Does Prolactin Cause The Refractory Period? [Science Say No]
By Johnathan P Cumberwell
You have sex. You move towards the climax. It’s intense. It’s euphoria. You climax! Aaaaaaaaaaa…!!!
Immediately after you climax, you are very abruptly shaken back down to planet earth.
The euphoria ends. The last thing you want now is sex.
You normally get super sensitive down there, and many men just want to sleep.
You now enter what is called the refractory period.
This is the period of time it takes for you to be ready for (and desire) sex again. For young adults, this period can be just minutes. For older men, this period can be as long as days or even weeks.
For the longest time, scientists had thought that this refractory period was caused by the hormone prolactin.
It is true that men see a spike in their prolactin during climax. But that doesn’t mean that it necessarily causes the end of the euphoria.
And now this has been put to the test:
A new study on mice has come to challenge the role of prolactin.
Researchers in Portugal both increased and decreased prolactin levels in mice (in several different mice species), and then observed what happened to their refractory period.
Boosting or reducing prolactin had no effect on the refractory period.
So it may be the case that we have to throw the prolactin theory out the window. Which means we then don’t know what causes the refractory period.
However, there seems to be a correlation between prolactin and sex. Because men who have low sex drives and who struggle to reach orgasm, often have low prolactin levels.
And men who struggle with erectile dysfunction also often have very long refractory periods.
But the exact connections are still a mystery.
So we might be back to ground zero. More research is needed.
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