A prostate massage involves stimulating and massaging the prostate gland with a finger or sex toy for either sexual release or to treat a medical condition like prostatitis, an enlarged prostate, urinary hesitancy, or erectile dysfunction.
The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Its main job is to make the seminal fluid — semen — that helps sperm travel and survive in the acidic environment of a vagina.
Although major medical organizations and independent healthcare providers don’t often promote a prostate massage as a medical procedure or therapy, it’s been used for over 100 years to treat conditions such as chronic prostatitis.
A prostate massage can be a circular type of motion, or an application of gentle pressure. It’s usually performed by a medical professional, or can also be performed by a significant other. Some people choose to self-stimulate their prostate with sex toys or fingers.
Here are the health benefits of a prostate massage, risks, and how to safely and effectively perform a prostate massage.
Benefits of Prostate Massage
The health benefits of prostate massage are based on very limited studies and many of the studies are old studies. However, there is some evidence that massaging the prostate has medical advantages.
May Help With Urinary Flow
The prostate can become enlarged as people age, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH can cause the urethra to be compressed, and lead to issues with urination, such as incomplete bladder emptying, trouble starting urine, or dribbling at the end of urination.
An older 2006 study that looked at urine retention in older males found that prostate massage, combined with antimicrobial therapy and alpha-blocker therapy, helped resolve urinary retention, and allowed for effective urination in all study participants.
Any urination issues such as painful urination, limited flow, feeling of not being able to empty your bladder, incontinence, or blood in urine warrants a visit to a healthcare provider such an urologist.
May Help Treat Prostatitis
Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. It can be caused by a urinatiry tract infection (UTI) or a bladder infection. Although prostate massages have historically been used to treat prostatitis, research is mixed on its effectiveness.
For example, an older study from 2006 found that prostate massages were helpful for some people with chronic prostatitis, but these improvements were not significant and the study researchers deemed it needed more research. Another old study found that prostate massages may be helpful in treating prostatitis — specifically when combined with antibiotics.
However, a more recent systematic review from 2018 concluded that it’s unclear whether prostate massages decrease or increase prostatitis symptoms.
Does it Improve Erectile Dysfunction?
People often cite prostate massages as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, there is no clear evidence linking prostate massage with improved sexual function. Still, an older published case study from 2004 found that prostate massages improved the sexual function of an elderly man. Other anecdotal reports similar to this have circulated, leading people to believe that prostate massage may help with sexual dysfunction.
May Enhance Sexual Pleasure
The prostate gland is often referred to as the male “G spot” or “P spot.” There is evidence to back up the notion that stimulation of the prostate during sex can be highly pleasurable and result in more intense orgasms. Although there is little understanding of the medical reasons behind this, studies describe rectal stimulation of the prostate as producing “ecstatic feelings” that may be even more pleasurable than stimulating the penis.
Prostate Milking Vs. Prostate Massage
Prostate massage and prostate milking are similar, and both involve stimulation of the prostate through the rectum. Prostate milking is usually associated with sexual pleasure, and its goal is to release seminal fluid from the prostate, which is released during an orgasm. Whereas prostate massage is sometimes medical in nature.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
There are no known adverse effects associated with prostate massage. But the tissues lining the prostate and rectum are delicate and vulnerable to tears and abrasions. Massaging the prostate too roughly can easily lead to discomfort and soreness. A 2009 study that looked at self-administered prostate massages for the treatment of urinary tract symptoms among older males found that about 8% of study participants complained of rectal soreness with treatment.
Prostate massage is advised against certain medical conditions. For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP) has warned that prostate massage should be avoided if you have acute bacterial prostatitis, or if you have a suspected case.
Anyone who is interested in having a prostate massage performed should check with their healthcare provider first, especially if they have any known medical conditions. Prostate massage should not be substituted for proper medical care or medical screenings of the prostate. Periodic prostate cancer screening is recommended for males aged 55 through 69.
What to Expect During A Prostate Massage
Prostate massages may be performed by your healthcare provider, by your partner, or yourself. When performed by a healthcare provider, the massage may be similar to a rectal exam, where your healthcare provider inserts a gloved finger into your rectum, examines your prostate, and gently massages.
If you or your partner are performing a prostate massage, here are some things to keep in mind:
- The massage should be done with clear consent, and should be stopped if discomfort or pain is experienced.
- It’s important to thoroughly wash your hands or sex toys before insertion; some people prefer to wear gloves.
- Liberal use of lubricant is advised.
- To begin, insert your finger a few inches into the anus.
- Locate the prostate, which will feel like a small lump.
- Gently massage the prostate by moving your finger in a circular motion, or whatever motion feels comfortable and/or pleasurable.
- For people who are uncomfortable with rectal stimulation, the prostate can be stimulated by massage and pressure on the perineum, which is the area located between the anus and scrotum. However, it may not be easy to find it that way.
A Quick Review
A prostate massage involves gentle stimulation of the prostate gland by inserting a finger or sex toy into the rectum, locating the prostate, and massaging. Prostate massages may have some medical benefits, such as reducing symptoms of prostatitis and helping with urine flow. However, the evidence for medical benefits is limited.
Many find prostate massage highly pleasurable and prostate massage may result in more intense orgasms. Although prostate massage appears to be a relatively safe practice, it’s important to touch base with your healthcare provider before getting a prostate massage, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.
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