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Benefits of Masturbation: If you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself...

and that includes making yourself feel good. Yes, I am talking about masturbation. Why does that word conjure up an image of a pimple-faced teenager rushing to climax before someone opens the door? I have to admit even I am a little bit out of my comfort zone writing about such an intimate topic, but it's Maysturbation month, so considering what I do for a living how can I not comment?

Masturbation is normal!

First of all, masturbation is n-o-r-m-a-l. I heard a joke once that 90% of men admit to masturbating and the other 10% are lying. If you don't believe me, the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) from Indiana University reported on data of almost 6,000 Americans in 2009. Overall, 24.5% of women age 18 to 24 years masturbated a few times per month to weekly while 4.8% of women over the age of 70 also masturbated that frequently. And you thought your mom was just knitting in her room all that time.

Fast forward ten years when arguably the stigma surrounding sexuality is improving, and a survey of over 10,000 people in nine countries indicated that 78% of American women have masturbated at least once starting at the age of 16 years. Even more interesting is that a little more women find masturbation alone (37%) as pleasurable as having sex (33%).

Besides feeling good, masturbation can actually be good for you. Masturbation that leads to orgasm can trigger release of endocannabinoids (Journal of Sexual Medicine, November 2017). Endocannabinoids play a role in many bodily processes including pain, mood, stress, and immune function (Current Pharmaceutical Design 2014). Their similarity to cannabinoids found in plants explains why CBD (cannabidiol) can improve many health conditions as well as affect sexual response.

So basically masturbating to give yourself an orgasm is good for you, which brings me back to my original point---if you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself.

Dr. Karyn Eilber MD is a physician in Beverly Hills with over 20 years of experience in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.


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