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The "M" Word - Health Implications of Female Masturbation

Health Implications of Female Masturbation

While masturbation is a subject that women don’t tend to talk about as much as men might, research suggests that most women have masturbated at least once in their lives. In fact, masturbation is one of the most common sexual behaviors engaged in by women throughout their lives and it is used for pleasure, relaxation, stress relief, and release of sexual tension.

In most cases, masturbation is a safe and enjoyable activity, whether done manually or using a vibrator. There is no “right way” to masturbate, and every woman will have a different approach depending on her level of comfort with her body, her anatomy, and her imagination. In a recent study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, more than half the women, who were between the ages of 18 and 60, used a vibrator either while masturbating or during intercourse.

There are some rare instances in which masturbating with a vibrator could have a negative impact on your health. Most of these impacts are minor and short-lived, like genital numbness or pain. In some cases, a woman may experience genital irritation, cuts or tears. It is important to talk with your AOA physician about masturbation so that any symptoms such as these can be identified and treated. Some women may be more prone to irritation and/or tears while breastfeeding or after menopause. These symptoms also may result from a condition known as genital lichen sclerosis, which causes the vaginal skin to be more vulnerable to cuts or tears during sexual activity.

With a little commonsense and frank conversation with your AOA doctor, most women find that masturbation brings a boost to their overall health. It can help women who have difficulty coming to orgasm gain a deeper understanding and comfort level with their bodies, as well as help relieve stress and improve a woman’s overall body image.

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