Print    Email
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)
  
KidsHealth - Teens
Bookmark and Share

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, talk to your parent or ask your doctor.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2011

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

 
Other Related KidsHealth Articles:
Can a Doctor Tell if You've Been Masturbating?
Find out what the experts have to say.
Can Masturbation Affect Periods?
Find out what the experts have to say.
Can Masturbation Stunt My Growth?
Find out what the experts have to say.
 
Related Resources:
BeingGirl
This website offers answers to questions about puberty and menstruation, as well as information about music and fashion, quizzes, and games.
Planned Parenthood Info for Teens
This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.