Can Steroids Affect One's Sex Drive?

When we think of steroids, the first thing that comes into mind is usually bodybuilding, gaining muscles, or boosting physical performance. But in reality, the use of steroids extends on the other aspects of our lives. Steroids are known from driving changes in the body’s internal processes, and these changes may have a noticeable impact on your sexual health.


If you’re no stranger to steroids, you may have asked yourself: do steroids affect you sexually? To answer that question, this article will give you some insights into what steroids do to your body—and how it may or may not negatively impact your sex life.


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Steroids: The Pros and Cons

Steroids, particularly anabolic steroids, are made from synthetic compounds that are meant to simulate natural testosterone in males. They are usually meant for muscle-building, but they can also be used to support muscle regrowth due to the effects of certain medical conditions and surgery. 


Using these synthetically produced supplements may spur positive changes and enhance the sexual experience. These advantages include the following:


  • Heightened sexual confidence, mostly stemming from better self-image
  • Boosted sex drive—increased libido results in better sexual performance
  • More frequent orgasms


There are also risks and downsides that come with having sex on steroids or while regularly using steroids. These disadvantages may include:


  • Potential erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in the size of testicles and breasts (for women)
  • Risks involving prostate cancer, infertility due to decreased sperm count, and menstrual issues (for women)


In addition to these effects, it’s also worth mentioning how withdrawal and steroid misuse may affect your sex drive. Withdrawal affects each person differently, but it’s highly likely that withdrawal can decrease your libido.

Steroid misuse can also lead to adverse affects such as sexual carelessness due to manic behavior. There’s also the possibility of having heightened aggression or irritability, also known as “roid rage”. Abusing steroids can lead to adverse affects not just to your libido, but to your overall health.


How Steroids Impact Sex

Taking all these pros and cons aside, let’s zoom in on what steroids do to your body during sexual intercourse. As mentioned earlier, anabolic steroids imitate naturally occurring hormones such as testosterone. Because steroids are chemically similar to testosterone, they can activate the body’s testosterone receptors and signal subsequent metabolic reactions such as muscle tissue production.


In addition to muscle building and boosting the development of male-specific qualities, there are other other effects that steroids may have on your body, especially during sex.


Anabolic steroids can spike calcium levels in the heart, brain cells, and skeletal muscles. Calcium also plays a big role in stimulating neuron signals in your brain.


Some studies on animals show that anabolic steroids boost serotonin levels in parts of the brain related to mood. Other than that, steroids are also believed to increase dopamine levels in brain regions associated with your internal reward system. In short, steroids may stimulate the neurotransmitters that make you feel happy and motivated. However, it should be noted that reward pathways can also degrade with chronic steroid use.



Erection and Fertility Issues From Steroids

If you have been regularly using steroids for a while, there’s a possibility that your sexual performance might be affected. Because steroids make your brain believe that enough testosterone is being produced, your brain may stop sending these signals to your testicles.

And since the brain is also inhibiting the release of hormones crucial to sperm production, your fertility might decrease. In one study, it was found that using anabolic steroids may have long-term effects on testosterone production. The study, which analyzed men who have never used steroids as well as former and current users, suggests that current steroid users had the lowest levels of testosterone among the three groups. Another study also suggests that prolonged anabolic steroid use, particularly among bodybuilders, can significantly lower sperm quality.


It's this hormonal imbalance that may cause problems in maintaining erections, producing testosterone, and ensuring good sperm quality.


Keeping Sexual Dysfunction at Bay

When all is said and done, the best way to prevent sexual dysfunction is to avoid excessive use of steroids. However, if you have been using them for a while, it may take time for your testosterone levels to recover. As such, you may need the help of supplements such as viagra that stimulate blood flow to sustain erections. It may also help to use supplemetary equipment such as constriction rings and pumps to improve your sexual performance.


Of course, the wisest move would be to consult a medical professional on the treatment options that work best for you. At the end of the day, it would help to apply healthy practices such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking the time to rest to keep your body healthy and virile enough for any activity. Aside from improving your form, these practices are a good way to transform your sex life into a healthier, more satisfying experience.