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Masturbation And Testosterone: Are They Connected?

UPGUYS > Blog > Health > Masturbation and Testosterone: Are They Connected?
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on September 15, 2022

Did you know that both men and women have testosterone in their bodies? Testosterone is known as the "male hormone," while estrogen is known as the "female hormone." However, a balance of the two hormones is needed in both men and women.

There is a lot of debate surrounding masturbation and testosterone. Some people believe that masturbation can raise your testosterone levels, while others think it can have the opposite effect.

So, which is it? Does masturbation help or hurt your testosterone levels?

In this guide, we will explore the link between masturbation and testosterone and try to answer this question once and for all. We will also look into ways of raising testosterone and what symptoms you should look out for when you have low testosterone.

Testerone Levels 101: An Overview

Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role in developing male characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced by the testicles and is responsible for bone and muscle growth and sperm production. Testosterone levels can fluctuate throughout a man's life and are affected by factors such as age, health, and lifestyle choices.

For instance, testosterone levels typically peak during adolescence and early adulthood and then decline gradually as a man ages. This natural decline in testosterone can lead to changes in muscle mass and strength and decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.

While there is no single "normal" level of testosterone, low levels can be caused by medical conditions such as hypogonadism or Klinefelter Syndrome.

In some cases, low testosterone can be treated with hormone replacement therapy. However, it is also important to note that high testosterone levels can be harmful and are associated with conditions such as cancer. As such, it is important to maintain healthy testosterone levels through lifestyle choices and regular check-ups with a healthcare provider.

Read moreMasturbation Effects On Kidneys: The Facts All Men Need To Know

Effects of Male Masturbation on Testosterone: Important Stats

In truth, there are conflicting studies about the effects of masturbation in men. While some studies say that levels remain the same, others state that abstaining for three weeks can slightly increase the levels.

The research on masturbation and its effect on our lives is lacking. However, more and more studies are showing evidence that masturbation is, in fact, healthy for both our physical and mental well-being.

As with everything, moderation is key. Occasional masturbation can:

  1. Improve mood  
  2. Improve overall sexual health
  3. Reduce anxiety and stress
  4. Understand your sexual desires

Let's take a look at the short-term and long-term effects of abstinence, occasional masturbation, and frequency of ejaculation.

Read moreAverage Penis Size: What’s Real & What’s A Myth

Abstinence and Testosterone

Before worrying that abstinence is the answer to all of life's problems, think again. Some studies show that long-term abstinence can decrease testosterone significantly.

For example, in a study by Jannini, men who abstain for longer than three months due to ED see a rapid decline in testosterone.

Additionally, abstinence can also affect your mental health. In a study performed on inmates, those who participated in abstinence, regardless of their relationship status, saw a significant decrease in their mood and sexual satisfaction.

However, some studies do show that abstaining for a shorter amount of time can increase testosterone. For example, in this study, the participants saw an increase of nearly 150% on the seventh day of abstinence. These levels did eventually average out to normal after a few days.

Another study showed that three weeks of abstinence didn't necessarily make a

difference after orgasm. However, it did show some increase compared to when

the study started.

Masturbation and Testosterone Levels

Now that we know that abstinence can make a difference, is there such a thing as too much masturbation? If so, what are the effects?

Although studies on abstinence are all over the place, studies where the sole purpose is to find if an orgasm affects testosterone levels show no relationship between the two. Masturbation does not affect your testosterone level. 

That isn't where it ends, unfortunately; studies where men climax more than twice a day see a difference in how the body uses testosterone. The key difference is with the androgen receptors in our brains.

These receptors allow you to bind to the testosterone produced in your body. If an individual ejaculates more than twice a day, these receptors decrease. While the testosterone levels stay the same, there is a question of active vs. inactive testosterone.

While these receptors decrease over time with "excessive" masturbation, it actually increases estrogen that men produce as well. This means fewer active testosterone hormones, and the receptors bind more frequently to estrogen. 

Estrogen is present in both biological males and females. A balance of both is essential to your sexual and physical health. However, high estrogen in men can lead to:  

  • Infertility
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Gynecomastia (This leads to excess breast tissue )
  • Epiphyseal closure (This leads to shorter stature in adolescent males)

Above are the leading medical symptoms that result from high testosterone levels. However, it can also reduce your quality of life, including:

  • Lower sex drive
  • Lower sperm levels
  • High levels of exhaustion
  • Lower muscle mass
  • Loss of hair
  • Smaller genitals
  • Trouble focusing

Sex vs. Masturbation

So does that mean that those who have more sex also run the risk of increasing estrogen levels?

Here is the good news, it does not! Men who have sex can see an increase in testosterone levels by over 70%! Somehow, the body understands the difference between masturbation and sexual activity with a partner. 

So while masturbation can decrease active testosterone, sex can increase it. This doesn't mean that masturbation is all bad; it is simply a matter of balance. 

Read moreExploring The Side Effects Of Over-Masturbation On Eyesight

What Causes Low Testosterone Levels: Do You Have These Symptoms?

Low testosterone levels can have a significant impact on a man's health. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for:

  1. Muscle mass
  2. Bone density
  3. Red blood cell production

It also affects:

  1. Sex drive
  2. Mood
  3. Hair growth

Biological men can put on much more muscle mass than biological females due to the higher levels of testosterone in their bodies. However, once the testosterone level reaches the below-normal threshold, many men see a decrease in muscle mass, although the function and strength do not change. In the same way, testosterone plays a vital role in bone mass and the control of body fat.

Low testosterone can also affect your sex life. It seems to be one of the main reasons for a low sex drive, as well as erectile dysfunction.  

Various factors can contribute to low testosterone levels, including:

  1. Age
  2. Weight
  3. Illness

Low testosterone levels are usually due to an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or pituitary gland damage. However, an unhealthy lifestyle can also greatly decrease testosterone, such as obesity, alcohol, and drug abuse.

Other causes can include:

  1. Cancer
  2. Liver problems
  3. Kidney failure
  4. STIs
  5. Diabetes
  6. Age
  7. Sleep apnea
  8. High estrogen levels
  9. Certain medications

If you see any of these symptoms, speak to a doctor about your concerns. 

Ways To Raise Testosterone Levels

Treatment for low testosterone levels typically involves hormone therapy, which can be delivered via:

  1. Injection
  2. Patch
  3. Gel
  4. Pill

Some lifestyle changes can also help to boost testosterone levels, such as exercise and weight loss. For example, weightlifting and other exercise forms can stimulate testosterone production. In addition, eating a diet that is high in protein and low in fat can also help to increase testosterone levels.

Finally, supplements containing minerals such as zinc and magnesium can also be beneficial. By taking these steps, it is possible to increase testosterone levels and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.

Key Takeaways

Masturbation and testosterone go hand in hand, even though they are not directly related! As with all things in life, balance and moderation are key. While it does not necessarily decrease testosterone levels, it affects how the body uses this particular hormone. 

There are many benefits to masturbation. However, a healthy relationship with your body is necessary to keep all levels "normal."

Read moreLowering Your Sex Drive: How To Stop Being Constantly Horny


Below we answer some of the most common questions about testosterone and masturbation. Take a look!

1- Can Abstention From Masturbation Increase Testosterone?

Studies show no significant increase in masturbating and testosterone levels, at least not on a long-term basis. However, it can slightly increase the levels when abstaining for seven days.

2- Masturbation and Low Testosterone Levels: Is There a Connection?

It can indirectly lead to lower testosterone levels. Excessive masturbation (more than twice a day) can lead to a decrease in androgen receptors, which bind to testosterone. When these receptors are not binding to the testosterone hormone, your body will increase its estrogen production.

3- Does Sex and or Masturbation Increase Testosterone?

Studies show that masturbation does not directly increase the levels of testosterone. However, they do increase while having sex.

4- Can Testosterone Level Change Throughout the Day?

They do, in fact, change throughout the day. For example, men reach a peak between 7 am, and 10 am. However, the levels change depending on the age group of the men. 


UPGUYS has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.