How To Avoid Erectile Dysfunction On Steroids?

Bodybuilders, athletes, and gym enthusiasts generally use steroids to enhance their muscle mass and performance. Steroids are synthetic chemicals that are produced in the lab. These chemicals are designed to function like hormones to carry out various processes in the body.      

They are categorized under two types - corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Both these types have different functions and uses. Ever wondered, if the usage of steroids can give rise to sexual problems?    

Well, according to the research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, long-term use of steroids can contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Besides, using steroids beyond the permitted limit can decrease the sex drive or libido significantly.

Fortunately, there are ways in which one can avoid the occurrence of sexual side effects of steroids. But let us first understand the types and functions of steroids.     


  • Function – These are the hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The adrenal gland is responsible for its production and release. These hormones support various important processes in the body.
  • Application – Corticosteroids have strong anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, which help manage health conditions like allergies, skin-related disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
  1. Anabolic steroids
  • Function – These are artificially synthesized in the lab to imitate the function of the male sex hormone (Testosterone). They can support the growth of muscle mass and enhance male sex characteristics.
  • Application – These steroids are mostly used by bodybuilding enthusiasts and gym freaks. Using these chemicals at a safe limit can offer the desired benefits. Its abuse can lead to adverse effects.   

How is erectile dysfunction linked to steroids?

Out of these two types, anabolic steroids are the contributors to sexual side effects. Erectile dysfunction is the most commonly observed side effect of anabolic steroids. It can adversely impact the male sex drive and make them lose interest in sex.  

The reason why one develops erectile dysfunction due to steroids is aromatase action. It stimulates the release of estrogen hormone in excessive amounts. A healthy level of estrogen is needed by males, but high amounts of it overpower the testosterone levels and contribute to hormonal imbalances. This gives rise to erectile dysfunction.

Ways to avoid erectile dysfunction on steroids

  • Avoid misuse – Never go for non-medical usage of anabolic steroids. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Always stick to the safer limit.  
  • Medical supervision – Always use such substances under medical supervision. Seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional before using such steroids.
  • Talk to the expert – In case you are experiencing erectile dysfunction symptoms after using steroids, talk to your healthcare provider.  
  • Get a routine check-up – Steroid use can contribute to changes in the functions of the body. It is necessary to get a report of your overall health to stay up-to-date and well-informed.  
  • Embrace a positive lifestyle – It is a crucial step. A balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, etc. will reduce the possibility of erectile dysfunction.  

Side effects of anabolic steroids

  • Prolonged and excessive usage of these steroids can contribute to significant damage to erection function. It reduces the production of endogenous testosterone, thereby giving rise to impotence issues in males.
  • Apart from that, it can also lead to the shrinkage of testicles by destroying their function to produce testosterone. Besides, it reduces sperm count and volumes, potentiating issues with fertility. Its excessive usage can cause acne and fluid retention too.  
  • With a desire to get a perfect body by boosting muscle mass, body-building freaks tend to use extremely high doses. The misuse potentiates the risk of sexual side effects and gives rise to infertility.
  • Anabolic-androgenic steroids are very powerful chemicals. They support the function of muscle-building or boosting. It produces great results, which is why, men tend to use it in excessive amounts.

Long-term effects of steroidal abuse

Long-term abuse of steroids can significantly impact the body’s function of synthesizing testosterone hormone naturally. According to some anecdotal evidence, after the cessation of steroid abuse, they observed a decline in erectile dysfunction symptoms.

Moreover, as per some claims, some users have reported long-term adverse effects of steroid abuse on their reproductive health. Misuse of these steroids can lead to an interference with the body’s natural ability to promote the production and release of testosterone.  

Furthermore, low T (testosterone) contributes to problems such as low sperm count, low sperm volume, degradation of sperm quality, erectile dysfunction, baldness, and infertility. In addition, steroid abuse causes permanent damage to the reproductive health.

Note that, the side effects of these hormones can affect every individual differently. Some may recover from the adverse effects, once they stop their usage, while some may get their sexual function and ability to reproduce permanently damaged.   

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