’s what to know about the right amount of masturbation and avoiding (or treating) over-masturbation side effects.
What Is Masturbation?
Masturbation is the process of sexually stimulating yourself to achieve an orgasm. Masturbation is common and natural for both men and women, especially during puberty or adolescence.
One study on the adolescent sexual development process noted that masturbation was an important factor in development. Almost 62% of 14-year-old males reported masturbating at least once, and this number increases to 80% by age 17. There was a similar jump for females as well, from 43% at age 14 to 58% by age 17.
As an adult grows and begins considering or pursuing sexual relationships, they tend to masturbate less frequently. According to a study involving nearly 2,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 59, 64% of men and 41% of women had masturbated within the previous month.
No matter your age, regular masturbation is a natural part of life and should be considered normal.
What Are the Benefits of Masturbation for Men?
Some masturbation benefits for men can include:
- Reduced risk of prostate cancer. According to research, masturbating 21 times a month can reduce the odds of developing prostate cancer.
- Lower stress. During an orgasm, your body releases endorphins like dopamine and oxytocin that lower your stress and tension levels.
- Increase your immune system. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is released when you ejaculate. This quick hit of cortisol can strengthen your immune system following masturbation.
- It can lead to better sleep. Due to the reduction of stress and tension, masturbation can help men fall asleep faster and reach deeper levels of sleep.
Are There Side Effects of Male Masturbation?
As you know, you can have too much of a good thing. Masturbation itself doesn’t necessarily cause problems, but doing it excessively can cause adverse effects. There is no precise frequency that defines too much masturbation, but these symptoms may indicate excessive masturbation:
- Penis edema
- Vision changes
- Testicular pain
- Reduced sensitivity
- Premature ejaculation
What Can You Do If You’re Masturbating Too Much?
If you experience symptoms of excessive masturbation or masturbation impacts your daily life, there are ways to break the habit.
- Stay busy. Engaging in more physical activities can keep your mind and hands busy. You won’t have time or headspace to masturbate if you’re engaging in other activities such as cooking, exercising, or other healthy hobbies.
- Avoid pornography. Avoid exposing yourself to pornography or other sexual stimuli that generates the urge to masturbate.
- Spend time with others. Frequent boredom can lead to masturbation. By spending time with other people, you can alleviate boredom and won’t have the opportunity to masturbate.
- Consider therapy. If you’re having trouble breaking your masturbating habits, you may want to talk to a therapist. Your frequent masturbation could be the result of an underlying mental health condition or other stressors, and therapists can teach you strategies to modify your behavior.
How Long Before Regular Sexual Function Returns After Too Much Masturbation?
Reducing your masturbation frequency will take time and effort. Once you make these changes, it can take a few weeks before you start to notice a real difference. It may take longer depending on which issues you’re experiencing. If sexual function has not returned, you may want to talk to a medical professional about what’s happening.
Does Excessive Masturbation Cause Premature Ejaculation?
The relationship between premature ejaculation and excessive masturbation is complicated. Some believe masturbating too much can lead to premature ejaculation and others say it will lead to delayed orgasms.
Masturbation habits will affect men in different ways. If you’re experiencing premature ejaculation, there are treatment options.
Topical Anesthetics for Premature Ejaculation
Numbing agents are added to wipes, creams, and sprays to reduce sensation in your penis and delay your orgasm. The most common agents include benzocaine, lidocaine, and prilocaine, or a combination of these.
For best results, apply the anesthetic 10 or 15 minutes before sex. Make sure to wipe off any excess product before engaging in sex. The effects could be physically transferred to your partner during sex and decrease their sensations and pleasure as a result.
Kegel Exercises for Premature Ejaculation
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can improve your ability to delay ejaculation and last longer during sex. These muscles play a role in erectile function, so improving their strength can lead to firmer erections. The exercises themselves aren’t particularly difficult, but it can take some trial and error to identify the correct muscles involved in these exercises.
The next time you urinate, try to cut off the flow midstream. The muscles used to achieve this feeling are those that you will need to contract during Kegel exercises. At first, perform these exercises lying flat on your back. Over time, you may be able to perform them while sitting, standing, or walking.
How to Perform Kegel Exercises:
- Identify the proper muscles and squeeze them for five seconds.
- Release and relax the muscles for five seconds.
- Repeat the process 10 to 20 times per set.
- Perform two to four sets every day.
Antidepressants for Premature Ejaculation
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) often cause delayed orgasms. Doctors may prescribe SSRIs to treat premature ejaculation in men. It can take a few days to work, but after a week or two you should notice significant improvements in your ejaculation time.
One of the more common SSRIs for premature ejaculation is sertraline, the active ingredient in Zoloft®. Other possible options include escitalopram (Lexapro®), paroxetine (Paxil®), or fluoxetine (Prozac®).
Condoms for Premature Ejaculation
Using a condom can help reduce sensations and lead to prolonged sex. Condoms with topical anesthetics can also help. This will help numb the tip of your penis without accidentally transferring the anesthetics to your partner. These condoms are generally thicker than regular condoms to further reduce sensation.
Masturbation is a regular and even healthy part of life. It’s hard to determine a “normal” amount of masturbation because some men have a higher sex drive than others, but some studies suggest masturbating more than 20 times monthly can reduce the odds of prostate cancer.
Over-masturbation can lead to adverse effects and impact your personal relationships. If you believe that you’re over-masturbating, talk with a therapist or medical professional. In some cases, excessive masturbation can lead to premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.
If you’re ejaculating prematurely, Rex MD can help you connect with a doctor online for common men’s health medications to help you last longer and get firmer erections. It’s all done online, conveniently and affordably.