KidsHealth
TeensHealth.org

A safe, private place to get
doctor-approved information
on health, emotions, and life.


Is It Normal to Masturbate?

I'd like to know if it's 'OK' to masturbate. Recently, when I'm by myself, I use it as a stress reliever, and I feel great afterward. But I see online sites that are saying it's 'wrong' and 'dirty.' I really want to find out whether it's normal or weird.
Shea*

From a medical standpoint, there is nothing wrong with masturbation. It's perfectly normal for both guys and girls to masturbate. Masturbation can release sexual tension, as well as other tensions.

Masturbation goes against the beliefs of some religions and other groups. That's probably why you're finding conflicting information about masturbation online. The TeensHealth doctors can only weigh in on the health effects: Masturbation cannot affect a person's physical health in any way.

The rumors that go around about masturbation causing physical problems are not true. Masturbation can sometimes conflict with a person's religious beliefs or personal values. But it will not stunt your growth, it won't affect your ability to have children in the future, it won't damage your eyesight, and you can't get an STD from masturbating.

If you have questions about masturbation, consider talking to your parent or ask your doctor.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015

Note: All information on TeensHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995- The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.

Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com