Some data suggest males average a 17% cyclic increase in testosterone every 20-22 days. Those cyclic periods ranged from 8-30 days and 9-28% of average testosterone levels in study participants. Evidence also suggests peak testosterone levels in males may be more likely on weekends or in 28-day full-moon intervals (among males trying to conceive with a female partner). Although there is other evidence that male testosterone levels do not change in relation to a partner’s ovulation.
Testosterone concentration in males is higher in the fall, peaks in December, and is lowest in the late winter and spring, with a difference of about 35% between the high and low points.
Daily testosterone secretion appears to peak during sleep. 5-7 In men 30-40 years old, testosterone levels were 20-25% higher at 8:00 AM compared to 4:00 PM (the difference declined to 10% at 70 years old). Multiple studies support the notion that sleep loss suppresses testosterone secretion. Poorer sleep quality is associated with lower testosterone concentrations, and sleep loss may have a more prominent effect on testosterone levels in older individuals (who generally demonstrate lower levels than younger men). Testosterone also appears to fluctuate in response to ejaculation abstinence. Fluctuations were minimal 2-5 days following ejaculation but exhibited a clear peak (without significant further fluctuation) on the 7th day of abstinence, reaching 145.7% of the first day of abstinence’s baseline level on average.
What This Means for Addiction Recovery
(Additional thoughts from Heather)
The testosterone cycle explains why so many men trying to quit porn or masturbation just can’t seem to get past certain streaks before relapsing. Awareness of your body’s “peak days” is a critical part of recovery success. Recognizing and accepting your body’s natural cycles can play a pivotal role in addiction recovery.
Somedays will inevitably be harder than other, as you’ve likely noticed. Knowing what your body is going through though can be a powerful tool. Rather than allowing heightened urges as a breaking point, it’s important to accept them as “passing hormones” that will do just that–pass.
It’s normal, it’s natural, and it’s something you can and will get through.
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