Does masturbation cause erectile dysfunction?

6th January 2020

You may have heard that masturbation causes erectile dysfunction. Is this a myth, or real? Fortunately, there is no evidence that masturbation can cause ED. In fact, there are many benefits associated with masturbation.

At some point, nearly all men have a problem getting an erection. If this problem persists or happens often, it is called erectile dysfunction. You can discover more about the causes of ED below.

Age and ED

Age is the leading predictor when it comes to suffering from ED. Approximately 40% of men over the age of 40 suffer from ED to some degree. The complete inability of getting an erection is approximately 5% of men at the age of 40 and rises to approximately 15% by the age of 70.

Erectile dysfunction risk factors

While engaging in masturbation is not a risk factor for suffering from ED, there are many potential risk factors. Following is a list of conditions that can cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction.

  • age (being over 40)
  • having diabetes
  • being overweight
  • having heart disease
  • having lower urinary tract symptoms (bladder, prostate, or urethra issues)
  • alcohol and cigarette use

When young men suffer from ED

Typically, when a younger man is unable to achieve an erection, the cause may be associated with the following psychological or emotional factors. (These factors can apply to older men as well.)

  • being stressed (with relationships or work)
  • having anxiety
  • being depressed or having post-traumatic stress disorder
  • having bipolar disorder
  • being overweight
  • having insomnia or lacking sleep
  • urinary tract infection
  • performance anxiety
  • spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida

How to treat erectile dysfunction

Addressing the conditions listed above may improve a man's ability to have an erection. In younger men, avoiding stress and getting proper sleep may be all that is necessary to experience normal erections again. In older men, there may be underlying conditions making it difficult to have an erection without the use of medication.


The most popular medication for treating ED is Viagra. Millions of people around the world have been prescribed the blue pill for the treatment of ED.

Viagra goes by the generic name "sildenafil", which is the same drug but costs less. You can buy sildenafil here at UK Meds.


Cialis is another ED medication. It typically costs a little more than Viagra but has fewer potential side effects. We have written a lengthy article discussing the pros and cons of Cialis vs Viagra here. For quick reference, the following are potential side effects of both medications.

Side effectViagraCialis
Stuffy or runny nosexx
Upset stomachxx
Indigestion x
Vision changesx 
Back painxx
Pain in the limbs x
Muscle achesxx

You can buy Cialis here at UK Meds. We also sell the generic version called tadalafil as well.


Yet another medication is Levitra. Levitra is similar to Viagra but also has fewer side effects and is more expensive. You can buy Levitra here at UK Meds.

Over-The-Counter ED medicine

All of the medications listed above for the treatment of ED require a prescription. However, there is a form of Viagra that can be sold without a prescription. It is called Viagra Connect, and comes in 50mg tablets which should be taken no more than once per day.

Alternatives to Viagra

Viagra is not for everyone. If you are experiencing side effects, you may want to explore Viagra alternatives. These range from other medications, to supplements and even dietary choices you can make which will enhance your ability to achieve an erection.

Benefits of masturbation

You probably came to this article wondering if masturbation is harmful and may cause erectile dysfunction. The truth is that it can be beneficial. Following is a list of benefits organized by Planned Parenthood.

Plenty of research has shown the health benefits of masturbation. Masturbation can:

  • release sexual tension
  • reduce stress
  • help you sleep better
  • improve your self-esteem and body image
  • help treat sexual problems
  • relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension
  • strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas

In summary, masturbation does not cause erectile dysfunction. The culprit is likely to be age, diabetes, being overweight or any of the other conditions listed above. If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, there are ED medications that can help you achieve an erection long enough to have sex.