No, it doesn't blind you. And now medical researchers say it's not going to give you cancer either.
Frequent ejaculation during masturbation or sex, a new study has found, isn't associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer, laying to rest a popular misconception. In fact, it may even decrease the risks for certain people.
The research, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is based on surveys of nearly 30,000 men from 1992 to 2000. The mostly white males ages 46 to 81 provided histories of sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation during their twenties, forties, and within the previous year.
Results showed no relationship between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer for most categories.
In fact, men who reported frequent ejaculation over their lifetime - that's more than four to seven times per month, in case you're counting - had fewer overall cases of prostate cancer than those who ejaculated less often.
And those tireless individuals averaging 21 or more ejaculations a month over their lifetime showed only half the risk for developing the disease.
The researchers noted 38 percent of married people over 60 in the United States have sex one-to-four times per month, while 15 percent are sexually active at least five times per month.
Findings More 'Provocative' Than Practical
Previous studies looking for a link between sex and prostate cancer have given mixed results. But some research seems to reinforce the latest finding.
For instance, a smaller Australian study published last year, concluded men who ejaculated five or more times a week in their twenties were one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than men who ejaculated less often.
The investigator for the Australian study hypothesized that ejaculation helps to flush carcinogens and other toxic substances out of the prostatic ducts, a theory yet to be proven.
But one concern was raised about the study's validity. That is that it asked men in their forties and fifties to recall ejaculation frequency during their twenties.
"Can they really remember how often they ejaculated so many years ago?" wondered urologist Dr. Michael Naslund at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
Dr. Michael O'Leary, a urologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, commended the study but didn't think the results would likely translate into any new recommendations for patients at this time.
"The study is certainly amusing, but no one's going to tell their patients to ejaculate more frequently," added Dr. O'Leary. "This study is provocative more than anything else."
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