As a urogynecologist, I encourage my patients to explore their female anatomy and to learn about their own pleasure pathways. Although it’s often viewed as a taboo topic, we’re here to change that! Masturbation plays such an important role in so many aspects of sexual health and intimacy and allows women to not only improve their sexual pleasure, independently and with their partner, but also has many additional benefits.
Let’s review some of the many benefits of masturbation:
- First and foremost, masturbation is an important component of female sexual health and intimacy.
- Masturbation can have pain-relieving benefits because female sexual pleasure releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps decrease the body’s stress levels through decreasing cortisol, a hormone involved in the body’s stress response.
- Masturbation can make you happy because the female sexual response triggers the release of endorphins, and endorphins make you happy! (Cue Elle Woods). This release of endorphins can also decrease anxiety which can help you fall asleep faster.
- Masturbation plays such an important role in female self discovery and intimacy. Through masturbation, you learn about female anatomy and which parts of your body provide you pleasure. Through knowing yourself first, you can communicate this information to your partner and thus improve your sexual experience.
- Masturbation has been used to treat women with sexual dysfunction and female orgasmic disorder. Through education and exercises for woman individually and with her partner, studies have shown that there is an improvement in libido and overall sexual satisfaction when masturbation is incorporated.
- Masturbation can improve the overall health of your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that sits within the pelvis. Through masturbation, a woman can identify areas of discomfort and learn to relax those specific areas. However, if you experience significant or chronic discomfort in the muscles of your pelvic floor, you should have that evaluated by your doctor.
- Masturbation can improve your skin by reducing the body’s cortisol levels, thus reducing the body’s stress response that can lead to acne and overproduction of sweat.
As you can see, masturbation has so many benefits and should NOT be a taboo topic. I encourage all women to incorporate independent sexual pleasure into their sexual routines. I also encourage women to have open dialogue regarding masturbation with their sexual partners to increase intimacy and intimate communication.
Please comment below if you have any questions regarding masturbation, as this is a safe space in which we should encourage this type of discussion!
Dr. Shweta Desai