Health Benefits of Masturbation for Women
Due to wide-spread cultural taboos and societal judgment, many women feel that the act of autoerotic sexual pleasure is somehow wrong; spawning feelings guilt or shame. But as many sexual therapists explain, there is enormous potential for personal healing through honoring and expressing this aspect of female sexuality, as well as a long list of health benefits.
Taboos and societal judgment
As many psychologists acknowledge, women of many cultures around the world have been socialized to believe that their sexual needs and desires are less important than those of their male partners.
Studies and benefits
According to recent statistics, 89 percent of all women said they have masturbated. According to Martha Cornog of The Big Book of Masturbation, self-pleasuring is surely the second most common human sex act. And, despite its uneasy, societal history, it has now been proven that women who regularly self-indulge, experience a wide range of health benefits.
According to studies recently made available by the Mayo Clinic, here are just a few of the most widely recognized benefits:
- Masturbation helps prevent cervical infections and helps relieve urinary tract infections.
- Masturbation is associated with improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of type-2 diabetes.
- As natural sleep sedative, masturbation can help work against insomnia through hormonal and tension release.
- Masturbation is a mechanism for building stronger pelvic floor muscles which can lead to better sex.
- Masturbation is a great form of stress relief.
- A woman who masturbates is more likely to orgasm during intercourse and oral sex.
- Masturbation increases your sexual awareness, giving you the opportunity to discover what excites you, the sensations and movements that work best to give you the greatest of sexual gratification.
Studies show that female masturbation can provide protection against cervical infections because when women masturbate, the orgasm “tents” or opens the cervix. Tenting stretches and pulls the mucous lining within the cervix, allowing for a rise in acidity in the cervical fluid. This increases “friendly” bacteria and allows more fluid to move from the cervix into the vagina. When the “old” fluid moves from the tented cervix, it not only lubricates the vagina, it also flushes out unfriendly organisms that can cause infections.
As doctors note, many women with urinary tract infections report the desire to masturbate when they feel an infection coming on, and for a good reason: masturbating helps relieve pain and flushes the old bacteria from the cervix. It’s the body’s natural way of getting the bacteria out.
In a number of studies, women who experienced frequent orgasms, and overall greater satisfaction with sex (whether with a partner or not) were shown to have greater resistance to coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Many women masturbate as a means to wind down after a hectic day or to fall asleep at night, but often don’t realize there’s a hormonal reason why it works. Dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, is elevated during the anticipation of a sexual climax. After the climax, the calming hormones oxytocin and other endorphins are released, making women feel the warm sense of tranquility that helps her sleep.
Orgasm increases pelvic floor strength. In the “plateau” stage of orgasm, the pelvic floor gets a vigorous workout; the clitoris surges with increased blood pressure, muscle tone, heart rate, and respirations increase, and he uterus “lifts” off the pelvic floor, increasing pelvic muscle tension. This strengthens the entire region, as well as the woman's sexual satisfaction--and has many secondary health benefits
In her book For Yourself, noted sex therapist Lonnie Barbach explains that the stress resulting from avoiding sex can create physiological imbalances in the body. She writes that masturbation can help relieve emotional stress by taking time for one's self, amidst the demands of home, family, and work.
According to Brian Zamboni, Ph.D., a sex therapist in Minneapolis, “a woman who masturbates is more likely to orgasm during intercourse and oral sex.” And, if she allows you to watch, "you can learn a ton about what makes her feel good and what's comfortable for her.”
Because women are in control of their bodies when they masturbate, they can learn a lot about who they are. They can cultivate positive feelings about their miraculous bodies, giving them confidence from the inside out and the potential to heal any past negative sexual experiences.
And that's not all . . .
Additionally, female masturbation can:
- Build resistance to yeast infections
- Combat pre-menstrual tension and other physical conditions associated with their menstrual cycles, like cramps
- Relieve painful menstruation by increasing blood flow to the pelvic region, which will also reduce pelvic cramping and related backaches
- Relieve chronic back pain and increasing a woman’s threshold for pain
- Keep women free of sexually transmitted infections
- Boost mood by releasing endorphins
- Act as natural energetic pick-me-up
- Be empowering, especially by helping women feel better about their body, genitals and sexual response
- Potentially provide some of your most intense orgasms ever, which women can then to recreate with a partner
- Have the potential to enhance a woman’s sex life in general, boosting sexual confidence and turning her into a better lover
- Get a woman or her partner off the hook if neither is available or in the mood
Ultimately, as many experts point out, masturbation can strengthen a woman’s relationship with themselves. When women know, love, and nurture themselves on emotional and physical levels, they gain confidence and grow through self-awareness. Being able to recognize, articulate, and experience what brings pleasure is a powerful step toward fulfillment.
And, in that many couples have different sexual drives and needs, masturbation is one way to meet personal needs not met by a partner--and can certainly be shared with a partner. Witnessing a partner masturbate can teach us what methods our partners use so we can learn what they enjoy, which can open the lines of communication between partners who otherwise might be assuming that the “routine” is still working.
Perhaps most importantly, masturbation privides numerous health benefits that social stigma should not deprive a woman of.
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