Most men enjoying masturbation, but what once was thought to be a past time for men and teenage boys above age 13 now actually could have some serious health benefits. At the American Urological Association 2015 Annual Meeting, researchers have studied the effects of masturbation, and a new study has shown that masturbation can actually decrease your risk of prostate cancer if you are frequently ejaculating.
Lead author of this study was Jennifer Rider, who is an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. According to Rider, the “strongest evidence to date” on the subject is this study, and this is more than just some good advice. Dr. Rider told Medscape Medical News, “There is no modifiable risk factor for developing prostate cancer.” Rider than said that “it would be exciting to tell men that there was a way to modify their risk.” Dr. Rider did say that this was a study based on observational data, which means caution should be used when it comes to interpreting the results and data. A lot of other medical professionals, including Dr. Sammon, a urologist at the Henry Ford Hospital, found the results to be great, with Dr. Sammon adding this was “incredibly high quality data.”
The data had come from about 32,000 men who were in the prospective Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, with these men now being followed for 18 years. During the entire study period, 3,839 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer incidents, and 384 prostate cancer cases were lethal. The recruitment for the study started in 1992, with all participating men being asked to report their monthly frequency average for ejaculating from the ages of 20 to 29 and 40 to 49, and then during the previous year. From these reports, a lifetime average was then computed, and potential confounders were controlled for. Once that was done, the researchers were able to figure out the risk for prostate cancer was 20 percent lower in the men who had ejaculated at least 21 times each month than in the men who had only ejaculated 4 to 7 times a month. The 20 percent decrease in prostate cancer risk was seen at both the ages 29 to 29 group and the 40 to 49-year-old group, and also for the lifetime average group. The older men who were between ages 40 and 49 mostly reported around 8 to 12 ejaculations per month, with only 8.8 percent of them reporting at least 21 ejaculations a month. Dr. Rider said that “We shouldn’t dwell on the number of ejaculations, but instead focus on the dose-response relation.” When you look at the men from this study, the average age was 59, with them having undergone 5 PSA tests by 2008. Most of the men in this study were married, but the ones that reported more than 21 ejaculations who were 40 to 49 were more likely to be divorced.
There was no association between the ejaculation frequency and the risk for high-grade or lethal disease, and the reason for this is not known. The last report of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study was 10 years ago, and back then, the investigators said that high ejaculation frequency could possibly be associated with a lower risk of total organ-confined prostate cancer. Other studies since then have also reported that the frequency of ejaculation might be tied to prostate cancer risk, and concluded that the more orgasms you have, the more protected you are.
The new study however is much better and provides more strengths to the theory that ejaculation lowers prostate cancer risk. The first is that the study is prospective, with most other studies being retrospective. This study also involves the largest amount of men to date, which means that the data and findings are more accurate. With any study, you want a large sample size and not a small one, since there are a lot of uncontrolled variables that can affect and influence the study. With the bigger studies, you can weed out some of the variables and then are more likely to find a pattern if there is one. The third thing that makes this study really strong is that this one contains a lot of specific information about ejaculation. Previous studies rely on proxies for ejaculation, such as marriage and number of sexual partners. In this specific study, the investigators asked about ejaculations from sexual intercourse, masturbation, and nocturnal emissions, which are wet dreams essentially.
What is very interesting about this study is that it does show that men should be doing what they can to masturbate and ejaculate, since there is a clear indication that it does lower prostate risk. Although if men have a history of prostate risk in their family, it’s not clear whether or not the ejaculation theory still holds, since those men are more likely to have a genetic link to the disease. Doctors have also said previously that you want to ejaculate often because it basically helps you clear out the pipes, and men need to ejaculate in order to get the old junk out of the body. If you do not ejaculate often enough, then you could possibly end up with some other issues like inflammation of the tubes and urethra since the fluid builds up, so there are also other reasons why ejaculating regularly is good for your health as a man.