Can Masturbation Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Are you worried about masturbating too much? Do you think it’s the reason behind your erection problem? 

It’s normal to feel a bit on edge when you talk about something often seen as taboo. 

There is plenty of research on every erection issue and whether it could be the result of masturbation. 

If you want to know more about erection troubles, then you’ve come to the right place. 

We rounded up all the practical research on masturbation and sexual stimulation. Here, we will answer your question, does masturbating cause ED? So, let’s jump right in!

Can Masturbating Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

According to a recent survey, 78% of adults on the globe masturbate. That includes 92% of American men, 96% of British men, and 93% of German men. The internet is filled with misconceptions about sexual dysfunction, frequent masturbation, and erectile function. 

Many men ask whether masturbating will cause ED. But, this is nothing more than a myth. Masturbating is completely normal and isn’t a cause for erectile dysfunction. 

Experts explain that masturbating won’t lead to: 

  • Physical weakness

  • Erection troubles

  • Reduced sperm count or sperm quality

  • Penis curvature or shrinkage

  • Impotence when older

Some couples think that if one masturbates, they are unsatisfied with their sex life. But, this, too, is a myth. People can masturbate together or alone. 

One research study showed that women who masturbated had a happier marriage compared to those who didn’t. It also made it easier for them to achieve sexual arousal. 

So, then what happens if you masturbate too much? Excessive masturbation is something we call compulsive masturbation. Although it isn’t a diagnosable medical condition, it can affect your daily functions and sexual behavior.  

Someone who engages in masturbation a lot might develop poor self-esteem and reduced sexual satisfaction. That’s because their habit may have consumed their day-to-day lives and left them with little time to dedicate to other areas of life. 

For erection problems, people often talk to a sex therapist, counselor, or doctor. But, to take care of erectile dysfunction, you need to know what’s causing it. 

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Poor sexual function can be the result of psychological or physical problems. Most doctors rule out the psychological stressors before diagnosing a physical ailment. Here is a list of the ED causes that can lead to actual sexual problems. 

Physical Causes

Physical-related causes for troubles with erection include:

  • Poor blood flow 

  • Heavy drinking

  • Medication side effects

  • Spinal cord injury

Diseases that restrict blood flow account for 70% of physical-related causes of erectile dysfunction. These diseases are high blood pressure (hypertension), hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and increased cholesterol. 

Restricted blood flow from hardened arteries accounts for 50% to 60% of ED cases in men older than 60. While masturbation could lead to delayed ejaculation, it can also help to manage it.

Psychological Causes

Psychological causes for dysfunction include:

  • Depression and stress

  • Unresolved problems with sexual orientation

  • Getting bored with sex

  • Being in regular conflict with a sex partner

Performance anxiety causes feelings of sexual anxiety and nervousness during or after sex. It releases potent stress hormones during sex that can result in a weak erection. 

Based on reports, performance anxiety affects 9% to 25% of men. And it often causes premature ejaculation. In women, sexual performance anxiety affects 6% to 16% and interferes with their sexual desire.

Of course, it is normal to have occasional erection problems during sexual intercourse. Especially if you recently had a stressful event or something that made you feel depressed. But, when the dysfunction regularly interferes with your sex life or erection, it is best to ask for expert help. Options like sexual medicine, testosterone therapy to manage testosterone levels, and sex therapy can help. 

Doctors may suggest getting a penile implant, penile injection, surgery, or intraurethral medication for a more severe dysfunction. To find the best treatment for your particular dysfunction, talk with a doctor. A urologist can find the underlying cause and help get your sex life and erection back on track.

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Does Reducing Masturbation Help Erectile Dysfunction?

People want to know if masturbation can help with erectile dysfunction. There isn’t much evidence of whether any sexual activity will keep you from getting ED. But, masturbating can play a role in lessening ED that’s caused by psychological factors, like anxiety, stress, or depression. 

Without enough brain chemicals to stimulate the penis, dysfunction can happen. Depression or stress tends to throw the brain chemicals off balance. That means you won’t have that much desire to have sex. 

Masturbation, sex, and orgasm release dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and many more chemicals linked to the pleasure-reward center. That’s why it can make you feel good and perform better during sex. 

Conclusion

Masturbation doesn’t cause male infertility, erectile dysfunction, or severe problems with intimacy. If you have erectile dysfunction and problems with semen quality, it’s best to consult with a specialist. 

Any serious infertility issues have nothing to do with regular masturbation. They could be the result of an underlying health problem that needs treatment. 

Doctors can suggest the ideal form of treatment for erectile dysfunction or any intimate dysfunction you might be dealing with.

Next Up

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Does No Morning Erection Mean Erectile Dysfunction?

Sources

  1. David Farley Hurlbert & Karen Elizabeth Whittaker (1991) The Role of Masturbation in Marital and Sexual Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of Female Masturbators and Nonmasturbators, Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 17:4, 272-282. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01614576.1991.11074029
  2. Pyke RE. Sexual Performance Anxiety. Sex Med Rev. 2020. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31447414/
Alternative Text

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Founder of Zayed MD, Dr. Ahmed believes in making the knowledge as accessible as possible to patients. He had his work featured in reputable publications such as The Huffington Post. Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Ahmed spends​ his time outside the hospital at the gym or with a good book.

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