Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Does masturbation decrease testosterone? The answer may surprise you. Researchers have studied how testosterone levels change in older men and women.
The study involved a probability sample of US adults aged 57 to 85, which included 620 men and 650 women.
Although there is some overlap, the results were similar for both genders. Interestingly, men who engage in masturbation experience lower testosterone levels than women, according to the researchers.
Increased estrogen receptor density
Animal studies have shown that the number of estrogen receptors in the brain decreases after masturbation, a sexual activity that lowers the levels of testosterone and estrogen.
This has important implications for the regulation of sexual behavior and genital response.
There are many associations between testosterone and masturbation, including positive associations with sexual desire.
However, these associations are weaker with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone found in high concentrations during menopause that decreases sexual function.
Therefore, it is unclear what effect masturbation has on the levels of FSH, a key reproductive hormone.
In addition, women may be more sensitive to estrogen after masturbation, resulting in decreased levels of FSH, a hormone involved in regulating sexual function.
The investigation used a cross-over design of repeated measures. Participants were assigned to one of two conditions: either a documentary film or a pornographic film.
The experimental condition lasted 10 minutes, with the samples two to eight minutes long. The subjects were instructed to masturbate until orgasm was achieved.
The time point of orgasm was indicated via an electronic communication system. The control condition was a documentary film for 40 minutes.
These findings support the hypothesis that women who engage in masturbation have a higher percentage of estrogen receptors in their bodies than do women who do not engage in self-stimulation.
The findings are further supported by a stratified probability sample survey of the general population of Britain.
However, this study does not directly link masturbation to the occurrence of breast cancer. However, this hypothesis has important implications for the regulation of sex.
Lowers androgen receptors in the brain
Androgens have a critical role in sexual function and the distribution of androgen receptors in the brain and central nervous system may be important for this process.
Areas in the brain containing high densities of AR-IR nuclei may be involved in sexual reflexes and behavior, such as PAG and the dorsal horn of the sacral spinal cord.
AR-IR cells are also present in the nucleus retroambiguus, a part of the lumbosacracracranial spinal cord that may be involved in mating behavior.
In a study of rats, researchers found that the number of androgen receptors decreased in the MPOA, VMH, and BST areas after masturbation.
The authors of the study were curious about whether the reduced density of androgen receptors in these areas could be associated with changes in sexual behavior.
To determine whether or not these changes would lead to altered sexual behavior, male rats were sacrificed 48 hours, 72 hours, or 7 days after sex. Testosterone serum levels were measured in each group.
The brain is unable to effectively use the androgen hormones without the help of the androgen receptors. In fact, masturbation also reduces the number of androgen receptors in the brain.
Therefore, the effects of masturbation on the ability of the body to build muscle are minor and short-lived. Nevertheless, abstaining from masturbation before a workout might not affect the ability to build muscle.
While there are a few studies suggesting that masturbation may inhibit the ability to build muscle, it may not be a good idea to stop masturbation before a workout.
In addition to lowering the number of androgen receptors in the brain, the process of masturbation also promotes the development of alpha male traits.
This can increase the chances of success for men. However, daily masturbation does not allow the receptors to replenish, making them inert and insensitive to testosterone. As a result, the body's response to masturbation is ineffective.
Lowers testosterone levels after ejaculation
If you've ever wondered whether masturbation reduces testosterone levels, you're not alone.
Several studies have found varying results, ranging from no impact to a temporary drop in levels.
While masturbation has no real effect on testosterone levels, it's important to understand the effects of ejaculation on men's hormone levels.
In addition to testosterone levels, masturbation can also affect men's emotional health, resulting in lower sex drive and lower libido.
One study conducted in 2020 by Jillene Grover Seiver, a psychologist and researcher in human sexuality at Eastern Washington University, concluded that no amount of masturbation affects the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream.
Rather, the testosterone level drops back to normal within 10 minutes of an orgasm. The study's conclusions were not statistically significant, but it's worth exploring.
It's a known fact that testosterone is a key ingredient in semen, but the relationship between masturbation and its effects on sexual arousal is not as cut and dried as most people think.
The hormone is a positive regulator of sexual desire. It interacts minimally with serotonin and orgasm, but it doesn't seem to affect orgasms.
In fact, the concentration of these hormones will vary according to physical activity, age, and other factors. Then, there's the issue of whether masturbation causes low levels of testosterone.
Another question is whether masturbation can reduce testosterone levels. In most cases, it doesn't, so frequent masturbation does not lower the levels of testosterone.
Studies have found that testosterone is higher in the morning, when the levels of this hormone are highest.
However, if masturbation is frequently performed, a doctor might be wise to consult with you. When masturbation does affect testosterone, it can lead to low-T and other side effects.
In addition to the effects of abstinence on testosterone levels, personal perceptions of masturbation may also have a role.
A man's sexual desire may be based on the frequency and intensity of masturbation.
Lowers testosterone levels after abstinence from sexual activity
There is a link between ejaculation and the drop in serum testosterone levels in men. In one study, 28 men were given abstinence periods of two to seven days.
They were then tested daily to see how their serum testosterone concentrations varied during the abstinence period.
The men's testosterone levels were almost unaffected until the seventh day, when there was a marked increase.
After that, there was no regular fluctuation in testosterone levels. This suggests that ejaculation is the precondition for periodic fluctuations in testosterone levels.
Although this relationship is indirect, it is plausible to say that testosterone levels are related to sexual activity.
When men engage in intercourse, testosterone levels increase. Abstinence from sexual activity leads to a dip in testosterone levels.
When levels of testosterone rise, they enhance sexual performance and drive. However, this correlation is weak and only applies to men.
This suggests that abstinence from sexual activity is not always necessary for athletes.
While some studies suggest a connection between abstinence from sexual activity and higher testosterone levels, the evidence for this is weak.
However, it is possible to increase testosterone by engaging in sexual activity. In one study, subjects were asked to refrain from sexual activity for three weeks and then measured their testosterone levels.
The researchers were also able to measure changes in T levels after a short period of abstinence.
While the lack of sex can lead to a decrease in T levels, the results of the study suggest that there are several reasons why T levels may be low in men after abstinence.
One of the possible causes of low T levels is an imbalance in the body's hormones. While reduced sex activity leads to decreased T levels, masturbation helps boost the testosterone levels.
A recent study in China supports this idea, but it's difficult to conclude whether or not the use of testosterone supplements after sexual activity has any long-term effect.
Although there is no scientific proof that frequent sexual activity lowers testosterone levels, it's worth mentioning that men with healthy bodies typically have higher testosterone levels.