Masturbation is a totally natural way to explore your own sexual pleasures. It’s a common question as to whether masturbation can make an impact on your testosterone levels.
You’re not alone in questioning does masturbation reduce testosterone, or whether semen retention benefits are very much a thing.
Whether you’re masturbating alone or enjoying a shared experience with a partner, masturbation can have a range of effects on those all-important T levels.
Masturbation itself doesn’t necessarily pose a threat to any other aspects of your physical health, but the relationship between masturbating and testosterone is quite an interesting one.
We explore it some more.
Testosterone and sex drive
We all know by now that testosterone and your sex drive go hand in hand. But it isn’t just sex with a partner that can have effects on your T levels.
During masturbation, your testosterone levels naturally rise, resuming to their regular levels after orgasm.
When your T levels are low, it’s common to experience a lack of sexual desire, no matter how attracted you are to your partner. But it’s not just your sex drive that can take the brunt of low T.
Signs of low testosterone
As well as affecting your libido, low testosterone can impact your body in many other ways. Here are some common symptoms of low T to watch out for:
- Reduced muscle mass
- Rapid hair loss
- Brain fog
- Poor sleep
- Increase in body fat
- Growth in the chest (man boobs)
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) or issues getting hard
- Feeling fatigued and sluggish
While many of these symptoms can be caused by lifestyle choices and other health issues, it’s important to pay attention to how these symptoms develop. If you have recently started or changed medication, these symptoms can be pretty similar.
Will masturbating prevent muscle building?
It’s not unusual to believe that masturbation may impact our bodies negatively.
Since testosterone is known to help build muscle mass and support regular exercise, if masturbation were to reduce testosterone it could potentially impact muscle growth.
However, as we’ll go on to examine a little more closely, masturbation’s effects on testosterone are so far appearing short term.
Since there’s little to no clinical evidence either supporting or discrediting the idea that masturbation may impact muscle growth, it’s pretty safe to assume it won’t affect you building muscle.
What are the benefits of masturbation?
Masturbation is a natural part of our lives, helping us to explore and experience sexual pleasure. As well as being fun, masturbation also has other proven benefits:
- Stress relief
- Relief from cramps
- Better sleep
- Helping you explore your sexual desires
- Helping alleviate feelings of anxiety
- Mood improvements
- Reduce sexual tension
- Improve your sex life
Since many question whether masturbation reduces testosterone, masturbation is then linked to other health factors – kinda by association. However, masturbation doesn’t result in hair loss, erectile dysfunction (ED) or other concerns, such as facial and body acne.
These effects are much more strongly linked to your diet, hygiene and overall lifestyle choices – rather than your T levels as a result of masturbating or sexual activity.
Are there risks associated with masturbating?
Unless you’re masturbating pretty damn vigorously, masturbation itself doesn’t carry any real risks. However, it can have psychological effects, which in turn can affect your testosterone levels.
This includes a common feeling of guilt when masturbating, typically due to interpersonal or social pressures. If a person is led to believe that masturbation is immoral, or considered a type of cheating, it can be common to feel guilty.
Similar guilt can be linked to masturbation, when you may masturbate more than you engage in sexual activity with a partner. This can often cause problems within your relationship, with subsequent anxieties then impacting your testosterone levels.
If you’re worried or concerned that masturbating is affecting your relationship, try to speak openly with your partner regarding the role of masturbation within your relationship. If it causes further problems, you may consider therapy in order to dive deeper into how masturbation impact both, your partner and your overall relationship.
Does masturbation decrease testosterone?
Although it’s not uncommon to assume and pose the question: Does masturbating reduce testosterone? Studies have shown that ejaculating during masturbation doesn’t directly affect your T levels.
So, despite what many men may believe, your testosterone levels will not lower the more you masturbate.
Does not masturbating increase testosterone?
Since many men believe that masturbating may reduce your T levels, it would make sense that not masturbating would increase your testosterone – right?
Wrong. Ish. A study in 2001 examined 10 men that refrained from masturbating for three weeks, resulting in a slight increase in testosterone levels.
However, where one study aims to prove not masturbating can increase testosterone, another study on rats found that frequent masturbation lowered androgen receptors in the brain. Just to throw another into the mix, a 2007 study (also on rats) showed that frequently masturbating increased estrogen receptor density.
Since there is plenty of room for research on humans, the lines can become a little blurred as to whether not masturbating does increase testosterone.
Examining long and short-term effects
Since the jury is still out on whether long term abstinence and testosterone levels have a close relationship, it’s worth examining the short and long term effects of masturbation on your T levels.
The research so far is somewhat limited, however, since recreating a natural environment within a lab to study masturbating is rather… Difficult.
However, all is not lost. Researchers focused their studies on a U.S sex club, with the aim to examine the changes in T levels in response to sexual stimuli. Since this was a real-world setting, the results would naturally be deemed much closer to ordinary, everyday circumstances.
During the study, researchers played close attention to the salivary testosterone levels of men both participating in sexual activity and those that simply observed. During this, they found that T levels increased across the board of male visitors, however, the increase was significantly higher in men who participated.
Interestingly, a study back in 1992 paid close attention to T levels in both men and women. Measuring T levels pre and post-sex as well as days without sexual intercourse, they established that testosterone levels were at their highest after sex. They also discovered that T levels were lower before sexual activity and on the days without intercourse.
In this case, it would suggest that sexual activity influences T levels, rather than the other way around.
While these are just short term effects on T levels, there is still plenty of space for further research into the long term effects of masturbating and long term abstinence and testosterone.
Long term abstinence and testosterone
For many men, sex is the last part of their lives they’re willing to let go. Let’s face it, it makes sense that long term and testosterone levels go hand in hand. With no sex, your T levels should naturally, increase, right?
Much like the debate of masturbation and increasing testosterone, long term abstinence and testosterone also has space for further research. In this instance, there are multiple studies that can back the claims of abstinence increasing testosterone, but by how much?
A 2003 study measured the T levels in men after various periods of abstinence from ejaculation – finding minimal movement in testosterone between 2 and 5 days.
Although, T levels hit a peak after 7 days of abstinence.
In another 2003 study, hormone levels were measured (including T levels), during a masturbation-induced orgasm both before and after three weeks of semen retention. Interestingly, T levels were higher after this three weird period.
So, if long term abstinence and testosterone levels are frequently associated, what does that mean for erectile dysfunction and T levels? One study examining changes in testosterone evaluated men with ED after nonhormal treatment.
Compared to their control group, these participants began with lower T levels. Researchers found an increase in T levels in those who resumed regular sexual activity post-treatment.
Semen retention benefits: Is “90 day no fap” a thing?
Semen retention is the practice of avoiding ejaculation. This may mean refraining from all sexual activity and masturbation completely, or learning to orgasm without ejaculating.
Despite the ‘90 day no fap’ trend circling time and time again, the practice itself has been around for decades.
While there are many reasons for trialling semen retention, there are a variety of benefits associated with the ancient practice.
Much like men questioning, ‘does masturbation reduce testosterone?’ many believe that ejaculating regularly can weaken you. For some, semen retention benefits include:
- Improved fertility
- Sexual pleasure
- Overall physical health
While those that are a little more spiritual believe that sperm retention redirects sexual energies to other areas of life.
And so, if you’re still wondering, ‘is 90 day no fap?’ a thing, the answer is: It really is. While many men follow long term semen retention and prefer to avoid the term, some prefer to jump on this 90 day trend to examine the short term results.
Masturbation and its effects on testosterone do not appear to harm your general health or testosterone levels.
While there seems to be a rocky relationship between masturbation, testosterone and the benefits of semen retention, research into this area has plenty of space for further analysis.
However, short term abstinence from engaging in sexual activity may increase your T levels. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, however, careful consideration is needed to establish the level of abstinence and semen retention benefits for you.
If you’re looking for a natural and safe way to increase testosterone levels, why not try Testogen? Our carefully developed formula is 100% natural and safe, improving your energy levels, muscle growth, libido and fat loss.