For most men, ejaculating is synonymous with having an orgasm, although some men can have an orgasm without ejaculating.
Ejaculate contains fluid from the prostate, seminal vesicles, and bulbourethral glands. Though it contains a wide variety of substances, including citric acid, cholesterol, mucus, and water, its primary job is to deliver sperm.
Research shows that the frequency with which a man ejaculates may affect his health, sperm count, and overall well-being.
While no evidence says that not ejaculating causes serious health problems, frequent ejaculation may reduce a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Having satisfying sex with a partner may also improve a man’s health.
This article looks at how often a man should release sperm, whether there is a link between ejaculation and cancer, and the effects of ejaculation on the body.
Many men may wonder whether their sexual behavior is normal. They may fear that they are not having as much sex as their peers, or that they are masturbating too frequently.
The truth is that there is no “normal” number of times a man should ejaculate. Average ejaculation frequency varies according to many factors, including a man’s:
- relationship status
According to the 2015 Sexual Exploration in America Study, partnered sex — and the ejaculation that usually accompanies it — is most frequent among men ages 25–29, with 68.9% reporting vaginal intercourse during the last month. The figure drops slightly to 63.2%, among men in their 30s, and declines with each decade of advancing age.
Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that masturbation was common across a man’s lifespan. Men of all age groups reported masturbation in the past month. Solo masturbation was more common than partnered sex during adolescence and in those about 70. Partnered masturbation was highest among men ages 30–39.
No guidelines state the ideal frequency with which a man should ejaculate, whether on his own or with a partner. Myths exist about the dangers of regular masturbation. However, according to Planned Parenthood, there is no evidence that frequent masturbation is harmful.
Likewise, most people do not consider frequent consensual sex with a partner to be harmful to either party as long as both partners:
- feel comfortable in their actions
- avoid sexual activities that cause pain
- adopt safer sex strategies
A 2015 study found that men who ejaculated daily over 14 days experienced slight decreases in the number of sperm in their ejaculate. However, the reduction did not cause sperm count to fall below normal thresholds. Also, frequent ejaculation did not affect other measures of sperm health, such as sperm motility and morphology.
Research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that partners who have sex at least weekly report being happier with their relationships. More frequent sex did not increase relationship satisfaction, but it also did not cause it to decline.
Researchers found that men ages 40–49 that ejaculated more frequently had a lower risk of prostate cancer. Men with the lowest risk ejaculated at least 21 times per month.
The study did not establish that ejaculation could prevent cancer in younger men. The researchers remain unsure whether frequent ejaculation fights prostate or any other cancer in men under 40.
There is no evidence that frequent ejaculation is harmful to younger men.
Ejaculation may offer numerous health benefits. Ejaculation from partnered sex may be particularly beneficial because:
- Sex is a form of exercise. Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and many other health problems.
- Sex may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research that followed men with erectile dysfunction found that those who had sex less than once a month were more likely to develop heart disease.
- Sex may relieve stress and improve mood.
- Having sex at least once per week may improve the immune system.
- Ejaculation may offer pain relief for chronic pain and the pain associated with several conditions.
Many men also find that ejaculation, whether alone or with a partner, helps them sleep.
Men who worry about sperm production should know that the body continually produces sperm. Frequent ejaculation will not cause the body to run out. Although it takes the average sperm about 74 days to fully mature, the body makes millions of sperm each day.
Men with healthy, normal sperm counts should not worry about the effects of regular ejaculation. Those with a low or marginal sperm count should discuss ejaculation frequency with a knowledgeable doctor or reproductive endocrinologist.
Most research suggests that frequent ejaculation offers several health benefits. There is no evidence that regular ejaculation causes any health issues. More frequent ejaculation may mean a man gains more health benefits.
The positive benefits of ejaculation do not mean that all men must ejaculate frequently. Men who prefer to avoid sex, asexual men, men for whom ejaculation is painful, and many other men may find that the discomfort of ejaculation outweighs any benefits.
Men who only want to have sex with a partner may limit their ejaculation because of relationship problems, fatigue, or because their partner does not want to have sex.
Ultimately, there is no right number of times a man should ejaculate. While frequent ejaculation may offer several health benefits, no evidence proves that never or infrequently ejaculating causes specific health issues.