Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on September 1, 2011

Is masturbation bad for me?

Can masturbation affect my health, physically or mentally? I’m a male who masturbates regularly, and I also have problems with concentration. Could the two be related?

answered by
David Sobel, MD, JD on September 1, 2011

Thanks for asking about the link between masturbation and overall health. There are many myths about the negative side-effects of masturbation that are either exaggerated or entirely wrong.

Generally speaking, masturbation is a safe activity. That said, it’s possible to hurt yourself through aggressive masturbation. (Of course, the same goes for particularly active or aggressive sex with a partner.) Aggressive masturbation could lead to skin abrasions from friction; or, more seriously, if an erect penis is bent too much, apenis fracture may result, which would require immediate medical attention.

Can masturbation cause problems with concentration? The short answer is no. However, there are some other medical issues that can affect your ability to concentrate, so I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about what might be the root cause.

Bottom line: masturbation isgenerally accepted by the medical communityas a normal way to explore one’s sexuality. As long as it’s done in moderation – which means that you don’t constantly masturbate or think about masturbating at the expense of your physical well-being, work and personal relationships – masturbation can be thought of as a healthy part of your sexuality.

Thanks for contacting us, and I wish you a good health.

Related info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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