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On balance, most guys would say that ejaculating feels pretty good. But could it also be good for your health? Like getting vitamin D and doing 150 minutes of cardio a week healthy?
Some studies suggest that regularly ejaculating has health benefits like improving sperm quality, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health. Meanwhile, some claim that semen retention (avoiding ejaculation) is better for your health. Here’s what the science says.
How often should a man ejaculate?
There’s no “normal” number of times a man should ejaculate per day, week, or month. What works for you varies depending on things like your age, relationship status, and overall sexual health. The good news is that research indicates that the more you ejaculate the better.
Studies have found that men who ejaculated 21 or more times per month had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who ejaculated 4–7 times a month. Researchers theorize that frequent ejaculation clears the prostate of irritants or toxins that cause inflammation and contribute to prostate cancer (Rider, 2016).
Health benefits of ejaculation
- Improve relationships: Sexual arousal increases bodily levels of oxytocin, also known as the bonding hormone. This promotes intimacy between you and a partner.
- Reduce stress: Getting aroused and having an orgasm causes a surge of dopamine, a feel-good hormone that contributes to pleasure. More pleasure typically equates to less stress.
- Keep your immune system healthy
- Promotes better sleep
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
Does ejaculating really reduce prostate cancer risk?
The short answer? Maybe. That’s because the data is conflicted. Some studies suggest that moderate ejaculation (2–4 times per week) is associated with a lower prostate cancer risk.
However, ejaculating more often doesn’t mean your cancer risk drops even more. Confusing things further, other data suggests that men who have fewer sexual partners and start having sex later in life may also have a lower incidence of prostate cancer (Rider, 2016; Jian, 2018).
Is semen retention healthy?
Some sites and social media accounts advocate semen retention, the practice of avoiding ejaculation. Semen retention includes not masturbating, masturbating without orgasm, and delaying or skipping ejaculation during sex.
Advocates for semen retention claim holding back ejaculate preserves energy and enhances masculinity by keeping semen in the body. While learning how to last longer in bed is fine to practice, there is no scientific evidence that semen retention does anything for your health.
How many times can a man ejaculate in a day?
Okay, so we now know ejaculating regularly is healthy. But can you do it too much?
Again, there is no magic number for how many times you should or shouldn’t ejaculate in a day. Your age, relationship status, sex life, and overall health all factor into how times a day you masturbate.
It’s important to note that every man has a refractory period following ejaculation—this is a period of time when you can’t get an erection or ejaculate. It varies person-to-person and changes with age. What may have only been a few minutes in your 20s may be hours or days when you get older.
Your refractory period determines when you can physically ejaculate again. But ejaculation is more than just the physical stuff. The process of arousal, erection, and orgasm is a very complicated pathway involving hormones, emotions, and so much more.
And if you worry about how often you should release sperm, there is no need––male sperm counts are in the millions, so you don’t worry have to worry about running out of sperm in your lifetime (Dupesh, 2020).
The bottom line? As long as you and your partners are happy and healthy, there is no such thing as ejaculating too much.
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- Jian, Z., Ye, D., Chen, Y., et al. (2018). Sexual activity and risk of prostate cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 15(9), 1300-1309. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.07.004. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30122473
- Lastella, M., O’Mullan, C., Paterson, J. L., et al. (2019). Sex and sleep: perceptions of sex as a sleep promoting behavior in the general adult population. Frontiers in Public Health, 7, 33. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00033. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30886838/
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- Rider, J. R., Wilson, K. M., Sinnott, J. A., et al. (2016). Ejaculation frequency and risk of prostate cancer: updated results with an additional decade of follow-up. European Urology, 70(6), 974-982. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2016.03.027. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27033442
Dr. Chimene Richa is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and Senior Medical Writer/Reviewer at Ro.