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Does Ejaculation Lower the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

I came across more information about masturbation and prostate cancer (PC). The information said men who masturbated more had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. At first read, I was thinking to myself, “C’mon man…this doesn’t really make much sense.” So here, I will tell you what the article said and let you decide for yourself.

What does the research say?

In 2016, a study was published that looked at a large group of men (32,000) and followed them for 18 years. As a part of this study, they tracked the men’s sexual behaviors, including how often they ejaculated. Well, believe it or not, they found a possible relationship between ejaculation and prostate cancer.

In this research, they found the men who ejaculated the most (at least 21 times or more per month) had a 20% lower chance of developing prostate cancer when compared to men who ejaculated 4-7 times per month. So, the way this information translated in one article said, “The exact number of times didn’t really matter. Basically, the more men ejaculated in a month, the less likely they were to get prostate cancer.”1 As I was reading this article, I kept asking myself why would this even work? If this is true, there should be some sort of scientific explanation explaining the decrease in risk.

Looking into the possible connection

It seems the experts in the field really are not sure what is going on. There is a belief by “experts” who think having a higher number of ejaculations can flush out any “harmful chemicals that might build up in semen.”1 So, as I was reading this article, I decided to look for more information about this topic.

I came across another article, “Does frequent ejaculation help ward off prostate cancer?”2 Plus, to give this article a bit more weight, it comes from Harvard Health Publishing, from the Harvard Medical School. The information in this article comes from research completed in 2003 and 2004, using a study population of 29,342. So far so good.

This article reported found that men who ejaculated more than 21 times per month were found to have a 33% lower risk of developing prostate cancer versus men ejaculated between 4 to 7 times per month.2

The Harvard article also mentions an Australian study of 2,300 men which also looked at ejaculation. They found that men who ejaculated between 4½ and 7 times per month were 36% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 70 versus men who ejaculated less than 2 1/3 times per month.2 So, why does this seem to work?

More research is needed

One idea is that emptying the prostate on a regular basis may aid in decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.2 Also, the doctors are not really sure what is going on but they can say there is a connection, no more…no less. Further, ejaculation doesn’t seem to provide any type of help when it comes to more aggressive or advanced prostate cancer.1 Of course, more research has to be completed.

In closing, there seems to be some sort of connection between ejaculation and prostate cancer. The researchers are not really sure what is going on and I hope there is more research on this in the near future. Thanks for reading, Dr. Nick.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Can Sex, Masturbation Affect Prostate Cancer Risk? WebMD. Access on July 15, 2019. From https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/ejaculation-prostate-cancer-risk
  2. Havard Health Blog. Access on July 15, 2019. From https://health.harvard.edu/blog/does-frequent-ejaculation-help-ward-off-prostate-cancer-2009099112

Comments

  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 month ago

    Hi Nick. This is really interesting. I wonder if the researchers would have found a correlation between the average number of ejaculations and the testosterone levels of the men. Because of the fact that this study looked back from a specific point in time, there was not way to get the longitudinal testosterone levels, but it might be fair to wonder if the men with fewer ejaculations have a lower sex drive, resulting from lower testosterone levels. Other studies have found that lower testosterone levels correlated with higher prostate cancer rates. This study from the journal “Urology” looked at more extreme low levels and found “An increased risk of prostate cancer was associated with more severe reductions in testosterone:” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17169647. Other studies have found testosterone replacement therapy lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Just wondering if including this variable might establish the connection between more ejaculations and lower rates of PCa. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

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