How Often Should a Man Ejaculate?

Ejaculation how often
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
4th August 2020

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There’s no magic number when it comes to how often a man should ejaculate. You can ejaculate as often as you like. There’s no evidence to suggest that frequent ejaculation can lead to adverse health problems.  Research suggesting that men who ejaculate 21 times per month (or more) are at a lower risk of developing prostate cancer remains inconclusive.
However, ejaculation does boast a number of potential health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress, and increased immunity.

Let’s cut to the chase: There’s no definitive number for how often you should ejaculate. 

What feels normal to you over the course of a day, a week, or a month will likely differ when compared to other men. The frequency with which you ejaculate will also typically depend on your age, mental and physical health, and relationship status. 

But if you buzzed in shouting “twenty one!” you might now be wondering where that magic number came from — because it’s not necessarily correct. 

Wait, It’s Not 21 Times a Month?

The idea that men should ejaculate 21 or more times a month first emerged from a widely circulated Harvard Medical School study. The research found that men who reported ejaculating that often had a 31 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who only ejaculated between 4 and 7 times per month.

While some researchers believe frequent ejaculation may help remove inflammation-causing toxins and irritants from the prostate, others aren’t totally convinced:

  • Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004 failed to find a link between frequent ejaculation and lower prostate cancer risk.
  • A 2008 study published in BJUI, a leading peer-reviewed urology journal, discovered that young men who reported more sexual activity — both alone and with a partner — actually had a higher risk of prostate cancer in their 20s and 30s. However, a higher rate of sexual activity could potentially guard against cancer of the prostate as we get older.
  • A 2018 analysis of multiple studies by Chinese researchers found that moderate ejaculation of around 2 to 4 times a week was associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer — but that the risk did not decline by ejaculating more often than that.  

One thing to keep in mind is that many of these studies, whether they found positive or negative correlations to the frequency of ejaculation and risk of prostate cancer, relied on self-reported data. So, it’s a good idea to take the results with a healthy pinch of salt.

What Happens If We Release Sperm Daily?

There’s nothing to suggest that ejaculating daily is unhealthy. Frequent ejaculation has no physical side effects and, so long as it’s not associated with chronic masturbation or porn addiction, it can actually be beneficial to your emotional well-being. 

This is because when you become aroused, your body increases its levels of the hormones oxytocin and dopamine

  • Oxytocin is associated with positive emotions, stress-reduction, and bonding

But if you do ejaculate daily, you’ll probably encounter something called the refractory period. This refers to the time between an orgasm and when you feel ready to be sexually aroused again. 

In younger men, this can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. But as you get older, the refractory period can get longer, sometimes up to 12-24 hours or more. So even if you want to release sperm daily, you may not always be in the mood.

Other Possible Health Benefits of Ejaculation

A mood-boosting, stress-busting spring in your step isn’t the only thing you’ll experience from regular ejaculation. It’s also thought to:

Is It Healthy to Abstain from Ejaculation?

Some men like to abstain from ejaculation as a way to ‘reboot’ or ‘reset’. Others will do it to prove they can, especially if they’re dealing with issues such as chronic masturbation or pornography addiction. There are even online communities dedicated to it.

So, if you’re happy and comfortable to do it, do it. There’s no evidence to suggest that abstaining from ejaculation can result in any unwanted or harmful side effects.

Of course, the flip-side to this is that there’s no evidence of any long-term health benefits to abstaining either. Although some people believe that avoiding ejaculation can boost or balance testosterone levels, enhance masculinity, or preserve energy, this has no basis in science. 

Can the Body Run Out of Sperm?

Take a breath. Now, count to ten. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three…

At ten? Well, in those ten seconds your body has produced approximately 15,000 sperm at a rate of 1,500 a second. This equates to over one hundred million sperm cells every single day and roughly 525 billion sperm cells over a lifetime

So, no. Your body cannot run out of sperm! 

But What Happens to the Sperm Cells If They’re Not Ejaculated?

Any “unused” sperm cells are either reabsorbed by your body or released while you sleep. 

If you thought you’d experienced the last of your “wet dreams” during puberty, chances are you’ll see them return if you choose to abstain from ejaculation. 

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In Summary

Here’s the thing. Ejaculating 21 times a month might actually be the perfect amount for you. 

Or maybe it’s 47. Or 4. Or 9. Or zero. 

The fact is, there’s no one number. Everyone is different. Instead of taking a calculated approach to ejaculation — tallying as you go — simply listen to your body. Pay attention to your instincts. Do what feels right. 

Ejaculating regularly is perfectly healthy. And if it makes you feel happy, motivated, productive, stress-free and well-rested, well, that’s a win-win. 

References

  1. Jennifer R RiderKathryn M WilsonJennifer A SinnottRachel S KellyLorelei A MucciEdward L Giovannucci (2016). Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27033442

  2. Michael F. Leitzmann, MDElizabeth A. Platz, ScDMeir J. Stampfer, MD (2004). Ejaculation Frequency and Subsequent Risk of Prostate Cancer: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/198487

  3. Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, Artitaya Lophatananon, Douglas Easton, Richard Pocock, David P. Dearnaley, Michelle Guy, Steven Edwards, Lynne O’Brien, Amanda Hall, Rosemary Wilkinson, The UK Genetic Prostate Cancer Study Collaborators, British Association of Urological Surgeons Section of Oncology,  Rosalind Eeles, Kenneth R. Muir (2008). Sexual activity and prostate cancer risk in men diagnosed at a younger age: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.08030.x
  4. Zhongyu JianDonghui YeYuntian ChenHong LiKunjie Wang (2018). Sexual Activity and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30122473

  5. Healthline – Why Is Oxytocin Known as the ‘Love Hormone’? And 11 Other FAQs: https://www.healthline.com/health/love-hormone

  6. WebMD – What is Dopamine?: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine#1

  7. T T-J Chong 1M Husain(2016). The role of dopamine in the pathophysiology and treatment of apathy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27926449

  8. International Society for Sexual MedicineISSMInternational Society for Sexual Medicine – What is the refractory period?: https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-the-refractory-period/

  9. Philip Haake 1Tillmann H C KruegerMarion U GoebelKatharina M HeberlingUwe HartmannManfred Schedlowski (2004). Effects of sexual arousal on lymphocyte subset circulation and cytokine production in man: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316239

  10. George Davey Smith, Stephen Frankel and John Yarnell (1997). Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study: https://www.bmj.com/content/315/7123/1641

  11. Business Insider- Inside NoFap, The Reddit Community For People Who Want To Be ‘Masters Of Their Domain’: https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-nofap-2013-11?r=US&IR=T

  12. National Geographic – How a Man Produces 1,500 Sperm a Second: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/3/100318-men-sperm-1500-stem-cells-second-male-birth-control/

  13. Live Science – Why Are 250 Million Sperm Cells Released During Sex?: https://www.livescience.com/32437-why-are-250-million-sperm-cells-released-during-sex.html

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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