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If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
The prostate has emerged from shadowy obscurity in recent decades. It’s revamped its reputation as an occasional enlarged inconvenience of the elderly into a hotspot of male sexual pleasure and the basis of a new area of preventative medicine—prostate health.
Sometimes referred to as the male G-spot, the prostate gland is a reproductive organ that can get inflamed, and grow enlarged as you age. If you deal with an enlarged prostate, prostate pain, or have a chronic health condition there are all types of treatments that can help.
One technique is prostate massage.
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What is the prostate? What does it do?
The prostate is a gland that sits inside the body between the bladder and the penis, just in front of the rectum. It’s often described as walnut-sized, though that’s mostly only true in younger men.
The prostate’s job is to produce what’s called prostatic fluid––a component of semen. This fluid nourishes and protects sperm, which is made in the testicles, and ultimately gets these swimmers where they need to go. During ejaculation, the prostate contracts, shooting fluid up into the urethra where it’s then ejected through the penis and out of the body.
Prostate problems and causes
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): This is a type of prostate enlargement that isn’t cancerous. It’s common with age, and mostly affects people over 50.
- Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate due to infection or injury can lead to prostatitis, a disease characterized by pain and difficulty urinating.
- Prostate cancer: Aside from lung cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
These conditions often cause the prostate to become enlarged. Since the gland surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra, an enlarged prostate can make urinating difficult. Other symptoms include problems with urine flow, starting urination, frequently feeling like you have to pee, and not feeling like your bladder is fully empty after urinating.
Keep in mind that prostate cancer has its own considerations, treatments, and therapies––massaging the prostate is not recommended as one.
Potential health benefits of prostate massage
A prostate massage can refer to stimulation for fun, as well as for use in medical settings to treat certain health conditions, although more research is needed on that.
Here are some of the health conditions a prostate massage might benefit.
Enlarged and inflamed prostate
Studies have tested massage as a treatment for an enlarged prostate and prostatitis.
One very small study examined five men with urinary retention (the inability to pee) and prostatitis. All received frequent prostate massages, in addition to treatment with antibiotics, and medications like finasteride (brand name Propecia; see Important Safety Information). The five participants—who were wearing catheters at the beginning of the study—regained the ability to urinate and were able to have their tubes removed. The researchers also mentioned that repetitive prostate massage could drain the inflamed and infected prostate of pus (Hennenfent, 2006).
Prostate health: 6 ways to keep your prostate healthy
While research is limited due to extremely small studies, it indicates prostate massage could play a role in relieving enlarged prostate symptoms in some men. However, prostate massage is not part of the standard treatment for enlarged prostate or prostatitis.
Research has also looked at prostate massage for treating chronic prostatitis. People with this condition often experience uncomfortable symptoms like difficulty urinating, pain in the pelvic area, and feeling like you have the flu.
A study conducted by the UCLA Medical Center and the Institute of Male Urology treated prostatitis patients with antibiotics and regular prostate massages. About 40% of study participants saw their symptoms resolve completely, while 21% experienced some improvement (Shoskes, 1999).
Other research found the technique ineffective. The consensus? Prostate massage isn’t a magic bullet for prostatitis, but could provide some relief.
While scientists can’t credit prostate massage directly, several studies show there are health benefits to regular ejaculation––including a lower risk of prostate cancer. One way to ejaculate regularly is through prostate massage, either with a partner or on your own.
A long-term study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that men who reported ejaculating 21 or more times a month had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who ejaculated between 4–7 times a month (Rider, 2016). But the jury is still out if frequent ejaculation lowers someone’s risk for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer: stages, grades, and treatment
Prostate milking vs. massage: what’s the difference?
You may have heard the term “milking” used to describe a prostate massage. While similar, prostate milking refers more to stimulating the prostate for sexual pleasure. It also means (as the name implies) doing it until a fluid or pre-ejaculate is released.
How to perform a prostate massage at home
The prostate has gotten a lot of press for being an underrated source of sexual pleasure for men, similar to the G-spot in women.
If you’re investigating prostate play for pleasure, here’s how to do it. The prostate may be stimulated by putting a finger or massager inside the rectum.
Some men enjoy doing this with a partner, and have reported that stimulating the area with a finger or sex toy resulted in more pleasurable orgasms. Studies have also found that prostate-induced orgasms produce more intense and satisfying stimulation than penile stimulation (Levin, 2018).
- Ateya, A., Fayez, A., Hani, R., Zohdy, W., Gabbar, M. A., & Shamloul, R. (2006). Evaluation of prostatic massage in treatment of chronic prostatitis. Urology, 67(4), 674–678. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2005.10.021. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0815/p397.html
- Hennenfent, B., Lazarte, A., & Feliciano, A. (2006). Repetitive Prostatic Massage and Drug Therapy as an Alternative to Transurethral Resection of the Prostate. Medscape General Medicine, 8(4), 19. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1868377/
- Levin, R. J. (2018). Prostate-induced orgasms: A concise review illustrated with a highly relevant case study. Clinical Anatomy, 31(1), 81–85. doi:10.1002/ca.23006. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ca.23006
- Lokeshwar, S. D., Harper, B. T., Webb, E., Jordan, A., Dykes, T. A., Neal, D. E., et al. (2019). Epidemiology and treatment modalities for the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Translational Andrology and Urology, 8(5), 529–539. doi:10.21037/tau.2019.10.01. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6842780/
- Rawla, P. (2019). Epidemiology of Prostate Cancer. World Journal of Oncology, 10(2), 63–89. doi:10.14740/wjon1191. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6497009/
- Rider, J. R., Wilson, K. M., Sinnott, J. A., Kelly, R. S., Mucci, L. A., & Giovannucci, E. L. (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://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27033442
- Shoskes, D. A., & Zeitlin, S. I. (1999). Use of prostatic massage in combination with antibiotics in the treatment of chronic prostatitis. Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases, 2(3), 159–162. Doi: 10.1038/sj.pcan.4500308. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12496826/