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Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?

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A man sits on the couch with his chin resting on his hands as he contemplates whether masturbation causes low testosterone.

Based on the available evidence, masturbation does not appear to decrease Testosterone levels in the long term.

One study from 1975 found no effect of masturbation on Testosterone serum levels, while a more recent study suggested that masturbation may actually counteract natural Testosterone decreases throughout the day, though this effect is temporary.

Masturbation is considered safe and has no negative impact on health as long as it doesn’t interfere with daily activities.

How Does Masturbation Affect Hormone Levels?

Masturbation seems to have short-term effects on sex hormones.

During masturbation, Testosterone levels naturally increase and then return to regular levels after orgasm. Refraining from masturbation for a few weeks may cause a mild increase in Testosterone levels, but this temporary increase doesn’t appear significant enough to relieve low Testosterone.

Masturbation also stimulates the release of the hormone Oxytocin, which contributes to feelings of intimacy, social bonding, and good mood.

Masturbation (and orgasms generally) increase the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, as well. These neurotransmitters play a big part in regulating mood.

Because of its effects on Testosterone, Oxytocin, and neurotransmitters, regular masturbation may lead to better moods, less anxiety, and an increased sense of well-being.

Does Frequent Masturbation Affect Fertility?

Frequent masturbation shows no evidence of decreasing fertility in men.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests to avoid masturbation for at least two to seven days prior to collecting sperm, but it’s not clear if there’s a benefit to fertility when men abstain from masturbation.

Avoiding ejaculation can lead to a higher volume of semen during the next orgasm, which is likely why the WHO recommends this practice when collecting sperm. Couples who are trying to have a baby may also abstain from masturbation for this reason.

Infertility in men is a complex condition, and it has many causes. Some of these causes include:

  • Low Testosterone
  • A blockage in the reproductive system
  • An enlargement of the veins within the skin surrounding the testes (varicocele)
  • A genetic susceptibility to infertility
  • Infections or damage to the testicles
  • Certain diseases like prostate cancer
  • Abnormalities in the puberty phase of growth

Addressing infertility usually isn’t as simple as avoiding masturbation. You should speak with a doctor about your symptoms and run relevant tests to understand why you may be experiencing infertility.

What's Causing My Low Testosterone?

We’ve discussed how frequent masturbation doesn’t show evidence of affecting Testosterone levels long-term. You may be wondering what could be impacting your Testosterone levels instead.

As men get older, their bodies naturally produce less Testosterone. That’s why aging is the most common cause of low Testosterone levels. But men can experience low T at any age from various other causes.

These causes include:

  • Being overweight. If you are chronically overweight or obese, it may lead to lower Testosterone because of insulin resistance and other health issues.
  • Lifestyle issues. It’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle. Habits like using drugs, drinking too much, smoking, and not getting enough sleep can all have an effect on the amount of Testosterone your body produces.
  • Sleep apnea. This condition causes an interruption in your sleep cycle, which can keep you from getting the deep, restorative sleep required to produce Testosterone. This often leads to lower levels of Testosterone in the body.
  • Thyroid conditions. Hormones in our body are all related. If the thyroid produces too much or too little of the hormones T3 and T4, it can affect Testosterone production down the line.
  • Certain medications. Prescriptions that can impact Testosterone production include opioid painkillers, cimetidine for heartburn, drugs to treat high blood pressure like spironolactone, and some anti-depressants. It’s important to get advice from a doctor about which medications might be causing you to have low T symptoms. We do not recommend stopping any prescription medicines without speaking to a medical professional.
  • Cancer treatments. Therapies like chemotherapy and radiation can have an impact on the amount of Testosterone produced by the body.
  • Injury to the groin. Injury or damage to the testes may halt or slow the process of producing Testosterone.
  • Adrenal or testicular disease. Certain illnesses that affect the adrenal glands or testicles can lead to a decrease in Testosterone levels.

If you feel like your Testosterone levels are low, you should consult with a knowledgeable provider and get a complete blood panel to understand your levels. This can help determine the cause of your symptoms associated with low T.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Low T

If you’re experiencing Testosterone deficiency, strategies like abstaining from masturbation are unlikely to help. In these cases, the best option is typically Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).

TRT is designed to replenish Testosterone levels in order to relieve symptoms like:

  • Low libido and erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Weight gain and negative changes in body composition
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • General difficulty getting through the day

Customized to fit your individual needs.

TRT with Defy Medical

Every patient’s treatment plan at Defy Medical is designed based on their hormone levels, how they’re feeling, and what they want to achieve with their treatment.

TRT comes in different forms like self-administered injections and topical creams. Your Defy Medical provider may also suggest other medications to take alongside TRT, like aromatase inhibitors that help reduce the amount of estrogen in your body.

Most patients report that TRT eases their ED, but for severe cases, Defy Medical also offers access to PDE5 inhibitors like Sildenafil (Viagra) and penile injections like Trimix.

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