Does masturbation cause erectile dysfunction?


Masturbation is a natural and common part of human sexuality. It does not impact a person’s ability to get or maintain an erection, and it does not cause erectile dysfunction (ED). In this article, we’ll explore the facts about masturbation, ED, and when it’s essential to consult a doctor.

Masturbation and ED:

The belief that masturbation can cause ED is a myth. Research shows that masturbation is prevalent across all ages, with approximately 74 percent of males and 48.1 percent of females reporting engaging in this natural activity. Masturbation even has health benefits, such as releasing tension, reducing stress, and aiding sleep.

Male Refractory Period:

After masturbating, some may find it challenging to get an erection immediately. This is called the male refractory period, a normal recovery time before a man can achieve an erection again after ejaculation. It is not the same as ED.

Research Findings:

Scientists universally agree that masturbation does not cause ED. Difficulty getting or keeping an erection may indicate other conditions, with age being the most significant predictor of ED. Rates of ED increase with age, affecting approximately 40 percent of men over 40 years old to some extent.

Risk Factors for ED:

Various risk factors contribute to ED, including diabetes, being overweight, heart disease, lower urinary tract issues, and alcohol and cigarette use. While ED commonly affects older men, a quarter of men under 40 may also experience it, often due to psychological or emotional factors.

Porn and ED:

Contrary to some beliefs, there is no evidence linking watching porn to ED. The increase in internet porn usage and ED diagnoses in younger men occurred simultaneously, but this does not establish a causal relationship. Research into ED in young men is limited, and the psychological impact of porn is challenging to separate from other factors like performance anxiety.

When to Consult a Doctor:

ED can be a sign of underlying conditions such as heart disease or anxiety. Speaking to a doctor about ED can prevent potential problems and provide solutions. Recommendations may include weight loss for overweight individuals, stress-relief techniques, or cognitive behavioral therapy for emotional or psychological issues.


Understanding that masturbation is natural and does not cause ED is crucial. When facing persistent challenges with erections, especially if accompanied by other health concerns, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional is essential. Open communication with a doctor can lead to appropriate solutions and improve overall sexual health and well-being.

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