Men produce sperm every day, and their supply never runs out. But, they can run low on testosterone, which is crucial to healthy sex.
Testosterone is used for many important functions, including creating sperm, keeping you fertile, maintaining an erection and building muscle mass. Testosterone is also linked to mood, energy levels and more.
Testosterone is a natural hormone that your gonads (the testicles in people assigned male at birth and the ovaries in women) produce. It’s an anabolic steroid, which means it helps build muscles and promotes bone growth, as well as a sexually-specific sex hormone that stimulates male sex characteristics. Testosterone is also responsible for many of the changes during puberty in men, including body hair growth and enlargement of the penis and other external sex organs, and it’s essential for sperm production in adulthood.
For these reasons, some men fear that masturbation will decrease testosterone levels, which can lead to a variety of problems. Low levels of the sex hormone can cause fatigue, increased body fat, decreased libido, and sexual performance issues, as well as depression and anxiety.
The good news is that masturbation doesn’t seem to have a significant impact on testosterone levels, at least not long term. However, if you’re concerned about your sex hormone levels, it’s important to speak with a doctor about a proper diet to help keep them in a healthy range.
Testosterone levels do increase when you reach orgasm, but they return to baseline within ten minutes of the act. That’s why some people choose to ejaculate frequently, rather than abstain from sex entirely, in order to maximize the number of sperm they can produce.
Ejaculating regularly helps a man fall asleep and also reduces stress levels. It increases the production of oxytocin and dopamine hormones, which are known to improve moods and increase feelings of relaxation and well-being. Frequent ejaculation also promotes the growth of stronger pelvic floor muscles and increases sperm count. However, the number of times a man can have an orgasm is limited. Generally, males can only ejaculate two to three times per week.
When a man experiences an orgasm, the ejaculatory fluid contains sperm and a protein called prolactin. This is meant to change the pH balance of the urethra, ensuring that sperm can survive the journey out of the body.
Orgasms may not increase sperm counts, but they can help increase testosterone levels. This is because testosterone is a positive regulator of sexual desire and libido, along with dopamine. The hormone prolactin, on the other hand, is a negative regulator.
The refractory period after orgasm is necessary for the brain to recover from this surge in hormones. During the refractory period, a man is unable to achieve another orgasm, and his erection may fade or disappear. During this time, the man usually feels relaxed or drowsy, according to Ingber.
Despite this, research shows that testosterone levels can be restored to a high level within seven days of abstinence. This is a good reason to maintain a consistent ejaculation routine and avoid letting sperm build up in the body.
The Refractory Period
Although some porn can make you think that people with penises are like Energizer Bunnies, even virile men need a recharge time between orgasms. That’s known as the male refractory period and can vary in length from a few minutes to several days.
The reason for the refractory period is not fully understood, but one theory is that elevated levels of prolactin after ejaculation can slow down sexual desire. In addition, refractoriness may be linked to changes in hormone levels that occur during the aging process.
Experts know that refractory periods can be shorter for people who maintain good overall health, including a healthy diet and regular exercise. People with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, also tend to experience longer refractory periods.
Once the refractory period is over, a man will be able to orgasm again. However, the wait to achieve another climax can be frustrating, especially for those who want to keep it going.
Although there are some ways to speed up the recovery time (such as masturbating with a partner) it’s not possible to eliminate it completely. That’s why it’s important to avoid foods that can cause bloating and gas, as well as manage chronic medical conditions to minimize their impact on sexual function and arousal. You can find plenty of internet forums filled with suggestions for shortening the refractory period, but without medically proven methods to do so you should proceed with caution.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that affects many important processes in the body. It is necessary for libido, muscle growth, and bone strength. It is also known to decrease a man’s risk for prostate cancer. Many men are worried that masturbation will lower their testosterone levels because reduced levels of the sex hormone can cause issues as diverse as fatigue, increased body fat, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, there is no scientific evidence that masturbation decreases a man’s testosterone.
In fact, research shows that masturbation may actually increase testosterone levels, at least temporarily. In a study published in 2020 in the journal Basic and Clinical Andrology, researchers found that when participants experienced an orgasm, their salivary testosterone levels were higher than before the orgasm. However, this effect was only short-term and was not seen in participants who did not experience an orgasm.
The research on masturbation and testosterone is limited, in part because it can be difficult for scientists to evaluate sexual behavior in a controlled setting. In addition, it is often unclear what long-term effects masturbation might have on testosterone.
There are some men who are so concerned about the potential negative effects of masturbation on their testosterone levels that they avoid it altogether. These men are sometimes called “porn abstainers.” Examples include the YouTube fitness guru Marcus Follin, who has far-right sympathies and has more than 100,000 subscribers, and David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.