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Steroids and male infertility

Steroids are often used to increase muscle mass for better achievements in sports. In order to achieve maximum effect, steroids are used in various combinations and dosages.

But it should be remembered that with the use of steroids and increased physical activity, side effects occur, sometimes causing far-reaching consequences.

What are the dangers of steroids?

  • Steroid use leads to disruption of the hormonal function of the pituitary gland. Steroids negatively affect the production of the sex hormone testosterone and weaken the activity of the sex glands. It may take a long enough time (3 to 6 months) to restore normal testosterone levels, and in some cases this may not be possible at all.
  • The production of sperm in the testicles decreases or even completely stops. Steroids also affect sperm structure, and their negative effects persist for a long time after stopping use, which may lead to infertility. It usually takes from six months to a year to restore sperm quality, but sometimes the changes can be irreversible.
  • Long-term steroid use reveals the absence of spermatozoa in spermogram (azoospermia), as well as a thickening of blood that is dangerous to health (cardiovascular system).
  • The libido decreases when a man stops taking steroids.

Many men, during the consultation with a doctor, do not consider it necessary to tell that they are using steroids. But an experienced doctor will determine the presence of a problem by the characteristic signs - acne, changes in liver function tests, decreased testicular size, etc. In addition, full blood testing and sex hormone indicators will help to define the overall picture.

To check reproductive function and, if necessary, develop a treatment plan for sperm recovery, we recommend that men undergo a comprehensive examination - Reproductive Medicine Check-up Programme at the iVF Riga Andrology and Urology Centre.

The programme includes: an andrologist consultations, examination, collection of medical history, evaluation of health, tests (18 indicators - full blood count, liver function tests, glucose, cholesterol, hormones, PSA, vitamin D, urinalysis and other tests), sperm tests, testicular ultrasound diagnosis (USG), explanations and comments of the coordinating doctor regarding the tests and examinations, the doctor’s opinion, recommendations, development of the treatment plan.

At iVF Riga clinic, this programme is performed by Dr. Juris Erenpreiss, MD, PhD, an internationally certified andrologist, Academician of the European Academy of Andrology, the Head of the iVF Riga Andrology and Urology Centre.

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