Self pleasuring is a normal process during the growing up years and later on in life too. It is recommended by doctors to promote overall health. A lot of times, self pleasuring is a good way to relieve the pent up sexual feelings. The issue, however, is when people (both men and women) get addicted to it and start depending on it for pleasure.
It is a pleasurable act, and therefore especially in the early years of life, it can become an addiction. People also tend to use it to beat loneliness, when they are excited sexually, and of course, to beat boredom. Indulging in it more than 3 to 4 times a week can be normal. However, if there is an urge to masturbate multiple times daily, it is time for concern. Continued into the 20s, there are harmful physical and psychological problems as a result of over-masturbation, as noted below:
- Anxiety: Masturbation puts people in a very comfortable position and therefore when there is a partner to go with, there are anxiety issues relating to size, stamina, and ways to please the partner. The performance anxiety which is quite common can be very high in over-masturbators. Both males and females with this habit can face sexual exhaustion and recurrent genital infections also.
- Chronic fatigue: Masturbation induces the production of the steroid hormone, cortisol. This increases the rate of metabolism and therefore leads to an exhausted and fatigued feeling.
- Back pain or discomfort: Over masturbation reduces the production of oxytocin, DHEA, testosterone and DHT. The depletion of these neurochemicals triggers a release of the inflammatory hormone prostaglandin E2, which is one source for lower back pain.
- Groin and/or testicular discomfort and pain: There is a loop between the pituitary-adrenal-testicular glands, which is responsible for production of oxytocin and testosterone production. These have anti-inflammatory properties and over-masturbation tends to reduce this production. This leads to a groin pain which can extend into the testicles and continue chronically.
- Penis shrinkage: When started early in life, the amount of growth hormones in the body reduces with over-masturbation. This leads to inadequate amount of hormones for the penis to grow to its full size, leading to a smaller organ.
- Premature ejaculation: Again, the reduction in hormones including testosterone and other neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin leads to a weak parasympathetic nervous system. The result is a weaker erection, sperm leakage, and premature ejaculation.
- Hair loss: The hormone and neurotransmitter reaction also leads in high levels of prolactin and DHEA in the body, leading to hair loss.
As seen from above, over-masturbation does have a lot of side effects and it is better to treat it early on when you realize it is an issue. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.