Do Steroids Affect Male Fertility?

HCG with steroids

A man’s lifestyle significantly impacts his fertility and sperm production. One thing that can have a big effect is the use of anabolic steroids. If you choose to take performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) for reasons that are not medical, Harley Street Medical Doctors want to help ensure you monitor and prioritise your overall health. 

It is crucial to remember that using anabolic steroids can be unsafe, particularly if they are not being used under medical supervision. Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) for illicit use are not recommended, promoted, endorsed, or encouraged by us. Nonetheless, we are aware that a small percentage of people are in dire need of medical care to mitigate the side effects of steroids or to obtain care and prescriptions for human growth hormone (HGH).

In this post, we will explore clinical studies and the scientific literature on the topic of steroid use and male fertility. We aim to provide you with an overview of how steroids affect male fertility and possible ways to mitigate these risks. 

Male Fertility and Testosterone

Diagnosis of male infertility is generally based on semen analysis, and the cause of approximately 70% of cases of male infertility remain unidentified. Hormonal defects are one known risk factor, and research has found that treatment with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has been linked to lower sperm counts. When taken alongside  Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), this risk can be even higher. 

When people use anabolic steroids, they frequently try to avoid adverse effects by experimenting with different administration techniques, including steroid cycling and stacking. But there isn’t any scientific proof that any of these techniques decrease the short- and long-term adverse effects. Men who are actively trying for a baby should cease using testosterone or AAS straightaway.

Get in contact with Harley Street MD to schedule a consultation in London to learn more about semen analysis and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Understanding Steroids and Male Fertility

Corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids, also known as anabolic steroids, are the two primary groups of steroids.  However, they work in different ways and are used to treat different conditions. 

Corticosteroid Steroids

Corticosteroid steroids, such as prednisone can be used to treat various medical conditions, including:

• Asthma
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Multiple sclerosis
• Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
• Skin disorders like eczema and dermatitis.

Corticosteroids have been shown to reduce sperm count, but once discontinued, it does return to normal levels. Other studies on prednisone have indicated that treatment with corticosteroids can improve sperm count and motility. As corticosteroids can cause acute problems like infection, thrombosis and fractures, and chronic disorders like diabetes, they are normally prescribed for short-term use.

Anabolic Steroids

Despite being referred to as “steroids,” anabolic steroids are not the same as corticosteroids. The growth hormone testosterone is the fundamental component of anabolic steroids, which are often synthesised to resemble naturally occurring hormones.

Used to treat conditions such as growth deficiencies and conditions that cause muscle wastage, bodybuilders and athletes also use anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and strength. Research into anabolic steroid abuse and male infertility has discovered that bodybuilders who use steroids have much lower sperm motility and normal morphology than healthy volunteers. 

As the use of anabolic steroids interferes with the body’s natural production of hormones, side effects can also include

• Gynecomastia (growth of breast tissue)
• Testicular  atrophy (shrinkage)
• Male pattern baldness
• Cystic acne.

What indicators determine the health of sperm?

Sperm health is dependent on several variables:

Amount: Too little sperm per millilitre in semen.
Motility: Sperm travels through a female’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes to reach and fertilise an egg. We call this motility. 
Morphology: This is the form of the sperm, which is not as critical as the amount or motility.

Mitigating Risks of Anabolic Steroids and Infertility

There is no doubt that taking steroids is dangerous. Even when taken exactly as advised, adverse effects cannot always be avoided.

When you inject steroids, there are further risks associated with inappropriate intramuscular injection procedures, which can cause blood vessels, muscles, and nerve damage. There is also no guarantee that steroids purchased on the illicit market or internet are what they claim to be. Most will be counterfeit, including other substances and medications that could pose grave dangers and consequences.

One method to reduce harmful side effects from anabolic steroid use is post-cycle therapy. The use of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and steroids in clinical studies has shown that this may prevent the negative effects of anabolic steroids on sperm quality. 

Furthermore, this research has shown that even after a long period of exceptionally high doses of anabolic steroids, sperm production can rebound to regular rates in bodybuilders who quit using them within around four months. We strongly advise any man who has concerns about fertility to have a semen analysis, which is universally accepted as the gold standard for fertility testing in men. 

Blood tests can be used to monitor the effects of steroids and identify any possible negative effects. A kidney and liver function test, and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, are among the tests included in our Complete Health Profile (£195) that may identify numerous steroid adverse effects. In addition, we provide post-cycle treatment (PCT) medications and a Complete Hormone Profile (£165) to give you more control over your well-being and lifestyle. 

Seeking assistance from a doctor is advised if you’re using steroids to avoid causing irreversible harm to your health and hormone levels. You can schedule any of our services directly with Harley Street MD in London; we do not require a referral from your general practitioner. In our clinic, we uphold each person’s right to privacy and treat them with compassion. 

We provide steroid users with non-judgmental, fast medical testing and treatments at our London clinic. We urge you to use anabolic steroids with understanding and awareness.

Get in touch today to book a consultation in London to find out about semen analysis and anabolic steroid harm reduction treatment at Harley Street MD.

Evidence-Based Research and Studies

The research and study references we used, in addition to our internal research, have all been referenced here; most of them have an external link to the scientific publication. We work hard to bring you the most recent, impartial, factual, and evidence-based information to help you make informed decisions.


• Some of the Factors Involved in Male Infertility: A Prospective Review. Published online 2020 Feb 5. From: NCBI.
• Recovery of spermatogenesis following testosterone replacement therapy or anabolic-androgenic steroid use. Published online 2016 Feb 23. From: NCBI.
• Prednisone may improve total motile count post vasectomy reversal Vol 48 No 3 From: Urology Times Journal.
• Anabolic steroids abuse and male infertility. Published online 2016 Feb 6. From: NCBI.
• An KC. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators. Asian Spine J. 2016 Aug;10(4):787-91. doi: 10.4184/asj.2016.10.4.787. Epub 2016 Aug 16. From: NCBI.
• Management of Anabolic Steroid-Induced Infertility: Novel Strategies for Fertility Maintenance and Recovery. Published online 2019 Mar 26. From: NCBI.

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
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