How to avoid erectile dysfunction when on steroids?

How to avoid erectile dysfunction when on steroids?
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 07, 2024

Steroids are extensively used by men around the world in order to gain muscle. But sometimes steroids can be dangerous for your health because misuse of steroids causes erectile dysfunction.

Several men strive for ideal physique through training with heavy weights, and bodybuilding to maximize anabolic muscle training.

In the long run, this exercise can be advantageous for men as it increases the natural production of testosterone and make them muscular leaner as well.

Men prefer to use anabolic steroids to support their muscles more. Anabolic steroids are responsible for boosting testosterone levels by adding to the natural supply of the body and hosting new testosterone in the system.

However, it is vital to know that using anabolic steroids also leads to major side effects like erectile dysfunction.

What do you understand by anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are produced unnaturally with the same effects as testosterone. Some medical conditions need their use.

In case, the doctor has recommended anabolic steroids, you must take them exactly in the same dosage as directed by the doctor. Strictly follow the administration instructions.

You need to know that steroids are extensively used in the bodybuilding community to increase muscle mass quickly, decrease body fat and improve sporty performance. 

However, most sports organizations have banned the use of anabolic steroids and several other performance-improving medicines.

Which type of steroid is responsible for causing erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that makes it difficult for men to attain and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. It has also turned out to be a common disorder that causes sexual problems among men.

Though several factors are responsible for causing erectile dysfunction like age, vascular issues, and disorders like Peyronie’s disease. Nowadays, another cause of erectile dysfunction is the abuse of anabolic steroids.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids

Unlike corticosteroids, anabolic steroids are also responsible for causing multiple side effects which impact the health of male reproductive organs.

One of the major side effects of anabolic steroid use is erectile dysfunction, usually after stopping it. Long-term use of steroids is also linked with reproductive health problems.  

How do steroids cause erectile dysfunction?

Anabolic steroids are mainly synthetic testosterone and when you start taking these steroids regularly for a long time at high dosages then you can have a major influence on your sexual performance. 

Not only your sperm count decreases and your testicles shrink, but also the possibility of erectile dysfunction increases. Due to the aromatase action, anabolic steroids might make you suffer from erectile dysfunction and produce high levels of estrogen.

You need to understand that physiologic levels of estrogen are important for the functioning of male sexual parts. While the high doses of anabolic steroids and imbalance of testosterone can cause sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction.

Once you stop using steroids, the body still continues to produce its testosterone for a long time, leading to low concentrations of the male sexual hormone, and disorders like erectile dysfunction can happen.

What are the long-term results of steroid misuse?

Apart from erectile dysfunction, you can also suffer from other serious side effects which can lead to long-lasting damage to your body & even death, if anabolic steroid is used for a long time.

Anabolic steroids not only harm the male reproductive processes but are also considered harmful to psychiatric as well as cardiovascular health.

Some of the long-term effects of anabolic steroids are stated below:

Cardiovascular disorders

  • Heart attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood clots
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Damaged arteries

Hormonal/reproductive system problems

  • Acne
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Shrinking testicles
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Testicular cancer

Psychiatric or mental issues

  • Delusions
  • Aggression
  • Mania

Apart from these, there are also other side effects of steroid misuse like liver problems, tendon rupture, and infection risk of HIV, hepatitis B, and C. It is vital to understand that testosterone is a hormone that is not only required to build and maintain muscle mass but is also utilized in other normal functions.

This is the reason why anabolic steroids are legally limited and must be used only when recommended by a doctor for a particular medical condition.

Will ED stop, if you stop taking steroids?

However, it is difficult to predict the exact side effects of anabolic steroids. Since dosage and other things need to be considered, it is difficult to say how long it is going to take for your normal levels of testosterone to return and the symptoms of ED will disappear once you stop taking steroids.

It is said that normal testosterone levels begin to return between 13 and 24 weeks from the start of withdrawal.

On the other hand, if anabolic steroid misuse has gone on for a long time i.e., for more than one year then your body might take a long time to adjust as well as return to normal testosterone production.

How to deal with erectile dysfunction caused by steroids?

Here are some easy ways which can help you to deal with your ED condition:

Completely stop the usage of steroids

Remember damage caused by steroids differs. It takes almost 3-12 months for your testosterone levels and sperm count to return to normal levels after you have stopped the usage.

In case, you are struggling with an addiction problem then it is necessary to get professional medical help.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Men who go for 30 minutes walk every day are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction condition. It is vital for you to make changes in your lifestyle.

Your way of living can have a great impact on your overall health. Small changes like losing weight, stopping alcohol consumption, and giving up tobacco can make it easy for your body to function.

Pay attention to your vascular health

You might suffer from erectile dysfunction when your arteries are damaged due to medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels.

Thus, to avoid the problem of erectile dysfunction, you must avoid the intake of steroids strictly.