Does Masturbation Increase Testosterone?

Does Masturbation Increase Testosterone?

The Lowdown on Getting Tested for Erectile Dysfunction

Could it really be that there’s such a thing as masturbating too much, or better yet, too little?

If it’s true that masturbation can really increase testosterone, that’s admittedly a fairly enjoyable task to undertake, in one’s plight to increase their T-levels. But there are conflicting views on this notion.

Whilst many believe this to be true, many others believe the opposite – some in the alt-right, for instance, think it’s better to refrain from masturbation altogether. They believe in doing so, a man’s testosterone levels will increase, and ultimately, their sex drive.

So, where does the truth lie?

Although many people have an inclination to believe that masturbation affects men’s testosterone levels, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to suggest that this is the case. Neither in a positive or negative way, and particularly not in the long-term, in any case.

That said, masturbation may well affect Testosterone-levels somewhat in the short term. Additionally, it does impact various other areas, such as the amount of sex drive or libido a man has.

Short & long term effects

Research has been done on the short-term and long-term effects that masturbation has on T-levels. Yet, this research is quite sparse and has reaped what seems to be rather contradictory results.

This may in part be due to the fact that it’s not the easiest task for scientists to recreate the preferable environment for men to masturbate in a laboratory, as opposed to the places they typically do.

To tackle this, one group of scientists decided to set the experiment in a sex club, in order to use a more realistic setting to evaluate changes in men’s Testosterone-levels.

They used men’s saliva to record any changes of testosterone level that took place. They then compared the men who had taken part in any sexual activity, with men who had just been the observers and not participated.

The study found that although testosterone levels increased across the board in both groups of men, it was the ones who actively took part in sexual activity who were found to have higher levels of Testosterone.

Another study conducted several years earlier had a broader scope of participants, and sought to clarify how sexual activity impacted testosterone levels in both men and women.

Researchers measured the participants’ levels of Testosterone before and after sex, as well as on the days where they didn’t have any intercourse.

Results showed that for both men and women, testosterone levels were higher after intercourse. Whereas, they had lower levels of Testosterone before sex, as well as on the days where they hadn’t had any intercourse.

In these instances, it seems relatively clear that sexual activity impacted testosterone levels, causing them to rise. (And not the other way round.)

However, there’s a whole heap of conflicting evidence. From other studies, scientists arrived at a very different conclusion, particularly in one study that took place in 2001.

Ten men’s testosterone levels were recorded before and after a 3-week period of abstinence. They were instructed to not take part in “any type of sexual activity”, which included masturbation.

At the end of this stay of abstinence, the participants were then permitted to masturbate in a lab, so that their Testosterone-levels could be measured before and afterwards.

The results showed that masturbation didn’t have any real impact on testosterone levels. However, those 3 weeks of refraining from all sexual activity was found to have an overall increase on testosterone levels.

masturbationEssentially meaning that rather than masturbation necessarily affecting testosterone, it was abstinence which did.

Perhaps most fitting for this topic on whether or not specifically masturbation can lead to an increase in testosterone, is one other study in which ten men’s T-levels were measured before and after masturbation. It found that there were essentially no effects on the hormone level regardless.

But again, there was another study which sought to determine the same thing, and found different results. In this experiment, it was 34 men whose testosterone levels had been measured before and after self-stimulation. After which, the results showed that their levels of testosterone were in fact higher after masturbation.

So there’s a myriad of results and conclusions to be deduced from various experiments. But the findings from the last-mentioned study seems to fit those from scientific literature, on the links between sexual activity and testosterone levels in general.

That literature to a large degree, seems to lean towards the belief that sexual activity does have the propensity to increase T-levels.

Masturbation and sex drive

Knowing that research indicates a strong connection between abstinence and higher levels of testosterone, what could this mean for men’s sex drive? After all, testosterone is known to affect both men and women’s sex drive, more significantly on men.

Researchers embarked on a study (which can be found in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior) to understand what the connection was between testosterone levels and sexual desire. Whether that be after intercourse with a partner, or self-pleasuring alone.

It found that women’s higher testosterone levels had a clear link to their desire to masturbate, but a negative connection to their desire to have sex with a partner.

Meanwhile, men displayed more sexual desire than the females. Though, researchers stated this could be more down to the men’s higher frequency of masturbation, and not so much their T-levels.

The main take-aways

Ultimately, masturbation itself does not seem to have any significant effects on testosterone levels or general health. It’s quite likely that abstinence could indeed lead to an increase in Testosterone levels.  But similarly, engaging in sexual activity could increase your testosterone levels, too.

Nevertheless, because of the inconclusive of the finding, how significant the potential increase in testosterone is, should perhaps mainly be considered in relation to how much of an increase in testosterone you believe you should have.

If you’re only looking for a bump up in the short term, this is a relatively satisfying way to achieve that.

But, If you’re genuinely thinking of ways to make considerable improvements to your testosterone levels, there are many more effective, equally natural ways to do so.

Getting more sleep, for instance, means that you can mitigate a number of health issues, including low testosterone. What’s more, it helps to prevent gaining excess fat, which is a common occurrence you find in men with low testosterone levels.

When too much fat is gained and a man is overweight, testosterone production will start to drop.

Decreasing stress goes a long way, too – which sleep can also help with.

Being active and doing more exercise is a big factor that will help to raise testosterone levels, as it improves overall body composition and decreases likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. Decreasing alcohol intake will also go a long way.

On that note, it’s worth highlighting how important it is to improve your diet overall. Developing a healthy eating habit will mean including more foods and vitamins that support testosterone productions, which should play a big part in your efforts to increase your testosterone levels.

man taking pillsAnd because it can understandably be hard ensuring you get all the necessary vitamins crucial for healthy Testosterone production, testosterone boosters are a great way to make sure you’re getting your daily intake of key nutrients.

Although masturbation has been shown to have the potential to increase T-levels, it cannot be considered a definitive way to generate massive increases in T-levels.

Due to the fact that research on the relationship between self-pleasure and testosterone is limited at best. Particularly in terms of defining any sort of link in the long-term.

But at the very least, it does reveal that there’s almost certainly a link between them both. And there is evidence that abstaining from sexual activity in the short term does have the potential to increase testosterone levels (also in the short term). But of course, there’s considerable evidence proving the opposite may be true, also.

Hopefully in the coming years, more research will be done on this area, with larger numbers of participants and more replication of each study. And indeed incorporating a more diverse scope of people.

After all, there does not yet appear to be studies that take into account different modes of sexuality. In fact, it may even be insightful to know more about what kinds of effects different sexual activities could produce.

But for now, the simple fact is that the research thus far has been carried out on relatively small numbers of people.

Which means that unfortunately, it’s probably best not to arrive at any blanket assumptions on how much masturbation (and sexual activity in general) may or may not increase testosterone levels.

And until we have more data at our disposal, it certainly needn’t bear any effect on how often you choose to masturbate or engage in sexual activities.

Fortunately, that can entirely be left to your own preference.

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