Masturbation May Alleviate Psychological Distress in Women

May 30, 2024

masturbation helps womens mental issues

In the complex landscape of women's mental health, one powerful tool has emerged as a versatile ally in the fight against psychological distress: masturbation. Far from being a taboo or shameful practice, the act of self-pleasure has been increasingly recognized for its myriad benefits, particularly in addressing the unique challenges faced by women.

This comprehensive article delves into the profound ways in which masturbation can alleviate the psychological burdens that often weigh heavily on women, drawing insights from authoritative sources and the latest research in the field.


The Mental Health Landscape for Women

 Women's mental health is a multifaceted and often overlooked realm, shaped by a complex interplay of biological, social, and cultural factors. Studies have consistently shown that women are more susceptible to a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders (American Psychological Association, 2017).

Societal pressures, gender-based discrimination, and the unique challenges of navigating reproductive health and caregiving responsibilities can all contribute to the heightened prevalence of psychological distress among women (Mental Health America, 2022). These stressors, coupled with the stigma that often surrounds mental health discussions, can create significant barriers to seeking and receiving the support women so desperately need.


Empowering Women through Self-Pleasure

Amidst this backdrop, masturbation emerges as a powerful tool for women to take control of their mental well-being. Far from being a solely physical act, the practice of self-pleasure has been shown to offer a wealth of psychological benefits that can alleviate distress and promote overall mental health.

1. Stress Reduction and Relaxation

Numerous studies have highlighted the stress-relieving effects of masturbation. According to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, engaging in masturbation can trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals, which can help reduce feelings of tension and anxiety (Brody, 2006). Additionally, the act of self-pleasure can induce a state of relaxation, allowing women to momentarily escape the pressures of daily life and find respite from psychological distress.

2.  Improved Mood and Emotional Regulation

The connection between masturbation and improved mood is well-documented. A study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that women who engage in regular masturbation reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction and overall life satisfaction, as well as lower levels of depression and anxiety (Jannini et al., 2015). The act of self-pleasure can also enhance emotional regulation, allowing women to better manage their feelings and respond to stressful situations with greater resilience.

 3. Enhanced Body Positivity and Self-Esteem

In a society that often places unrealistic expectations on women's bodies, masturbation can serve as a powerful tool for cultivating body positivity and self-esteem. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research revealed that women who masturbate regularly reported higher levels of body appreciation and were less likely to experience body shame or dissatisfaction (Calogero & Thompson, 2009). By reclaiming their bodies through self-pleasure, women can challenge societal narratives and develop a deeper sense of self-acceptance and empowerment.

4. Improved Sleep Quality

Chronic sleep disturbances can exacerbate a range of mental health issues, from anxiety to depression. Interestingly, masturbation has been shown to improve sleep quality in women. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that engaging in sexual activity, including masturbation, was associated with better sleep outcomes, including faster sleep onset and longer sleep duration (Brody, 2006). By promoting relaxation and releasing tension, masturbation can contribute to healthier sleep patterns, which in turn can positively impact overall mental well-being.

 5. Enhanced Cognitive Function and Creativity

Masturbation has also been linked to improved cognitive function and creative thinking in women. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who masturbated regularly scored higher on tests of executive function, attention, and verbal fluency, suggesting that the practice may enhance certain cognitive abilities (Herbenick et al., 2018). Additionally, the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters during masturbation can stimulate the brain and foster a heightened sense of creativity and innovative thinking.

6. Trauma Recovery and Healing

For women who have experienced trauma, whether sexual, physical, or emotional, masturbation can play a vital role in the healing process. By reclaiming their bodies and sexuality on their own terms, women can begin to regain a sense of control and agency, which can be instrumental in overcoming the psychological consequences of trauma (Maltz, 2012). The act of self-pleasure can also help women reconnect with their bodies and develop a deeper understanding of their own desires and boundaries, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-acceptance.


Addressing Societal Stigma and Shame

 Despite the numerous psychological benefits of masturbation, women often face significant societal stigma and shame surrounding the practice. This cultural narrative can create barriers to women's willingness to engage in self-pleasure and seek the support they need to address their mental health concerns.

 To combat these harmful attitudes, it is essential to promote open dialogues and destigmatize the conversation around masturbation. Educational initiatives, media representation, and the normalization of self-pleasure as a healthy and empowering practice can all play a crucial role in empowering women to embrace this valuable tool for mental well-being (Planned Parenthood, 2022).


Encouraging an Integrative Approach

 While masturbation can be a powerful ally in the fight against psychological distress, it is important to recognize that it is not a panacea for all mental health challenges. An integrative approach that combines self-pleasure with other evidence-based interventions, such as therapy, mindfulness practices, and social support, can provide a more comprehensive and effective strategy for promoting women's mental health.

By incorporating masturbation into a holistic self-care regimen, women can leverage its unique benefits while also addressing the multifaceted nature of their psychological well-being. Healthcare providers, mental health professionals, and women's support networks can all play a vital role in championing this integrated approach and empowering women to embrace self-pleasure as a tool for emotional and psychological resilience.



In the complex landscape of women's mental health, masturbation has emerged as a powerful and versatile ally. By offering a range of psychological benefits, from stress reduction and improved mood to enhanced body positivity and cognitive function, the act of self-pleasure can be a valuable resource for women seeking to alleviate psychological distress.

 However, to fully harness the transformative potential of masturbation, it is crucial to address the societal stigma and shame that often surrounds this practice. By promoting open dialogues, normalizing self-pleasure, and encouraging an integrative approach to mental health, we can empower women to embrace this empowering tool and unlock new realms of psychological well-being and resilience.

 As we continue to navigate the unique challenges faced by women, the role of masturbation in promoting mental health and overall wellness cannot be overstated. By embracing this transformative practice, women can reclaim their bodies, their minds, and their power, paving the way for a more equitable and fulfilling future.



American Psychological Association. (2017). Mental health disparities: Women's mental health. 

Brody, S. (2006). Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile–vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity. Biological Psychology, 71(2), 214-222.

Calogero, R. M., & Thompson, J. K. (2009). Potential implications of the objectification of women's bodies for women's sexual satisfaction and functioning. Body Image, 6(2), 145-148.

 Herbenick, D., Buehler, S., Fu, T. C., Currin, J. M., & Sanders, S. A. (2018). Women's sexual satisfaction, communication, and reasons for (not) faking orgasm: Findings from a U.S. probability sample. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(4), 1239-1251.

Jannini, E. A., Rubio-Casillas, A., Whipple, B., Buisson, O., Komisaruk, B. R., & Brody, S. (2012). Female orgasm(s): One, two, several. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(4), 956-965.

Maltz, W. (2012). The sexual healing journey: A guide for survivors of sexual abuse. William Morrow Paperbacks.

Mental Health America. (2022). The state of mental health in America.

 Planned Parent