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Flip side of six-pack abs: dipping sperm count

The Growing observation of young men to build six-pack abs may be making them lose out on something else; their sperm count. “Many young men use steroids to build muscle mass. Steroids are mainly a form of testosterone, which sends a feedback to the pituitary glands.  This leads to a fall in hormones formation which is necessary for sperm synthesis,” says Dr Kaberi Banerjee, IVF and Infertility consultant at Moolchand Medcity.

“Even 2-3 months of steroids use can result in sperm count going down. Sometimes in 3-6 months, the situation can be reversed by discontinuing the use of steroids but in sometimes infertility medication is needed.” She warns.

Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, IVF and Infertility expert at SCI Healthcare, “In some cases, prolonged use of steroids has lead to infertility, when couples have had to recourse to Assisted Conception techniques.”

According to Dr Sunita Mittal professor and head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), “The only good over here is that the reproductive issue depends on doses. If the doses are small and controlled the problem can be reversed early otherwise it may take a lot longer.”

Most young men, in a rush to build a perfect body, see the anabolic steroids as an easy way to achieve a muscle, toned physique but they do not realize the long – term harmful effects, say experts.
According to Dr Mittal there are several studies comparing body-builders who have had six packs abs after purely exercising  and those who have gained it through exercising and  use of anabolic drugs.

“The study clearly shows that those who have reproductive problems are those who have used steroids, “she said.

There is a long list of horrific complications associated with anabolic steroids use. “Starting from Infertility issues- erectile dysfunction, impotency, reduced sperm count and absence sperm count, men can also develop breasts, like a woman. Besides this, drug use can also impact liver and heart,” says Dr Sachdev. A lot these young men tend to think if they using steroids under the vigilance of a trainer, it is alright but the fact is there is no guarantee,” she adds.

Infertility experts’ says the best way to build a body would be a right combination of right age, good diet and exercising under a good trainer.


  • Most young men, in a rush to build a perfect body with little effort, see the anabolic steroids as an easy way to achieve a muscle, toned physique but they do not realize the long-term harmful effects, say experts. 
  • Infertility experts say the best way to build a body would be a right combination of right age good diet and exercising under the supervision of a trainer with a degree in physical education. 
  • There is a long list of horrific combinations associated with anabolic steroids use. 


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