Home Sexuality Sexual abstinence: these are the effects!

Sexual abstinence: these are the effects!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 342 views

Sexual abstinence is the renunciation of any sexual activity. There are different reasons why people live teetotal. Read all about abstinence and how it affects the body here.

Sexual abstinence: what is it?

The term sexual abstinence is understood to mean chastity or abstinence that is self-imposed. That is, a person refrains from all sexual activity for a reason, even though they are physically capable and motivated to do so. Sexual abstinence is usually practiced over a certain period of time, but it can also be a life decision.

People often decide to do so for religious, psychological or medical reasons. Depending on what is essential for abstinence, sexual abstinence also prohibits masturbation and consumption of pornographic content.

Reasons for sexual abstinence

Today, people in Western societies enjoy more sexual freedom than ever before. At the same time, however, there are people who consciously live abstinent. Their motives are different – as is the duration of the abstinence. Examples are:

  • problems in the partnership
  • Problems and stress at work, exams
  • drastic experiences such as the death of a person close to you, divorce, illness
  • medically imposed abstinence
  • religious reasons
  • personal attitude (sex tied to a marriage)
  • asexuality

When does sexual abstinence make medical sense?

Abstinence is not always based on one’s own will or personal conviction. There are also cases where abstinence makes sense from a medical point of view.

Tests for the early detection of prostate cancer (PSA test)

A PSA test is a technique used to detect prostate cancer early. It is a blood test in which the so-called PSA value (prostate-specific antigen) is determined. For this examination, the patient should be abstinent 24 to 48 hours beforehand, otherwise the value may be incorrect.

Sperm sampling and sperm donation

Whether artificial insemination or an examination by a urologist: a sample of the male ejaculate is required for a so-called spermiogram. In this way, information about the quantity, number of sperm, morphology of the sperm cells and sperm motility can be obtained. Doctors recommend abstinence for two to seven days beforehand.


Ejaculation affects the volume of the seminal vesicle. If the man remains abstinent, their volume increases, which makes the examination easier. For these reasons, sexual abstinence for at least three days prior to a prostate MRI scan is recommended.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination is a form of artificial insemination. The doctor uses a catheter to insert semen into the uterus. Abstinence for up to seven days prior to treatment has a positive effect on pregnancy rates.

Sexual abstinence: how it affects the body!

Abstaining from sexual activity has various effects on the body and soul. This includes:

  • weakened immune system
  • higher susceptibility to stress
  • declining libido
  • Increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease
  • stagnant muscle growth
  • emotional bond with partner suffers

In men, the ability to conceive and have an orgasm also decreases. The risk of erectile dysfunction also increases and the risk of developing prostate cancer increases.

In women, abstinence reduces fertility. In addition, the risk of urinary incontinence increases, the permanent poor blood circulation in the vagina leads to less elasticity.

However, sexual abstinence can also have positive effects: it is the most natural and also the safest form of contraception. In addition, if you do not have sex, there is no risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. In some cases, consciously abstaining from physical love helps to focus on certain things and experience fewer distractions.

The effects of sexual abstinence and the extent of the consequences vary from person to person.

Sexual abstinence in society

Chastity before marriage was required in earlier times. Anyone who had sex before marriage was considered impure and lewd. Even today, various faith movements and social groups demand sexual abstinence.

A voluntary renunciation of sexual acts is also done in connection with religious commitment, such as the celibacy of Catholic priests or asceticism in some Buddhist schools. The background is the idea that the sexual energy saved can be converted into spiritual energy.

There are also a number of situations in modern everyday life in which abstinence is enforced: parents require their children to suppress sexual desires and needs if they appear inappropriate. Often abstinence is expected from older, partnerless women and men who live in nursing homes, for example.


You may also like

Leave a Comment