Does masturbation cause erectile dysfunction?
There are a lot of myths when it comes to men’s sexual health, especially erectile dysfunction (ED). One of the more common topics men are curious to understand is about whether masturbation can cause ED or not.
Is this a myth? Or is masturbation beneficial to overall sexual health?
It’s not uncommon for men to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection, in fact, ED impacts up to 30 million men in America. There are many factors that impact erection health, including sleep, alcohol consumption, and even stress levels.
Random problems downstairs are rarely cause for concern, however, when a man is frequently unable to get or maintain an erection, the condition is known as erectile dysfunction (ED) and should be taken seriously.
Let’s cover how masturbation impacts a man’s sexual health, as well as if masturbation can cause erectile dysfunction.
What Causes ED?
Research has found no evidence that masturbation causes ED. However, men who have difficulty getting or keeping an erection while masturbating or during sex may have an underlying condition.
Men over the age of 40 are at a much higher risk of being diagnosed with ED. Around 40% of men age 40 and nearly almost 70% of men age 70 are affected by ED. The inability to get or maintain an erection increases from 5% in men aged 40 up to around 15% in men aged 70 or older
However, men of all ages can suffer from the condition of erectile dysfunction.
Though age is often the defining factor, there are many other things that increase the risk and cause ED. Some of the most common risk factors include:
- Poor heart health
- Alcohol and cigarette use
In younger men, erectile dysfunction (ED) is often caused by emotional and psychological factors. Anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health conditions can all impact erection quality and sexual performance.
Can Masturbation or Too Much Sex Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
There is no scientific evidence that shows that masturbation causes ED. Research has found that masturbation is extremely common, with around 74% of males reporting that they partake in self-pleasure activities.
In fact, despite what you may have heard or read, masturbation is anything but harmful. It offers many health benefits, including:
- Releases sexual tension
- Minimizes stress and anxiety
- Boosts mood
- Supports premature ejaculation (through edging techniques)
- Improves sleep
Masturbation may even improve a man’s performance and pleasure in between the sheets.
While masturbation is largely beneficial, keep in mind that men can increase their testosterone levels by 45% when abstaining from masturbation for one week. Another topic to note about masturbation is that it does affect how quickly a man can achieve another erection. Most men are unable to achieve an erection too soon after masturbating. This is known as the male refractory period and should not be confused with ED or any type of penile dysfunction.
The male refractory period is for recovery. This is the time needed before a man is able to get another erection after ejaculating. The refractory period can last anywhere from a half hour to a few hours. Older men typically need longer recovery times, sometimes up to a full 24 hours.
How to Prevent ED
Men can make various lifestyle changes that can greatly minimize the risk of erectile dysfunction. Some of the most important changes to make include daily exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress.
- Other tips for managing the risk of ED include:
- Not smoking or using tobacco products
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Losing weight
If you believe you have an underlying health condition that is causing ED, it’s best to consult with a doctor at a men’s sexual health clinic. Here you’ll undergo thorough testing and diagnostics to pinpoint the cause of your ED.
Risk Factors of ED
There are many risk factors that have been linked with erectile dysfunction. Some of the most common include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Vascular disease
- High blood cholesterol
- Prostate issues
- Chronic sleep disorders (often related to adrenal fatigue)
The risk factors of ED also include non-physical aspects as well. For example, a man may be unable to get or maintain an erection due to lack of knowledge, poor technique, or inadequate interpersonal relationships.
Other Common ED and Masturbation Myths
Myth: You can masturbate too much
Everyone has a different level of sexual desire. Masturbation is only considered excessive if it’s used as a way to escape from problems or if it begins to negatively affect your health. Most people rarely get to the point where masturbation becomes a habit, so too much self-pleasure isn’t really a thing.
Myth: There are no health benefits of masturbation
As discussed earlier, self-pleasure offers all sorts of benefits. Masturbation has been linked to lowering stress levels, improving sexual performance anxiety, supporting better sleep, improved concentration, and even a more youthful appearance. It may even improve fitness.
Myth: Masturbation will make you go blind
This another common myth that is thought to date back to the times when sex was viewed as for solely procreating. Masturbation was considered problematic because it isn’t for procreation. This is why you’ve maybe heard that masturbating will make you go blind, insane, or even grow hairy palms.
The Link Between Masturbation and ED
There is no hard evidence that has found a link between masturbation and ED. So if you’re wondering does masturbation caused ED or can too much sex cause erectile dysfunction, the answer is no. While a man needs time to recover to be able to achieve an erection after ejaculating, this is totally normal and in no way indicates dysfunction.
ED is caused by various underlying factors, including poor circulation and diabetes, as well as stress and anxiety. If you’re worried you may be suffering from ED, it’s best to discuss with a medical or sexual health professional.
If you’re having issues with erectile dysfunction or low testosterone, call the team at Proactive Men’s Medical Center in Cincinnati now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are Cincinnati’s leading men’s clinic providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Acoustic Wave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more to support men’s sexual health.