Тestosterone and its synthetic derivatives have been used to increase muscle mass for a long time. Although forbidden for professional athletes, they are sometimes used by men practicing amateur sports. Along with their effects on physical appearance and libido, steroids also affects male fertility.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BODY WHEN YOU TAKE ANABOLIC STEROIDS ?
Testosterone stimulates spermatogenesis. When a man is taking extra testosterone, its internal production in the testes is inhibited and spermatogenesis is disturbed. The result is reduced amount to a complete absence of sperm in the semen, which can be detected by a regular semen analysis. This effect is very often observed when anabolic steroid administration is not prescribed or overseen by a physician.
Some couples have problems conceiving because of anabolic steroids intake by the male partner. Although their use may lead to complete suppression of spermatogenesis, this condition is in most cases reversible. The longer the drugs were taken, the longer the recovery of spermatogenesis takes. Improvement of semen analysis results can be observed after at least 3 months following discontinuation of the anabolic steroids. After that many couples get pregnant naturally. In rare cases, long-term use of steroids leads to permanent suppression and male infertility.
ANABOLIC STEROIDS AND ASSISTED REPRODUCTION
Even if the man hasn’t used anabolic steroids for a long time, sometimes there are indications for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). This could be caused by a female infertility factor. If this is your case, you must inform the treating fertility specialist that you have taken steroids in the past.
Anabolic steroids are strictly prohibited prior to an assisted reproductive procedure (IUI or IVF). ANABOLIC STEROID INTAKE NOT PRESCRIBED BY A PHYSICIAN ESPECIALLY PRIOR TO AN ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE PROCEDURE HAS STRONG NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE PROCEDURE.
If you use or have used steroids and you have been trying to get your partner pregnant for more than a year, consult with a reproductive medicine specialist. They will refer you for the necessary hormonal tests (e.g. for testosterone, follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormone) and semen analysis. This will give you information about your hormonal profile and sperm count. If necessary you will be prescribed medication that will improve hormonal imbalance and stimulate spermatogenesis.