Anabolic Steroids May Affect Male Fertility

How Anabolic steroids work?

Anabolic steroid is a human-made drug focused on building up the manly characteristics in the men. This anabolic steroid prepared artificially is a kind of supplement to the already present hormones in the male body. As Testosterone is an essential hormone for the development of a male body, this drug increase testosterone production within the human body to build muscles and male sex characteristics. Testosterone brings two types of effects on the body one is androgenic that is focused on the development of male genitals, growth of body and facial hair, and voice deepening. In contrast, another effect is anabolic that is focused on increasing bone and muscle mass.

The anabolic steroids have majorly been developed to increase the anabolic properties to build tissues of the androgens while reducing the androgenic characteristics concerned with sexual elements like genital enlargement, sex drive, etc. This drug is used majorly by the athletes for their performance, while non- athletes use it to increase energy levels, endurance. The use of anabolic steroids has increased in men as well as teenagers to help build muscle bulk to make their appearance more “manly.”

The question here arises if the steroid is made to enhance the anabolic effect in the body how it will harm or have side effects over the sex characteristics of a male? But there is a science about the steroid work, increasing the levels of Testosterone in the body and does attack the natural production of Testosterone. This steroid is said to resemble the hormone testosterone and blocks the production of Testosterone in the testicles themselves. Further, the lower natural production of Testosterone in the body has many effects on the prostate glands, brain, and other penial chambers of the body too.

anabolic steroids

Anabolic Steroids and Testosterone

Anabolic Steroids do affect the natural production of Testosterone, disturbs the mechanism of Testosterone the same way. Testosterone can disrupt the hormonal balance, the primary hormone of a male body carrying out various functions. One of the features of Testosterone is to contribute to the sex life. Right from the production of the sperms to erectile functioning, testosterone has a significant role to play.

Anabolic steroids have side effects that many males are unaware of. This drug poses a significant risk of sexual health in the long term and, more specifically, male fertility. The steroids interrupt the natural mechanism of the process and can leave men with many problems that can lead to obstructions in adding or starting their family.

How Anabolic steroids can affect Male Fertility

Low natural Testosterone: Anabolic steroids have a direct effect on anabolic properties. The drug is consumed to build muscle mass and strength in the body. However, the main ingredient responsible for this is Testosterone. The drug adds the artificial supplement instead of the natural Testosterone.

The natural production of the Testosterone from the testicles is hampered, which leads to disturbing patterns in the Testosterone creation compared to the previous state of the body. The decreased levels of Testosterone are responsible for reducing the male libido, sperm count, and even results in erectile dysfunctions. Once this becomes a routine, then the body accepts it, and it becomes difficult to get back to normal. Thus it can have a long term effect on stopping the production and becoming infertile in the future.

Decreased sperm production: Testosterone is produced in the male testicles that are required for sperm production. Even though Testosterone is not a sole hormone that contributes to the creation of sperms but the major contributor to the quantity of sperm produced, males produce sperms on a large scale every day, which is required for having a child. Healthy sperms are not enough if men have a low count of sperms. Little sperms can lead to no fertility, and further men can become incapable of producing the sperms, becomes a lifetime problem, and leave men to be impotent.

Shrinking testicles: Shrinking testicles refers to the size of testicles becoming smaller, a severe concern in the case of testicular atrophy. The testicles shrink or get smaller due to the loss of the germ cells and Leydig cells. Both cells play a role in the production of the sperms. The decreased size of testicles leads to a reduced number of sperms due to lower sperm production too. The problem is not about the smaller testicles, but the reduced size. The reason behind the issue is due to drug consumption and its effect over the testicles and thus fertility.

Cognitive function: The male hormone that takes over many features of the body is Testosterone. It also has a command over brain functions and ultimately the sexual health. Usually, the brain coordinates and sends commands to the testis to produce the male hormone, testosterone, and sperms. But due to the consumption of these drugs the brain could sense the high level of supplement already present in the body and stops commands that are required to raise the level of testis’ natural production of testosterone, as well as sperms lead to a temporary stoppage of sperm production to even zero, and regular dosage of these drugs can also have lifetime infertility. 

Sperm Blockage: The effect of anabolic steroids can also affect the movement of sperms, i.e., the wiggling of the moving journey towards exposure during ejaculation. The track can also be blocked, leading the sperm blockage where it doesn’t reach at the time of ejaculation. Fertility is all about the sperms and semen that enter while mating resulting in the formation of the zygote (fetus)

Male Libido: The sexual desire in men is directly connected to the testosterone levels or sperm production in the body. The disturbed mechanism of Testosterone in the male organ due to steroids can cause low to no sexual desire. This further can affect the overall sexual health of a male, resulting in losing interest in having sex temporarily or even for the future. Sexual intercourse and ejaculation are complicated yet straightforward processes while it comes to becoming a father.

The risk to the Foetus: Infertility also refers to the lack of conceiving the child. It’s also possible that the fetus can be infected—infections during their birth or at the time of delivering the baby. The low fertility ability of the sperm has cases where the children are born with abnormalities. Not necessarily it has to be a woman to be infertile to conceive, but also a low fertile sperm from a male body can also cause this.


Anabolic steroids are in high doses can cause damage to the male fertility permanently, as regular consumption can never help to bring sperm production return to normal. The sperm production takes up to 1 year or more to return to normal after stopping the anabolic steroids. The side effects of the drug cannot possibly be seen immediately, but they do have horrible effects on male sexual health.

It’s not necessary always that steroids alone can affect men’s fertility, but the lifestyle along with it also makes a huge difference. But these steroids affect the Testosterone in the male body, and it has a lot to do with the sexual health of men. Once men play with the natural Testosterone, it is for sure that it will show its side effects, in the long run, depending upon the dosage and duration of consumption of the drug.


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