Scientific researchers are still engaging on different platforms, arguing about this question. While some believe that it does, a majority believe it does not. Over the years, numerous test programs have suggested that masturbation does have minimal effects on the overall testosterone levels in people. In this article, we will find out whether this is real.
To understand the topic, let us find time to interact with the terminologies. So, what is masturbation? It is the inducing of ejaculation by men using other means without necessarily having sex with a partner. It could be psychological or physical, depending on the situation. Testosterone is the hormone predominantly found in men. It is responsible for the manifestation of masculine features like huge muscles, beard, baldness, and sexual drive. On the other hand, women have lesser quantities. Still, it plays a minor role in the sexual responsiveness in women.
Why do people masturbate?
Several reasons lead people to engage in self-stimulation leading to orgasm. Though it is still a taboo topic in some cultures around the world, the practice has some benefits. Some but not all of them are: it brings a sense of pleasure after ejaculation or orgasm in both men and women. It is also known to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and relax brain receptors, thus inducing sleep; and the list goes on.
Despite the proven scientific benefits, many societies still attribute negative traits to the act. Thus, the guilt that the people generate after masturbating drives them into engaging in anti-social habits. Other things among them like lower sex drive is one prove of admission of guilt.
The correlation between masturbation, sex and testosterone levels
During sex, the body induces androgen receptors in the brain. These receptors, in turn, stimulate the body to use the testosterone to perform the erectile and ejaculation functions. Scientific researchers show that frequent masturbation reduces the generation of androgen receptors in the brain. This process, in turn, inhibits the brain from stimulating the body to use the testosterone hormone. In the end, there is less sexual activity.
It is important to note that the testosterone levels in the body did not significantly change in the studies. The change occurred in the way the brain responded to the decrease in receptors. Therefore, it is fair to state that frequent masturbation does not lower testosterone levels as such. Other social factors come in to regulate their desires. Lifestyle changes and daily challenges are things that bear on the brain and reduce the sex drive in men.
How does masturbation affect testosterone in both the short and long term?
In trying to deduce the myth of the effects of masturbation, a study was carried out in a US Sex Club. In the setting, the scientists put the participants into two groups. The researchers observed a difference in the levels of testosterone levels in the two groups. The men who engaged in sexual activities manifested a higher level of salivary testosterone. However, the men who only observed the things exhibited lower levels than their counterparts.
Scientists found out that testosterone levels usually go high before and during intercourse in men. Similarly, the levels drop significantly low after ejaculation. This phenomenon concludes that testosterone levels are a significant drive to sexual desires. Nevertheless, the lower testosterone levels are short term, since they rise again after 48 to 72 hours.
So, in the short term, there is no evidence suggesting that masturbation drives the testosterone levels down. Conclusive research on the long-term effects in still missing. Then apart from the social and religious inclination that disapproves the act, scientifically, nothing negative has been proven thus far.
Does abstaining from masturbation affect testosterone levels?
In 2003, studies in the US tried to show the relation between abstinence and the levels of testosterone in men. The first results revealed that testosterone levels came back to normalcy after about a week of abstinence. In this period, the men under observation abstained from any act of masturbation or sexual stimulation.
In the second study, scientists made their findings after three weeks of observation. They induced a masturbation ejaculation after the end of the abstinence. When the analysis was over, the results were impressive. The testosterone levels were higher during the second count than the first. The resultant conclusion was that abstinence from any sexual activities raises testosterone levels.
Effects of testosterone deficiency
In men, the symptoms of testosterone deficiency can manifest in several ways. The most common are fewer body muscles, lack of endurance stamina, erectile dysfunction, and lack of sexual drive. Most of these can are treatable through proper medication and lifestyle changes. Testosterone hormone replacement therapy can be effectively administered in several ways. They include a dermatological insertion patch, application gel, or an injection.
With women, higher amounts of testosterone levels manifest masculine traits like a deeper voice, beards, and irregular menstrual cycles. With suitable medication and proper dietary supplements, these adverse effects can be contained.
Some dietary and social lifestyle facilitate in the reduction of the testosterone hormone. Dairy products that are easily in our daily diets are one. Soy products are second on the list. But the major social contributor to this is alcohol consumption.
Masturbation has a sexual fantasy without actual penetration. The effects of it on the brain and body are beneficial. On the contrary, it can turn into an addiction. So for whatever reasons you do it, consider moderation. Whether it is morally sound or not, masturbation does not reduce testosterone levels.