Many studies assert that there is a relationship between how often you orgasm, and your chances of getting prostate cancer. But, what are the facts?
Since the early 2000s, there have been a number of scientific studies examining whether or not the frequency with which men ejaculate affects their prostate cancer chances – with assertions that anywhere from 8 to 21 orgasms per month could lower the risk.
The reason for this scientific curiosity is that the prostate is a small walnut-sized gland beneath the bladder that, apart from at moments of climax, works silently away within the body producing sperm. However, despite this small size and function, it remains the second deadliest cancer in men – killing 33 Brits every day.
Typically, there are few symptoms of the early stages of prostate cancer, though some people experience lower back pain and issues peeing, or even blood in ejaculate. So, knowing what can be done to lower your risk is important for anyone with a prostate.
The largest research of its kind examining the impact of frequent ejaculation on rates of prostate cancer, a 2016 European Eurology study, followed more than 29,000 men over a total of 18 years and found a positive correlation between men who got off more, and a lower rate of prostate cancer.
They found that men who ejaculated more than 21 times per month were 33 per cent less likely to develop the deadly cancer than those who had fewer climaxes every month. While this might sound like an excuse to chat up your partner, it should be noted that this study is not conclusive.
A 2009 study found that frequent masturbation in men over the age of 50 could reduce cancer risk, but using the same methodology they found that masturbation in your 20s and 30s might actually increase the risk of prostate cancer. This highlights the lack of scientific research into the mechanism that causes this.
A 2 018 meta-analysis of 22 studies examining the relationship between orgasm and prostate found that a lower ejaculation frequency, of two to four times per week, was significantly associated with a lower prostate cancer risk. This would equate to a lower frequency of around 8–16 ejaculations every month.
The most proven ways to lower your chances of prostate cancer are to eat a healthier diet, cut out red meat, and maintain a healthy weight.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
In the early stages of the disease there are often no warning signs, but you and your loved ones should look out for:
- Needing to urinate more often, especially at night.
- Difficulty starting to urinate or a weak flow
- Straining or taking a long time to finish urinating.
- A feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly.
- Needing to rush to the toilet – you may occasionally leak before you get there.
- Dribbling urine