4 Benefits of Not Ejaculating and Practicing Semen Retention

Benefits of retrograde ejaculation

The benefits of not ejaculating might surprise you.

Men are always looking for an extra edge. It’s in our nature to constantly seek new ways in which we can become better, both at performing labor and tasks, and as human beings. We ‘re constantly striving to improve our well being, most often in one of the following four areas:

  1. Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Spiritual
  4. Sexual

If in pursuit of any of these, or even all, it may be surprising to learn of the benefits of not ejaculating. While it may seem counterintuitive, abstaining from ejaculation for a set period of time – be it a day, a week, or even months at a time – can have tangible positive effects across many aspects of our lives.

While the conversation around avoiding ejaculation may seem to have gotten much more popular as of late, the truth is the original concept has been around for centuries. Our ancestors began hunting for the physical, mental, spiritual, and other benefits of semen retention far before it became an internet fad. While they may not have known the scientific benefits of not ejaculating like we do today, the notions were evident in the form of Taoism and tantric sex. 

Perhaps the best thing about willfully avoiding ejaculation is the fact that there appears to be no downside. Regardless of your own personal reasons for doing so, there are no known health risks associated with prolonged semen retention. On the other hand, there may be several benefits that we are still learning the true extent of today.

What Happens When You Don’t Ejaculate and Commit to Semen Retention?

To put it simply, not that much. Sperm that is not expelled is simply absorbed back into the body. This fact likely has led to the idea that not ejaculating can raise testosterone levels. The additional effects of abstaining from sexual activity or masturbation can go beyond physiology, though. 

1. The Mental Benefits of Not Ejaculating

Semen retention proponents cite a myriad of positive mental and emotional outcomes to this practice. You may notice a reduction of stress or anxiety in your daily life, along with a corresponding increase in motivation when it comes to your work, completing projects around the house, or the pursuit of other goals. Perhaps most obvious is the renewed sense of self-control you’ll gain from abstinence. 

All of these benefits can be traced back to the aforementioned increase in testosterone levels. Think about how you felt ready to attack every day when you were younger—when your body was secreting T at its maximum capacity. You may be able to recapture some of that same vigor by avoiding ejaculating regularly.

2. The Spiritual Benefits of Not Ejaculating

Many men who have practiced semen retention have reported greater overall happiness and satisfaction in their lives. Others have purportedly experienced deeper, more meaningful relationships with their significant others. They claim that taking the focus away from sexual pursuits allowed them to instead concentrate on the other facets of their love lives, like communication about sex and their lives in general. 

While it is nigh impossible to prove these anecdotal assertions, often discussed by the no fap movement and community for example, spending time talking with men who have encountered these benefits themselves can be an eye opening experience for anyone considering following the same path.

3. The Physical Benefits of Not Ejaculating

Benefits of retrograde ejaculation

While there is still a strong need for more research in this area, the bulk of published studies have revolved around the physical benefits of not ejaculating. Unsurprisingly, many of these effects are correlated again with higher levels of testosterone. Things like increases in mood and energy along with decreases in body fat are the same kind of results one might expect from more T. 

Perhaps the most exciting news is that the scientific benefits of not ejaculating may manifest more quickly than you’d think. A systematic review of current research conducted in 2018 found that abstaining for less than 24 hours was associated with improved sperm motility. 

The longer one doesn’t ejaculate, the more positive the results. The benefits of not ejaculating for a week were explored in 2003. It was found that among the 28 volunteer participants, T levels maxed out on the seventh day. A study conducted two years prior resulted in elevated testosterone levels in those who did not ejaculate for three weeks straight. This all points to the physiological benefits manifesting quite quickly. 

Elevated testosterone levels have been linked to the following improvements:

  • Thicker hair
  • Increased muscle growth
  • Greater energy levels
  • Improved sperm quality

As mentioned before, these same physical benefits can also aid our mental and emotional states. It is an exciting cycle of positivity that can potentially start after as little as one day of abstinence.

4. The Sexual Benefits of Not Ejaculating

Benefits of retrograde ejaculation

Many men who have abstained from ejaculating for a significant period of time have reported that doing so has actually improved their sex lives. A longer, more intense orgasm is the most often credited result. This belief can be seen in ancient practices like tantric sex, or more modern ones like edging – that is, bringing oneself just to the point of orgasm before stopping and beginning again.

Edging has been reported by the International Society for Sexual Medicine as a method of increasing the pleasurable feeling of orgasm for some men. It may also be beneficial as an exercise to help support in curing premature ejaculation.

Choosing Not to Ejaculate Can Have Many Sexual Health Benefits

There are multiple health benefits for men who decide not to ejaculate—be they mental, spiritual, physical, or even sexual. While more research is necessary to unequivocally determine the time period of these benefits and their exact nature, the bottom line for men who choose to abstain is that they aren’t doing any harm to themselves, making the choice purely personal in nature. 

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If you have been searching for a way to gain renewed control over your life and possibly experience these health benefits for yourself, deciding not to ejaculate might be the right choice.

The medical professionals at Premier Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article What is semen retention and are there benefits? from the website ro.co for the keyword benefits of retrograde ejaculation.

While it may seem like just one more online fad, the concept of semen retention (essentially avoiding ejaculation) is nothing new. 

The ancient Chinese philosophy known as Taoism taught that sexual self-control was a way of maintaining and increasing one’s life force and that ejaculation actually depletes it. Many of the practices men employ to achieve semen retention, such as edging and retrograde ejaculation, come directly from Taoist teachings (Wile 1992).

What is semen retention? 

Put simply, semen retention is the practice of not ejaculating. It’s not the same as abstinence, though. Many men who practice semen retention are still able to have orgasms, they just don’t ejaculate. 

Semen retention may also be confused with the NoFap movement, which aims to help those with porn and sex addictions. Although NoFap and abstinence encouragement communities may overlap with people interested in semen retention, this practice is different.

Why do people try semen retention? Where does the idea come from? 

If you browse through the popular subReddit r/Semenretention you’ll come across claims that semen retention leads to things like better memory, a bigger penis, and super strength. These Reddit posters read that the energy normally lost from sexual activity––specifically, the loss of semen––can be directed into other parts of life. 

The modern semen retention movement has its roots in ancient Taoist practices of self-control. In this tradition, semen is equated to the male life force. Losing semen is thought to lead to mental and physical laziness (Wile 1992). 

Self-control can be empowering, and many religious traditions and philosophies encourage self-control in different ways. 

Judaism has fasts throughout the year, Hinduism encourages awareness and control over the senses, and some denominations of Christianity forbid sex before marriage. All of these practices aim to direct energy away from immediate gratification and towards spiritual, mental, and physical growth (Bland 2008).

Does semen retention have benefits?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest any benefits of semen retention. In fact, some studies suggest that ejaculating could have positive effects, like decreasing the risk of prostate cancer (Rider 2016). 

Despite the lack of evidence, men on the subreddit r/Semenretention claim tangible health benefits including reduced anxiety, increased energy, and even skin gaining a glow. Posters on r/Semenretention also cite a number of dubious experts and scientific sources who support such sexual health claims. 

Even as the practice has strayed from its Taoist roots, the community surrounding semen retention more closely resembles a religious one than a group of sexual science devotees. Again, there is no evidence to back up any of the purported benefits.

Abstaining, on the other hand, may increase testosterone levels and semen volume, leading to more pleasurable orgasms (Exton 2001).

Is semen retention the same thing as abstinence? 

Semen retention is practiced in many different ways and for a variety of reasons. Some who wish to increase their “male energy” (one benefit claimed by Reddit posters) may choose to be completely abstinent and refrain from sexual activity altogether. 

Others choose to masturbate and have sex while still practicing semen retention. Those who engage in sexual activity while trying to retain semen mostly use two methods: edging and retrograde ejaculation.

Edging involves coming right up to the point of orgasm and stopping. Edging is also practiced as a way to treat premature ejaculation and to encourage sexual control (Martin, 2017). 

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when you have an orgasm, but instead of semen releasing through the penis, it’s diverted back up into the bladder. Retrograde ejaculation, also referred to as a dry orgasm, is a medical condition caused by certain medications (Parnham, 2016). This is different from those who intentionally employ techniques to retain semen. 

Are there any risks?

Semen retention does come with some risks. Not ejaculating can lead to a condition called epididymal hypertension, more commonly known as blue balls. 

During an erection, blood builds up in the penis and testicles. This blood normally dissipates after ejaculation or when arousal comes to an end. If an erection persists without relief it can become painful and the balls can become enlarged, sometimes turning blue (Chalet 2000).

How is it done? 

Semen retention can be achieved through abstinence, edging, or retrograde ejaculation. Here’s a bit more detail on each:

These techniques may take practice before you can get them right. It may help to experiment while masturbating before trying semen retention methods with a partner. Make sure to discuss your goal with any sexual partners to ensure they understand and are comfortable with what you’re trying to achieve. 

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Semen retention isn’t the magic bullet to better health as some online forums make it out to be. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and healthy sex life are more likely to provide the physical and emotional benefits you need to live a happier life.


    — Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Semen Retention: Pros, Cons, And More from the website www.bensnaturalhealth.com for the keyword benefits of retrograde ejaculation.

    Our bodies are a hormonal hot pot, and men are constantly looking for that special edge. 

    They seek new opportunities to take their sex life to the next level. 

    For many, that’s where semen retention comes into play. 

    Semen retention is about cultivating and putting your creative sexual energy to use. 

    It is said to increase sexual, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being by leaps and bounds. But how much of it is actually true? 

    Are there any substantial semen retention studies that can support these claims? Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of semen retention.

    What Is Semen Retention?

    According to a study, 58% of men between the ages of 20 and 29 reported ejaculating over 3 times a week. In comparison, the proportion of 3 ejaculations a week dropped to 32% among 40- to 49-year-olds. The frequency continued to decline among older individuals. (1)

    Semen retention means avoiding ejaculating. However, it can be different from abstinence. Even if you try semen retention, you can still have an orgasm – you just won’t ejaculate. 

    Ejaculation releases semen from the penis, whereas orgasm is linked with sexual climax. It is when your feelings of relaxation and pleasure are in high gear. 

    In other words, ejaculation is what happens in the pelvis, and orgasm is what occurs in the mind. To experience the semen retention effects, you would intentionally avoid ejaculating.

    Benefits of retrograde ejaculation

    How Is It Done?

    There are a couple of ways to achieve semen retention. You can have sex and stop before you ejaculate. You can abstain from intercourse completely or teach yourself to orgasm without having to ejaculate. All in all, it takes an ample amount of self-control. 

    A masturbation aid device (such as personal lubricants and masturbators) combined with some behavioral techniques can help. Like the pause and squeeze technique. 

    Have your partner squeeze the end of the penis and keep the squeeze for a couple of seconds. Wait for a bit until the urge dissipates. 

    This practice is not something new. On the contrary, it has deep roots in Taoist sexual practices. It exists in other cultures as well. But, under different names, such as sexual continence, maithuna (Hindu Tantra), coitus reservatus (Latin), sahaja (Hindu Yoga), and others. There aren’t many semen retention books and studies that offer some insight into this practice. 

    However, you shouldn’t confuse semen retention with today’s practices such as “Orgasm control” and “NoFap.” Orgasm control means delaying ejaculation and orgasm up to the hilt and then allowing both of them at the end of the intercourse. 

    The NoFap term means avoiding solo sex (masturbating and watching porn). But, people can have sex with a partner, ejaculate, and orgasm. 

    Semen retention is also different from retrograde ejaculation. This condition occurs when the semen enters the bladder, rather than exiting through the penis. As a result, little to no semen comes out. 

    Is It Healthy to Retain Sperm?

    There isn’t enough semen retention science to know for sure whether this practice can be beneficial in the long run. But, experts say it may have potential benefits. 

    When men try to hold in their semen for an extended period of time, this practice could help them enhance their:

    • Physical health
    • Mental health
    • Spiritual well-being

    2018 research indicates that shorter abstinence (less than 24h) substantially improved sperm motility. This semen retention timeline proved particularly beneficial for progressive velocity and motility. It might also amplify physical rejuvenation and increase testosterone levels and muscle mass. (2)

    With that in mind, semen retention and testosterone are important to talk about. When the body doesn’t expel the sperm, it absorbs it back into the system. This is where the idea of semen retention and testosterone boost came into the picture. 

    Studies show that men had higher testosterone concentrations after 3 weeks of sexual abstinence. So, even if acute abstinence won’t change the relationship between the nervous and endocrine systems for orgasms, it can create higher serum testosterone levels. (3)

    But, semen retention effects could go beyond the physical benefits. It could boost motivation, self-confidence, focus, and energy. Those with better self-confidence may be less likely to struggle with anxiety. 

    By focusing less on sex and various sexual practices, men can improve their concentration and pursue other achievements and goals. 

    The semen retention power may have spiritual benefits as well. You can use the time to build a deeper and stronger emotional bond with your partner while you aren’t focusing on the physical side of the relationship. It’s about getting a stronger sense of purpose and overall harmony. 

    Benefits of retrograde ejaculation

    Does Sperm Build Up if Not Released?

    No. Avoiding ejaculating won’t cause any harm to the body, as the sperm won’t build up if you don’t release it. The body will reabsorb it, without causing any adverse events on fertility or sex drive. But, there could be some side effects in men who avoid or prolong ejaculating when sexually aroused.

    Epididymal hypertension, a condition people know as “blue balls,” can happen. This occurs when sexual arousal in men doesn’t end in ejaculation or orgasm. 

    The extra blood that remains in the testicles and penis during an erection, stays there for a long time. This is causing some scrotal pain. 

    How Long Can Sperm Retention Last?

    There is a lot of gratification online for semen retention. People are praising this process for helping them alleviate their memory problems, depression, anxiety, overall fatigue, and other minor health problems. And many men swear by it.

    Some do the sperm retention techniques for days, others do it for weeks at a time. It is different for everyone. 

    The problem is that there is not enough evidence to support these claims. What we do know is that avoiding masturbating can help with sperm motility. 

    Read more  Semen Retention: Pros, Cons, And More

    Although masturbation won’t trigger infertility, it could slightly reduce the sperm count. And when trying to conceive, every little thing matters. 

    This is why men might have to avoid masturbating for 4 to 5 days before sperm collection for IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) and IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) procedures. 

    Benefits of retrograde ejaculation

    How Often Should a Man Release Sperm?

    How many times a month should a man release sperm? This is a question that often pops up among those interested in ejaculation problems. 

    There is no exact frequency as to how often you should ejaculate. There isn’t any full-proof evidence either as to whether failing to ejaculate will cause health issues.

    But, a plethora of studies found that higher ejaculation frequency reduces the odds of prostate cancer. A 2016 report indicates that ejecting semen from the male body over 20 times a month decreased prostate cancer risk by roughly 20%. This is a sizable amount. 

    With that in mind, some Taoist teachers suggest men ejaculate 20% to 30% of the time they have intercourse. In other words, 2-3 times out of every 10 sessions. Ideally, you should pay attention to your personal interests, emotions, and needs. 

    You can try any movement or pose that feels comfortable to you. If not ejaculating feels refreshing for you, then you can enjoy the intercourse. But, if semen retention sounds downright taxing, then you can go ahead and skip it. 

    What Happens if You Hold Your Sperm for Too Long?

    The concept of semen retention is not harmful. There aren’t any recorded side effects. 

    So, if you like to do it, there is no harm in it. But, it might depend on how low you squeeze it. If you hold the penis at the glans (the tip or head), most of the semen can be held in the urethra. Some of the semen could back up into the bladder as well. 

    If most of it goes to the bladder, this is retrograde ejaculation. The semen then comes out the next time you urinate. 

    Are There Any Benefits to Not Ejaculating?

    There is very little scientific evidence to support the benefits of not ejaculating. Despite the lack of data, experts claim that abstaining from masturbation can be a practical strategy for improving sexual self-regulation. And self-regulation can be empowering. 

    The same thing applies to semen retention. It can encourage better control over the senses, awareness, physical, and mental growth. (4)

    Since semen retention can increase T-levels, it may also help you get thicker hair, more energy, and muscle growth. 

    This makes it an enticing possibility for reaping some physical benefits. Now, it may feel like a burden from time to time. But, if you master different techniques to a point where you feel comfortable with the whole idea, then you might find it beneficial. 

    However, if you want to try semen retention to manage an underlying health condition, like erectile dysfunction, then, it’s important to talk to a specialist and ask for advice. It’s crucial that you get proper treatment so that you can alleviate the problem.

    Are Any Risks?

    There don’t seem to be any risks with this practice. If you feel like it, then you can do it. 

    But, if you struggle with problems like retrograde ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and premature ejaculation, talk to your healthcare provider. They can refer you to a specialist that can help get to the root of the problem and alleviate the issue. 

    Some experts might suggest edging, as it can prolong the duration of sexual activity and offer better orgasm. But, it depends on what is causing the problem and whether you need treatment. 

    When to Stop Preventing Ejaculation

    Rarely do any men experience a problem with semen retention. Most of the time, this process is simple and seems comfortable. But, everyone’s body is different. So, you should pay attention to anything that seems out of the ordinary. 

    For instance, if you develop any aches, discomfort, or pain, when trying to retain semen, stop doing it. You should also refrain from the practice if you can’t ejaculate when you want. 

    Consult a specialist if you have trouble ejaculating and you want to father a child. There could be something else causing your problems. 

    Benefits of Ejaculating

    There is a wide range of physiological and psychological health benefits associated with penetration and ejaculation. There is no exact number as to how often a man should ejaculate to obtain these results. But, ejaculation can: (5)

    • Ease symptoms of migraine
    • Enhance sperm quality
    • Help with sleep
    • Improve the immune system

    Sex and ejaculation are beneficial for overall happiness and health. Intercourse is a form of physical activity that gets the blood pumping and releases oxytocin. Most importantly, it helps you connect with your partner on a much deeper level, thus offering contentment. 

    Right after ejaculating, many people experience a better mood. Ejaculation could also come in handy for relieving chronic pain. 

    While sex can be a good option for relieving stress. This is very important when you are trying to sleep with a chronic condition. 

    But, when ejaculation comes with pain and discomfort, that’s when you need to book an appointment with a specialist. Painful ejaculation could be a red flag for inflammation, infection, or any type of blockage in the lower urinary tract. Whether that is in the urethra, seminal vesicles, prostate, or bladder. Your doctor can help pinpoint the symptoms and offer adequate treatment.


    There is a strong belief that semen retention could promote spiritual and physical energy. When you control your ejaculation, you are preserving what seems to be an ample amount of energy. 

    By stopping the penis from ejaculating, the energy found in sperm, could return to the central nervous system and supply it with energy. Plus, a lot of men claim that it is a panacea capable of helping them with a range of issues. Predominantly with anxiety, bad mood, and low testosterone. 

    Although there isn’t enough research to support these claims, semen retention shouldn’t negatively affect your overall physical or emotional health. Whether you should try semen retention depends on your endgame. 

    Do you like to abstain from ejaculating because it feels more comfortable or enjoyable? If so, you can try it. There are no serious adverse reactions that could come with it.

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    About the Author: Tung Chi