Does Meditation Affect Testosterone and Sex Drive?

Seated man meditating.

I’d like to talk about two things that aren’t really discussed often together, but it’s something that science actually supports quite clearly: the effect that meditation has on sex drive and testosterone.

Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced by the testes in men, and by the ovaries in women. It’s fundamental for things like strength, muscle growth, and even your mood, and various other important physiological functions. Therefore, maintaining healthy testosterone levels is quite important.

The modern man has much less testosterone than men did in the past, and there’s a lot of controversy about what that reason is. But for the focus of this article I’m going to be looking at the link between meditation and testosterone, as well as with the steroid hormone cortisol, and how meditation’s effect on cortisol may in fact improve testosterone and more.

Cortisol

There was a four-month study involving people who were meditating compared to a control group of those who were not. What they found is that the people who are meditating for the four months in the study had a remarkably lower stress level. That’s not too much of a surprise since meditation is synonymous with lowering stress, which is exactly what they found.

However, when stress is lowered, cortisol (which is the steroid hormone in response to stress) is also lowered, and cortisol has an inverse relationship with testosterone. When cortisol decreases, testosterone and other hormones, like growth hormone, also increase. That’s why it’s really important for men to control their cortisol levels in order to keep their testosterone production at an optimal level.

It makes sense that in a stressful situation where cortisol is released, such as being chased by a tiger in Paleolithic times, that’s not going to be the optimal time to be concerned about procreating. Testosterone increases when cortisol decreases, which is when you’re relaxed. Many of us seem to be in this fight-or-flight mode of stress throughout the day, not because we’re being chased by tigers, but because we’re being bombarded by emails and messages and the work-related stress, which kind of mimics that relationship in nature.

Age

Now, most people would think that a guy who’s in his mid-twenties would qualify as being at a pretty young age, but it’s at this age that testosterone levels actually begin to naturally decline over time. That’s not to say that some people won’t peak with their testosterone levels at 28 or 29, but around this age is when it starts to fall, gradually accumulating over time until you’re an old man. This is why it’s important to become slightly more self aware about your environment, your habits, and how that may be affecting your hormones.

DHEA

So at around this age (24, 25, 26), DHEA, which is a precursor for both testosterone and estrogen in men and women, begins to decline. Studies have shown quite clearly that increasing DHEA levels also increases testosterone. One really interesting study showed that long-term practitioners of meditation had 40% higher DHEA levels than the control group, which is a fascinating and huge difference when you really think about. Considering that meditation is merely sitting down focusing on breathing and emptying your thoughts, the relationship there seems to be quite profound and significant. And it’s not something where the effects are sort of borderline, it’s pretty clear that it does work and that DHEA increases from meditation long-term.

Sleep

Sleep is quite important to consider as well. We have different sleep cycles, we have non-rapid-eye movement, and we have rapid-eye-movement sleep. REM sleep, or rapid-eye-movement sleep, is quite important, and it’s something that people have a dysfunction with commonly.

REM

Testosterone seems to have an interesting relationship with REM sleep. What scientists have found is that testosterone peaks during REM sleep and then seems to stay the same until you wake up. It’s known that meditation has really really good effects on your sleep for a number of reasons. It’s been shown that meditation helps to secrete melatonin, which is the sleeping hormone, especially if you meditate at night. Nighttime meditation helps keep cortisol down, which does not need to be high before bed. You have a natural circadian rhythm, and cortisol is released in the highest amount in the morning, while it’s released in the lowest amounts at night while you’re trying to relax. At that time, melatonin is released instead, so meditation helps to release melatonin.

Breathing

When you meditate, you also learn to breathe better. You learn to use your nose and do nasal breathing, as opposed to mouth breathing, and you learn to control your breathing through your diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing is really important for getting a deep sleep, and it’s been shown to have pretty important implications for the quality of your sleep.

The way you breathe when you sleep is so much more important than people think. If you’re not sleeping well enough your cortisol levels shoot way up, even when you’re sleep-deprived by a few hours, and as we learned, when your cortisol goes up, your testosterone goes down.

So in theory, if meditation helps you get a better and deeper sleep, it’s going to help control and regulate your cortisol levels. It may also improve your REM sleep. Improving these two factors by meditating can have a major effect on improving testosterone levels.

In Closing

In closing, meditation is fantastic, and it’s probably one of the most profound habits I’ve added into my life for a long time. I once thought that exercise was the best thing that ever happened to me, but meditation is on par with the the effects that exercise had on my life.

So if you are not meditating, or not taking it seriously, you might want to consider it. It’s a great way to increase and optimize your hormones, decrease your cortisol, improve your libido and sex drive, and increase your testosterone, all of which are really important for life satisfaction in general.

Testosterone is also necessary for muscle strength, performance, endurance, and for our moods as well. This is why it’s important to be able to regulate our cortisol levels and find ways to increase our testosterone.

So meditate! Do it. Try it. You’ll be glad that you did.

How to Fix ED Naturally

Erectile Dysfunction is a condition in which a man can’t attain an erection during sexual intercourse. It is also commonly known as impotence and the risk of having it increases as men age. The symptoms of ED often include a decrease in libido or sexual desire. ED also has psychological effects on sufferers such as anxiety and reduced self-confidence.

The inability to achieve an erection occasionally is not abnormal but if the condition becomes frequent or lasts for several weeks or months, you should visit your doctor who may then diagnose the condition. It is good to get it checked out as soon as you can because ED could be caused by an underlying and potentially more serious health issue such as heart disease or psychological issues like depression.

Treating ED

Depending on the nature and severity of your ED, you may be prescribed oral medications such as Avanafil (Stendra), Vardenafil or Sildenafil (Viagra). If your doctor determines that oral medication doesn’t work, there are other treatments like penile implants and penis pumps.

However, medication doesn’t work for everyone and there have been an increased interest in natural treatments and they could be good alternatives for those having side effects to drugs such as Viagra.

Natural Treatments for ED

Before you try ‘natural’ treatments, consult your doctor and note that there are plenty of bogus claims for ‘natural’ treatments for ED. So, seek medical advice and do your research before attempting them.

Some of the most common natural treatments include:

  • L-arginine: Some research studies concluded that high dosages of L-arginine improve blood flow to the penis. This should not be taken with Viagra.
  • Ginseng : Ginseng is an Asian ginger-like root has been shown to improve Erectile Dysfunction.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): Some evidence points to DHEA improving libido in both men and women and having a positive impact on ED sufferers.
  • Propionyl-L-carnitine: Studies have reported that Propionyl-L-carnitine, when used in conjunction with Viagra show better results than Viagra used on its own.
  • Gingko: Gingko is a native Chinese herb that could increase blood flow to the penis. However, it is also reported to increase the risk of bleeding. So, patients taking blood thinners should be cautious and seek medical advice before trying out Gingko supplements.

There are other natural treatments like Epimedium and Yohimbine, but these have been linked to serous side effects and studies on them have shown mixed results.

Lifestyle Changes

One of the safest and most effective ways to avoid ED or at least improve erectile function is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

  • Healthy Diet: Maintaining a healthy diet can help slash the risk of conditions like heart disease or diabetes which are known to be risk factors for ED.
  • Exercising regularly: Regular exercise can improve blood pressure and increase blood flow to the penis, reducing the risk of ED
  • Find ways to reduce stress: Stress is another contributor to ED and reducing stress or anxiety can greatly improve ED.
  • Quit smoking and excessive drinking

Andropause and Men’s Sex Drive

As men grow older the chances of experiencing a decrease in libido may occur. This situation known as “Andropause” can be frightening for some men who have led a very active sex life. Although medicine has come to the rescue, it is important to understand andropause and men’s drive.

Just like women, men do have their biological clock and may experience erectile dysfunction at a certain point.This change in hormone can be associated with the following facts:

1. An Early Marker For Cardiovascular Disease: Visit a primary care physician when you experience erectile dysfunction since it may be a sign of potential heart issues. Lots of lives have been saved as primary care physicians are able to detect cardiovascular disease and nip it at the bud.

Due to the narrow nature of a man’s penile artery, there is a great chance of having it clogged faster than coronary arteries. Detecting little things like this can help with the treatment of cardiovascular disease even when a male patient came to make a report related to erectile dysfunction.

2. Fertility in Men is Finite: In the past before science made a breakthrough and discovered andropause in men, there was an unquestioned belief that men are fertile for life. However, it has been learned that as men grow older there is the likelihood of their testosterone levels dropping. This results in a reduction in a man’s appetite for sex.

The sex drive of men is typically high while in their 30s. Thanks to andropause, a man in his 50s cannot be as fertile as a 30-year old man. At latter stages men notice a drop in their sperm counts and also a reduction in the quality of sperm produced.

3. Andropause Symptoms Vary: The fact that all men experience andropause does not mean it occurs at the same level for everyone. In some men, the symptoms of andropause is the addition in weight while others simply become irritable.

While some men may not experience any of these, having erectile dysfunction and a low sex drive is commonly associated with andropause. This becomes more noticeable when men approach the age of 40 and beyond.

Andropause and sex drive in men has proven that women are not alone in experiencing a decrease in the level of their sex hormones. It is also worth noting that while andropause results from old age in men, cancer treatments such as the use of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery may also cause hormonal imbalances in men.

Obesity and Sexual Health

Obesity is on the rise in both men and women and there is plenty of attention on how it can impact your overall health.  What people rarely discuss is the impact that it has on your sex life and sexual health.  Obesity and sexual health are tied together especially for men, yet it is a topic that is mostly overlooked.  While there are plenty of overweight men who enjoy a healthy sex drive, there are some problems that come with excess weight, let’s look at them now.

Cardiovascular Problems

Obesity has a tremendous impact on your heart, overweight men have a greater chance of heart attack.  The excess weight also bring with it elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure.  There are circulatory problems that are caused by obesity and that affects penis function, that in turn inhibits your ability to get and sustain an erection.

Poor Stamina

Many men who are overweight often report that sex with a partner is too taxing and they run out of energy before they can achieve an orgasm.

Decreased Nerve Function

Sexual satisfaction depends on having good nerve function.  The excess weight puts pressure on nerve tissue and that stops the pleasurable sensations associated with sex from getting to the brain.  Combine that with type 2 diabetes which is so common in overweight people also wreaks havoc on your nerve tissue. Obesity can cause you to lose sensitivity in your penis making sex less pleasurable.

Body Image Issues

Men can be every bit as self-conscious about the excess weight that they carry around as women are.  The may not be comfortable in getting intimate with a partner because of the way they look.  Fat around the midsection makes the penis looks smaller increasing the anxiety that comes with getting intimate with a partner.  Body image issues and self-esteem go hand in hand, poor self-esteem leads to depression which has a negative impact on your libido.

Solving the Issues

The most obvious solution to improve your sexual function is to take off the weight, and you should do that for your total health not just your sexual health.  During the time it takes for you to lose the weight there are other steps that you can take to improve your sex drive.  Avoiding salty processed foods and switching to a better diet will give you more energy.  Exercise, even going for a walk with improve your stamina and energy levels.

How Anxiety Can Affect a Man’s Sexual Performance

There are many factors that may affect the performance of a man in the bedroom. Anxiety is one such factor. As a man you should be able to enjoy sex and at the same time please your partner. However, sometimes you may feel that you are not meeting the thresh-hold in the bedroom hence anxiety sets in.

Anxiety can be caused by factors like your body image, the size of your manhood among others. It is also important to note that at some point in your life, you may experience anxiety and it may affect your sexual performance.

As a man, anxiety may affect your sexual performance in the following ways:

  1. It lowers your self-confidence

You need self-confidence to approach a woman that you like in the first place. If you’re anxious in one way or the other, you may find it difficult to approach a beautiful lady. If you are lucky and you manage to lead a lady to your bedroom when you’re still anxious, you may neither enjoy the experience nor satisfy her. Without confidence in yourself and your capabilities, you cannot do much.

  1. Low libido

As a man, you are designed to naturally have some kind of sexual urge or drive. Anxiety may lower your sexual drive. Now, when you have low libido, you may find yourself turning down sexual advances from your significant other more than it is necessary. This may happen simply because your urge to have sex is low and maybe even getting an erection may be an issue. It becomes difficult to have sex when you cannot be aroused.

  1. Erectile dysfunction

If you are anxious, you may not be able to have an erection. Achieving and maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse may be a problem. Having an erectile dysfunction for a sustained period of time may even destroy your relationship. If anxiety causes you to have an erectile dysfunction, it may be time to look for help.

  1. Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can also be caused by anxiety. This may happen especially if you’re worried about how long you will last during a sexual intercourse. There seems to be too much pressure for men to last longer in the bedroom and those who do are seen as heroes. Those who cannot last long enough to satisfy their partners are looked down upon. This kind of thinking breeds anxiety which again leads premature ejaculation hence it becomes an endless circle. Premature ejaculation may also have an adverse effect on your relationship with your woman.

As explained above, anxiety can adversely affect a mans sexual performance. It is necessary therefore that you seek for professionals to help you manage your anxiety before it affects your sexual performance and ultimately break your relationship.