Introduction The use of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) negatively affects male fertility by disrupting hormone release and reducing testosterone levels. Despite this, many men using steroids are unaware of fertility-related consequences. We aimed to determine the factors associated with AAS resumption during fertility treatment, specifically focusing on the duration, age, and dosage of AAS use prior to treatment. Our study, the first of its kind, investigated risk factors for resuming AAS following fertility assessment. Methods We conducted a retrospective review of adult men diagnosed with infertility due to chronic AAS use between 2012 and 2022 at the University of Miami. The study included men with azoospermia or severe oligospermia who were instructed to stop using AAS. Excluded were those who underwent orchiectomy for benign or malignant conditions. We collected data on demographic characteristics, AAS route details, fertility treatments, and AAS resumption. We hypothesized that risk factors for restarting AAS would include duration of AAS use, type of AAS, pre-treatment testosterone levels, and increased age. Results We identified 94 men with infertility caused by AAS use. Among them, 31 (33.0%) resumed AAS therapy within eight months after cessation. The median age of men who restarted AAS was 40 years. Those who resumed AAS had used it for a longer duration prior to fertility assessment compared to those who did not (60 months vs. 17 months, respectively). However, we found no statistically significant differences in age, duration of AAS use, AAS administration details, or serum testosterone levels at the time of initial assessment. Conclusion In conclusion, most men seeking fertility assessment due to AAS abuse did not resume testosterone therapy. However, those who did restart AAS had a longer history of AAS use. Future high-quality prospective studies are needed to better understand the risk factors associated with resuming AAS in male infertility caused by anabolic steroids.
Cureus. 2023 Jun 29*** epublish ***
Josh White, Armin Ghomeshi, Nicholas A Deebel, David T Miller, Farah Rahman, Greeshma Venigalla, Max Sandler, Ana Tomlinson, Ranjith Ramasamy
Urology, University of Miami, Miami, USA., Urology, Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Miami, USA., Urology, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Winston-Salem, USA., Urology, Univeristy of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA.