Good news for guys with healthy sex lives: Ten-year follow-up data from a prospective cohort study suggest that more frequent ejaculation may reduce the risk for prostate cancer among men, Healio reports.
The study, conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health, is not the first of its kind to find a link, but it does add to prior evidence suggesting an association between frequent sexual activity and decreased cancer risk. The new research is also the first of its kind to evaluate ejaculation frequency and risk for cancer independently of surrogate measures such as the number of sexual partners or age at first marriage.
In their report, the study authors noted that the main aim behind their study was to comprehensively evaluate an inverse association between ejaculation and prostate cancer risk, which had been previously been observed in a 1992 questionnaire study of 31,925 men. A cohort of these men was followed through 2010 to assess the potential link, and the end results appear to back up the previously noted link.
For the study, researchers assessed median monthly ejaculation frequency among participants in two different age groups: 20 to 29 years old and 40 to 49 years old. Over the course of a decade, researchers reported that 3,839 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Later, multivariable analyses of the data on those who were diagnosed with cancer and those who weren’t showed significantly reduced prostate cancer incidence among men who reported 21 or more ejaculations per month, when compared with men who reported just four to seven. These findings were true of men in both the 20-to-29 group and the 40-to-49 group, suggesting a stronger link.
The findings may further add to a theory that has long been dubbed “the prostate stagnation hypothesis,” a suggestion allowing fluids to accumulate for long periods of time in the prostate may present a greater opportunity for potential carcinogens to initiate tumor growth.
That said, before medical experts suggest that men change their sexual behavior in any way to help prevent cancer, the results will need to be replicated in another independent cohort.