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Worried about habit of masturbating for long periods will cause damage. What specific harm could this cause?

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Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2008
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I've been increasingly worried that my habit of edging or masturbating for long periods of time will cause long-term effects or damage. What specific harm could this cause and what early warning signs might be present? Thank you for taking my inquiry and I look forward to your advice.
Posted Tue, 27 Aug 2013 in Sexual Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 57 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for writing to me,

Masturbation usually is universally practiced, especially in men and is absolutely normal sexual behavior and a form of sexual pleasure that generally lasts throughout a person's lifetime.

Masturbation is abnormal only when it becomes a compulsion or beyond an individual's willful control. Then, it is a symptom of disturbance not because it is sexual, but because it is compulsive (an urge that one cannot control or one that causes a lot of distress). It is also symptomatic of sexual problems when it is the only sexual activity of a person who has an available intimate partner. However, masturbation is a universal and healthy component of development.

If it is repeatedly done or rapidly done at quick successions it can lead to premature ejaculation in the long run. The early signs of this would be early ejaculation before time during intercourse which you would obviously recognize. In such cases it is encouraged to prolong masturbation for a long period of time (eg. 15 mins). But as you say in your case, if done for a prolonged period of time then it is unlikely to cause any problem or damage to you.

It is also advised that a person should allow his erection to subside for a while before continuing self stimulation.

I hope i answered your queries,
In case of any more questions do write back,

Dr A Rao Kavoor

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Worried about habit of masturbating for long periods will cause damage. What specific harm could this cause? 4 hours later
Hello Dr. and thank you for your response. What prompted my concern was the warnings that are given to users of products like Viagra and Cialis. It is always stated that erections lasting longer than 4 hrs. can cause damage and medical attention should be sought. I don't masturbate everyday, but when I do, I will prolong it for several hours. All though I don't have a full erection the entire time, I get near climax, then hold off, then build, and go through the same process so I am in an aroused state for quite some time before eventually cumming. It feels so good that I try to make it last. What damage from prolonged erection occurs in those cases the ads refer to? I hope I'm needlessly concerned, thank you again for your help.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 6 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back,

The warnings given for Sildenafil (Viagra) users are exclusively for persons who are taking the drug, it does not apply to non-users. What the warning refers to is a side effect of the drug which is known as priapism which is prolonged painful erection unrelated to sexual stimulation or desire. This condition is a urologic emergency where there is derangement of blood flow within the penis and if left untreated for more than few hours can lead to death of penile tissue and scar formation which in the long run can cause problems like erectile dysfunction. It cannot be controlled by the person himself since it is unrelated to sexual stimulation. It is a very rare complication and the person clearly becomes aware of it. Many men may use the drug without medical supervision or avoid going to the hospital even when they develop this side effect because it may be embarrassing for them and hence the clear warning given with the drug.

Since you have not mentioned the use of sildenafil in your history I assume you do not use it regularly. And yes you are needlessly worried about a warning that does not concern you.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of any doubts.
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Worried about habit of masturbating for long periods will cause damage. What specific harm could this cause? 3 days later
Thank you Dr. for your help with my questions. Another thing that I had a question about that could possibly be connected to frequent masturbation was the effect on the elasticity of the foreskin. I am circumcised and I recently have been experiencing a folding over of the foreskin over the head of the penis when I'm not aroused or erect. The head seems to be retracted a little and the foreskin folds over partially covering it. Can the foreskin be affected by a continual stroking back and forth of it? Or is this just a normal characteristic of the foreskin? Again, thank you for helping me with my questions and concerns.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 3 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back,

Skin consists of connective tissue, especially collagen and elastin that is responsible for the tightness or elastic nature of the skin. This is slowly lost as age progresses. This causes sagging of skin leading to extra folds and wrinkling. The repetitive stretching of the foreskin may contribute to this to some extent. It would be difficult to pin point and say to what extent exactly. Other factors that may contribute are smoking that leads to premature ageing.

An extra fold of skin does not pose any medical problems. It would depend on how comfortable you are with it. It only causes aesthetic difficulties to some people for obvious reasons.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Worried about habit of masturbating for long periods will cause damage. What specific harm could this cause? 17 hours later
Hello again Dr. and thank you for all your help and information. I apologize, but another question I have involves prone masturbation. Are you familiar with the term traumatic masturbatory syndrome? I have come across some information regarding this, but many experts have dismissed this theory. Can you enlighten me on how medical professionals view this? Again, thank you for your time
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 8 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back,

Traumatic masturbatory syndrome is not a very well-studied entity scientifically but a few cases have been encountered by the medical fraternity. It is a controversial topic. It is a term that can be used for a condition that is found in men who experience inability to attain or sustain erection or inability to achieve orgasm or both. These patients are known to masturbate in a prone position (lying face downwards), masturbate daily, and have engaged in this for many years. They may or may not achieve orgasm and when they do achieve it is usually with a flaccid penis.

Masturbation is usually done in an idiosyncratic way in a prone position. Due to its awkwardness and reduced freedom of motion it may require increased intensity in order to derive the usual pleasurable sensations associated with masturbation. Daily masturbation for many years might also raise the threshold of sensation, thus requiring even more intense stimulation to achieve orgasm. This may lead to some trauma and eventual dysfunction. In most cases these have been treated successfully without any surgical techniques or drug treatment.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Worried about habit of masturbating for long periods will cause damage. What specific harm could this cause? 17 hours later
Hi Dr. ,
Thank you very much for your information about prone masturbation. I occasionally use this method for a different feeling, but not regularly like you indicate would possibly cause problems. Finally, is it somewhat common for a person to want to masturbate with someone else, like mutual masturbation or to have another person masturbate you or even merely watch you masturbate? I realize masturbation is normally thought of as an individual, private act, but have you come across others wanting to be involved with others? I wish my female friend could be as understanding about masturbation as you have been. Thank you so much for your insight.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 16 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back once again.

I hope you have understood the term Traumatic masturbation as explained.

Human sexual behavior is highly variable form person to person. It depends on individuality, social acceptance and laws of the land. In medical science, many types of masturbation practices are explained, including that among strangers.

It is normal for few people to engage in mutual masturbation and/ or enjoy being masturbated by their partners; this behavior must be mutually acceptable to both partners. Having another person watch you masturbate may not be acceptable to all partners. This can cause a sense of heightened anxiety and sexual insecurity in partners. You may have to discuss this with your partner and explain your preferences and accept her choices.

All said and done, masturbation in public places or in front of strangers is considered a criminal offence of indecency and is punishable in many states.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Worried about habit of masturbating for long periods will cause damage. What specific harm could this cause? 2 days later
Hi Dr. and many thanks for your responses. In your opinion, why, even in this day and age, is masturbation still such a hush-hush, taboo subject? It is openly discussed among members of the medical profession, but everywhere else it's avoided. Do you see any improvements on the horizon?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 13 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing in again.

Masturbation is an act of self pleasure. It differs among genders, cultures, religions and civilizations. There are also many different methods and ideas about masturbation all over the world. I would not call it a complete taboo but this topic is often discussed among peers in closed groups. The lesser popularity, if you may put it that way, is because it most often involves a singular person. It is the individual pleasuring themselves. Society would rather not have an individual in control of themselves. They would fear that they weren't needed.

There might be a change in the way people think about masturbation in the next decade or two, but this will not happen overnight.

I hope this answers your question,

Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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