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Can Steroids Cause A Low Sperm Count?

Steroids are one of the most commonly abused types of drugs. In most professional sports, the use of steroids without a specific medical reason is typically banned. Some sorts of steroids are even illegal. However, there are very serious psychological and physical side effects that can be caused by repeated or prolonged steroid use. One of the ways that steroids can cause a problem is in the area of male fertility. Specifically, steroid use can cause a low sperm count in men.

It is important to understand what exactly steroids are. Anabolic steroids, which are the steroids that we are talking about, are basically synthetic versions of the male hormone, testosterone. Steroids are either taken orally or by injection. While the steroids that can be injected are though to have fewer side effects than the oral sort, both do have serious consequences. To complicate manners, the side effects of taking steroids can take months, or even a period of years, to come about. Even years after a person quits taking steroids, the steroids can cause problems such as a low sperm count.

Steroids can cause a variety of sexual and reproductive side effects. In addition to the fact that steroids can indeed cause a low sperm count, they can also contribute to a decrease in sex drive. Steroids can also cause impotence among men. Some steroid use can lead to the shrinking of the testicles. Steroid use can lead to the development of breasts on a man, as well. In some cases, stopping steroid use can cause the side effect to disappear. In other cases, a side effect caused by steroids, such as a low sperm count, might never disappear, or may take years after steroid use is stopped to disappear.

Because steroids can cause a low sperm count, as well as many other side effects, you should not use steroids unless they have been specifically prescribed by your health care provider. If you do need to be prescribed steroids, make certain that you follow the dosing instructions exactly, and that you don’t continue to use them longer than they are prescribed.


Last modified: February 10, 2013


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.