Can steroids cause sterility?

Anabolic steroids, the drugs taken by hundreds of thousands of athletes to increase their muscles, can cause sterility and decrease sexual function for at least several years after medications are stopped, according to fertility specialists. Misuse of anabolic steroids to look muscular and muscular carries a very high risk of becoming sterile. In fact, studies show that abusing steroids can increase the risk of infertility by up to 90%. Your physique may be impressive and attractive to the opposite sex, but you risk losing your ability to father children.

One study compared 41 bodybuilders who used anabolic steroids with 41 volunteers who didn't use steroids or other drugs. Paul Jenkins, sports coach and founder of the supplement company DNA Lean, has two decades of experience working with athletes, namely amateur and professional competitive bodybuilders, “of whom all have used steroids. Anabolic steroids are marked with numerous side effects, some of which are life-threatening and some of which are permanent. The NHS states that taking anabolic steroids on a regular basis can cause a number of physical and psychological changes in both men and women, as well as potentially dangerous medical conditions.

Of the three groups, current anabolic steroid users had the lowest testosterone levels, and former users' testosterone levels were noticeably lower than the group of men who never took anabolic steroids. In summary, the best policy is to strongly discourage the use of steroids and, for consumers who persist in their abuse, to offer them appropriate ethics and clinical uroandrological support. In most cases, these negative effects on sperm production were temporary and could be reversed if the person stopped taking anabolic steroids. The abuse of anabolic steroids is often associated with transient or persistent alterations in male reproductive function by different pathways.

A study that looked at the use of anabolic steroids determined that taking synthetic testosterone, such as anabolic steroids, inhibits the secretion of both FSH and LH, which are essential for producing sperm. But because testosterone increases muscle mass, athletes and bodybuilders can misuse anabolic steroids to help build muscle, reduce body fat percentage, or gain strength and endurance in an attempt to rapidly increase athletic performance. Education alone is probably not the miracle strategy that encourages stopping the abuse of anabolic steroids, but it is an essential first step in the fight against this problem. And another study that followed 20 male bodybuilders who used anabolic steroids over a 2-year period found that declining fertility was one of the most significant long-term adverse effects.

A sustained increase in testosterone levels during 'cycles' leads to higher rates of testosterone aromatization, which explains the gynecomastia generally found in steroid users. Several studies conclude that the use of anabolic steroids significantly decreased sperm quality parameters. Speaking to the BBC, Dr. Mossman said taking steroids could make men look more “attractive”, but it could turn them into an evolutionary failure.

Matthew M. Cress
Matthew M. Cress

Fitness Trainer. Lab technician. General food junkie. Supplement researcher.