Masturbation, a very common way of showing yourself some love! Over 90% of the men do it and over 50% of the women do it too. It is no more a taboo or some taboo that shouldn’t even be discussed. In this article, let’s look at the positive and negative ways in which your brain is affected because of masturbation.
Orgasm caused by masturbation releases hormones in the brain. They include:
- Dopamine – This is a ‘feel good’ hormone. It is a hormone as well as a neurotransmitter. It is involved in neurological and psychological functioning of the body and brain. Simply putting, it acts as a chemical messenger between neurons.
- Endorphins – These hormones deal with stress and reduce the feeling of pain. The feeling of ‘pleasure’ is actually caused due to the increased production of dopamine that happens because of endorphins’ activity.
- Oxytocin – A love hormone, that is really important to love and bond with your partner. It controls the aspects of human behaviour.
- Testosterone – A very important male hormone released in men’s body. Testosterone regulates sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution in body, muscle mass, strength and sex stamina.
- Prolactin – Release of prolactin hormone in women serves mainly two purposes – milk production and development of mammary glands in breast tissues.
Release of healthy amounts of above mentioned hormones when aroused and during masturbation / sexual activity affects the mood positively and also helps in keeping up good health.
Masturbation affects mood, focus, concentration and sleep
There is no scientific study that backs the claim that masturbation affects mood, focus and concentration in a positive way but many people claim to focus very well after a session of masturbation. They also report that they can concentrate on their work or study and keep their mood in a happy state. This could be because of the release of happiness hormones constituting Dopamine, Endorphins and Oxytocin.
The hormone, Oxytocin can also help in relieving stress and relaxing the body and mind as per a study conducted in 2015. Oxytocin is found to reduce blood pressure and lowering Cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that causes stress. Whenever you are stressed out, you can try masturbating or having sex if you have a partner available and see if that helps in releasing your stress.
Typically after a good session of sex or masturbation, it is normal to feel relaxed and you may feel sleepy. The hormones Oxytocin and endorphins help you in releasing stress and getting some good sleep.
Are you feeling low or guilty after masturbating? You are not alone!
Some people may feel guilty or they may dislike themselves after masturbating. Possible reasons could be:
- Your belief system or religion tells you that masturbation is not good.
- You want to refrain from masturbation for any reason but you couldn’t control yourself.
- You may be having some preconceptions or believe in some myths regarding the negative effects of masturbation.
If you are one among those few people, you must note that ‘Not masturbating is absolutely OK’. It doesn’t mean that you are infertile or you are not like rest of the men/women in the society. It is a totally a personal choice.
Does any person find masturbating difficult?
Yes, for some people, due to some physical or psychological conditions, masturbating may be a difficult task. Such conditions include:
- Those suffering from tight foreskin – where the skin doesn’t easily move on and off the penis head. In such cases, doctors may advise creams to provide lubrication or may suggest circumcision.
- Men suffering from erectile dysfunction – These people will have difficult achieving an erection. Reason can be physical or psychological. If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, you must talk to a sex therapist or good sexologist near you.
- Low testosterone or libido – If you are suffering from low libido or low sex drive issues, you may not have erections like others in your age group. You must see a good sexologist as soon as possible. Typically men can be sexually active up to 60 – 70 years of age.
- Dyspareunia – Women who experience pain during sex may think of avoid sex altogether.
- Vaginal dryness – Young women can also have a dry vagina due to hormonal imbalance or any medication they may be using at that time. Vaginal dryness is very common post menopause in women. Women experiencing vaginal dryness must talk to their gynecologists and get the right treatment.
- Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome – A very rare condition where penis becomes sick/ill after ejaculation. This can stop you from thinking about or actually masturbating.
- Emotional problems – Psychology can also effect erections and ability to masturbate.
Talk to your sexologists / gynecologists if you have difficulty in getting an erection or masturbating or having sex.
If you want to masturbate, just go ahead. If you think it is a taboo or a sin or you should not masturbate for any reason, you may definitely avoid masturbation temporarily or permanently. Frequent masturbation (the right way) will not reduce your sperm count nor affect your fertility. Infrequent or avoiding masturbation also doesn’t cause you any harm or doesn’t make your more or less fertile. The sperms produced by the body that don’t get ejaculated are just absorbed back into the body and nothing more happens if you don’t release them. Some may have night falls and it’s very common. Just make sure you avoid prone masturbation.