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Can Frequent Sex Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk?

January 30, 2020

Updated May 2023

Home » Can Frequent Sex Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk?
Young african man stopped with head bent over, face cap covering his face - wondering if frequent sex can reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer.

A friend shared news reports that an expert believed men who ejaculated at least 21 times or more every month are at reduced risk of developing Prostate Cancer. So – can frequent sex reduce Prostate Cancer risk?

Is this true? And does it mean men now have to go all out and ensure they are getting it on every night to avoid Prostate Cancer?? Read on to learn more..

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate Cancer affects the prostate gland, the small walnut-shaped organ located at the bottom of the urinary bladder in men.

Generally, men cannot feel their prostate – and in fact, doctors can only examine the prostate physically by conducting a digital rectal examination (DRE).

This is when the rectum or back passage is examined with the fingers; the prostate is one of the structures that can be felt.

Growth of abnormal cells in the prostate is reportedly common in men after the age of 50 years.

Another risk factor for developing Prostate Cancer is a family history (a brother, uncle, father or other male relatives who have had Prostate Cancer.

In addition, being a man of African or Afro-Caribbean origin is also associated with a higher risk of Prostate Cancer.

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

We do not yet know the cause of Prostate Cancer, and several studies around this have not been conclusive.

But research has suggested that certain factors may have a link though not necessarily a direct cause.

Can Frequent Sex Actually Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

This is not strictly true.

Yes, research with a reasonable amount of reliability from the US and Australia suggests that young men who ejaculate frequently – from all manner of sexual activity, including intercourse and masturbation – may be less likely to develop Prostate cancer when they are older.

This is the Harvard Ejaculation study of men in the US over a period of time, with findings similar to other studies in Australia.

But it’s not enough to say ‘having sex 21 times a month or more’ prevents Prostate Cancer.

As we’ve seen – regarding the cause of Prostate Cancer, there may be other things like genetics, environment – where one lives, or one’s lifestyle that all combine in one person to cause changes leading to the disease.

Implications from the Harvard Ejaculation Study

What should this mean for us?

Certainly, Not to panic that men not having sex are going to develop cancer!

(And men can’t use it as an excuse for more sex, too?)

But let’s encourage our brothers, husbands, and male friends:

  • Lead a moderate and balanced life, diet, exercise, moderate alcohol, stop smoking, and avoid stress.
  • Regularly check the prostate – there is a blood test (PSA – Prostate-Specific Antigen) and a physical exam (DRE) your Dr can do to check the prostate – at least once a year from age 45years – especially if you are a black man and a family member like dad, uncle or brother has had the disease.

Appreciating research evidence

So essentially, studies like these are valuable to guide our behaviour and treatment.

Interpreting them properly is also important, as demonstrated above.

If you have any questions or comments on this topic, please share them below.

More Reading:

Edited by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly

Image credit – Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash

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