Does taking steroids affect my chances to have a baby? I have been taking steroids for a couple of years and am concerned it might impact my sperm.
Androgenic steroids are used legitimately to restore normal health to men whose bodies do not make adequate amounts of testosterone due to testicular or hormonal disorders. Use by men trying to improve their physical function or their perceived appearance represents misuse. The misuse of androgenic steroids carries significant health risks.
Such androgen misuse turns off the brain's normal drive to stimulate the testicles to make sperm and testosterone. As a result, sperm production falls markedly and the testes reduce in size. When these drugs are stopped, recovery usually takes six to 12 months for sperm production to get back to normal.
Answered by: Prof Rob McLachlan AM FRACHP PhD
Prof Rob McLachlan is the Medical Director of Healthy Male. He specialises in the area of male reproductive medicine and has made significant contributions to research in endocrinology, infertility and andrology.
In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to medicine in the field of endocrinology, particularly in men’s reproductive health, and to medical research.
He is also an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Deputy Director of Endocrinology at the Monash Medical Centre, and consultant to the World Health Organisation on male infertility regulation.