Effect of androgenic anabolic steroids on sperm quality and serum hormone levels in adult male bodybuilders

Life Sci. 2001 Mar 2;68(15):1769-74. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(01)00972-9.


The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of the administration of high doses of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) on endocrine and semen parameters. Thirty volunteering bodybuilders were studied (ages ranging between 26.6 +/- 4.1 years). A history of anabolic steroid administration was recorded for fifteen subjects, and results of semen analysis and endocrine parameters were compared with data from fifteen bodybuilders not using steroids. In those subjects using AAS, eight had sperm counts under the lower normal limit (20 x 10(6) sperm/ml), three had azoospermia, two polyzoospermia, and two had normal sperm counts. The percentage of morphologically normal sperm was significantly reduced, only 17.7% had normal spermatozoa. In the control group, only one subject had oligozoospermia. The hormonal parameters revealed reduced FSH (1.5 +/- 3.2 vs 5.0 +/- 1.6, p < 0.001) and PRL (5.1 +/- 4.9 vs 9.2 +/- 4.4, p < 0.01) levels. LH, T, E2 and DHEA levels did not vary.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Somatotypes
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Sports Medicine


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Hormones
  • Prolactin
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone