Do Steroids Shrink Your Testicles

Do Steroids Shrink Your Testicles – Testicular dysfunction can persist long after taking anabolic steroids – “it should be treated not only as a testosterone deficiency problem, but also as a body image disorder”

Users of illicit anabolic steroids may experience impaired testicular function even years after stopping using performance-enhancing drugs, a cross-sectional study suggests.

Do Steroids Shrink Your Testicles

Median serum levels of insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3), a biomarker of Leydig cell capacity, were significantly lower in men who reported current use of anabolic steroids than in those who had never used them ( 0.04 µg/L versus 0.59 µg/L,

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INSL3 levels were also significantly lower in the group of former anabolic steroid users, with an average of 2.6 years since they stopped using these drugs (0.39 µg/L,

>0.001), even after adjusting for total serum testosterone and other potential confounders, according to an online study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Additionally, in a linear regression analysis, prolonged anabolic steroid use among former users was also significantly associated with lower INSL3 levels (

“This clinical study provides new data indicating persistently reduced Leydig cell capacity in many illicit AAS [anabolic androgenic steroid] users,” the study authors wrote. “Furthermore, we observed that accumulated duration of AAS use was associated with lower serum INSL3 levels in former AAS users, indicating that a clinically relevant dose-response relationship may play a role. .”

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Illegal use of anabolic steroids, common among bodybuilders and elite athletes for decades, is becoming increasingly common in the general population, the researchers noted. One study found the prevalence to be 18% among recreational sports participants and 1% among non-athletes. Another study estimated the prevalence among American men at around 2%, Rasmussen and co-authors added.

Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, caused by high levels of circulating androgens that inhibit the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, is a known consequence of illicit anabolic steroid use. However, it is unclear how well the body can recover from this disease if the medications are stopped, the researchers explained.

A previous study from Rasmussen’s group found lower testosterone levels and reduced testicular size more than 2 years after stopping the drug. However, another Australian study reported normalized testosterone levels in previous steroid users, even though their testicles remained smaller.

Asked for his views, Shalender Bhasin, MD, director of the Men’s Health Study: Aging and Metabolism at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who was not involved in the study, said that the Anabolic steroid use is more widespread than people think: “The vast majority of anabolic steroid users are not elite athletes. In fact, they are not athletes at all, they are recreational bodybuilders “, did he declare.

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Some of these men have been using large amounts of steroids for decades, and when they stop, they go through a period of withdrawal due to hypogonadism, Bhasin said. Some never recover, and others only partially.

“This work confirms, using different markers of Leydig cell function, that some long-term anabolic steroid users, even after 3 years of withdrawal, exhibit impaired Leydig cell function, which is consistent with our clinical experience,” Bhasin said. . Up to 20 percent of men receiving testosterone prescriptions at men’s clinics could be former users of anabolic steroids, which have become a common cause of testosterone deficiency, he added.

“Testosterone use is associated with addiction, as is the case with many other substances of abuse,” he continued. “A lot of these people are going to relapse, and we need to be aware of that and treat it not just as a testosterone deficiency problem, but as a body image disorder with some elements of addiction, which can lead to relapse and additional search behavior.”

Rasmussen’s group conducted a community-based cross-sectional study involving 132 men aged 18 to 50 involved in recreational strength training. About a third of men (46) currently use anabolic steroids; 42 of them were former users and a control group of 44 people had never used drugs.

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Each man participated in a study visit, during which blood was drawn and medical history and anabolic steroid use were assessed using a structured interview. Blood was analyzed for INSL3 and total serum testosterone by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.

Limitations of the study, the team noted, include its cross-sectional design, which does not allow assessment of testicular function before, during and after anabolic steroid use. Additionally, the study relied on self-reports of illicit steroid use. However, none of the men who reported were current or former users of anabolic steroids, the researchers said.

“In conclusion, serum INSL3 levels are lower in former AAS users than in former AAS users, even years after stopping AAS, suggesting that impaired secretory capacity Leydig cells may persist for years in former AAS-a users,” wrote Rasmussen et al. . “The implications of these findings warrant further research, such as examining the effect of stimulation therapy on recovery of Leydig cell capacity in former AAS users.”

Rasmussen has reported funding from Denmark for the fight against doping and is a member of the anti-doping committee of the Danish Sports Confederation; two other co-authors also received unrestricted funding from Anti-Doping Denmark.

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Reference source: Rasmussen JJ, et al. “Serum insulin-like factor 3 levels are reduced in former androgen users, indicating impaired Leydig cell capacity” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021. The testes are part of the male reproductive system. They are located in the scrotum, whose main function is to regulate the temperature of the testicles.

Temperature regulation is important because the testicles produce sperm that need a certain temperature range to stay healthy and survive longer.

As the surrounding area becomes colder, the scrotum shrinks; if the surrounding area becomes warmer than optimal, the scrotum relaxes and expands. This causes variations in the size of the testicles, which is completely normal.

Testicular atrophy is a condition that causes shrinkage of the testicles, which is not the result of scrotal function. It can occur in men of all ages, whether or not they have reached puberty.

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While temperature regulation occurs through the muscles of the scrotum, testicular atrophy occurs in your actual glands – the testicles – located inside the scrotum.

Reasons such as injury, exposure to certain chemicals, or even a health problem can cause testicular atrophy. Because of this, your testicles may appear smaller than usual, along with some other symptoms that may or may not be present, depending on how your body reacts to the condition.

The main sign of testicular atrophy is shrinkage of the testicles. If you feel like your testicles are smaller than usual, consider seeing a doctor for advice and diagnosis. Depending on your age, you may experience some additional symptoms that vary and manifest differently as you get older.

If you are a man who has not yet entered puberty, your symptoms will be different from those of older men. You can experiment:

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If you are an older man and have already entered puberty, your symptoms will be different from younger men. You may experience some or all of the following:

If you experience one or more of the symptoms above, consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Now let’s look at the causes of testicular atrophy.

There are several causes responsible for testicular atrophy. These reasons may include certain medical conditions or injuries in the area. Several other causes of testicular atrophy are listed below.

Similar to menopause in women, some men may experience “andropause.” Andropause causes a drop in testosterone levels in men, which can lead to the development of testicular atrophy.

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Your scrotum receives blood from the spermatic cord. In cases of testicular torsion, the spermatic cord undergoes twisting which reduces blood flow to the scrotum. This leads to pain and inflammation of the testicles and, if neglected, can lead to permanent testicular atrophy.

Similar to varicose veins, varicoceles occur in the area near the testicles. Typical varicoceles affecting the left testis were observed. They can damage sperm, which can shrink the affected testicle.

If you have decided to undergo TRT, your body will go through several hormonal changes. TRT stops the release of GnRH, which affects the production of luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland.

Poor lifestyle habits focused on alcohol consumption cause damage to testicular tissue and a drop in testosterone levels. This can cause testicular atrophy.

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Consumption or use of estrogen or anabolic steroids can cause a similar series of hormonal changes in your body, leading to testicular atrophy.

Certain viral or bacterial infections can cause swelling and pain in the testicles and lead to orchitis. It is a condition that causes testicular atrophy.

Viral orchitis is caused by the mumps virus, which affects approximately one third of post-pubescent males infected with the virus. Bacterial orchitis is a consequence of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.

The examination for the diagnosis of testicular atrophy begins by asking some personal but necessary questions. To rule out alcohol abuse and sexually transmitted diseases as possible causes, you may be asked to evaluate your lifestyle and sexual practices.

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When this disappears, your doctor will order a physical exam of the testicles to determine their condition – texture, firmness, size, etc. After the test results

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