Sexual health is a vital aspect of overall well-being, and an important component of sexual exploration for both men and women is masturbation. However, little attention has been given to the potential impact of excessive or incorrect masturbation techniques on the pelvic floor leading to pelvic floor dysfunction. There is a difference between masturbation and intercourse which becomes the source of tension in the corresponding muscles leading up to pelvic floor dysfunction and its presentation. In this blog post, I will explore the connection between masturbation and pelvic floor dysfunction further.
Is it okay to masturbate?
I will answer this from the non-religious, non-philosophical perspective which means, with all prejudice aside, it is a normal and natural sexual activity that is practiced by people of all genders and ages. It seems to have always been practiced and more so in hiding and understood to be more among men than women. Masturbation allows individuals to explore their bodies, learn about their sexual preferences, and promote sexual satisfaction. The issue rises when the frequency and intensity increase so much that the muscles of the pelvic floor and pelvic wall are impacted. This typically happens based on the positioning during masturbation and more so among people with a penis than a vagina.
What is the function of the pelvic floor?
A pelvic floor is a group of muscles that forms a hammock-like structure across the base of the pelvis. It provides support to the organs in the pelvis, including the bladder, uterus/prostate, and rectum. The pelvic floor muscles also play a crucial role in controlling urinary and bowel function, as well as sexual response.
The anatomy of the pelvic floor is explored in my blog: ” Are pelvic floor exercises the same as Kegels”. Here you will learn how the pelvic floor is not isolated from the rest of the body and how the position of the hips and spine play a huge role in the pelvis stability and the positioning of the ‘hammock’.
What are the causes and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?
While most people think of pelvic floor dysfunction as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, or painful intercourse, as stated in my blog: “What are pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms ‘, there are many subtle symptoms that are generally not thought of or associated with pelvic floor dysfunction such as:
- “Lower back pain
- Pain in the back joints of the pelvis (SI Joints)
- Pain in the front pubic area
- Arched lower back
- Slouched lower back
- Slouched mid-back or hunchback
- Military posture with the chest pushed out
- A V-stance where the torso is positioned behind the hip joints on the side view
- Chronic forward neck
- Inability to bend down below the knees
- Habitually standing on one leg with the other leg bent
- Chronic one-sided pain in the lower extremity
- Hip pain on one or both sides”
and as far as the causes of pelvic floor dysfunction, here is a video on the 5 most common causes:
What is the link between Masturbation and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Excessive or incorrect masturbation techniques can potentially contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. Vigorous or forceful masturbation, especially with repetitive and strenuous movements, can place excessive strain on the pelvic floor muscles. This strain may lead to muscle imbalances, weakening, or overactivation, which can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction over time.
Masturbation techniques that involve applying excessive pressure on the perineum (the area between the genitals and anus) may affect the nerves and blood vessels in the pelvic floor region. This can lead to symptoms such as pelvic pain or discomfort during sexual activity.
When it comes to the treatment of symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction, the key is to relax the muscles of the pelvis and assure balance the pelvis. The number one, least utilized and most misunderstood essential treatment is breathing which is explained in the video below:
At my practice, I typically see males who over-masturbate or have inappropriate positions during masturbation who experience the symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction. By the time they appear at my clinic, they have seen urologists and have run a myriad of tests, been on antibiotics even though their Urinalysis did not show any bacterial overgrowth. On their first visit, I learn about their hips and/or lower back and pelvis issues that they undermined or did not associate with their pelvic floor dysfunction.
The focus of the treatment becomes functional movements to address the tightness and weakness of the pelvic floor and the nearby areas of the lower back, hips, and pelvis. This leads to improvement of the symptoms without any internal manual work.
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction or have not received proper treatment for your pelvic floor dysfunction, contact me.