Frequent ejaculation in men may result in a lesser risk of prostate cancer than their peers whose ejaculations are less frequent, according to a US study.

About 32,000 men were followed by researchers from 1992 when they were in their 20s to 2010. Almost 4,000 of these men were diagnosed with prostate cancer during the said period, Reuters Health reported.

The findings showed that men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month in their 20s were 19 percent less likely to get a prostate cancer diagnosis than those who ejaculated seven times or lower monthly. Men in their 40s who ejaculated more often were 22 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Ejaculation frequency is, to some extent, a measure of overall health in that men at the very low end of ejaculation, 0 to 3 times per month, were more likely to have other [medical problems] and die prematurely from causes other than prostate cancer,” lead study author Jennifer Rider, who worked at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, told Reuters.

The findings of the study, published in the journal European Urology, suggest that ejaculation and safe sexual activity throughout adulthood could be a beneficial strategy for lowering prostate cancer risk, she added.

Prostate cancer comprises 15 percent of all new cancer diagnoses globally, researchers said, adding that known risk factors such as age, race and family history are not “modifiable.” There are also few lifestyle changes that could help men to reduce the risk.

To determine the association between cancer and ejaculation frequency, researchers analysed data from questionnaires about sexual health that men accomplished, as well as assessed medical records and lab tests to know which among the participants had prostate tumours.

A total of 192 cases of prostate cancer were recorded among men who ejaculated three times or less a month during the study period. There were 290 cases with at least 21 ejaculations per month, and 807 cases with 13 to 20 monthly ejaculations, another 1,509 cases with eight to 12 ejaculations a month, and 1,041 cases with four to seven monthly ejaculations, the report said.

One of the limitations of the study is its dependence on men to accurately recall and report how often they ejaculated. The study also followed mostly white men, so there’s a possibility that the results may be different in a more diverse population. MIMS