I was writing an article on masturbation and was doing some net based research. I saw on a paper (Phillips-Farfán et al. 2007) that frequent masturbation increases estrogen receptors in the brain.

My question is does estrogen receptivity decrease and/or go to back to normal due to abstinence from masturbation and/or from increased testosterone levels in the body due to abstinence?


Phillips-Farfán, B. V., Lemus, A. E., & Fernández-Guasti, A. (2007). Increased estrogen receptor alpha immunoreactivity in the forebrain of sexually satiated rats. Hormones and behavior, 51(3), 328-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.12.001

  • $\begingroup$ Is your "back to normal" question also about rats? (The study is.) $\endgroup$ – Fizz Apr 26 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ And the abstract doesn't mention masturbation. $\endgroup$ – Fizz Apr 26 at 23:46
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    $\begingroup$ And neither does the body of the paper (methods section), which I've read now. $\endgroup$ – Fizz Apr 27 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Fizz It does clearly mention ejaculation, but I agree the interpretation of the OP definitely needs to make that clear in the question! $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Apr 27 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ To add to what @Fizz stated, the paper states even a single ejaculation leads to increased ERα in two of the brain regions looked at. And, although the exact relation between ERα and sexual satiety is exactly what is studied here, one of the mentioned related studies gives an indication: "[m]ale rats require 15 days of sexual inactivity to recover their full mating capacity (Beach and Jordan, 1956)." You might not want to equate humans to rats in your article, though. And you might want to mention that this is not specific to masturbation. Could you please edit your question accordingly? $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Apr 27 at 10:15

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