Does ejaculation affect testosterone levels?

    Ejaculation results in changes in prolactin (increase) and dopamine (temporary decrease), but does not result in changes in testosterone. Although prolactin and dopamine are both involved with testosterone, they do not appear to influence testosterone levels acutely.

    What does male orgasm result in, biochemically?

    Higher serum testosterone levels are seen during abstinence (3 weeks in cited study).[1] Non-significant Luteinizing Hormone increases have also been noted.[1] The difference between abstinence and non-abstinence appears to be about 0.5ng/ml when averaged out.[1]

    Although higher testosterone levels are seen with abstinence,[2] orgasm does not acutely affect testosterone levels in the blood.[1] Although there is not much evidence for the spike in testosterone during abstinence, there does not appear to be counter evidence at the moment; it is an understudied topic.

    Orgasm can cause a significant spike in prolactin levels (approximately 10 to 15ng/ml) immediately after and upwards to 10-20 minutes later, at which it starts to decline.[1][3] This spike is dependent on ejaculation, and does not occur under non-orgasmic arousal.[4] This spike may serve to suppress further sexual desires.[5][6]

    Various cardiovascular parameters, such as heart rate and catecholamine (adrenaline, noradrenaline) levels are increased during sex/masturbation and orgasm.[3] Some measure of increase is seen during arousal.[4]

    Other various markers, such as Vasopressin and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) remain unchanged.[4]

    Biochemical markers do not differ significantly when comparing orgasm after abstinence and orgasm without abstinence.[1] Slight increases were seen in heart rate and catecholamine (adrenaline) levels, but may be due to self-reported higher arousal on average.

    How is testosterone related to orgasm?

    Testosterone has minimal interactions with orgasm, but is seen as a positive regulator of sexual desire or libido alongside dopamine.[7][8] Agents that increase dopamine levels or act like dopamine can increase frequency of erections and subjective sexual arousal.[9][10] Prolactin is the opposite here, and is a negative regulator of sexual appetite.

    The actual ejaculatory process and erection process is mediated by serotonin and Nitric Oxide, as well as various mechanical contractions in the pelvic and penile region.[7] Drugs or supplements that interfere with serotonin reuptake (such as SSRIs) can reduce the orgasm response, and may be useful in treating premature ejaculation.[11][12]

    Dopamine is reduced temporarily as prolactin rises, as the two can be seen as antagonistic of each other. Levels shortly normalize.[13] The post-orgasm 'orgasmic state' of euphoria is mediated by prolactin and mimicked by ecstasy.[14]

    Ejaculation does not impact your testosterone levels.


    1. ^Exton MS, Krüger TH, Bursch N, Haake P, Knapp W, Schedlowski M, Hartmann UEndocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinenceWorld J Urol.(2001 Nov)
    2. ^Jiang M, Xin J, Zou Q, Shen JWA research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in menJ Zhejiang Univ Sci.(2003 Mar-Apr)
    3. ^Krüger T, Exton MS, Pawlak C, von zur Mühlen A, Hartmann U, Schedlowski MNeuroendocrine and cardiovascular response to sexual arousal and orgasm in menPsychoneuroendocrinology.(1998 May)
    4. ^Krüger TH, Haake P, Chereath D, Knapp W, Janssen OE, Exton MS, Schedlowski M, Hartmann USpecificity of the neuroendocrine response to orgasm during sexual arousal in menJ Endocrinol.(2003 Apr)
    5. ^Krüger TH, Haake P, Haverkamp J, Krämer M, Exton MS, Saller B, Leygraf N, Hartmann U, Schedlowski MEffects of acute prolactin manipulation on sexual drive and function in malesJ Endocrinol.(2003 Dec)
    6. ^Krüger TH, Haake P, Hartmann U, Schedlowski M, Exton MSOrgasm-induced prolactin secretion: feedback control of sexual driveNeurosci Biobehav Rev.(2002 Jan)
    7. ^Stahl SMThe psychopharmacology of sex, Part 1: Neurotransmitters and the 3 phases of the human sexual responseJ Clin Psychiatry.(2001 Feb)
    8. ^Motofei IG, Rowland DLNeurophysiology of the ejaculatory process: developing perspectivesBJU Int.(2005 Dec)
    9. ^Pharmacotherapy for Premature Ejaculation
    10. ^Assessment of erectogenic properties of apomorphine and yohimbine in man
    11. ^McMahon CGTreatment of premature ejaculation with sertraline hydrochloride: a single-blind placebo controlled crossover studyJ Urol.(1998 Jun)
    12. ^McMahon CG, Samali RPharmacological treatment of premature ejaculationCurr Opin Urol.(1999 Nov)
    13. ^Krüger TH, Hartmann U, Schedlowski MProlactinergic and dopaminergic mechanisms underlying sexual arousal and orgasm in humansWorld J Urol.(2005 Jun)
    14. ^Passie T, Hartmann U, Schneider U, Emrich HM, Krüger THEcstasy (MDMA) mimics the post-orgasmic state: impairment of sexual drive and function during acute MDMA-effects may be due to increased prolactin secretionMed Hypotheses.(2005)