Does Consistent Ejaculation Reduce Your Risk for Prostate Cancer?
OverviewThere’s exciting news on the prostate cancer front. If you ejaculate frequently, your risk of getting prostate cancer may be reduced. How often is frequent? A study at Harvard Medical School says 21 timesTrusted Source a month. A similar Australian studyTrusted Source points to seven times a week.But there’s a catch: one studyTrusted Source suggests it’s only an effective preventative measure in men age 50 and older.What the research saysSteps to reduce cancer risk often include a lot of things you shouldn’t do. So, it may be welcoming news to learn that something many men find pleasurable may help reduce your risk of prostate cancer.Researchers don’t understand exactly why frequent ejaculation might provide protection against prostate cancer. One theory is that ejaculation rids the prostate gland of cancer-causing materials, infection, and matter that can cause inflammation.Despite strong evidence in favor of frequent ejaculation, the theory remains controversial. And there are conflicting findingsTrusted Source. The greatest controversy regarding these studies is about the age when ejaculation occurs.A 2008 studyTrusted Source determined that men were more likely to develop prostate cancer if they were very sexually active in their twenties and thirties. The study also found no conclusive evidence that masturbation provide greater risk than intercourse.The Harvard studyTrusted Source did not support the age-related findings from the 2008 study. It found no increased risk of prostate cancer related to age of ejaculation, though it did show that the benefits increase as a man ages. The Australian studyTrusted Source demonstrated a reduced risk of prostate cancer if frequent ejaculation occurred during young adulthood.Ejaculation also doesn’t seem to provide protection against advanced or aggressive prostate cancer.More research is needed to better understand the relationship between prostate cancer and ejaculation.How much is your risk reduced?An 18-year Harvard study of nearly 30,000 health professionals determined that risk of prostate cancer was reduced by 20 percent for men who ejaculated 21 times a month, compared to men who ejaculated four to seven times a month.A similar Australian study found the risk was reduced by 36 percentTrusted Source when men ejaculated seven times a week.Are you at risk for prostate cancer?Prostate cancer is the second most common kind of cancer men get. Skin cancer is the most common cancer. In the United States, one in seven men will get prostate cancer at some point in their life.The following factors affect your risk of getting prostate cancer:age: men over the age of 50 are at greater risk for prostate cancerrace: prostate cancer is more common among African American mengenetics: your risk is greater is a close relative has a history of prostate cancerweight: obesity may increase your risk of getting more advanced prostate canceractivity level: physical inactivity has been shown to increase risk in some mendiet: a diet high in animal and dairy fat and low in fiber, fruits, and vegetables may increase your riskheight: tall men may be more likelyTrusted Source to develop prostate cancerchemical exposure: exposure to Agent Orange increases your risk for developing prostate cancer, according the U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsYou may also have an increased risk if you’ve had sex with 30 or more women or if you’ve had a sexually transmitted disease. This may be because of your sexual habits. Alternately, it could be that you have a stronger sex drive due to higher levels of male hormones, which can be a risk factor.Ways to reduce your riskThe causes of prostate cancer aren’t known. But there’s evidenceTrusted Source that a healthy diet and lifestyle may provide some protection. Steps you can take include:reduce your intake of red meat, animal fats, and dairy fatsadd more fruit and vegetables to your dietin men who have prostate cancer, taking aspirin regularly may slow progression of the disease