Anabolic Steroids (Steroids) are synthetic substances similar to the male sex hormone testosterone. If used consistently from a young age they can be detrimental to the users health because they upset the body’s hormonal balance.
Anabolic Steroids are known to have a variety of harmful side effects, are out of bounds for athletes and users are required to only take them under prescription of a medical doctor. Yet many people take them for the short term benefits they provide – for athletes to improve performance or to enhance physical appearance.
These drugs are often sold on the black market and because their short term benefits are so attractive users tend to ignore the dangerous and possible long term side effects. Users do not consider the effects these substances may have on their fertility health.
Steroids aren’t only used for bulking up but can be prescribed for legitimate medical reasons. Your medical practioner is well aware of the side effects and will prescribe a dosage with this in mind to cater for your particular situation.
Some of the medical uses are:
- Men with too little testosterone – Whether it’s due to an accident or a disease; such as testicular cancer, some men have to have their testicles removed.Their bodies will no longer be able to produce testosterone. They will be given prescribed oral anabolic steroids to replace the testosterone.
- People with chronic illnesses, such as cancer or even AIDS can use anabolic steroids to stimulate their appetite and help build muscle.
- Pituitary problems – Steroids can help adolescent males with pituitary problems. When the pituitary gland malfunctions, the brain signals to the testes may not function correctly and the testes therefore does not produce testosterone. Boys suffering from this condition can be prescribed steroids at the appropriate age, as per his doctor. This treatment will allow them to develop secondary sexual characteristics, such as a deepening of the voice, growth spurts and pubic and facial hair.
Anabolic Steroids and fertility
There are a number of side effects users will experience when taking these substances. Some are short term and others may have long term side effects. Unfortunately any side effects will in most cases also effect the male fertility health. Some of these side effects can include:
Short term effects
- Puffiness and swelling in the face and neck due to increased water retention.
- Development of breast tissue in males.
- Increased risk of injury to muscles and joints.
- Increase in muscle mass.
- Heightened aggression, sleeping disorders, anxiety and irritability.
- Stunted growth if taken during adolescent growth spurts due to skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes.
Long term effects
- Growth of breasts due to the high level of testosterone some of which the body converts to oestrogen.
- Increased erectile dysfunction and shrinking testicles.
- Heart and liver disease – some steroids are toxic to the liver.
- Kidney disease due to the increase in toxins to be broken down.
- Aggressive behaviour and depression.
- Jaundice from high levels of steroids – affects liver function.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Prostate enlargement.
Anabolic Steroids and male infertility are often linked due to the effects on the body as mentioned here. Any increased toxins in the body have the potential to affect the sperm being produced.
A semen analysis will give a good indication of the health of the sperm if a male has used steroids previously and is now having difficulty with infertility. A low sperm count will also be detected by going for a semen analysis.
Fortunately medical technology and advancement in procedures such as sperm washing as well as ICSI – Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection could assist men whose fertility may have been affected by the usage of Steroids.
Your doctor will be able to advise you on using an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedure in the event of being diagnosed with infertility due to this usage.
Natural remedies for infertility
In order to get rid of the toxins and increase your health status and hormonal balance, changing your infertility diet and considering the alkaline diet may assist in correcting your sperm problems.
Many of the side effects mentioned can be corrected by immediately stopping the usage of these substances, as well as considering lifestyle changes and partaking in moderate exercise such as walking and swimming or yoga.
Diet and infertility recommends eating for health 80% of your daily intake and minimizing those not so healthy foods to 20% of daily meals.