Neuroendocrine and cardiovascular response to sexual arousal and orgasm in men

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1998 May;23(4):401-11. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4530(98)00007-9.


Data regarding the neuroendocrine response pattern to sexual arousal and orgasm in man are inconsistent. In this study, ten healthy male volunteers were continuously monitored for their cardiovascular and neuroendocrine response to sexual arousal and orgasm. Blood was continuously drawn before, during and after masturbation-induced orgasm and analyzed for plasma concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, growth hormone (GH), beta-endorphin and testosterone. Orgasm induced transient increases in heart rate, blood pressure and noradrenaline plasma levels. Prolactin plasma levels increased during orgasm and remained elevated 30 min after orgasm. In contrast, none of the other endocrine variables were significantly affected by sexual arousal and orgasm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Libido / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology*
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Orgasm / physiology*
  • Pituitary Hormones / blood
  • Reference Values


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Norepinephrine