If you lift weights in a gym, you've almost certainly heard someone speaking about steroids. These days every Tom, Dick or Harry is juiced up to their eyeballs.
Steroids are sadly synonymous with the bodybuilding industry, due to a constant need to get bigger. Society seems to demand this more than ever before and bodybuilding judges reward more size.
But what effects do steroids have on your body?
What Do Steroids Do To Your Body?
Steroids can provide some pretty amazing improvements to any physique, but they don't work miracles on their own.
You cannot expect to take steroids and suddenly transform to Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. It doesn't work that way unless you've got exceptional genetics and the mindset of a champion.
Whilst steroids can help you to get big, if you do take them, you'll be putting your health at risk as they cause a number of severe side effects.
Lets take a look at some of these harmful side effects that are associated with steroid-use.
Do Steroids Make Your Penis Smaller?
No, this one's a myth. Steroids can make your testicles smaller – but not your penis.
A lot of naysayers out there will talk about how steroids make men’s penises smaller when in reality it's more likely to get bigger if anything (due to improved blood flow).
Such statements are usually made by newbies who've never taken steroids in their life.
Steroids Shrink A Guy’s Testicles
As previously mentioned, steroids can shrink a man's testicles due to them shutting down your natural testosterone production.
When you take steroids, the body produces excess amounts of testosterone, as well as Estrogen. As a result, a man's hormonal balance will fall out of sync, which can result in a number of physiological changes – including smaller balls bro.
The body therefore stops producing testosterone as it has too much and as a result the body produces less semen. This is why guys incorporate PCT‘s after a steroid-cycle to bring their testosterone levels back to normal (making their balls bigger again).
Steroid Use Can Affect Sexual Health
Another common downside associated with steroid use/abuse is the fact that past steroid users can have difficulty getting it up during sex.
When using steroids such as testosterone, your libido will be through the roof, but once you stop taking them – your T levels will plummet. This can affect your sex drive, and your ability to achieve and sustain an erection.
Steroids Can Harm A Guy’s Fertility
For men who hope to one day become fathers, steroids can hinder this dream as they severely hinder a guy’s fertility.
You see, to begin with, low testosterone levels will harm libido and can result in sexual dysfunction, but as well as that, steroid abuse can also naturally lower sperm counts and can reduce sperm count.
Over time, sperm counts can potentially return to normal, but in some cases the damage is long-term, meaning a man may never be able to conceive as a result of his prior steroid usage.
Thus if you're considering taking steroids, you may wish to consider having your sperm frozen before you begin your cycle, just in case you do wish to become a father in the future.
Steroids Can Ruin A Guy’s Hips
One common, yet often ignored side effect associated with steroid use, is the fact that steroids can ruin a guy’s hip later on in life.
Hip pain is one of the most excruciating and debilitating types of pain in the entire world, and taking steroids puts you at a high risk of hip problems later in life, and subsequently needing an artificial hip replacement.
Hip pain and injury caused by steroids is known as aseptic necrosis of the femoral head.
This condition is caused by high testosterone levels, as steroid users often inject high dosages of testosterone. This results in the femoral head, which is the bone connecting the hip to the leg, to basically wither away and crumble.
The reason for this is due to a lack of blood/oxygen being transported to it, thus it wastes away to virtually nothing.
Steroids Can Make A Guy Go Bald
Now, before reading any further, it's important to note that steroids can indeed make a guy go bald, if he is genetically predisposed to baldness in the first place.
Baldness is hereditary and thus genetic, so if baldness runs in a guy’s family, there's a very strong chance he'll lose his hair.
If baldness does not run in his family, steroids may not cause him to lose his hair.
Basically, what steroids do in this case, is speed up the effects of male pattern baldness. So if you've already got a receding hairline, steroids will cause you to recede even more, causing more hair loss.
Related article: Steroids that don't cause hair loss
Steroids Can Result In “Man Boobs”
Man boobs can be caused by steroids, due to excessive estrogen levels.
Estrogen is like the anti-testosterone and is the dominant female sexual hormone, that's also present in men (in small quantities).
Increased levels of Estrogen however, can cause hormonal imbalances which results in additional breast tissue forming in men.
This is called gynecomastia and the only way to correct this without altering your hormones is via surgery.
Steroids Can Damage The kidneys
Your kidneys work basically as a filtration device, helping to filter anything out of your body that doesn’t need to be in there.
Many steroids are toxic to the body thus your kidneys will be working overtime to try to reduce such toxicity from your body. This increased stress and pressure can result in them becoming damaged, as well as your blood pressure increasing.
Renal failure through steroid abuse can potentially be fatal in extreme cases.