Medically reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/5/22
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 off self-love completely or find that you’re somewhere in between, it’s reassuring to know where you fall within the spectrum of other men.
But knowing about ejaculation frequency isn’t solely about feeling normal. Ejaculation has been linked to several health benefits, and you want to reap those, right? If scientists claim orgasming is good for your health, then why deprive yourself?
When it comes to how often you should masturbate or have sex in any given week, there isn’t a simple, clear-cut answer. However, research does suggest that ejaculating can offer a variety of mental and physical health benefits, from better sleep to positive emotions.
There’s also no scientific evidence to suggest that frequent masturbation or a generally high frequency of ejaculation have any negative impact on your sperm health or overall well-being.
Below, we’ve dug into the science on masturbation to provide some more insight on the benefits of ejaculation, as well as how often you can safely make masturbation part of your routine.
We’ve also busted a few myths about ejaculation, such as a belief that chronic masturbation can reduce your testosterone levels, or that masturbating can prevent you from having a healthy sex life.
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 that there is a relationship between ejaculation frequency and a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men.
Ejaculating frequently, whether from masturbation or sex, is also linked to improvements in sleep quality and mood.
As for how often men should masturbate, there’s no precise figure. In general, it’s alright to masturbate as often as you feel is appropriate based on your preferences.
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, ejaculation frequency in men is all over the map. It seems to depend on who you ask, who does the asking, where they are and when.
In our guide to how often couples have sex, we found that the typical American adult has sex about 50 to 70 times per year, which is approximately once or twice a week.
According to data published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, people in relationships had the most sex, with single adults and older adults having sex less frequently.
In general, it’s easier to find data on masturbation frequency than ejaculation frequency. While not every masturbation “session” is purely a solo one, several surveys provide detailed data on how often men report rubbing one out.
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.
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.
Perhaps the most exciting news about ejaculation is that it might help to 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 in preventing 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.
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.
In short, ejaculating may have a positive impact on your sleep habits. 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.
Reaching orgasm and ejaculating feels good, meaning it’s no surprise that it’s associated with an improved mood.
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 and better sexual communication.
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.
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.
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.
Just like there’s no precise target that you should aim for when it comes to weekly masturbation or sex, there 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.
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:
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.
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, should you want to, you won’t be any less able to get your partner pregnant.
With this 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.
Ejaculating, whether from sexual intercourse or masturbation, has several benefits, from feeling good to helping you relax and enjoy a deep, refreshing night’s sleep.
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.
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. 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.