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How Often Should a Man Ejaculate?

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 10/14/2020

Updated 03/04/2024

When it comes to sexual health and well-being, we all want to know that we’re normal. Whether you masturbate a few times a day, swear it off completely or find that you’re somewhere in between, it’s reassuring to know where you fall within the spectrum of other men.

What’s the healthiest number of times that a man should ejaculate? It’s an important question beyond sexual enjoyment. While there isn’t a simple, clear-cut answer, research does suggest that ejaculating can offer a variety of mental and physical health benefits, from better sleep to positive emotions.

Below, we’ve provided insight on the benefits of ejaculation, how often you can safely make masturbation part of your routine, and we’ve also busted a few myths.

How often you should ejaculate for optimal sexual health is a complicated subject, and for at least a few men out there, it’s also a problem they’ll be taking on solo, at least from time to time. 

How often should you masturbate? Here’s what to know:

  • Like most subjects related to sex, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer on how many times a man should release sperm in a week, whether from sex or masturbation. Research suggests men do it between once a week (or even less often) to several times per day.

  • In general, it’s alright to masturbate as often as you feel is appropriate based on your preferences.

  • The benefits are worth the time. Ejaculating regularly is linked to improvements in sleep quality and mood. Research also suggests that there is a relationship between ejaculation frequency and a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men. 

  • Contrary to popular belief, there doesn’t appear to be any link between masturbation or sex and reduced sperm count, low testosterone levels or other negative health effects.

It’s far from uncommon to wonder if you’re “normal” when it comes to orgasm and ejaculation frequency, whether from masturbation or sex. 

As you might expect, frequency of ejaculation in men is all over the map. It seems to depend on who you ask, who does the asking, where they are and when.

One study found that Americans in their 20s and 60s have sex 80 times per year and 20 times per year, respectively.

A 2007 survey from the dating website CupidBay found that English men masturbate an average of eight times per week, and Scottish and Welsh men daily.

However, the survey consisted solely of CupidBay members, who may not be representative of men overall.

A 2018 global survey from sex toy company TENGA found 57 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 24 masturbate weekly. 

This survey was large in scale, with a sample size of more than 13,000 men, and the responses were weighted to be globally representative.

While these surveys are certainly helpful for getting an idea of how often men masturbate, they do have several weaknesses. 

First, both are surveys from businesses rather than academic institutions — in one case a dating website, and in the other, a sex toy brand. Relatively little information is provided about how the surveys were carried out and how participants were selected.

Second, the surveys were aimed at the public for marketing purposes and weren’t published in scientific journals. As such, they didn’t pass through the typical peer-review process that would occur prior to publication.

Still, the surveys provide useful information about masturbation frequency, suggesting that most guys masturbate somewhere between once a week and several times daily.

Just like there’s no precise target that you should aim for when it comes to weekly masturbation or sex, there’s no specific amount of times that you can ejaculate in a day. 

Most of the time, you’ll be able to masturbate or have sex again once you exit your refractory period — the period of time after you reach orgasm, in which you might find it difficult to get an erection again. 

During the refractory period, you might find that you can’t consistently get hard, or that it takes more effort than normal to reach orgasm. 

Once you understand your refractory period and plan sex around it, you might be able to have sex or masturbate several times per day, all without having to worry about delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or other issues that can affect your sexual function.

Frequent ejaculation has been linked to numerous health benefits, from a reduced risk of certain types of cancer to better sleep, moods and general quality of life.

We’ve discussed these benefits below, as well as the latest research on the positive effects that masturbation, sex and ejaculation can have on your well-being. 

Reduced Prostate Cancer Risk

Perhaps the most exciting news about ejaculation (aside from the obvious) is that it might help reduce your risk of one of the most common forms of cancer in men — prostate cancer.

In a longitudinal study of approximately 32,000 men published in the journal European Urology, researchers found that ejaculation frequency may be inversely related to the risk of developing prostate cancer.

The study found that ejaculating, whether from sexual activity or masturbation, appears to have a beneficial role, particularly for low-risk diseases. 

Researchers controlled for variables such as body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption, which can both affect prostate cancer risk, and still found a negative correlation between men’s ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer rates.

The study relied on men to self-report their ejaculation frequency, which opens the data up to a certain degree of error, but it remains a promising piece of research.

Better Sleep After Ejaculation

Have you ever noticed that you sleep easier after sex or masturbation? Reaching orgasm and ejaculating have long been thought to promote relaxation and better sleep, and recent research suggests that it can offer real benefits for your sleep quality. 

For example, one study published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health in 2019 found a link between orgasms and several aspects of sleep.

In the study, a total of 778 participants (442 women and 336 men) were surveyed online about their sexual lives and sleep habits. 

The researchers found that orgasms that occurred with a partner, whether from penetrative sex or other forms of stimulation, were associated with perceived favorable sleep outcomes.

They also found that masturbation was associated with a perception of better sleep quality and latency, meaning a shorter amount of time required to fall asleep.

However, it’s important to note that research on the relationship between sex and sleep is limited right now, making it best not to read too much into the study findings that are currently available.

Improved Mood and Quality of Life

It’s probably no surprise that ejaculation is associated with an improved mood. Increased dopamine and oxytocin levels are part of the sexual experience. Sex is also associated with higher-quality relationships. 

In a study published in the Journal of Sex Research in 2017, researchers found that people who had sex frequently reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction.

Another study, which was also published in the Journal of Sex Research, found a link between sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction.

In other words, ejaculating on a regular basis through partnered sexual activity is also linked to more satisfying relationships — something that can have a seriously positive effect on your mood and quality of life. 

There are so many ways to address this question, which we’ve seen Googled as “how many times a week should a man release sperm” and “is it bad to ejaculate every day?”

Although orgasm and ejaculation offer several benefits, there’s no specific target that you should aim for when it comes to weekly sex or masturbation.

Some people like having sex or masturbating every day, sometimes several times. Others prefer to have sex or masturbate once every few days, or even once a week or less. 

When it comes to sex, it’s always best to do what you enjoy. If you feel like releasing sperm on a daily basis, or even more than once a day, go ahead. If you don’t feel in the mood for sex, take a break and either have sex or masturbate when you’re feeling in the mood.

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So, if ejaculating often doesn’t affect your testosterone levels or cause other problems, are there any downsides to having sex or masturbating frequently?

You may have heard that frequent ejaculation is bad for you. But research largely suggests that this is not the case.

One small 2011 study evaluated the effects of daily ejaculation on sperm health and found that while sperm volume unsurprisingly decreased with daily ejaculation, things like motility percent, DNA integrity and other markers of sperm health were not affected.

This means that although you might have a reduced amount of semen with regular ejaculation, your swimmers won’t be any less potent.

That said, excessive sex or masturbation could cause issues if it causes you to develop a physical injury, or if it gets in the way of your everyday life.

Sex addiction, or compulsive sexual behavior, is a very real thing. If you just can’t stop thinking about sex, or if you find that overly frequent sex or masturbation prevents you from doing other things, it’s important to seek help.

It’s also important to seek help if you feel like you’re engaging in risky sexual behavior, such as having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

It’s also important to consider taking a break if frequent sex or masturbation is causing physical problems, such as bruising or friction burns. Take it easy for a few days and get back to it when you’re feeling better — your penis will thank you.

Choose your chew

Common Myths About Ejaculation and Health

Just like with anything sex-related, there are lots of myths out there about sex, ejaculation and your health. We’ve busted a few common ejaculation-related myths below:

  • Semen retention produces health benefits. There’s no known benefit to resisting the urge to orgasm on a long-term basis.

  • Ejaculating reduces your levels of testosterone. Although some research has found a small link between masturbation and fluctuations in free testosterone, there’s no clear evidence that ejaculating reduces your testosterone production overall.

  • Masturbating causes erectile dysfunction (ED). Masturbation doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction. However, there is a link between porn and sexual dysfunction, which we’ve discussed in our guide to pornography and ED.

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While ejaculation is good in general, there isn’t a precise target that you should aim for when it comes to daily or weekly ejaculation. Instead, it’s usually best to masturbate or have sex when you feel like it based on your own sexual desire. 

To sum things up:

  • There is no official recommendation for how often a man should ejaculate or masturbate.

  • There are some potential health benefits to more frequent ejaculations, like managing stress and improving sleep.

  • Contrary to popular belief, ejaculating often won’t damage your sperm cells or cause you to get erectile dysfunction. However, you may notice a temporary drop in your semen volume if you’re having sex or masturbating a lot in a short period of time.

In short, when it comes to ejaculation, you can’t really overdo it unless you develop an addiction. As such, the best approach is to enjoy your sex life and follow your desires, whether this involves masturbation, sex or a mix of both. 

Interested in learning more about improving your sexual health? Our guide to having a healthy sex life shares actionable tips that you can use to enjoy better, more satisfying sex. 

We also offer a range of erectile dysfunction medications and premature ejaculation treatments online, allowing you to treat common sexual performance issues that can affect men. 

9 Sources

  1. Twenge, J.M., Sherman, R.A. & Wells, B.E. (2017). Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 46, 2389-2401. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-017-0953-1
  2. Brits’ masturbation habits revealed. (2007). Retrieved from https://metro.co.uk/2007/10/16/brits-masturbation-habits-revealed-302888/
  3. World's Largest Masturbation Survey Uncovers How Traditional Views of Masculinity Prevent Men from Having Fulfilling Sex Lives & Relationships. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/worlds-largest-masturbation-survey-uncovers-how-traditional-views-of-masculinity-prevent-men-from-having-fulfilling-sex-lives—relationships-300638644.html
  4. Rider, J.R., et al. (2016). Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up. European Urology. 70 (6), 974-982. Retrieved from https://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838%2816%2900377-8/fulltext
  5. Lastella, M., O’Mullan, C., Paterson, J.L. & Reynolds, A.C. (2019). Sex and Sleep: Perceptions of Sex as a Sleep Promoting Behavior in the General Adult Population. Frontiers in Public Health. 7, 33. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409294/
  6. Frederick, D.A., Lever, J., Gillespie, B.J. & Garcia, J.R. (2017, February). What Keeps Passion Alive? Sexual Satisfaction Is Associated With Sexual Communication, Mood Setting, Sexual Variety, Oral Sex, Orgasm, and Sex Frequency in a National U.S. Study. Journal of Sex Research. 54 (2), 186-201. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26900897/
  7. Byers, E.S. (2005). Relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction: a longitudinal study of individuals in long-term relationships. Journal of Sex Research. 42 (2), 113-118. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16123841/
  8. Isenmann, E., et al. (2021). Hormonal response after masturbation in young healthy men – a randomized controlled cross-over pilot study. Basic and Clinical Andrology. 32, 32. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8697462/
  9. Does excessive masturbation have health risks? (2020, July 1). Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/ask-experts/does-excessive-masturbation-have-health-risks (..., 2019) (..., 2019)
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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