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Ejaculation and prostate cancer risk

Ejaculation, either through sexual intercourse, masturbation, or wet dreams, does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, a high ejaculation frequency may lower the risk of this cancer, according to recent research.

Ejaculation and prostate cancer risk

Ejaculation, either through sexual intercourse, masturbation, or wet dreams, does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, a high ejaculation frequency may lower the risk of this cancer, according to recent research. Most studies looking at the ejaculation-prostate cancer link have involved men who were asked about ejaculation only after they'd developed cancer. In contrast, researchers from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USA, did a study in which men were asked about ejaculation first and then followed for several years to see who developed cancer. The study involved nearly 30,000 men who participated in the health professionals follow-up study from 1992 to 2000. When the study began, the subjects, who were predominantly white and at least 46 years of age, were surveyed about their ejaculation frequency from ages 20-to-29 years, 40-to-49 years, and during the last year. The researchers found that during the study period, 1,449 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed, including 953 early cases and 147 advanced cases. In general, the researchers found no association between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer risk. However, men who averaged 21 or more ejaculations per month over their lifetime were 33 percent less likely to develop cancer than men with 4 to 7 ejaculations per month.

Previous research has shown that cancer-causing chemicals can enter the prostate gland through the blood. Frequent ejaculation may reduce the cancer risk by flushing out these chemicals. However, further studies are needed to confirm the findings in other groups of men, particularly African Americans and Asians, and to shed light on the mechanisms involved.

Journal of the American Medical Association,
April 2004
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