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NoFap: Does giving up masturbating increase testosterone levels?

NoFap is a popular online movement in which men are urged to give up masturbation and even sex for a long time – usually about 90 days. Launched in 2011 on Reddit, NoFap.com is now described as a community-based sexual health platform designed to help people overcome addiction to pornography and sexual abuse. The initial…

NoFap is a popular online movement in which men are urged to give up masturbation and even sex for a long time – usually about 90 days. Launched in 2011 on Reddit, NoFap.com is now described as a community-based sexual health platform designed to help people overcome addiction to pornography and sexual abuse.

The initial benefits were only related to the recovery from pornography addiction, but now NoFap is already included in general health and lifestyle initiatives. Positive benefits include several sexual, physical, and mental improvements, including elevated testosterone levels. But is there any evidence to support this?

Testosterone has a serious effect on men’s mood and its levels have been shown to affect depression, happiness, and motivation. It is linked to muscle growth and physical performance (which is why it is a banned substance in most sports events ). Many aspects of male sexual function depend on testosterone. So what is the relationship between NoFap and testosterone?

Factual evidence

For the most part, the NoFap movement considers only two studies that support the benefits of sexual abstinence as a means of increasing testosterone. The first study involved ten men whose testosterone levels were measured before and ten minutes after orgasm. This was followed by a three-week period during which they were instructed to refrain from any form of sexual activity. After this period, the process was repeated. Testosterone levels were reported to be higher after the withdrawal period.

Despite the findings, this study was too small. The increase in testosterone levels was probably related to the accumulated sexual arousal in anticipation of the second round of the experiment. In addition, testosterone levels in the first round of experiments were virtually the same before and after abstinence, with the second measurement slightly different. So, in the absence of more data, it is not possible to say that abstinence increases testosterone at all.

The second study reported a 45% increase in testosterone levels after seven days of abstinence. But it was a temporary peak, which then, even with continued abstinence, returned to the same level as before, and remained so. Such transient changes in testosterone levels are unlikely to have a lasting effect on men’s health.

Some studies, on the other hand, have shown that abstinence has no effect on testosterone, or that its levels are higher after masturbation or sex. Testing testosterone before and immediately after masturbation in 34 healthy young men found that its levels increased after complacency. But the effects have not been tested over a long period. Thus, the evidence linking masturbation to changes in testosterone levels is incomplete and leads to different conclusions.

testosterona līmenis un nofap kustība


Contrary to the arguments of the NoFap movement, many qualitative studies are available on the health benefits of sexual activities, including masturbation. The release of endorphins during orgasm causes positive sensations. Self-satisfaction can help reduce accumulated stress and help to relax, improve sleep and mood, relieve sexual tension and cramps, and even allow for a better understanding of sexual desires and needs. A study has even concluded that regular ejaculation reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

Psychological reasons

In fact, masturbation as such does not appear to affect sexual or general health in general, especially for testosterone levels in men. The problem may lie in over-enjoying the activity.

Everyone’s personal perception of this process can have psychological consequences that affect testosterone levels. If you feel guilty after masturbating, you may experience anxiety and depression over time. It could be based on an immoral feeling, for example, that someone may feel unfaithful to their partner in this way, or it could also be a religious conflict. A study examining the motivation to abstain found that the reason was mainly the attitude, especially the perception of masturbation as unhealthy or incorrect.

This stress, caused by prolonged guilt, anxiety, and depression, can lead to a drop in testosterone levels. These would be the cases where abstinence could theoretically lead to an increase in testosterone levels. Abstinence from masturbation could also help people with devastating pornographic addictions. However, the health benefits of NoFap are unclear, and there is simply no qualitative evidence that abstinence alters testosterone levels.

So starting a NoFap period to improve your health is of course welcome, and in some aspects of life, there may even be noticeable improvements. But keep in mind that there is no reason to believe that NoFap will significantly increase your testosterone levels.

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