Masturbation can help relieve pelvic pain and discomfort associated with non-bacterial prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) in males or menstrual periods (menstruation) in females.
Most communities have laws against performing sexual acts in public, as well as laws prohibiting exhibitionism (e.g., exposing the genitals in public).
Although masturbation can be a healthy part of human sexuality, it may have a negative impact on relationships and on psychological health in certain circumstances.
For example, masturbation that becomes compulsive, obsessive, or uncontrollable, or that takes the place of a healthy sexual relationship can have an unhealthy effect on psychological well being.
Masturbation can have several physical (physiological) benefits.
Self-stimulation of the genitals may be used as part of sexual therapy to help women learn how to experience orgasm or help men learn how to delay orgasm.
It is important for sexual partners to openly communicate about all aspects of sexuality and sexual behavior, including masturbation.
In the past, masturbation was thought to be a sexual perversion and even today, certain cultures and religions oppose the practice and regard it as "sinful" behavior.
Male infertility usually is diagnosed using a semen sample that is obtained through masturbation.
Masturbation also can have a number of mental and emotional (psychological) benefits.
These conceptions can cause stress and lead to feelings of guilt and shame in some people.
Like other types of sexual behaviors, masturbation should only be performed in a safe, comfortable, private environment.