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Urology/Does marijuana affect testosterone and erection health



I am 27 years old thin male.  I haven't touched marijuana for about 4 or 5 years. However, from age 18 to about 21 I was more or less a regular user. I recently had my testosterone checked and it was 438 ng which is on the lower side of normal .  My erections have been good, I recently cut down on masturbation  and have had two wet dreams in the past couple weeks. Also with sex they've been ok but there's been a couple random times of lose of an erection during sex only out of many times . I've had my health checked and everything seems to be fine . My question is does smoking marijuana have a lasting impact on testosterone levels or erection function?  Is there any way to increase it naturally ?


We know that marijuana lowers testosterone and sperm levels, but these typically return to normal after usage has stopped.  

438 ng is a normal testosterone level.  Your intermittent problems with sexual activity probably have nothing to do with testosterone levels and are more likely to be psychological, emotional or anxiety related.

As far as increasing testosterone naturally, the best advice is a healthy lifestyle. Here is a reprint by Eric Metcalf from WebMD on this subject:


1. Get Enough Sleep.
George Yu, MD, a urology professor at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., says that, for many men with low testosterone, poor sleep is the most important factor. A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body. This, in turn, can have a harmful impact on your testosterone.

Make sleep a priority, aiming for 7 to 8 hours per night, even if it means rearranging your schedule or dropping your habit of late-night TV. Prize your sleep, just like you'd prize a healthy diet and active lifestyle. It's that important.

If you're having problems getting good sleep on a regular basis, talk to your doctor.

2. Keep a Healthy Weight.
Men who are overweight or obese often have low testosterone levels, says Alvin M. Matsumoto, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

For those men, losing the extra weight can help bring testosterone back up, he says. Likewise, for men who are underweight, getting your weight up to a healthy level can also have a positive effect on the hormone.

3. Stay Active.
Testosterone adapts to your body's needs, Yu says. If you spend most of your time lying on the couch, your brain gets the message that you don't need as much to bolster your muscles and bones.

But, he says, when you're physically active, your brain sends out the signal for more of the hormone.

If you're getting little exercise now, Miner suggests starting by:

Walking briskly at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.
Building strength with several sessions of weights or elastic bands each week. Work with a trainer to learn proper form so you don't injure yourself.
Don't go overboard. Extreme amounts of endurance exercise -- working out at the level of elite athletes -- can lower your testosterone.

4. Take Control of Your Stress.
If you're under constant stress, your body will churn out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol. When it does, it will be less able to create testosterone. So, controlling your stress is important for keeping up your testosterone, Miner says.

Miner's advice to the over-stressed men he sees in his office is to:

Cut back on long work hours. If you're logging lots of overtime, try to whittle your workday down to 10 hours or less.
Spend 2 hours a day on activities you like that aren't work- or exercise-related, such as reading or playing music.

5. Review Your Medications.
Some medicines can cause a drop in your testosterone level, Matsumoto says. These include:

Opioid drugs such as fentanyl, MS Contin, and OxyContin
Glucocorticoid drugs such as prednisone
Anabolic steroids used for building muscles and improving athletic performance
You shouldn’t stop taking any of your medications. If you're concerned about your testosterone level, discuss your medications with your doctor to make sure they're not the problem, and to make adjustments to your treatment if needed.  

6. Forget the Supplements.
Finally, although you're likely to encounter online ads for testosterone-boosting supplements, you aren't likely to find any that will do much good.

Your body naturally makes a hormone called DHEA that it can convert to testosterone. DHEA is also available in supplement form. But neither Miner nor Matsumoto advise using DHEA supplements since, they say, they will do little to raise your testosterone.  


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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