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What are the physical effects of sexual abstinence?

Hilda Y. Hutcherson, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

The less sex you have, the less you tend to want it. When you go without sex for a while, levels of the critical hormone testosterone drop, in both men and women. Lower testosterone means a lower sex drive.


The Good in Bed Guide to Sex and the Baby Years

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The Good in Bed Guide to Sex and the Baby Years

Available at a substantial discount for a limited time only, thanks to support from K-Y(R) Brand!Once you get down to the business of baby-making, the advice will pour in: books, magazines, in-laws,...

Sexual abstinence has physical effects. Normally sexually-active men may have nocturnal emissions again. The nature of dreams may become more sexual in response to drive changes and lack of opportunity for expression. People can become more irritable, angry or stressed. Eventually, if abstinence persists, the physical effects diminish, hormone levels adapt and desire fades.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.