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Masturbation May Lower Cancer, Diabetes Risk

Update Date: Dec 05, 2013 01:25 PM EST

Masturbation is good for you, according to science.

Australian scientists Anthony Santella and Spring Chenoa Cooper claim that masturbation, or self-pleasuring by touching one's own genitals, helps keep people healthy by warding off diseases like cystitis, diabetes and prostate cancer.

A recent U.S. survey revealed that 94 percent of men and 85 percent of women admit to masturbating. In fact, the practice is so natural and normal even babies do it from the time they are in the womb.

"For women, masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through the process of 'tenting,' or the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process," Santella and Cooper wrote in The Conversation, a website where experts can write opinion pieces. "Tenting stretches the cervix, and thus the cervical mucous. This enables fluid circulation, allowing cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out."

According to Santella and Cooper, masturbation can even "lower risk of type-2 diabetes (though this association may also be explained by greater overall health), reduce insomnia through hormonal and tension release, and increase pelvic floor strength through the contractions that happen during orgasm."

Masturbation can also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. Previous research shows that sexually active men have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Researchers said this is probably linked to the release of cancer-causing toxins from the prostate gland.

Self-pleasuring also help prevent depression and boost immune function by increasing levels of endorphins and the hormone cortisol.

Santella and Cooper added that masturbation is also "the most convenient method for maximizing orgasms," which researchers said help increase self-esteem and lower stress, blood pressure and pain.  

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