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Male Fertility and Anabolic Steroids

Male infertility can be a very sensitive and difficult issue for many men to accept. It can come as a big surprise that they may be creating the problem by taking certain supplements – especially (anabolic) steroids. Steroids that are used to enhance strength and fitness can actually drastically lower a sperm count (to zero in many cases).

These types of steroids can do damage to male fertility. The drugs interfere with the hormone signals required to produce sperm. The amount of damage depends on which drugs are being used, the dosage and how often they are taken. Anabolic steroids can be found in some fitness and muscle-building dietary supplements from unreputable companies.

Excessive amounts of anabolic steroids may help you achieve a more muscle-bound physique; however, at the same time, it can also lower your sperm count considerably. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are important hormones in sperm production. These drugs affect FSH and LH and in some men, will completely diminish sperm to the point where there are no sperm in the ejaculate.

Increasing Testosterone Levels can Lower Sperm Count

Steroids that are taken to promote muscle growth and overall fitness can actually trick the brain into thinking that there is a sufficient amount of testosterone being produced. As a result, the brain decreases its signaling to the testicles. Steroid use can actually lead to low (or absent) sperm counts and shrunken testicles. In a sense, steroids can act like male birth control.
The good news is that this is often a very treatable and recoverable form of male infertility. Once the steroid use has stopped, it generally takes about three months for sperm to return in the semen. For men who have used steroids for a long time, recovery may take longer – even sometimes a year or more.

In addition to male infertility issues, steroids can cause a number of other health issues, some of which may be irreversible:

- Acne

- Breast development

- Liver problems

- Heart attack

- Stroke

If you are taking steroids to improve your strength and muscle mass, it is critical for you to be aware of the connection between steroid use and male infertility, and risks you are taking that impact both short- and long-term heath.


Misusing anabolic steroids to look buff and muscular comes with a very high risk of becoming sterile. In fact, studies show that abusing steroids can increase your risk of sterility by as much as 90%. Your physique may be stunning and attractive to the opposite sex, but you risk losing your ability to father children.

Fortunately, the sterility caused by misusing anabolic steroids can be reversed for most men. In general, it may take from six to 12 months for you to regain fertility after you stop using steroids. Some individuals may not recover for as many as three years after misusing anabolic steroids. Men who are planning on fathering a child should refrain from anabolic steroid use.

When Is Testosterone Use Appropriate?

Occasionally men may be prescribed testosterone by a physician to boost an overall lower than normal testosterone level. This would be an appropriate use of testosterone. However, testosterone is a steroid hormone – and will cause the sperm count to plummet.

If a man has baseline low testosterone and also desires fertility, there are other alternative medications that can help maintain normal testosterone levels & a normal sperm count.

Contact Chawla Nursing Home to make a plan for addressing hormonal imbalances while boosting fertility.If you are having problems with fertility, contact our Clinic, and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

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