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.

Our evidence-based analysis features 14 unique references to scientific papers.

Written by Kamal Patel
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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.

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  1. ^ a b c d e f Exton MS, et al. Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. World J Urol. (2001)
  2. ^ Jiang M, et al. A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. J Zhejiang Univ Sci. (2003)
  3. ^ a b Krüger T, et al. Neuroendocrine and cardiovascular response to sexual arousal and orgasm in men. Psychoneuroendocrinology. (1998)
  4. ^ a b c Krüger TH, et al. Specificity of the neuroendocrine response to orgasm during sexual arousal in men. J Endocrinol. (2003)
  5. ^ Krüger TH, et al. Effects of acute prolactin manipulation on sexual drive and function in males. J Endocrinol. (2003)
  6. ^ Krüger TH, et al. Orgasm-induced prolactin secretion: feedback control of sexual drive. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. (2002)
  7. ^ a b Stahl SM. The psychopharmacology of sex, Part 1: Neurotransmitters and the 3 phases of the human sexual response. J Clin Psychiatry. (2001)
  8. ^ Motofei IG, Rowland DL. Neurophysiology of the ejaculatory process: developing perspectives. BJU Int. (2005)
  9. ^ Pharmacotherapy for Premature Ejaculation.
  10. ^ Assessment of erectogenic properties of apomorphine and yohimbine in man.
  11. ^ McMahon CG. Treatment of premature ejaculation with sertraline hydrochloride: a single-blind placebo controlled crossover study. J Urol. (1998)
  12. ^ McMahon CG, Samali R. Pharmacological treatment of premature ejaculation. Curr Opin Urol. (1999)
  13. ^ Krüger TH, Hartmann U, Schedlowski M. Prolactinergic and dopaminergic mechanisms underlying sexual arousal and orgasm in humans. World J Urol. (2005)
  14. ^ Passie T, et al. Ecstasy (MDMA) mimics the post-orgasmic state: impairment of sexual drive and function during acute MDMA-effects may be due to increased prolactin secretion. Med Hypotheses. (2005)