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Semen Retention: Is It Harmful? Plus Benefits, Side Effects & More

Are you curious about all the fuss around semen retention and nofap? Wondering if there are any benefits? Keep reading to find out.

6 min read
Semen Retention: Is It Harmful? Plus Benefits, Side Effects & More

Have you ever wondered how to improve your sexual life by lasting longer? Lasting longer means a longer time duration between the start of penetrative sex and climax. There are several tehniques that help improve this, such as edging.

Another technique that is believed to help serve this purpose is semen retention. To know what is semen retention and semen retention power, read further.

What is Semen Retention?

Semen retention is basically a practice of avoiding ejaculation. To avoid ejaculating, one can avoid sexual activity.

Where Did This Idea Originate?

Although the idea of semen retention seems to be a recent discovery, it is not. The practice is as old as humankind. It has been practised for a variety of reasons. The many reasons that are believed are:

  • Frequent semen ejaculation weakens the body.
  • Retaining semen improves fertility, sexual pleasure, and physical health.
  • The practice helps improve spiritual and mental health. It gives a new direction to sexual energies.
  • Semen retention is also believed to be a critical step in the journey of self-control.

Is it the Same as No Fap?

No Fap is a concept that means no masturbation. It, too, is related to the context of semen retention. However, it has a slight difference.

No Fap originally advocated treating people who wished to recover from compulsive sexual behaviour. It is used to improve relationships. Hence, No Fap is basically a part of breaking the addiction or habit of porn.

Why People Engage in Semen Retention?

A number of reasons are responsible for people trying semen retention. People try the technique for several possible benefits of semen retention. Some reasons for semen retention are listed below:

Mental Health

Semen retention benefits for mental health improvement bring a number of positive changes. Some of these benefits are:

  • Increased confidence and motivation.
  • Reduction in anxiety and better focus.
  • Better memory and improved concentration levels.

Physical Health

Semen retention is also associated with many physical health benefits. Some of them are:

  • Deeper voice and radiant skin
  • Better weight loss and increased testosterone levels
  • More muscle mass and physical rejuvenation

Spiritual Health

Spiritual health is often related to semen retention. Some benefits of semen retention that are believed are:

  • A better and greater sense of purpose.
  • A sense of harmony.
  • Deeper and stronger bonds in a relationship.

Is There Any Research to Support Semen Retention Benefits?

Although the topic of semen retention does not have any solid studies or research to prove its authenticity, there are certain studies that show promising observations. Longer and additional research facilities are needed for some solid evidence.

The studies that show some conclusions that favour the technique are as below:

  • A study conducted in 2018 suggested that semen retention for less than a day served better for sperm motility compared to semen retention for a longer period.
  • A study carried out on animals in 2007 suggested that frequent masturbation leads to less production of androgen receptors that use testosterone.
  • As per another study conducted in the year 2003 observing ejaculation and testosterone levels, researchers concluded that there was a peak observed in the levels on the seventh day of semen retention.
  • A 2001 study of a smaller group showed higher levels of testosterone in subjects who retained semen for three weeks.
  • Another study in 2000 conducted on male athletes concluded that there was no detrimental effect of sexual activity on them.However, having sexual intercourse two hours prior to their competition did have such effect.

How is it Done?

To retain semen, you can either refrain from any sexual activity or have an orgasm without ejaculation. For this, flexing your pelvic muscles before ejaculation is the key. This requires a great amount of muscle control. To build muscle control, one should follow these steps:

  • First of all, find your pelvic floor muscles. Stop midway while urinating and tighten the muscles that help avoid passing gas. These muscles are present in the lower backside.
  • Perform this exercise while sitting, standing, or sleeping.
  • Contract the pelvic floor muscles. Hold for two or three seconds. Relax for the same duration.
  • Focus on the contraction of only the pelvic muscles. Keep other muscles relaxed. Breathe openly.
  • Perform this exercise with 10 repetitions, at least 3 times a day. It will help develop muscle control.
  • When orgasm approaches, take long, deep breaths and hold perfectly still for a few seconds. Pay attention to your partner.
  • At this point, apply pressure on the area between the anus and scrotum. It will help in a reverse flow of the semen towards the bladder.
  • Now squeeze your pelvic muscles and stop stroking. You will experience a dry orgasm. This technique needs quite a lot of practice.

Are There Any Risks to Semen Retention?

Just like any other aspect, there are risks that come alongside this one as well. Of these, some of the risks of semen retention are:

Epididymal hypertension

A condition that occurs when an aroused person does not ejaculate or orgasm, epididymal hypertension is also known as blue balls. The build-up of blood in the testicles due to arousal leads to pain. It aches for a considerable period of time.

As per research, it is a harmless condition that occurs in young adult penis owners. To treat this, ejaculation is the known solution.

Ejaculation Issues

Sometimes consistent prevention of ejaculation or semen retention could create complexities in ejaculation. It creates conditions such as no ejaculation or premature ejaculation.

Further, this could also lead to retrograde ejaculation. This causes the semen to travel backwards towards the bladder instead of the penis opening.

How does Semen Retention Affect Testosterone Levels?

Some studies suggest that abstinence from masturbation or sexual activity leads to an increase in testosterone levels. As per a small study, seven days of abstinence lead to a 146% increase in testosterone levels.

Similarly, another study showed elevated levels of testosterone in about seven days. However, due to these being smaller studies, no solid proof could be used for the acclamation of the same.

Benefits of Ejaculating

Ejaculating is associated with a number of health benefits. Some of these are listed below:

1. It is Pleasureable

Ejaculation helps in releasing the endorphins in the body. These hormones help to block pain, which makes a person feel good. Ejaculating often makes a person feel better.

2. It Leads to Greater Well-Being

As per research, there is a close association between well-being and sexual activity. The same effect is believed to occur in masturbation. It enables greater well-being.

3. It Helps Prevent Prostate Cancer

As per studies, ejaculation frequency is related inversely to the risk of prostate cancer.

A large-scale study showed that the people who ejaculated 21 times per month were at a 50% lesser risk of developing prostate cancer than those who ejaculated four to seven times.

When to Stop Preventing Ejaculation

In case of any discomfort experienced during ejaculation or when unable to ejaculate even when wanting to, consult a doctor. This may or may not be a semen retention side effect. It may need medical assistance as the condition of anejaculation could be the case. It could occur due to:

  • An infection
  • Injury to the spinal cord
  • Pelvic injury or surgery
  • Stress or psychological issues
  • Medications such as Antidepressants
  • Nervous system disorders

Also, in case during ejaculation one finds blood in semen, it is not something to panic about. As per studies, in most cases, it is not something serious and may pass away soon. However, consulting professionals works the best in such a case.

Summing Up

To improve your sexual pleasure and duration, semen retention could be a technique that you may want to try. Though there is no evidence that supports its effectiveness, there are some observations recorded in favour. It is important to note that one doesn’t go to extremes and ignore any discomfort felt during the course. Consult a doctor immediately in such a case.

Some alternatives for this include edging, which involves delaying ejaculation by shifting your focus elsewhere. It could be by changing positions, talking, etc.

As we talk about semen retention, it is also important to remember that ejaculation also has several health benefits. It helps release stress and reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Hence, a decision must be made thoughtfully.


Is It Healthy to Retain Sperm?

There is no research or study discussion that speaks elaborately of whether sperm retention is healthy or unhealthy. However, in such a case, the body breaks down semen and helps reabsorb the sperm.

How Long Can Sperm Retention Last?

Sperm retention could be practised until there are no signs of discomfort or risk.

Does Sperm Retention Increase Testosterone?

There are several studies that show observations that testosterone levels are increased by sperm retention. However, they are all small studies and so cannot be used as conclusive evidence.


J Sztajzel, September 2000; Effect of sexual activity on cycle ergometer stress test parameters, on plasmatic testosterone levels and on concentration capacity. A study in high-level male athletes performed in the laboratory - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11125766/

Mónica Romano-Torres, February 2007; Relationship between Sexual Satiety and Brain Androgen Receptors - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6536830_Relationship_between_Sexual_Satiety_and_Brain_Androgen_Receptors

Ming Jiang, March 2003; A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12659241/

Bashir M Ayad, March 2018; Revisiting The Relationship between The Ejaculatory Abstinence Period and Semen Characteristics - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641453/