Testosterone and the subsequent levels of this hormone has become an extremely hot topic over the past couple of decades.
This increase in attention most likely coincides with new discoveries concerning all that T controls or influences in our bodies—both men and women—and how lowered amounts can have drastic effects on our overall well-being.
Men in particular are likely quite keen to learn more about the male sex hormone. After all, it’s what makes us, well, men; and as we age and begin to notice declines in muscle mass, endurance, and mood, it’s natural that we’d like to hang onto as much of it as possible.
We already know that testosterone levels begin to lessen after the age of 30. If you’re really up to speed, then you likely also understand that things like diet, your exercise regimen (or lack of one), and even mental health can also have either a positive or negative impact on your levels.
One additional potential factor that has caught the international zeitgeist has been masturbation. What is typically seen as a stress relieving release has now transformed into a cause for consternation among those who are uneasy over their T levels.
So, does masturbation lower testosterone? Or, does it actually raise it? If you’re expecting a simple answer there unfortunately isn’t one; the truth is, it’s complicated.
The Relationship Between Masturbation and Testosterone
Truthfully, the research into masturbation and its direct effect on testosterone production has, to this point, been all over the place.
Whether it be studies conducted on mice or humans; measurements taken from saliva or blood plasma—there isn’t currently a hard (pun intended) consensus on whether or not masturbation increases T production.
This is likely due to the fact that the amount of research available is relatively light. In addition, the studies that have been conducted have always included relatively few participants, and a small sample size can’t account for differences in health, weight, age, time of day, and other variables.
This doesn’t mean there haven’t been some interesting conclusions to come of all of these, however.
Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?
One of the most widely cited studies on the topic has led to a multitude of assertions that abstinence from masturbation unequivocally increases testosterone. There may be some truth to this—but according to the study, only over a certain short-term timeframe.
The researchers monitored T levels in a group of men over several periods of time after ejaculation. The results showed little movement either up or down over the first several days.
However, on day seven, T levels appeared to shoot up overnight by nearly 50% over baseline. Did these newfound hormone levels result in new hair growth, personal records at the gym, or irresistible attraction from their partners? Likely not—and it appears levels fluctuate back down eventually.
There are no current conclusions for why this spike may appear one week after your most recent self-soothing session, but if you have something coming up that you need to be at the top of your game for, abstaining from masturbation for a week beforehand might be worth a shot.
Can Masturbation Increase Testosterone, Libido, and Sex Drive?
Testosterone levels increase during both masturbation and sex, but drop to baseline levels post orgasm. This means that testosterone levels do not drop with increased masturbation frequency, as masturbation has a minor impact on your testosterone levels.
In a study measuring testosterone in adult men found that refraining from masturbation for three weeks may have caused a mild increase in testosterone levels, although there is conflicting evidence on the topic.
As testosterone levels and sexual desire are closely interconnected, it is a more likely consideration that while masturbation doesn’t alter T levels, it may prime your body’s sexual desire and increase libido in the hope of more pleasurable interactions in the future.
Other Influences on Testosterone Production
The thing men must keep in mind is that there are a wide range of things that have an impact on our testosterone production and sexual stamina.
Narrowing it down to one single factor—like whether or not to avoid masturbation—does a disservice to this complex and extremely important hormone.
To illustrate, here are several examples of unexpected influences that have been shown to affect your T production:
- Time of day
- The smell of an ovulating woman
- Talking to a member of the opposite sex
- Missing a meal
As you may have gathered, obsessing over what you can and can’t control when it comes to low T is a fool’s errand. For many men, they likely only assume that they need to monitor their testosterone production.
Low T is certainly a legitimate medical issue for some, but for most of us just trying to secure as much of our favorite little hormone as possible, practicing the basics (proper diet, regular exercise, avoiding excessive smoking, drugs, or alcohol) will go a long way.
What To Know About Low Testosterone
Now, if you are truly concerned about whether you may or may not have low testosterone, your first move should be a consultation with your doctor. If you’re unsure whether to take that step or not, give a quick look at this list of low T symptoms:
- Low sex drive due to lowered libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes
- Body hair loss
- Decreased muscle mass
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating or with memory
- Shrinking testes
A men’s medical clinic can properly diagnose whether or not you have low T, and how to treat it—whether that be with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), gels, patches, or other hormonal treatment.
Keep in mind however, the same healthy lifestyle choices outlined above will also help support your body’s T production in coordination with therapy and hormonal treatment.
Consult The Medical Experts about Low Testosterone
The men’s health experts at Priority Men’s Medical Center in Atlanta want you to have great sex again.
We offer treatments for erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, premature ejaculation, and more. Contact our offices today to schedule your consultation with our experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are a leading men’s clinic providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Acoustic Wave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more to support men’s sexual wellness.