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Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez

Sep 19, 20227 min read

Can Masturbation Lower Testosterone?

The information provided herein does not constitute an expert or medical advice, nor intended to replace such advice.


Most people engage in masturbation as a natural and healthy way to explore your own body and discover what brings you pleasure. However, masturbation is still a taboo topic for many people, and there are many misconceptions about it. Have you ever heard that masturbation and ejaculation cause low testosterone?

Keep reading to find out whether masturbating lowers testosterone levels and how to spot signs of low testosterone.

How does masturbating affect testosterone?

A common myth says that masturbation has an effect on testosterone and could lead to future problems with your fertility and sexual function. This could 

In reality, research hasn’t found evidence to support the claims that masturbation causes low testosterone. Masturbating can affect your hormone levels, but it typically only results in short term effects that naturally reverse back to normal after a short time. 

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. According to Harvard Health Publishing, some of the functions of testosterone include:

  • Development of internal and external male sex organs
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Muscle size and strength
  • Bone strength
  • Sex drive
  • Appearance of facial and pubic hair
  • Hair loss
  • Sperm production

So, does masturbation lower testosterone levels?

According to a small study published by the Journal of Endocrinology,testosterone levels found in samples taken directly after having sex were actually higher than resting testosterone levels. This study didn’t find any negative correlation between orgasms and testosterone measurements.

Another study published by the World Journal of Urologystudied the effects of a three-week abstinence period on testosterone levels and sexual function. After three weeks of sexual abstinence, testosterone levels were slightly higher, but this didn’t cause any positive nor negative changes in sexual function.

Does ejaculating lower testosterone levels?

So now you know that masturbation doesn’t lower testosterone levels, you may be wondering whether you lose testosterone if you ejaculate once you finish masturbating.

According to a study published by the Journal of Zhejiang University Science, higher testosterone levels have been registered when men abstain from all sexual activity for at least 7 days, but this testosterone spike hasn’t been shown to have effects on health. The increase in testosterone caused by abstinence is mild, and not ejaculating doesn’t raise testosterone naturally.

There’s no evidence to support the theory that your normal testosterone levels will drop after ejaculating.

Signs of low testosterone levels

It’s normal for testosterone levels to gradually decrease as you get older. This decrease is much slower than the rapid fall in hormone levels during female menopause, which leads to milder and less noticeable symptoms. But according to the Mayo Clinic, low testosterone can still lead to a range of symptoms, including:

  • Lower libido
  • Fewer spontaneous erections
  • Lower fertility
  • Increased body fat
  • Reduced muscle size and strength
  • Body hair loss
  • Increased breast tissue or gynecomastia
  • Decreased bone density
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased self-confidence
  • Depression
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory problems

Not all men experience these symptoms as they get older, and it’s important to keep in mind that many of them can be caused by other factors or diseases, including a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, certain medications, or chronic diseases.

These symptoms won’t be caused by masturbation. But excessive masturbation can lead to certain problems, including:

  • Compulsive sexual behavior (CSB)
  • Irritated skin
  • Cramps
  • Shame or guilt around your sexual behavior
  • Swollen genitals

Consider seeking support from a healthcare professional or therapist if you experience negative thoughts about masturbation, or if your sexual behavior interferes with your daily life. Masturbation is a normal part of sex life for most people, and it shouldn’t bring you shame or discomfort.

You can learn more about other sexual and reproductive health topics (including STD testing) at STDWatch.com now.


Testosterone — What It Does And Doesn’t Do - health.harvard.edu


A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men - pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Testosterone therapy: Potential benefits and risks as you age - mayoclinic.org

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