- There’s no health benefit to participating in No Nut November, according to urologist Dr. Rena Malik.
- She said abstaining from masturbation will most likely just make you uncomfortable.
- Ejaculation also has health benefits such as reduced risk for prostate cancer, she said.
Men are missing out on health benefits if they participate in “No Nut November” this year, according to urologist Dr. Rena Malik.
Malik said that while proponents of the month-long abstinence from masturbation often portray it as beneficial for your mind and body, there’s no substantial research to back those claims.
Malik told Insider that in addition to making you feel good, ejaculation can reduce stress and may even decrease your risk for prostate cancer.
There’s no reason to stop masturbating
Malik, who has a YouTube channel dedicated to urology, said that there’s no reason to stop yourself from masturbating.
In reality, she said, purposefully not masturbating can be uncomfortable for most people. Epididymal hypertension, commonly referred to as “blue balls,” is a condition in which the testicles ache after being aroused for too long without ejaculation. The condition is often temporary and not dangerous.
But Malik said when people intentionally try not to masturbate, they can tense the muscles in their pelvic floor, causing pain in their testicles, excessive urination, and constipation. The condition, called high-tone pelvic-floor dysfunction, can become a cycle, she said, where anxiety from the condition makes the tension worse.
Masturbation reduces stress and can help you sleep
Malik said that when you masturbate and orgasm, your brain releases chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine, which make you feel happy and relaxed. A majority of participants in one 2019 study, both men and women, reported having better quality of sleep when they orgasmed before bed.
Another reason men shouldn’t participate in No Nut November, Malik said, is that ejaculating may reduce a person’s risk of prostate cancer.
In a 2016 study from European Urology, men in their 20s and 40s who self-reported ejaculating more than 21 times a month were less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who ejaculated four to to seven times a month. While these results were not seen in every age group, they are still significant, Malik said.
A common masturbation myth claims the practice lowers men’s testosterone levels. But while some small studies have found a slight increase in testosterone from abstaining, Malik said other studies have actually found testosterone levels in men may increase after orgasm.
The myth that that masturbation can lower performance in sports events also doesn’t have a basis in science, Malik said.
“If [refraining from masturbation] feel like it’s helping [men] have more clarity and they’re not bothered and they feel great, then by all means that’s fine. But if you are having issues, there’s no point in putting yourself through torture because someone said that you should do it,” she said.