Your next orgasm could be at the doctor’s office

By Kristen Fuller, MD | Fact-checked by Barbara Bekiesz
Published April 18, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • A medical professional may perform a prostate massage to help relieve symptoms associated with prostatitis. 

  • More popular is its “recreational” use, as it can lead to male orgasm. 

  • While some studies suggest potential health benefits, especially for conditions like prostatitis, there is still much uncertainty regarding overall usefulness and efficacy.

Male patients care about their prostate—the importance of sexual pleasure in a man’s life hinges on the prostate, due to its role in ejaculation and orgasm. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males,[] and prostatitis is the most common urinary tract problem for men under 50. Fifty percent of men between 50 and 59 have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and this number increases drastically as men age. 

Prostate massage—typically done by insertion of a finger into the rectum to stimulate the prostate gland—is a common topic of internet searches and is all over social media. Therefore, doctors should be able to discuss when a prostate massage may be beneficial—or not—at the doctor’s office. 

Why a prostate massage?

The prostate is an important organ involved in ejaculation (its procreative function) and in the ecstasy of the orgasm (its recreative function).[] A prostate massage via the rectum is often performed by a medical practitioner or a sex partner—for two very different reasons.

The prostate can become inflamed, a condition known as prostatitis. Western conventional medical practitioners will perform a routine digital rectal examination (DRE) to diagnose prostatitis, growths, and any abnormalities of the prostate. If symptoms suggest the presence of an infection, the doctor may massage or rub the prostate to obtain fluid for a later study.

Prostatitis is often treated with antibiotics. However, some alternative practitioners may carry out a prostate massage until fluid or pre-ejaculate is released to relieve symptoms of pain and fullness. This is also believed to improve urine flow and sexual function.

In terms of sexual slang, the prostate is sometimes referred to as the male G-spot. Stimulating the prostate with a finger by rectal insertion can be a sexual activity used in the bedroom to help bring about orgasm. The prostate gland can also be stimulated from outside the body by massaging the perineum. Orgasms achieved by perineum massage are often called perineum orgasms.

Are there proven benefits?

Much of the research regarding prostate massage therapy is limited or inconclusive, and as a result, it is hard to determine if it has any medical benefit. One school of thought is that a prostate massage can play a positive role not only in men’s physical health but also in their mental and emotional well-being.

Many individuals believe that prostate massage can help reduce the risk of BPH and prostatitis, as well as improve sexual function by enhancing sensitivity and pleasure while potentially improving erectile dysfunction. By virtue of the connection to enhanced sexual pleasure, there is the belief that prostate massage can help create feelings of emotional intimacy, relaxation, and stress reduction. 

It’s worth looking at the results of a few studies on the practice.

  • A small study of 48 patients who underwent a prostate massage to unblock obstructive glandular ducts showed positive results for treating chronic prostatitis.[]

  • A 1999 study at UCLA in 73 patients determined that combining a prostate massage with antibiotic therapy for pelvic pain syndrome due to chronic prostatitis can be effective.[]

  • A 2011 study has shown that a prostate massage may be necessary to obtain precise measurements of PCA-3 (prostate cancer antigen-3), a specific biomarker of prostate cancer that is found in urine to help diagnose and manage prostate cancer.[] A prostate massage prior to collecting urine showed higher detectable levels of PCA-3 after a prostate massage. 

Although there are no conclusive studies on the link between prostate massage and orgasm, research does show that men with prostate cancer who have had a radical prostatectomy have more trouble experiencing an orgasm after their prostate is removed.

An extensive review of orgasmic dysfunctions after radical prostatectomy finds that despite technical surgical advances, “the achievement of good operative functional outcomes is still considered a troublesome issue both for patients and urologists.”[] The dysfunctions include impairments in sexual desire, penile morphology, and orgasm. 

What this means for you

It is often believed that prostate massages are beneficial to a man’s physical and sexual health, but the deeper one dives into the literature, the more likely the medical community is to question whether prostate massages are beneficial at all. Although some studies suggest a prostate massage can relieve symptoms associated with prostatitis, physicians may want to have an open and honest conversation about what is touted on the internet and what the research actually says. 

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