The use of anabolic steroids has become one of the main causes of preventable male factor infertility. Increasing numbers of men; including teenagers, are now taking these steroids to help build up muscle bulk in a bid to make themselves look more “manly”.
Most are unaware of the side effects from these illegal drugs, which pose significant risks to their long term health, and more specifically their future fertility. These steroids can cause the testicles to shrink stopping sperm production. This means that men taking anabolic steroids, and other drugs like them, may have problems starting or adding to their family in the future.
The science behind this is that anabolic steroids increase testosterone production within the body, which helps build up muscle bulk. However, this blocks the production of testosterone in the testicles themselves, which is a necessary ingredient for sperm production.
If used for long enough and in high enough doses, the damage to male fertility can become permanent. In some case, it may take up to a year for sperm production to return to normal having stopped the anabolic steroids.
Phil Harris, Consultant Gynaecologist and Clinical Lead at Fertility Fusion said “I am seeing an increasing number of men at the clinic who simply aren’t aware of the damage that taking anabolic steroids can do to their long-term health and fertility. We advise anyone who wishes to start a family now and in the future to avoid taking anabolic steroids where possible”.
If you or someone you know is worried about the impact of steroids or other lifestyle choices on fertility, advice is at hand. The Fertility Fusion Clinic, based at Wrightington Hospital, can offer advice and fertility testing or “MOTs”. The team can be contacted on 01257 256251 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org