In the vast majority of cases, masturbation is absolutely safe. However, there are times when it can trigger a major health problem, such as a brain hemorrhage.

The story is about a 51-year-old Japanese man who was an avid masturbation enthusiast which he did several times a day. On one of these occasions, he experienced a severe headache, followed by vomiting. Admitted to the emergency room (Nagoya University Hospital), he underwent a brain scan which showed a cerebral hemorrhage on the left side, the one where the head pain was located.

More in-depth examinations (angiography) showed dilation of the internal carotid artery, a major artery that supplies most of the brain with blood. At cause, an aneurysm, which is a dilation of a section of the blood vessel. Aneurysms increase the risk of rupture, which leads to sudden bleeding. In this case, the situation has evolved less dramatically.

As Japanese media explains, in this patient, the sudden increase in blood pressure linked to orgasm probably caused a dissection (tear) of the internal wall of the cerebral carotid artery, which caused the formation of a hematoma as well as bleeding. After surgery, the patient recovered perfectly.

Cases of hemorrhagic stroke associated with masturbation are extremely rare. The few cases reported by the medical literature almost all refer to a ruptured aneurysm, the development of which is not accompanied by any truly specific symptoms. And each time, the sudden increase in blood pressure due to pleasure is probably to blame.

Betsy Wilson

Betsy is a true science nerd, down to the glasses. Her words, not mine! She works as a nurse specializing in pediatric nursing. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about all thing pregnancy and baby-related.