5 Ways in Which Steroids Can Affect Your Sex Life
We are all familiar with the fact that many professional athletes and, especially, bodybuilders use steroids. Due to the growing popularity of training supplements, there are more and more people who are not professionals and still enjoy using steroids in addition to going to the gym. It is no wonder that the supplement industry flourishes, having in mind the great potency and amazing results which steroids can offer. However, it is also no secret that these mighty substances can bring different side effects and affect our body and mind in a negative way. There are side effects which are short-term and go away as soon as we stop taking steroids, but there are also long-term ones which can lead to severe health conditions or decreasing life quality. One of the greatest fears, which people taking steroids have, is the possible negative impact on their sex life. Since this is such an important topic for steroid users, let’s take a dive into it and consider possible implications.
Do I Have to Experience Side Effects?
While there is a wide variety of side effects which steroids can cause, you don’t have to experience any of them. Abusing any substances, including steroids, can cause some side effects to appear. You can experience short-term or long-term side effects. Some of them can be very mild so that you don’t notice them at all, while the others can be very severe, so as to make you stop using them immediately and seek doctor’s advice. Steroid side effects include mood-swings, aggression, depression, insomnia, hallucinations. Additionally, they can cause weight-gain, baldness, appearance of acne, liver damage, heart enlargement. In women they can cause male features to appear, like deep voice and small breasts, and affect menstrual cycle. On top of all of these, they can have a negative effect on our sex life in different ways. However, it is important to emphasize that if you use this substance in recommended doses, and take post-cycle therapy, you can completely avoid them. Steroidal.com emphasizes that the main reason why steroids are viewed as dangerous substances, necessarily leading to various diseases, is media presentation of them. They emphasize that medical professionals actually consider them “low-risk therapeutic compounds with a high degree of safety”. However, one of the greatest fear remains the one of workout supplements affecting our sex life, so let’s see what could go wrong in this regard.
Decrease in Libido
Steroids can affect your sex drive and cause a sudden increase or decrease in libido, or both happening one after another, as stated on Crazybulk.com. Steroid users are mostly afraid of the decreased sex drive. This can happen because of the ways steroids can affect our state of mind. They can make us depressed and anxious, and cause a lot of sleepless nights but not for a good reason. In this mood it is difficult to think about and wish to have sex. Additionally, some steroids can cause decrease in testosterone levels which can also lead to the loss of libido. In some cases, abusing steroids can cause erectile dysfunction which can be a serious obstacle to having a healthy sex life.
Increase in Libido
On the other hand, some steroids and steroid-like substances can improve your sex life. For example, Androstenediol is a steroid compound which can have a positive effect on sex organs and the production of testosterone, which leads to increase in libido. This and similar compounds can also cause the feeling of general well-being and confidence, which in turn leads to enhanced sex drive. Additionally, peptides such as Melanotan II and Bremelanotide are frequently taken precisely for their positive effects on libido. Unlike PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra which affect blood vessels in sex organs, but don’t improve libido, these peptides can have positive effects and treat erectile dysfunction on a psychological level.
Decrease in Fertility
Directly related to the matter of sex life is fertility. Taking steroids for a prolonged period of time can caused drop in fertility by decreasing the sperm count. Steroid-cycles.org underlines two possible condition which can appear or worsen as a result of taking steroids- Oligospermia and Azoospermia-conditions in which the sperm counts are either low or none. This occurrence is related to shrinking testes as a result of supplement abuse, which are unable to produce the normal sperm count . They further explain that „anabolic steroids can cause structural damage to the sperm cells, which can lead to abnormalities in the fetus“, which is confirmed in many studies.
Testosterone Production Decrease
One of the most common side effects is HPTA (the Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis) suppression which leads to testicular atrophy and subsequently to a decrease of testosterone natural levels. Testes shrink as a consequence of the lack of gonadotropins, which in turn causes the drop in testosterone production. This condition also causes changes in shape, form and size of testes. Testicular atrophy is one of the most common side effect, which is experienced by approximately 50% of male users. The positive side of the issue is the fact that this is a temporary side effect which goes away once we stop using steroids. Additionally, it is easy to manage it by using the appropriate post-cycle therapy which would enhance the production of testosterone.
Combination of Factors
Steroids don’t always have a direct impact on your sex life. Sometimes it’s the combination of side effects which decreases your drive. For example, many people reported that steroids were making them anxious, depressed, even angry. When people are in bad mental shape they tend to avoid any sexual activities. Additionally, bad mood and drop of libido can be related to our body image. For example, MuscularDevelopment.com reports explained the importance of “genital self-image” to men. If a man is dissatisfied and concerned about the way his genitalia looks, whether it is about the size or shape, this can cause sexual performance issues and erectile dysfunction. Understanding this, it becomes clear why substances which can cause testes shrinking and shape changing can indirectly cause a decrease in sex drive.
While steroids can have very positive effects on our body shape, confidence and energy levels, they can also destroy our libido directly or indirectly. They can bring about such a state of mind in which we don’t even want to think about sex. Always have in mind that there are different ways in which workout supplements can change the way you feel about sex. This is why it is important to take steroids in recommended doses, take breaks from you cycles, and prepare adequate post-cycle therapy. If you notice that the quality of your sex life is dropping, the best option is to stop using steroids and turn to your doctor for advice.