Men who have trouble fathering a child may be unaware that anabolic steroids could be the problem: Steroid side effects often include low, very low or even zero sperm counts.
Many athletes use anabolic steroids to help build muscle, but there are plenty of reasons to steer clear of them. Besides being illegal, steroid side effects include loss of bone density (osteoporosis), diabetes and stalled sperm production.
When men lack energy or libido, a physician can test hormones and prescribe testosterone for patients with lower-than-average levels. It can make some men feel great. And while the sex life improves for a man who takes testosterone, quite the opposite is true of his ability to father a child: Prescription testosterone suppresses sperm production.
Thankfully, this problem is reversible. Once men stop taking the drug, the testis recovers–sometimes with some help. It takes about three months for the testis to replenish the sperm that had been lost.
For readers who take the drug and want to be a dad or dad-to-be next Father’s Day: Put your cards on the table with your doctor and your spouse/significant other and stop taking it. Chances are excellent that you will have a memorable day come June 15, 2014.