Can Steroid Use Cause ED?

The use of steroids is a common practice in professional and amateur sports. This kind of athletic enhancement is considered illegal since these substances are related to health risks, particularly the impairment of an athlete’s reproductive system. The purpose of this study was to determine if steroid abuse can cause erectile dysfunction. A group of patients with ED was subjected to a questionnaire to assess their history regarding drug consumption. Data from 149 patients from different Brazilian sports clubs were gathered and analyzed by logistic regression models. In the present study, recreational habits were found in 66% of athletes who abused illicit drugs, while 35% had used them “occasionally.” Results showed a significant statistical association between performance enhancers and ED (odds ratio: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.31-1.76). The use of anabolic steroids was the most significant predictor in the development of ED (odds ratio: 4.05; 95%CI: 2.12-7.71), particularly when these were taken by athletes older than 30 years, with a higher frequency and for more than six months. An association between accessory sexual organs alterations and the abuse of illicit drugs was also found. Our findings suggest that recreational habits are every day among Brazilian athletes who abuse performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids, leading to increased rates of erectile dysfunction.