benefits-of-sex-masturbation-decreases-pain-muscle-relaxation

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SEXUAL EXPRESSION TO MEN AND WOMEN
INCLUDING BENEFITS OF MASTURBATION
PAIN MANAGEMENT AND PHYSICAL RELAXATION

Women and men have long reported that sexual activity relieves chronic pain (Kaplan, 1984), including lower back pain (Shapiro, 1983).

The first laboratory studies to demonstrate the alleviation of pain through genital stimulation were carried out in the middle 1980s (Komisaruk & Whipple 1995). A 1985 laboratory study of 10 women found that vaginal stimulation resulted in an increased threshold of pain detection and tolerance (Whipple & Komisaruk, 1985). Additional researchfound that pressure stimulation of the anterior vaginal wall and pleasurable self-stimulation of the clitoris also had an analgesic effect (Whipple& Komisaruk, 1988). Both studies found that stimulation resulting in

5 orgasm produced the greatest increase in pain threshold.

Since then it has become clear that sexual arousal and orgasm can increase levels of endorphins and corticosteroids that raise pain thresholds, easing discomforts associated with menstrual cramps, arthritis, migraine, and other conditions (Ellison, 2000).

Migraine:

Two 2001 case studies of orgasm and migraine headache in a woman anda man found that orgasm resulted in at least some relief of pain. An earlier study of 83 women who suffered migraine showedthat orgasm resulted in at least some relief for more than half of them. Although relief of migraine through orgasm is less reliable and less effective than relief through drug therapies, the effects of orgasm as an analgesic are more rapid (Evans & Couch, 2001). periods of increased well-being and that women who did not report changes in their sense of well-being reported little change in sexual desire (Warner & Bancroft, 1988).

WHITE PAPER

Published by the Katharine Dexter McCormick Library Planned Parenthood Federation of America 434 West 33rd Street New York, NY 10001

212-261-4779
http://www.plannedparenthood.org http://www.teenwire.com

Current as of April 2003

The Health Benefits of Sexual Expression

Published in cooperation with the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

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