Testosterone and Ejaculation
Have you ever heard of the "Hold Out and Clench Your Teeth For Maximum
Testosterone" theory? Basically, this strategy is based on the idea that
if you can somehow avoid ejaculation, you will experience a dramatic increase in
testosterone. And, believe it or not, there is some science behind it.
One study out of China examined 28 male volunteers and observed a clear spike in
testosterone beginning on the 7th day (or darn close).  Furthermore, the
spike was huge - 145% of baseline.
So is this a good way to overcome low testosterone and even hypogonadism?
Below I'll outline a number of reasons that, as interesting as the research is,
this is probably not a practical way to help men in their quest for more testosterone:
This was a very small study and one can't help but
wonder at the very large increase observed. Increasing T by 145% is no easy
task. For example, weight lifting, CPAP machines for apnea sufferers and
other similar lifestyle changes usually only increase testosterone in the 15-30%
There are several other studies showing abstinence from ejaculating leading to
elevated testosterone levels. One was very old  and one involved a three week
period of "holding out" - ouch!  So, yes, this is a way, for younger
men anyway, to raise testosterone. However, below I outline four reasons
that I think non-ejaculation is a poor option for men:
1. Impracticality . The authors noted that "a peak [occurred] on the 7th day of
abstinence; and that the effective time of an ejaculation is 7 days minimum."
So let's say that a man waits to ejaculate for 10 days. According to this
study, he will have his regular T levels for 7 days and then experience a
dramatic increase that will continue until he ejaculates for a few day until he
ejaculates on the 10th day. This means that a) if he is in a relationship,
he has avoided sexual relations for most of it and b) he only gets 3 higher T
days out of 10.
2. Sex Is Good For You. Sexual intercourse is excellent for
male health. Furthermore, a couple of
studies have shown increases in baseline testosterone from regular intercourse.
is also very important for most health relationships. So is abstinence for
7 days really going to improve your health? The majority of studies would
seem to indicate the opposite.
3. Hypogonadism. The men who I have seem following this "7-Day Abstinence
Approach" have very low testosterone or are even hypogonadal. It is very
questionable that this approach will achieve the same degree of success as it
did with random volunteers. Generally, hypogonadal men have some sort of
dysfunction of either the testes, hypothalamus or pituitary. Abstinence is
simply trying to "squeeze blood out of a turnip," i.e. there is nothing there in
the first place.
4. Morning Erections. Another important point related to #4. Many men with
low T have stopped experiencing regular morning erections. This means 7
days without ejaculating will likely mean 7 days without an erection. This
is very hard on the internals of the penis as the corpus cavernosum, the spongy
containers that hold the blood within the penis, need regular oxygenation to
stay healthy and flexible. For more information, see my link on
of Morning Erections.
J Zhejiang Univ Sci, 2003 Mar-Apr, 4(2):236-40, "A research on the relationship
between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men"
2) ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, 1976, 5(2):125-132, "Orgasmic frequency and plasma testosterone levels in 3) WORLD JOURNAL OF UROLOGY, 2001, 19(5):377-382, "Endocrine response to
masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence"