Sperm alert

Paul Adamson
May 29, 2019

To add to the many other good reasons not to spend countless hours in the gym every week (the main one being, surely, that there are better things to do with your life), research has just been released that shows that taking steroids to get a buff physique can damage fertility.

Anabolic steroids mimic the effect of the male hormone testosterone in the body and are used as performance-enhancing drugs to increase muscle growth.

They are regularly used by bodybuilders. And I know for a fact that a couple of my boxer clients use them.

Allan Pacey, one of the report's researchers, says: "Isn't it ironic that men go to the gym to look wonderful, for the most part to attract women, and inadvertently decrease their fertility." The researchers noticed that a disproportionate number of the men coming in to have their fertility tested were huge muscle guys.

Anabolic steroids fool the brain's pituitary gland into thinking the testes are going into overdrive.

So the glands react by shutting down the production of two hormones which are the key hormones that drive the production of sperm.

Pacey says: "It keeps cropping up in clinics and the message is not getting out to young men that it's a problem and a bit of info could save them a lot of heartache."

And a lot of hours pumping iron.

I'm almost looking forward to confronting one or two of my boxer clients with the evidence of this research - but I reckon I'll wait until I've got them pinned down on the massage table first.

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