Pleasuring yourself does more than just provide on-demand orgasms or ways to privately unwind.

In fact, getting in a little “me time” has health benefits that both you and your body will be grateful for in the long run.

Santa Monica gynecologist, and author of Radiant Again & Forever, Dr. Prudence Hall, suggests that there are some really surprising advantages to masturbating, some of which might surprise you.

It Strengthens Your Bladder:

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“Well, when you use your [vaginal] muscles, you develop your muscles. And your core muscles in your pelvic area are very important. They support your urinary bladder, and they [help] the vagina stay lubricated, open and so between relationships or when they’ve chosen not to have [sexual] relationships for awhile, it keeps the vagina healthy. And then, when you have an orgasm, you have contractions of your muscles and those are the muscles that help support your vagina and your bladder. As women age, they start losing urine and one of the great ways to keep everything healthy and supported is to masturbate because each time you have an orgasm those muscles will contract and it’s like kegels exercises with pleasure. When you actually get the blood flowing for cardiovascular benefits in your pelvic area and you release stress, stress is the basis of most diseases.”

​​​​​​It Helps Keep Your Vaginal Tissue Healthy and Vital

“For older women, when they start to lose their testosterone and estrogen in menopause, or younger women when they’re on the birth control pill, they might find it pretty hard to have an orgasm. When women are on birth control, their estrogen levels are extremely low and it’s harder to have orgasms,” says Hall. “That’s one reason why some women actually end up coming off their pill because they have less sexual thoughts, less sexual responses. So hormones are very important in the sexual response. And in menopausal women, there is a line where you might deal with sexual dysfunction in that, you can’t have orgasms, or it’s more difficult, or it takes longer. It is mother natures little trick: the vagina becomes painful and the tissue becomes thinned, women no longer have a sex drive. They can’t have orgasms easily and it’s a combination of just losing your hormones and really having the tissue not be healthy anymore. So masturbation is part of getting the tissue healthy and vital.”

We guess this is all the more reason to treat ourselves. Because it’s healthy, of course!