PMO addiction and testosterone

Submitted by Earnest on
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Is there any trend between pmo addiction (frequent orgasm) and testosterone levels? I have all the symptoms of low testosterone and have a doctor appointment on friday for lab work. Friday will be day 7 of abstinence, and I'm wondering if it'll give a true picture of hormone levels in the body already? If one week is not enough, when would be a good idea to take a look at what's going on inside? Since I've been going at it 1-4 times a day since I was 13 (I'm now 24), I'm not sure what would be considered 'normal' for my body (since this abuse was inflicted through puberty). I had morning wood after days 1 and 2 but it's been dead down there (and smaller) since(nothing at all), but I think this may be neurological based on others' experiences I've read here. I'd appreciate any informal opinions, especially from marnia or gary.

Thanks for any feedback and thanks for providing such a wonderful site. I'll post my experiences in detail later.

I'm not sure we know so let

I'm not sure we know so let us know your results. Morning wood comes and goes. I've not read that isn't normal.

Here's a table. I'm surprised the ranges are so large. It could be that those of use overdoing it through puberty are stuck at a lower end of our own range and that we go through a catch up period for a little while. That might explain some of the body changes that are reported. We've got most of our lives to be our normal.

I wonder if there are any long-term consequences to lower testosterone for more years. Or if the body is smart enough to somehow adjust to what we're doing to it and keep testosterone higher on the back end? And how much is genetic?

I postponed the labwork to

I postponed the labwork to wait and see what happens in a few weeks (or months). I don't know if testosterone receptors in the pituitary undergo the same type of changes during reboot that dopamine receptors do, but it's worth waiting and seeing what happens because testosterone replacement will positively shut down natural production. While I don't desire high testosterone, only normal, low testosterone has serious long-term health risks apart from the obvious symptoms.

Thanks Quizure

No one has specifically studied the effects of excessive masturbation (whatever that is) on T levels. But all the research done on orgasm and T levels in dicates it doesn't. Add all the guys with porn-induced ED that report normal T levels, on this and other sites, and it's clear that it's not testosterone levels. It's the reward circuitry and dopamine. Some myths die hard, like the one where we only use 10% of our brain.

The normal range is large so

The normal range is large so one might have ED and still be in the normal range, but lower down the range. Just because the reward circuitry is dominant, doesn't mean T levels have nothing to do with porn-induced ED. I'm not saying it does, but rather that scientists need to still consider T's broader implications. Something triggers physical changes with abstinence. Is that dopamine? If it isn't T, then what is it? Women have changes to. That doesn't rule T in or out. Perhaps the body is sensitive to its normalized level of T and small changes matter. That would impact women as well despite their T levels being much lower. How much T are they giving people in T therapy and how much change does that induce in the serum?

dead end

Yea, it's very unlikely that Testosterone is the problem. I actually took the patch for a couple of months and it changed nothing. My levels were pretty much medium, maybe a little on the low side, but not even close to low enough to cause libido problems. I'm convinced most people under 40 with libido problems have a P, M, or PM problem. I spent way too much time researching hormones, neurotransmitters (and their receptors), and it was all a waste because it's much more likely if you're masturbating to porn, that's the problem.

Here's My Testerone Test

Several years ago, I thought as you did and speculated my testosterone level was low too. My main reason... I was born with an undescended testicle (only one testicle in my scrotum). When I was 7, I had an operation to move it down from my abdomen to my scrotum with my other one. Since then, I've had both testicles in my scrotum except the undescended testicle is smaller in size (about half the size as the other). Ultimately, I was bummed to learn my testosterone level was normal for my age (36). It blew my theory of why I had low energy, little interest in dating or having relationships, or having more of a virile tough guy image.

I did my test through a lab company where all I had to do was go to a local lab center. They drew some blood and it was sent somewhere to be tested. It was an expensive test, $113 USD. My results were available within a few days via their private website in a pdf format.

At the time, I was totally unaware of porn addiction. I was in the prime of my frequent PMO usage. I averaged twice a day with regular exposure to porn (mostly naked chick pics) throughout the day. The test was taken back in 2007 when I was 36 and I'd gone maybe 24 hours without PMO before having my blood drawn. So, it doesn't look like PMO had much to do with my testosterone levels. Especially, when I think the one testicle isn't fully functional.

Apparently, one testicle is adequate to provide normal testosterone levels. I can buy that since I've always had an active libido.

Here's a snippet of my testosterone results:

Testosterone Test

"You mean I'm just supposed to enjoy her company?" -Rush5150

384 is a very low number.

384 is a very low number. Just because it is within the "normal range" doesn't man that it is good. You should try to be at least 600 or so. 300-1000 is normal. Are you sure you follow a good diet and sleep habits? Most importantly, do you use the gym? I'm not talking about long-distance cardio, which tanks T-levels, but try some heavy weight-lifting. That is bound to increase T-levels.

Test Results

Well, my doctor did some bloodwork and here are the results. This was done after 2 weeks of no PMO. Everything is fairly normal except DHT is at the extreme low end, hormones wise. It is an extremely important and potent hormone (three times greater affinity for androgen receptors than testosterone) for libido and is also an estradiol antagonist. Unfortunately both the doctor and I missed the DHT range on the page and didn't discuss it, and the lab forgot to test estradiol despite being ordered. I'll be back in a month or two to have vitamin D and cholesterol retested, and will request the hormones to be redone.

I do believe the neurological aspects of recovery are the most important, but it'll be interesting to see what happens to the hormones 60+ days in (if I make it that long) and whether DHT picks up along with a corresponding rise in libido many report (it's dead right now). The brain is very much a part of the endocrine system. Afterall that's where the pituitary and hypothalmus are along with hormone receptors throughout. I've read that high rate of testosterone to DHT conversion occurs during orgasm, but am not sure why DHT is low. Maybe the pituitary becomes desensitized so normal conversion is less than normal now that it's not being done artificially?

I'm not sure if PMO addiction has any affect on cholesterol production, but genetically it runs high in my family and mine is very low (my doctor said it's the lowest she's ever seen) which is rather bizarre. All hormones in the body are synthesized from cholesterol, and vitamin D is as well. Cholesterol is something I'm making an effort to increase myself through diet so it won't be significant to look at when it's retested.

The relevant tests:

Total Testsoterone 467, 249-836
Free+Weakly Bound 66.8, 40-250 (calculated from Albumin and SHBG)
% Free+Weakly Bound 14.3, 9.0-46
LH 6.9, 1.7-8.6
FSH 2.8, 1.5-12.4
DHT 31 (30-85)
Albumin 4.8, 3.5-5.5
SHBG 34.7, 14.5-48.4

DHEA 238.1, 211-492

Total Cholesterol 99, 100-199
HDL 37, >39
VLDL Cholesterol Cal 12, 5-40
LDL Cholesterol Calc 50, 0-99


Keep us updated. It would be interesting to monitor porn users hormone profile all the way through recovery to see if anything unique occurs. It would be even more interesting to monitor the receptor levels in the brain.

As I think about it more

I think DHT certainly has dropped off since ceasing PMO. My flaccid size has decreased dramatically, which is a characteristic that has strong correlation with DHT levels. The other aspect is that I used to often wake up with morning erections if I did PMO only once the previous day, and had morning wood with certainty if I left a one day interval in between (not common, but did occur occasionally in my feeble attempts to break free over the years). Since the second or third day since starting this (I'm 30+ days in now), I haven't had any morning response. I don't know if it's endocrine or neurologically driven.

What'd be great is MRI's of addicts' brains. Wink

I suspect your

libido will come roaring back in the next month or so. We hear this "flat-line" story a lot, as I'm sure you know from others' accounts.

It's interesting to learn about the DHT, because so many men report that their penis "shrinks" at first when they stop the PMO. The DHT drop would explain a lot. I'm happy to report that their penis mysteriously increases in size...often beyond its size during PMO days...when they fully recover.

*phew* Wink