If you’re an aging man, you should be concerned about your prostate health. It’s a sensitive topic, and to this day, many men prefer not to discuss it at all. Yes, it may take extra effort to make an appointment and speak frankly with your doctor about your “embarrassing” problems. But an open conversation with your doctor can literally save your life.
Whenever we talk about our well-being and our chances of developing serious health conditions, there are two sides of the story. There are established risk factors that we cannot really alter, such as our age, our race, and our genetics. But then there are lifestyle factors that we can and should change. These commonly include switching to a wholesome diet, quitting smoking, and managing a healthy body weight.
Although it makes sense to change your lifestyle to reduce your risk of disease, many men don’t want to sacrifice their guilty pleasures. These include greasy foods, overindulging in alcohol, and smoking. Well, there is some good news for those who don’t want to sacrifice it all. You can reduce your risk of prostate cancer, by having more—not less—sex.
Having sex more often can protect your prostate
A few studies conducted concurrently in various parts of the world have come to an interesting conclusion: frequent ejaculation is associated with lower incidence of some forms of prostate cancer.
One of these studies tracked 32,000 men from 1992, when they were in their 20s, to 2010. The researchers analyzed data from questionnaires regarding participants’ sexual health. They also reviewed their medical records and lab test results to double-check their prostate tumor diagnoses.
If anything, the results should really inspire you to keep it up no matter your age. Men who reported sexual activity at least 21 times a month in their 20s were 19 percent less likely to have a prostate cancer diagnosis when compared to men who had sex less than seven times a month. The benefits are even more promising for men who continue being sexually active. Those who reported frequent sexual activity in their 40s were 22 percent less likely to get diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The researchers hypothesized about the possible mechanisms at play here. One of the theories suggests that the frequency of sexual activity is a partial indicator of one’s overall health. Men who rarely engage in sexual activities may have other problems that affect their performance and sex drive. Other factors that impact prostate health, such as proper nutrition, can influence one’s sex behavior too. Another theory explains the results by claiming that regular sexual activity voids the prostate of potentially irritating substances that may lead to health problems later on.
Use it, don’t lose it
Of course, there are a few limitations to the study. Namely, it relied on the accuracy of the participants’ ability to recall and report the frequency of their sexual activities. Yes, it may be too soon to look at sex as a cure-all for the prostate. Nevertheless, there’s enough evidence to suggest that safe sexual activity on a regular basis throughout adulthood could offer some protection against prostate problems.
Just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of beginning a prostate-healthy lifestyle.