Does Masturbation Lower Testosterone?

     Don’t touch it too much or else you will go blind. I’m just kidding. If that was the case 99 percent of all people would be walking around aimlessly with canes and seeing eye dogs. Personally I would have lost my eyesight years ago. Maybe that is why I needed corrective lenses at an early age, but enough of this foolishness. So if most people play with their special parts often, then what is the effect of the dirty deed on testosterone levels and performance?

Answer: Absolutely Nothing

     It is common for many athletes especially males to find out what is the best way to increase their levels of testosterone naturally. It is well understood that T increases secondary male sex characteristics; muscles being one of them. The way in which testosterone is produced starts with the hypothalamus located in the brain. Through a looping feedback system, the hypothalamus decides to produce either gonadotropin releasing hormones (GnRH) or gonadotropin inhibiting hormones (GnIH). If the body needs testosterone the hypothalamus will send releasing hormones (GnRH) to the anterior pituitary gland where it will start the production of luteinizing Hormones (LH). LH would then be sent to the testes where it would give the go ahead to produce testosterone. When enough testosterone is produced a signal is sent to our old friends the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and told to stop making more.

     To believe that the testicles would continue to produce testosterone for no reason is absurd. Those who practice abstinence are shown to have a bump in testosterone on the seventh day after ejaculation but then it quickly reduces to normal levels. Other research suggests that T increases more when practicing abstinence than those who don’t, but that phenomena only occurs during ejaculation as well. However, there may have been an increase in testosterone concentrations but there was no effect on blood testosterone. Blood testosterone is what effects muscle growth. For the most part it is hard to find a difference in T levels for groups that are sexually active and those that are not. The only real differences has been found during the act of sex and ejaculation. If you don’t have any need to produce more Testosterone then why should the body continue to make it? If nobody was home would you keep the TV and lights on? No, it is a waste of energy and resources. Not surprising, but masturbation and sex is healthy and natural for the body, and regardless if you don’t practice masturbation/sex or do it way too often has little effect on blood testosterone levels. Since many other factors effect testosterone, production levels of the hormones changes from day to day is normal too.

     Have sex and/or masturbate. It is a healthy activity to do when it is within reason. If you believe that this effects muscle growth then there would be no muscled bound athletes walking around. The body is smart and auto regulates to the best of its abilities and does what is needed to maintain changes placed on it. Most of the athletes who feel that they perform better or worse from masturbation/sex or abstinence is perhaps getting more of a psychological effect than anything else.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~Hippocrates

Nutrition is 80% of living a healthy lifestyle. Changing your nutrition can be extremely hard so we wrote a free Nutrition report for you, to take away all the guess work and make it easy for you.


1. Breedlove, S.M., Watson, N.V., Rosenzweig, M.R. Biological Psychology. 6th Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc, 2010.

2.Doering, C.H., Kraemer, H.C., Brodie, H.K., Hamburg, D.A. (1975). A cycle of plasma testosterone in thehuman male. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 40(3). 492 – 500.

3. Exton, M.S., Krüger, T.H., Bursch, N., Haake, P., Knapp, W., Schedlowski, M., Hartmann, U. (2001). Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. World Journal of Urology, 19(5). 377 – 382.

4. Jiang, M., Xin, J., Zou, Q., Shen, J.W. (2003). A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. Journal of Zhejiang University Science, 4(2). 236 – 240.

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John Machado

John Machado

John Machado is a co-founder/editor in chief of Bodyforward. He has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Stony Brook, ACSM certified with 15 years of experience with fitness and nutrition, and he aims to achieve his Master's degree in Nutrition.

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