For the longest time, the use of anabolic steroids has been associated with sexual health problems including erectile dysfunction. So much so, that the myth has permeated the world of body building and plagued people (mostly men) who use steroids. But is it true? Is it true that steroids cause sexual dysfunction?
The truth is erectile dysfunction has many causes. One of the most prominent of these causes is various kinds of medication and forms of treatment. Antihypertensive, antidepressants, antipsychotics and anitandrogens have commonly been associated with the onset of ED in men who take them. Doctors prescribing these forms of treatment will often warn of the side effects including sexual problems but there is still a long way to go in understanding how these drugs can cause sexual dysfunction and how to mitigate these effects.
Steroids and their Impact on Sexual Health
Like we mentioned before, anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) have long been associated with sexual dysfunction. It is a cultural myth that any man taking AAS therapies to supplement their testosterone levels will suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. The problem is that any data out there to support this theory is either nonexistent or scant at best.
To understand the problem, the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health conducted an online survey. The survey targeted 231 AAS users who had increased the dosages of AAS they were taking and had no concurrent medical conditions. While the study did rely on self-reporting, meaning there was no medical observation of the effects of AAS on their sexual health, the results were still significant.
The conclusion of this widespread study was that the long-term effect of AAS on sexual function remains poorly defined. Respondents who used high testosterone AAS did not report any instances of sexual dysfunction although symptoms of sexual dysfunction such as low libido and ED did appear as soon as they stopped taking the steroids, especially if they had been taking them for longer. This perhaps can point to the fact that their system may have adapted to the high levels of testosterone the steroids provided and sexual dysfunction appeared when the body was starved of these levels.
It is however important to note that none of the respondents reported ED or low libido while taking the steroids. Again, the methods used to conduct the study may be to blame. But we can only conclude that AAS doesn’t cause sexual dysfunction. In fact, one of the benefits of testosterone supplementation in men with low testosterone has been proven to improve sexual function.
Drug-Induced Sexual Dysfunction
At the same time drugs including medical treatments for certain ailments and conditions have been proven to cause sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Recreational drugs like narcotics and alcohol have a widespread effect on sexual function. Anyone who drinks knows that the short-term use of alcohol can decrease inhibitions, allowing the user to be highly sexual. But at the same time, alcohol has been known to delay ejaculation and diminish sexual performance. Many drug users often report better sexual experiences than their partners.
Prescription drugs can also contribute to sexual dysfunction. For example, 20% of men who take medication to treat hypertension have reported erectile dysfunction. Patients with depression or other illnesses that require treatments using anti-psychotic mediation have also reported issues with sexual function. The number is much higher in this case with more than 70% of men with depression reporting erectile dysfunction or other form of sexual dysfunction. Other drugs that may cause erectile dysfunction in men include medication for the treatment of epilepsy and drugs used to treat certain types of cancer or urinary tract infections.
How to Deal with Erectile Dysfunction
It is important to note that erectile dysfunction can have many other causes that are not steroids or drug-related. Therefore, the strategy you choose to combat the condition will depend on the causes. The regular strategies range from therapy with a clinical psychologist who specializes in erectile dysfunction to dosage reduction. Your doctor may reduce the dosage for any medication you are taking if it is proven that the drug is causing erectile dysfunction.
The doctor may also recommend that you try a different type of drug or stop taking the drug for a certain period of time. But this is a decision that only your doctor can make since failing to take your medication for any reason can be dangerous. If you have been taking steroids and suddenly suffer ED after you stop, you may want to talk to your doctor about the options available to you.
Buy Legitimate ED Medication
Since ED is often a highly private condition for most men, many will attempt to purchase ED medication online. While there are very many online pharmacies that promise to fix your erectile dysfunction for good, you may want to do some due diligence before purchasing the drugs. Studies have shown that many of these online pharmacies are not legitimate.
The benefit of buying medication online is you can do so privately and they are often cheaper. But do your research and use pharmacy review and customer review sites to find only legitimate online pharmacies to buy from.