There are several claims that sexual orgasm is good for preventing breast cancer.

Able to reach orgasm is not just make a woman feel satisfied, but it also makes staying healthy breasts.[sic] Studies show that hormones released during orgasm a woman can lower the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers in Greece compared the lifestyles of 23 men with breast cancer with 76 healthy men.

They found that men who had fewer than six orgasms per month were significantly more likely to develop breast cancer.

Is this true?

  • 4
    I removed a big part of the question which was not relevant. If you are not sure whether your question is good for the site ask on meta. I don't think 3 paragraphs of "preventive measures" against downvotes or close votes are of any use here. Let the community decide whether the question is good or not (personally I think the question is OK).
    – nico
    May 16, 2012 at 16:09
  • Following Skeptics FAQ I have no doubt that this question is good for this SE website but as I was explain it, for ideological reason, some people can loose there objectify with this topic. Also I liked the citation from Wikipedia showing that there is a remaining interrogation about this question.
    – ucsky
    May 16, 2012 at 16:22
  • Well, in that case it will be the answers that will be downvoted! Feel free to put the Wikipedia quote back if you wish, don't take my edit as something imposed, but rather as a suggestion.
    – nico
    May 16, 2012 at 17:22
  • 1
    sexual orgasm? Is there any other kind of orgasm?
    – Sam I Am
    May 16, 2012 at 17:36
  • 2
    Correlation is not causation alert! I would imagine a big confounding variable would be that unhealthy people may have a lower libido and/or less opportunity for orgasm (especially from a partner). I hope anyone attempting to show show causality will show how such factors have been dealt with.
    – Oddthinking
    May 16, 2012 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


The hormone claim means that there could be a causal link. However, these hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) are released during breastfeeding and other normal activities. These hormones are therefore released during the course of other activities, and isolating their potential effects to just orgasm is tricky.

One population to examine are nulliparous (never had a child) women and men, as these groups won't be lactating; however, oxytocin is also associated with social behaviors and is known as the 'love hormone', so again, isolating orgasm as a sole producer of sufficient oxytocin to reduce breast cancer risk is difficult. It may also be that all the social activity leading up to and after orgasm also causes oxytocin release, in which case orgasm may not be the sole cause of any risk reduction.

Prolactin is also a hormone that does more than just orgasm response:

more than 300 separate actions of PRL have been reported in various vertebrates, including effects on water and salt balance, growth and development, endocrinology and metabolism, brain and behavior, reproduction, and immune regulation and protection

There is a slight reduction in risk associated with breast feeding (again, relevant because these are the same hormones):

After adjustment for parity, age at first delivery, and other risk factors for breast cancer, lactation was associated with a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women, as compared with the risk among women who were parous but had never lactated (relative risk, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.66 to 0.91); the relative risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women who had lactated, as compared with those who had not, was 1.04 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.14). With an increasing cumulative duration of lactation, there was a decreasing risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women (P for trend <0.001) but not among postmenopausal, parous women (P for trend = 0.51). A younger age at first lactation was significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of premenopausal breast cancer (P for trend = 0.003). As compared with parous women who did not lactate, the relative risk of breast cancer among women who first lactated at less than 20 years of age and breast-fed their infants for a total of six months was 0.54 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.82).

These are some of the same hormones released during orgasm; as such, these hormones might cause a risk reduction. A causal link was hypothesized in 1995:

Sexual activity in nulliparous women also protects and OT levels have been shown to rise with orgasm in women and in men. OT systems in the brain are intricately linked to oestrogen and progesterone levels, and it is possible that these hormones may modify the OT secretory response both centrally and through an effect on the sensitivity of the breast.

However, most searches for breast cancer and orgasm relates to the sexual activity of survivors, rather than the possible preventative technique of frequent orgasm.

tl;dr: There may be a link, even a causal link, but the effect appears to be pretty slight, and difficult to isolate relative to the other producers of the hormone.

  • To remove the extra factors you could compare sexual aromantics to asexual aromantics. Sep 13, 2022 at 3:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .