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How to Cure Erectile Dysfunction From Steroids

psychiatrist, sexologist, psychotherapist
  • Published:
    19 March 2023
  • Updated:
    09 November 2023
how to avoid erectile dysfunction on steroids

In the world of sports and bodybuilding, results often depend not only on endurance but also on the degree of muscle development. Not everyone is willing to wait for results from targeted training. To speed up the process and gain muscle mass more quickly, many men resort to steroid drugs without thinking about the consequences, which often result in metabolic failure and erectile dysfunction. To avoid unpleasant side effects, you must understand what steroids are and how they can affect potency.


What are Steroids?

Steroids are a large group of biologically active substances that accelerate metabolic processes and influence muscle growth. Most steroids are not foreign to the body. In some quantities, they are produced in the form of hormones by the internal secretion organs and, to some extent, can influence muscle development. But more is needed for the rapid accumulation of muscle mass, which is particularly important for bodybuilders, and a greater supply of hormones is necessary. That is why they often turn to artificially synthesized supplements.

Such supplements increase protein synthesis at the cellular level, reducing the output of nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus. This leads to the rapid growth of skeletal muscle. In parallel, artificial steroids retain calcium in the bones, stimulate regenerative processes, and activate the synthesis of amino acids, including essential amino acids.

The Use of Steroids

Treatment with steroids is often used in medical practice when performing therapy for several metabolic disorders. Given their effect on the acceleration of most processes, they are often used in the postoperative period, myocardial infarctions, and stunting in children. The ability to retain calcium in the bone tissue has made steroids an important therapy component for compound fractures and osteoporosis. They are also used in rehabilitation in the postoperative period after surgery (e.g., oncology of the endocrine glands).

Steroids have found great use in sports, where athletes are recommended to take them in therapeutic doses to gain muscle mass quickly. However, in most cases, the dosage is exceeded many times over, leading to certain consequences.

How Steroids Work

All steroids regulate and stimulate organs and affect the body's metabolic processes. A distinction is made between organic steroids, produced directly by the organs of internal secretion, and synthetic steroids. The latter has a more pronounced effect and is often used for medical indications. They require adherence to certain dosages and have several side effects when taken without control. The principle of action of each group of steroids is directed to specific processes and is strictly individual.


These are a group of steroid hormones that are potent with varying efficacy. In the body, corticosteroids are produced by the adrenal glands. Three types of hormones represent them, each having a different functional significance for the body.

  • Cortisol prevents edema by distributing fluid evenly in the body, ensuring normal potassium, sodium, and chlorine levels.
  • Corticosterone regulates carbohydrate metabolism and energy balance. It is responsible for the formation and accumulation of glycogen in muscle tissue and the liver.
  • Hydrocortisone is major in regulating blood pressure, especially in stressful situations. Hypersecretion of this hormone disrupts the endocrine system.

Synthetic corticosteroids are widely used as anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and immunosuppressive agents.

Anabolic steroids

These are drugs based on the male sex hormone testosterone and are often used in treating the hypofunction of the testes. In therapeutic doses, anabolics are used for large muscle overloads in sports. Such drugs increase the synthesis of protein, enzymes, and amino acids.

Such action accelerates all metabolic processes, resulting in intensive muscle tissue growth, body fat reduction, and increased efficiency. At the same time, muscle endurance is increased through increased oxygen consumption by muscles and increased blood supply. This is exactly the effect of these steroid drugs called anabolic.

Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

However, along with the positive effects, the excessive intake of anabolic steroids in the body is accompanied by serious negative effects, which may appear in the form of physical and psychological disorders.

Physical side effects are observed on the part of various organs and systems and are manifested as complex abnormalities of their functions.

  • Reproductive system disorders: inhibition of testicular function, decreased spermatogenesis, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Liver tissue: hepatotoxic effect, hepatic tissue necrosis, and neoplasms.
  • Cardiovascular system: hypertension, increased cholesterol, and thrombosis.
  • Glucose intolerance;
  • Skin problems, dermatitis, alopecia, and edema of subcutaneous tissues.

The consequences after taking steroids can also be psychological, caused by prolonged anabolic intake. Among the common effects of how steroids affect a man's psyche are the following reactions:

  • Frequent and abrupt changes in mood;
  • Illogical behavior;
  • Increased aggressiveness;
  • Irritability;
  • Depression.

All side effects occur when the dosage is greatly exceeded, and steroid drugs are taken uncontrollably.

What Types of Steroids Cause Erectile dysfunction

Among the frequent side effects of using steroid drugs, experts call erectile dysfunction - a persistent inability to get an erection and maintain it at a sufficient level, lasting at least 6 months. A decreased potency in men causes long-term use in large quantities of anabolic drugs based on testosterone.

According to many experts, the most dangerous steroids that cause serious health problems and persistent erectile dysfunction are certain types of common synthetic anabolics.

  1. Synthol - leads to poor circulation and blockage of blood vessels. In this case, the process of filling the cavernous bodies of the penis with blood is disturbed, and there is a lack of erection.

  2. Stanozolol - reduces libido.

  3. Athletes use growth hormones to increase muscle mass quickly. It provokes an increased growth of internal organs and the appearance of malignant tumors.

  4. Fluoxymesterone: Long-term use may damage the prostate gland and liver and cause permanent ED.

  5. Nandrolone - promotes gaining muscle mass but reduces potency and libido.

How Steroids Сause ED

Steroid-induced erectile dysfunction is associated with an excessive intake of the hormone testosterone. Normally, a healthy man produces up to 10 mg of it. High doses of androgen entering the body from the outside provoke a suspension of testosterone production and lead to the dysfunction of the testes. At the same time, spermatogenesis is inhibited, and with prolonged use of anabolic drugs, it stops altogether. One of the causes of erectile dysfunction is the hypofunction of the testicles, as a consequence of one's own "correct" androgens no longer being produced.

If the use of anabolic steroids is stopped in time, the function of the testes, in terms of spermatogenesis, is partially restored 6-12 months after discontinuation of the drug. Such an effect is possible if their complete inhibition has not occurred. But more often, there are irreversible consequences in the form of complete infertility and permanent erectile dysfunction. To avoid such consequences, you must be careful about the drugs you must take for one reason or another.

Why Steroids and Viagra are Taken Together

Many men who take anabolic steroids and face the problem of erectile dysfunction resort to the help of Viagra in the hope of restoring libido and an erection. There is a reasonable reason for this approach as the action of Viagra is, first of all, directed to intensify the blood flow in pelvic organs and the dilation of main blood vessels. This effect helps enhance potency and contributes to a more rapid distribution of steroids throughout the body.

But this approach also has certain consequences, which should be considered when taking combined drugs.

How Safe Is it to Take Steroids And Viagra Together

There is no evidence that steroids and Viagra cannot be taken together. On the contrary, short-term use of these drugs under a doctor's supervision can significantly increase libido, improve erection, and diversify one's sex life. But this is only possible if you are in total health.

If, against the background of long-term and uncontrolled steroid use, various side effects on the cardiovascular system, liver, or kidneys occur, taking Viagra is strictly forbidden. The dilation of main vessels and increased blood flow caused by Viagra may lead to a hypertensive crisis, bleeding, or stroke. Each drug requires careful attention and mandatory monitoring by a specialist.

How Viagra Works

Viagra is the patented name of sildenafil, a drug used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Its main action is to increase blood flow in the tissues of the penis, which leads to a strong erection. This is an effective drug, which is more often used for single use or in complex therapy to restore erectile function.

Continuous intake of Viagra in high doses may cause several unwanted side effects in the form of headaches, decreased blood pressure, and long debilitating erections lasting over 4 hours. Sexual promiscuity caused by overstressing the "pleasure zone" of the brain by prolonged erectile effect may also be observed.

Drugs Interaction

The use of Viagra without professional supervision is undesirable, especially if a man is undergoing additional therapy related to other health problems. Viagra is not always compatible with other drugs and may cause a life-threatening condition. It is incompatible with drugs to treat hypertension, anticoagulants, and drugs to treat HIV and hepatitis C.

For additional therapy, it is always necessary to consult a doctor so that he can choose the correct dosage of Viagra or alternative methods of treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Steroid use causes a range of side effects, from obesity to hormonal shifts that can cause persistent ED. The treatment of erectile dysfunction in men requires a comprehensive approach.

  • Withdrawal of steroid drugs and substitution therapy.
  • Physical therapy is aimed at restoring the function of the testes.
  • Correction of the psychosomatic state.
  • Observance of a healthy lifestyle (work and rest regime, good nutrition, physical activity).
  • Stimulation of erectile function with drugs and physical therapy.

The process of ED recovery after taking steroids is quite long and takes 6 to 12 months. It is usually not possible to achieve complete erection recovery, which is a serious reason to consider not using steroids for no good reason.

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