JUN 11, 2017 3:45 PM PDT

It's Not You, It's the Steroids

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham


In both professional and amateur sports, steroids are formally stigmatized. These compounds are considered performance-enhancing drugs, as they have the potential to give athletes a boost in performance that would not otherwise be derived from natural training and skills. But the steroid-induced muscles and stamina come at big health costs.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. This means the extra steroids will inevitably throw the body's natural hormone levels out of sync. For males, this means their body might just compensate by shutting down its own production of testosterone. The result? Smaller testicles, which may interfere with sexual functions and long-term fertility. Even scarier is the fact that the side-effect may not go away after stopping steroid use.

Watch the video to learn other side effects of steroids, like gynecomastia in males, and more male-like effects in females.

About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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