Steroids, supplements affect male infertility. Here’s how to recover sperm count Health

When men try hard to get the ideal body/body, they sometimes consume some supplements or even steroids that induce muscle growth and strength but while maintaining physical strength and ensuring an increase in muscle mass, men do not realize that testosterone. They improve their appearance can adversely affect their fertility and overall health. According to health experts, when men use steroids to increase testosterone levels to build muscle, it can lead to low sperm count or even lack of sperm.

Steroids, some supplements affect male infertility.  Here's how to recover sperm count in men (photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash)
Steroids, some supplements affect male infertility. Here’s how to recover sperm count in men (photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash)

Men often feel pressured to maintain their physical appearance or achieve a certain level of fitness, so they consume products like steroids that help them achieve the desired result of gaining muscle mass but in these situations, men fail to realize this. Steroid intake can harm the health of male sperm leading to fertility problems. Male infertility is a very sensitive issue for men to accept and for men, complications in reproduction can be an unpleasant surprise resulting in increased stress levels and not being able to have children due to relationship stress.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Anindita Singh, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Kolkata revealed, “Analyzing the main causes of infertility, it was found that some supplements especially anabolic steroids can cause fertility problems. Steroids are synthetic supplements or versions of testosterone that help increase strength and muscle growth in men. Steroids used to promote muscle growth can reduce sperm count or even result in an overall lack of sperm, which shrinks a man’s testicles.”

She said, “However, the adverse effects of steroid consumption on sperm health can be treated over time. When a person stops using steroids, it takes about three months for the sperm count to recover. In cases where men have used steroids for a long time, the recovery period may take longer, about a year or more. Apart from male infertility problems, steroids can cause many other health problems including acne, breast growth, liver problems, heart attack, or stroke which may be irreversible.”

Dr. Priyanka Reddy, Consultant – Infertility Specialist at Motherhood Hospital, HRBR Layout, Bangalore, shares how steroids affect the male reproductive system:

  • When taking steroids, the brain is tricked into thinking that the body is producing the required amount of testosterone.
  • When the brain thinks it is, it signals the testicles to slow or completely stop sperm production.
  • This confusion leads to a low sperm count or in some cases no sperm at all. Low sperm levels can also cause the testicles to shrink, leading to male infertility.

He emphasized that apart from fertility, other major adverse effects of steroids can cause side effects in body systems that can cause permanent damage.

  • Cardiovascular System: Besides testosterone, steroids can increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, which contribute to high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • Endocrine System: Steroid use can cause hormonal imbalances that interfere with fertility and sperm production and physical functions such as enlarged breast tissue, shrinking testicles, severe acne, cysts, and in severe cases, testicular cancer.
  • Muscular and Skeletal System: In adults, the use of steroids can lead to stiff tendons which can trigger the risk of tendon injury while in teenagers, the use of steroids can stunt growth.

Emphasizing that testosterone should be used by a doctor, Dr. Anindita Singh said, ‘Testosterone should only be used under the supervision of a reliable doctor. In cases of low testosterone levels in men, a physician may prescribe hormone-regulating medications that help create adequate levels of testosterone without affecting male fertility. When taking steroids to improve strength and muscle mass, a person should exercise caution and be aware of the risks that using steroids in their reproductive health can have on both the short and long term health of the person. “

Talking about how sperm production can be recovered, Dr Priyanka Reddy said, “Recovery of sperm production depends on how long a man has been taking testosterone-enhancing steroids. The amount of damage to sperm production also depends on the dosage. If the dose is low for a short period of time, sperm production resumes within three months but if the dose is high for a long period, the recovery rate takes a long time. Before taking any supplement or medication that increases muscle mass, energy, or ensures libido, it is important to consult a doctor to identify the reproductive risks associated with the use of this supplement.

Leave a Comment