Hormonal response after masturbation in young healthy men: a randomized controlled cross-over pilot study

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Background: Hormones like testosterone play a crucial role in performance enhancement and muscle growth. Therefore, various attempts to increase testosterone release and testosterone concentration have been made, especially in the context of resistance training. Among practitioners, sexual activity (coitus and masturbation) a few hours before training is often discussed to result in increases of testosterone concentration and thus promote muscle growth. However, there is no evidence to support this assumption and the kinetics of the testosterone and cortisol response after sexual activity have not been adequately investigated. Therefore, the aim of this pilot-study was to examine the kinetics of hormone concentrations of total testosterone, free testosterone and cortisol and their ratios after masturbation. In a three-arm single blinded cross-over study, the effects of masturbation with visual stimulus were compared to a visual stimulus without masturbation and the natural kinetics in healthy young men. Results: The results showed a significant between-condition difference in free testosterone concentrations. Masturbation (p < 0.01) and a visual stimulus (p < 0.05) may seem to counteract the circadian drop of free testosterone concentrations over the day. However, no statistical change was observed in the ratios between total testosterone, free testosterone and cortisol. Conclusions: It can be assumed that masturbation may have a potential effect on free testosterone concentrations but not on hormonal ratios. However, additional studies with larger sample sizes are needed to validate these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalBasic and clinical andrology
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 23.12.2021

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© 2021. The Author(s).

ID: 6349397

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