A new study found that regular sex, specifically ejaculation, was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of prostate cancer.
The study was presented at the American Urological Association conference last month.
The study compared men who ejaculated at least 21 times per month to men who did so four to seven times per month.
The findings rely on the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which recruited on 32,000 men in 1992. At the time, the men were asked how frequently they ejaculated while in their 20s and 40s, from which a lifetime average was computed. Afterwards, prostate cancer was diagnosed in more than 3,800 of the men; 384 of the cases were lethal.
The study is a follow-up to a 2004 paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That study found that a high rate of ejaculation did not increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer.
Frequent ejaculation appears to lower the risk of prostate cancer diagnosis but not necessarily the risk of dying from the disease, which is the second-most-common kind of cancer in men, after skin cancer.
However, researchers note that the study merely shows an association between ejaculation and a lower risk of prostate cancer. Correlation is not causation.
If in fact the risk of prostate cancer hinges to some degree on the frequency of ejaculation, it is unclear exactly why.
Researchers are interested in seeing additional research tackle the question of whether the frequency of ejaculation influences prostate cancer mortality. Although they are aware that it would be difficult to design a study spanning years in which one group of men was assigned to ejaculate frequently and the other fa less frequently. It is not a real functional trial.