Infertility Due to Steroid Abuse Can Be Reversed

Stopping the abuse works in some cases, but further treatment needed in others

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Infertility in men who have abused anabolic steroids can be treated and reversed, researchers reported at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Montreal.

J.J. Cohen of the Yale University School of Medicine and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of 15 infertility patients with a history of anabolic steroid abuse who were treated at an infertility clinic between 1995 and 2005.

The researchers found that in four cases the infertility was due to another cause, such as obstruction, while 11 men had classic anabolic abuse symptoms. Azoospermia was reversible in 78% (7/9) of patients by either stopping steroid use or via gonadotropin replacement. Seventy-one percent of patients (5/7) required gonadotropin therapy for return of spermatogenesis, and spermatogenesis spontaneously returned in 29% (2/7) of patients when they stopped using steroids.

"Treatment is available for infertile patients who have abused anabolic steroids, which includes rebound spermatogenesis with cessation of drugs, treatment with gonadotropins or possibly testis sperm retrieval," the authors write.

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