As men, we know how important our testosterone levels are. From building muscle mass to our sexual health, there’s no denying it – our testosterone levels make us men.
And so, along the lines of what makes us men… Masturbation and testosterone is always a hot topic. With many factors affecting serum testosterone level, including sexual activity, it leads us to question…
Does masturbation decrease testosterone levels? We’ve done the digging for you, don’t worry. Keep reading to find out how masturbation affects testosterone levels – according to professional medical advice.
But first, why is testosterone so important?
Your testosterone levels play a crucial role – including links to your sex drive, mood, energy levels, body hair… The list goes on.
It’s safe to say that sexual activity can influence your testosterone levels, but what about a masturbation induced orgasm? Let’s take a closer look.
Does sexual arousal increase testosterone levels?
Before we evaluate the links between masturbation and testosterone, we must first review sexual desire and testosterone levels. In short, your T levels are highly related to sex drive. During sexual activity, testosterone levels are known to increase, whether it’s through masturbation, foreplay or intercourse.
A sudden increase in testosterone levels can have negative effects, including aggression, while also promoting muscle mass growth. However, when we talk about these implications, we’re not referring to short term effects directly after sexual activity. But instead, the result of long term heightened testosterone levels.
But let’s get back to business…
What’s the deal between a masturbation induced orgasm and testosterone levels?
Sure, sexual activity in the form of intercourse may increase your testosterone levels, but how does it work when you’re enjoying a little me time?
Unfortunately, the truth behind ‘does masturbation decrease testosterone?’ is not a simple yes or no answer. While some studies disagree entirely with the possibility that masturbation could reduce testosterone levels, there’s no denying that ejaculation can lead to some profound changes in biochemistry, many of which can feel similar to low testosterone levels.
Yet again, it’s important to remember how the male sex drive is linked to testosterone. While your T levels may be heightened during sexual activity, post-orgasm in healthy men, they are known to return to normal. But can (and do they?) return to a lower level?
There could be some confusion here regarding the symptoms of low testosterone. Post-ejaculation, men may experience the following:
- Sleepiness or lethargy
- Changes to mood – apathy or depression
- Reduced motivation
With the above taken into account, it can be easy to feel as though your testosterone levels are low post-ejaculation – through sex or masturbation – as the symptoms (short term after sex) are similar.
Can masturbation reduce testosterone?
The most common reason people suspect that masturbation and low testosterone levels are linked is that excessive use of porn and masturbation can lead to sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
Much like the way men practice edging in order to last longer during sexual activity, excessive masturbation could lead to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). During self-pleasure, ejaculation can be rushed, making it difficult to last longer in bed with a partner.
There are many side effects to low testosterone, no matter your age – including erectile dysfunction. During arousal, testosterone levels are increase – which is why holding onto this state of arousal without ejaculating can have a number of interesting benefits.
Are there benefits and risks of masturbation?
Human sexual activity in the form of masturbation is totally normal – and natural. As well as sexual pleasure, it can have a number of other benefits, including:
- Stress relief
- Reducing sexual tension
- Improve your mood
- Helps you to relax
- A more satisfying sleep
- Allows you to learn more about your sexual desire
- Can improve your sex life
- Alleviates cramps
In terms of risks, as we mentioned above – excessive masturbation may lead to erectile dysfunction and sexual performance anxiety. When going it alone, ejaculation may be rushed – which can potentially damage your performance in the bedroom. However, it’s important to note that masturbation doesn’t cause hair loss, etc, as some may claim.
Although… Masturbating excessively may cause psychological effects that damage your testosterone levels. For some men, they may feel guilty when they masturbate, which may lead to anxiety and depression – which in turn, can lead to low testosterone.
Can sexual abstinence increase athletic performance?
When paired with muscle-gaining or weight loss techniques, abstaining from ejaculation has been reported to increase athletic performance.
However, studies have shown that there is actually no definable link between ejaculation and testosterone levels – with the exception of a brief spike in T levels somewhere between days 6 and 8 of abstinence. In fact, some studies have shown that testosterone levels may decrease slightly after several weeks of abstinence.
One thing’s for sure – masturbation won’t hinder your performance in the gym – however, it could potentially hinder the energy levels required to follow an intense workout routine.
Current research suggests that testosterone will be highest around a week after your last ejaculation. This knowledge could be beneficial for improving athletic performance, especially if you schedule a competition or an intense workout around this time.
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Does ejaculation hinder these effects?
If you were to masturbate several times a day, it would come as no surprise that you may perform differently in the bedroom (or the gym). Many of the potential ‘side effects’ are associated with frequent masturbation, with the occasional me time unlikely to cause any real side effects.
However, ejaculating at some point during the week before testosterone levels spike will likely reset the clock, and you wouldn’t experience any benefits until abstaining for another week.
Short term abstinence vs long term abstinence
There is plenty of debate as to whether short-term abstinence or long-term abstinence is the better option for enhancing health overall.
At the moment, there is not enough human research done on the effects of short or long-term abstinence from masturbation.
Either way, people and science report different effects between short and long-term abstinence.
Are you suffering from low testosterone levels?
Low testosterone levels can cause many different signs and symptoms in men, including:
- low muscle mass
- decreased strength or endurance
- reduced facial or body hair
- mood disturbances
- erectile dysfunction
- memory loss or difficulty concentrating
- difficulty sleeping
While of course, there are plenty of studies showing a link between masturbation and testosterone levels – there is still more than enough room for further research. When it comes to sexual function, testosterone plays an important role.
However, there is still quite a lot of confusion surrounding the idea that masturbation can increase or decrease testosterone levels, and current medical studies simply have not reached a valid conclusion.
Both in some studies and in communities online, many men report significant improvements to their health and well-being by abstaining from masturbation. However, we believe that this may be a result of something other than testosterone.
Sexual abstinence may work for some men, while it can deliver different results for others. In answer to the common question, ‘does masturbation decrease testosterone?’ excessive self-pleasure may affect your sexual function, but the occasional masturbation induced orgasm is totally healthy. Masturbation itself will not lower your testosterone levels.
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