Masturbation And Erectile Dysfunction: Should You Be Worried?

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Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team Published on August 28, 2022

Ah, the age-old question (for men) — how much is too much?

When it comes to masturbation, there are often many myths and rumours that start, mostly because most men are uncomfortable with talking about something so private. 

In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about whether there is a link between masturbation and erectile dysfunction cases and what you need to do about it.

We'll cover:

Let's dive in.

What Is Masturbation and Why Do People Do It?

Masturbation is the act of touching yourself for sexual pleasure. It's perfectly normal to do it (whether you're sexually active with others or not).

There are several reasons why both men and women masturbate. They want to release sexual tension or even just want to understand their body better. Although people normally associate masturbation with being single, people in relationships often do it as well.

Some people do it often, others rarely, and some people might not partake at all. People are different, and it's important to understand that there isn't really a "normal" amount to do it.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

On the other hand, erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as impotence, is the inability to get an erection or keep one long enough to have sex.

Having trouble getting an erection from time to time is no cause for concern and is quite normal. Almost half of all men will experience some form of it by the time they reach their 50s.

However, if you have ongoing issues getting an erection, it could be a sign of a deeper problem. Finding that problem isn't easy.

The way that male sexual arousal works is actually very complex. It is comprised of a system that involves several parts of the male body, including the brain, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, emotions, and of course, his penis. 

Several erectile dysfunction causes range from physical to psychological. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tobacco use
  • Prescription medicines
  • Low testosterone
  • Sleep disorders
  • Drug use
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship issues

As you get older, the issue might become more pronounced. It can lead to embarrassment, an unsatisfactory sex life, and relationship problems. 

The easy answer: no. 

Although it is a common belief, an overwhelming amount of scientific data shows that masturbation doesn't have any effect on your ability to maintain an erection. 

Masturbating does nothing to damage your penis as long as you are using the proper technique. In fact, it even has health benefits (which we'll mention later in the article). 

However, masturbation and sexual arousal do have some minor connections that may have links to erectile dysfunction.

For example, one study by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy ventured that there might be a link between the guilt caused by masturbating as well as erectile dysfunction.

There have been a bit more conclusive studies showing a link between the use of porn for masturbation and erectile dysfunction. Although there isn't a direct link, one clinical report showed that ED was found in younger men because of the high expectations that porn set for them. So is porn the cause?

Internet porn usage rose at the same time that ED prevalence increased. This led many researchers to believe that porn played a big part in erectile dysfunction. 

However, it was found to be more of a coincidence than anything else. Although research has been done, no direct link has been found between porn consumption and erectile dysfunction.

What Are the Benefits of Masturbation For Men?

Let's be honest — even though it's a pretty normal thing to do, masturbation doesn't have the best image and is not a popular talking subject amongst even the closest of friends. 

The truth is, masturbation isn't bad for you at all and even has several benefits for your health, both mentally and physically. There are also the obvious benefit that it is the safest sex there is (if you consider it sex) — there's zero chance of getting an STD or getting someone pregnant.

When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins which can block pain and make you feel good. Other benefits of masturbation include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Releasing sexual tension
  • Improving body image and self-esteem
  • Relieving muscle tension
  • Helping treat sexual problems
  • Strengthening muscles in the pelvic and anal areas.

Masturbation is also a great way for people to get to know their bodies and what they like.

Are There Benefits of Not Masturbating?

Although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence (like the NoFap movement) that claims to have several positive effects from abstinence, abstaining from masturbating isn't really seen as a good or bad thing by the medical community. 

However, there have been some studies that have linked abstinence with higher sperm count and testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels are often linked to depression and anxiety. 

However, it really comes down to the person. If you feel like stopping masturbating will help your mental and emotional health, you should try for yourself to see if it is worth the benefits.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Masturbation That People Should Be Aware Of?

Although masturbation is perfectly healthy and normal for men, there are a few things to be wary about when it comes to masturbation. Let's look at a few.

How Often Is Too Often?

When it comes to how often someone should masturbate, the truth is that the number varies widely between men.

Some men might masturbate once or even several times a day without it causing any harm. In fact, research shows that masturbating more than 21 times a month can lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Others might prefer to only masturbate once every few days, or weeks, or even months, which is also okay. As long as you don't feel like it is significantly hurting you, you're probably fine.

However, if you feel like masturbating too much is affecting your mental health, you might need to address the issue. Here are some signs that you might be dealing with a masturbation addiction:

  • Masturbating or porn takes up several hours of your day
  • You feel guilty or ashamed after masturbating
  • Your work, school, or personal life is suffering because of your masturbation habits
  • You spend a significant amount of money on pornography or erotic toys
  • You find ejaculation is hard to achieve

Again, no set amount of times accounts for masturbation addiction. Simply put, if it's not affecting your regular life, it's not a problem.

However, if you feel like you are having a problem with it, you can speak to a healthcare professional about it. 

Physical Problems From Masturbating

Most of the time, with gentle technique, masturbation won't lead to any serious physical problems. However, applying too much pressure when you get a little "too excited" could lead to some issues like:

  • Friction Burn: If you masturbate too roughly, it can lead to the skin on your penis becoming red or swollen with a burning sensation. Your penis might even feel warm to the touch. However, it will usually heal over time.
  • Penile Fracture: Masturbating too hard could cause a tear in your erectile tissue, which can cause the blood flow to your penis to rupture. This can cause blood, pain, and bruising. Make sure to see a doctor if you think it has happened to you.

Emotional Problems From Masturbating

Over masturbating can cause some emotional problems as well. Although it's typically a healthy activity, it can lead to a less enjoyable time in bed with your partner if you become used to certain extreme stimulation that you only get from porn. 

Also, sometimes utilizing specific hand motions will train your brain to only orgasm with those same movements. A simple treatment for this is to take a break from masturbating for a couple of weeks and allow your body to reset. 

If you find that you can't stop thinking about masturbation and it affects your work, school, or personal life, it might be time to see a doctor about it. 

When To Talk to a Doctor If You Have ED Symptoms

In the end, masturbation and erectile dysfunction are not linked. However, erectile dysfunction is closely linked to your mental state, so it's important to keep your mind fresh and away from any addictive tendencies.

If you have been experiencing erectile dysfunction continually, see a doctor. They should be able to help you find the culprit for your sexual issues.

If you are looking for products that can help you get your mojo back in the bedroom, check out our products today!


Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.