There is a very common and pervasive myth that links a drop in testosterone to masturbation or rather masturbating to ejaculation. There is very little scientific evidence to support such a hypothesis. One of the reasons why this myth seems to have evolved is because of several studies linking abstinence with a rise in testosterone.
Yes, the seventh day of abstinence from all sexual activity including masturbation has been found to have ‘peak’ levels of testosterone. The real details though lie in the difference in levels of testosterone that are found. A study conducted in Zhejiang University found the testosterone levels to be 146% of normal levels after six days of abstinence. It may seem like a whole lot of increase but in reality is not enough to provide any physical benefits of testosterone to the body.
Body builders or even casual gym goers who are very concerned about the levels of testosterone in their body need not worry about side effects of masturbation since ejaculation do not affect the levels of testosterone in a significant manner.
Semen in our body is not the primary source or end product of testosterone and so its ejaculation from the body does not make any difference. In fact, the process of ejaculation, physiologically speaking, has very little to do with testosterone. Ejaculation is mediated by serotonin and Nitric oxide along with physical contraction of the relevant muscles.
Testosterone is seen as a promoter of libido or desire, which may lead to an increase in the likelihood of ejaculation but has nothing to do with it directly. One thing that can cause a decrease in testosterone levels is masturbating compulsively to the point of it affecting other facets of your life school, work or social interactions.
In such a state the body does not put itself in a ‘partner seeking state’ or does not expect to receive sex and thus can lead to a decrease in the amount of testosterone being produced. It is also extremely difficult to put a number on how much masturbating is too much masturbating but suffice to say if a person is actively avoiding everything else to masturbate then he/she probably has a problem.
There is also scientific evidence that points to a rise in testosterone immediately after sexual activity, including masturbation. This rise is again temporary and will fall back to normal again soon after. Younger people are more likely to see a spike in their testosterone levels than older individuals.
The fact of the matter is that testosterone levels are affected by a large number of factors including but not limited to stress, diet, physical activity and genetics. Testosterone levels can also vary just by the knowledge that a test is going to occur in the next couple of days!
There are always stories about sports coaches putting a ‘no sex’ rule in place for their athletes before major events so that they do not lose their killer edge. This idea also stems from the wrong belief that having sex or masturbating decreases the amount of testosterone in the body and makes the person less aggressive.
Like many myths, this one has been around for a long time without any scientific backing to it.
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