Will Ejaculation Shrink The Prostate
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Is Sex Good For Your Prostate
Whether or not sex is good for prostate problems is a question many men wonder, and its an important one that needs answering.
The prostate plays an active role during sexual activity.
Along with other structures, the prostate is responsible for making fluid in semen, which helps transport your sperm when you ejaculate.
The effect regular ejaculations have on the prostate should become a significant talking point, especially amongst men who are experiencing prostate problems.
This article will determine whether a healthy sex life can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Pde5 Inhibitors: Viagra Levitra And Cialis
Approved by the FDA in 1998, sildenafil revolutionized the way we think about and treat erectile dysfunction, largely because it is so easy to use and effective. Since then the FDA has approved three closely related drugs, vardenafil , avanafil and tadalafil .
All four drugs work in a similar fashion, by affecting the normal physiology of the penis. In particular, they block PDE5, an enzyme that breaks down the erection-producing chemical cyclic guanosine monophosphate. This enables the penis to fill with blood and to stay erect long enough for intercourse. Of course, its important to realize that none of these drugs is an aphrodisiac. Youve got to feel sexually stimulated in order for them to work.
The main differences between the drugs have to do with timing: how quickly they begin to work, and how long their effects last . Levitra may start working slightly faster than Viagra although the FDA says that like Viagra, it should be taken about an hour before sexual activity. Some studies suggest that Levitra may help some men who dont respond to Viagra. And while some doctors are skeptical about this claim, theres no harm in trying Levitra or Cialis if Viagra doesnt work for you.
Cialis has also been approved to treat men with both erectile dysfunction and BPH. The dose is lower, usually 5 milligrams per day.
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Study 2 Sexual Activity And Prostate Cancer Risk In Men Diagnosed At A Younger Age
A case-control study at the British Association of Urological Surgeons Section of Oncology has collected information from over 800 individuals regarding their sexual activityparticularly how often they masturbated.
It was revealed that frequent masturbation activity is a factor that decreases the risk of prostate cancer in older men.
While the result is inconsistent with men in their 20s, the findings point to the different effects for older men. Somehow, frequent masturbation has a protective effect on the prostate gland, indicating the benefits of masturbation.
Sex And Your Prostate Cancer Risk
How can two pieces of research come to such different conclusions? These studies are hard to do and the results may be more confusing than enlightening, says Erik P. Castle, MD, FACS, an associate professor of urology at the Mayo Clinic.
Asking men to talk about their sex life is not a reliable way to get evidence for a study, adds John Milner, MD, an assistant professor of urology at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. As of 2012, theres not enough evidence to say anything one way or the other about the number of ejaculations and the risk of prostate cancer.
So what can you do for prostate cancer prevention? For one thing, resist the urge to light up a post-coital cigarette. A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that cigarette smoking increases your risk for dying from prostate cancer. The study, which included more than 5,000 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and were smokers, found that these men had a 61 percent higher chance of dying from the cancer than non-smokers.
Here are some other tips from the American Cancer Society for reducing your prostate cancer risk:
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What Is The Prostate
Unfortunately, we rarely hear about the prostate outside of the context of cancer. Yet, it is an extremely important gland for your health and sexual function.
The prostate sits just beneath your bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder and semen to the penis. This glands main job is to produce the fluid that makes semen by mixing with sperm from your testicles. The prostate regulates the viscosity of your semen too, by adding a protein that makes it more watery.
You might know that testosterone plays a role in maintaining your prostates health. Alongside regulating your sex drive and your muscle mass, testosterone is often used to treat prostate cancer too.
Frequent Ejaculation Lowers Prostate Cancer Risk
If you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, research suggests that you may want to make more frequent date nights in bed, or simply engage in more self-pleasure. A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that more frequent ejaculation correlated with a lower incidence of a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Specifically, the study spanned 18 years and looked at men between the ages of 2029 years as well as 4049 years. Men in the younger group who ejaculated 21 or more times per month dropped their risk of prostate cancer by 19% compared to those who ejaculated between four and seven times per month. And men in the older group received, even more, benefit from more regular orgasms: Those who ejaculated at least 21 times per month reduced their risk by 22%.
Study authors concluded that even if you’re not able to have that many orgasms each month, ejaculation seems to have a protective effect on the prostateso simply having more orgasms can lower your risk of prostate cancer.
In the past, there was a suggested link between greater sexual activity and increased incidents of prostate cancer because of higher levels of the male hormone testosterone and its effect on promoting cancer cell growth. However, enough studies have shown the opposite relationshipthat sex lowers your riskthat many experts believe the more sex you have, the better.
Does Sexual Activity Improve Prostate Health
Regular ejaculation enhances the immune systems response to the presence of cancer cells.
According to a report published in JAMA, men who reported having more than 20 ejaculations per month were 33% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
These measured ejaculations included sexual intercourse, nocturnal emissions, and masturbation. Researchers evaluated nearly 30,000 patients, of whom 1,449 developed prostate cancer.
Assuming the men answered the survey questions honestly, the results indicated that active sex life is not associated with higher cancer risk in most men.
An Australian study of 2,338 men also came to a similar conclusion. This study found that men who averaged 4.6 to seven ejaculations a week were 36% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 70 compared to men who ejaculated less than 2.3 times a week on average.
The study found no connection between prostate cancer and the number of sex partners.
Masturbation Ejaculation And Prostate Cancer
One study found that men who reported more than 21 ejaculations per month had a 31 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than men who reported four to seven ejaculations a month. Other studies looking for a link between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer have yielded conflicting results, however.
What We Dont Know
While research is promising, thereâs still a lot scientists need to learn. Some things to consider:
- Thereâs no proof that ejaculating more actually causes lower chances of prostate cancer. For now, doctors just know theyâre connected. It may be that men who do it more tend to have other healthy habits that are lowering their odds.
- Ejaculation doesnât seem to protect against the most deadly or advanced types of prostate cancer. Experts donât know why.
- Scientists donât know if ejaculation during sex vs. masturbation has the same benefits. Some research has found that the makeup of semen is different for each. For example, semen during sex has higher levels of sperm and some chemicals. Itâs possible that these could make a difference in a manâs odds of having prostate cancer.
- Not all studies have found a benefit. The 2016 study got attention because of its size and length . But some smaller studies have not shown the same good results. A few even found that some men, specifically younger men, who masturbated more had slightly higher chances of prostate cancer. Some researchers wonder if a manâs age may affect whether more ejaculation helps.
Medical Procedures Can Cause Psa To Rise
Anything that traumatically interferes with the architecture around the prostate gland can make PSA go up, says Dr. Milner. One of the most common causes of significantly high PSA from this type of trauma is the placing of a catheter into the bladder.
Another cause is a prostate or bladder exam that involves passing a scope or taking a biopsy.
Since it takes about two to three days for PSA to go down by half, you should wait two to three weeks after this type of trauma to do a PSA test, Milner says.
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Prostate Cancer Diagnoses And Treatment
All cancer is complex, but prostate cancer testing and treatment is particularly complicated.
In some men with prostate cancer, the cancer will grow very slowly, and wont significantly affect them during their lifetime. Other mens prostate cancer can grow and spread very quickly. At the moment, there is no test that can tell what type of prostate cancer a man has when he is diagnosed.
Because some treatments for prostate cancer can cause side effects which might impact on quality of life, its important for men to discuss with their doctor all their options for testing and treatment, and to discuss these with their partners and families. These might include watchful waiting, which means waiting to see what the cancer does over time, radiation, surgery or taking medications.
You can read more about what kinds of questions to ask your doctors about prostate cancer testing and treatment on the Cancer Council website.
What Is The Link Between Masturbation And Prostate Cancer
It is the glands role in semen production that has led scientists to a possible link between masturbation and prostate cancer. Whilst nothing has been confirmed with any certainty, it is thought that frequent ejaculatory activity whether that is masturbation, sex, or wet dreams as a young man means better prostate health as you age.
This is believed to be due to the fact that, in early adulthood, your prostate is still developing and that what happens in this period can affect the glands health for the rest of your life. This shouldnt be surprising. In fact, its a similar process to that of sunburn greater exposure to the sun as a child means a higher risk of cancer as you age.
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How May Erectile Dysfunction Affect My Sex Life
Most men find that their sex life is different after prostate cancer treatment. Some men question their manliness when they cannot have an erection or find that they are not interested in sex. This can happen even if you are not currently in an intimate relationship. You may find this upsetting. Even if one of the medications or erection aids is helpful, having sex using these things may take some getting used to. It may not feel entirely natural. You can talk with your doctor or healthcare team about these feelings. Counseling may also help.
If you have an intimate partner, it is important for you to talk to your partner about how you are feeling. There is an old saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. Not everyone wants a sexual relationship. Dont try to guess or assume what your partner wants. Have an open and honest discussion with your partner.
This may seem unnecessary in long-term relationships as people tend to assume they know all there is to know about their partner but this is not always the case. With time, you and your partner may be able to find satisfying ways to have a sex life even though you have erectile dysfunction. Your partner will also have concerns about your sex life as well as concerns about your health. Talking about your feelings is very important during this time.
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Study Raises Biological Questions
Researchers say the findings raise several questions about the biological role of sexual activity and ejaculation in the development of prostate cancer.
Leitzmann says that until now, sexual activity had been associated with prostate cancer risk due to the hormone hypothesis. The male sex hormone testosterone is known to spur the growth of prostate cancer cells and it also fuels the male sex drive. Therefore, it had been proposed that very sexually active men had a higher risk of prostate cancer because they had higher testosterone levels.
But he says this theory has its shortcomings because testosterone levels alone do not predict prostate cancer risk and they do not appear to correlate with sexual desire as much as previously thought.
Instead, researchers say ejaculation may protect the prostate through a variety of biological mechanisms that merit further research, such as:
- Flushing out cancer-causing substances. Frequent ejaculation may help flush out retained chemical carcinogens in the prostate glands.
Reducing tension. The release of psychological tension that accompanies ejaculation may lower nervous activity associated with stress and slow the growth of potentially cancerous cells in the prostate.
Promoting rapid turnover of fluids. Frequent ejaculation may help prevent the development of mini-crystals that can block ducts within the prostate gland, reducing cancer risk.
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Surgery Effect On Ejaculation
Surgery can affect ejaculation in different ways. For example, if surgery removes the prostate and seminal vesicles, a man can no longer make semen. Surgery might also damage the nerves that come from the spine and control emission . Note that these are not the same nerve bundles that pass next to the prostate and control erections . The surgeries that cause ejaculation problems are discussed in more detail here.
Will Treatment Cause Erectile Dysfunction
When youre sexually excited, nerves cause tissues in your penis to relax, allowing blood to flow into the organ. The nerves that control erection are very delicate. Surgery or radiation for prostate cancer may damage them enough to cause ED. When you have ED, you cant get or keep an erection.
Radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the prostate gland. When your surgeon removes the gland, they may damage the nerves and blood vessels that run along it. If theyre damaged enough, you wont be able to get an erection following the procedure.
Today, doctors can do nerve-sparing surgery, which helps prevent permanent ED. Your surgeon can still touch those nerves and blood vessels, causing ED as a temporary side effect. Many men have trouble getting an erection for a few weeks, months, or even years after their procedure.
Radiation therapy also damages blood vessels and the nerves that control erection. Up to half of men who have radiation for prostate cancer experience ED afterward. In some men, this symptom will improve with time. Sometimes radiation side effects dont appear until a few months after the treatment. If ED starts late, it may not be as likely to go away.
A few treatments can help with ED until youre able to have erections on your own again.
Additional treatments include the following:
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How Can Prostatitis Affect My Life
Prostatitis can be very painful. If youre unsure about whether the condition can be treated, this can lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness. Prostatitis can also lower your sex drive, because the pain can make it hard to enjoy sexual activity.
Reaching out to family and partners for support can help in dealing with ongoing prostatitis. Although it can be an unpleasant condition, there are treatments that can help with the symptoms.
Ejaculation Frequency And Prostate Cancer
Despite the importance of prostate cancer, its causes remain unknown. Scientists do know that genetics plays a strong role, and they have sound evidence that diet and other lifestyle factors are also important.
Since the prostate is a reproductive organ that produces fluid for the ejaculate, researchers have long wondered if sexual factors influence a man’s risk of prostate cancer, but a Harvard study provides good news for sexually active men.
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Lowering Prostate Cancer Risk
While medicine is not yet able to change PCa risk factors such as genetics, considerable research goes into lifestyle changes that can lower the odds of developing PCa. These include things like diet, exercise, stress management, quitting smoking, and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins. Apparently, its time to put sexual behavior on that list.
Its Complicated: Enlarged Prostate And Sex
BPH and sexual function
Prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , and erectile dysfunction are separate problems. Both increase with age, but one causes problems in the bathroom and the other in the bedroom. However, the two are somewhat linked.
BPH happens when your prostate becomes enlarged, but cancer isnt the cause. A mans prostate continues growing throughout most of his adult life. This is why many older men are affected by the condition.
ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection. It can be caused by physical conditions such as:
It can also be caused by psychological issues.
These two conditions dont necessarily seem linked, but certain treatments that relieve BPH can cause ED and other sexual side effects. On the other hand, treating ED can improve enlarged prostate symptoms.
- inability to empty the bladder
- a weak urine stream
A surgery called transurethral resection of the prostate can help relieve these symptoms. Men who have this procedure often experience sexual side effects after surgery.
Between 50 and 75 percent of men experience retrograde ejaculation after TURP, according to Harvard Medical School. This means that semen released during orgasm enters the bladder rather than exiting the penis. Retrograde ejaculation is sometimes called dry orgasm. Its not harmful but can affect male fertility.
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