Researchers and endocrinologists operating out of the Copenhagen University Hospital discovered that your average, everyday steroid user has irreparably damaged their natural hormonal balance if they have used steroids for a few years consecutively – regardless of whether or not they choose to take advantage of post cycle therapy designed to prevent this exact issue.
These Danish researchers conducted a clinical test with 100 bodybuilders participating, including 37 athletes that have been taking anabolic steroids for a number of years, 33 bodybuilders that reported being clean and off steroids for anywhere between two years and three years, and another 30 athletes that claimed to have never have taken steroids at any point in time whatsoever.
Participants in this research aged anywhere between 18 years old and 50 years old. Each of them self-reported working out anywhere between six and nine hours at a gym every single week.
The bodybuilders that reported being active steroid users reported that they had been taking steroids for an average of 142 weeks, whereas those that had been clean for a number of years reported having taken advantage of steroids for an average of 112 weeks before they gave it up.
50% of all bodybuilders that had used steroids at one point in time were continued to use steroids reported also taking advantage of human growth hormone, and 50% of this same group of bodybuilders reported that they had also taking advantage of hCG – a hormone claiming to work in a post cycle therapy protocol, restoring natural hormonal balance after using anabolic steroids.
Nearly 1/3 of the group also reported using anti-estrogens as well at some point in time during their post cycle therapy protocol.
When the results came in from this test, researchers were surprised to discover that the overall total concentration level of testosterone in former anabolic steroid users was considerably lower than the control group of bodybuilders that had never touched steroids in the first place. The researchers also found that former users of steroids had significantly smaller testicles than those that haven’t used steroids, either.
Free testosterone concentration across-the-board in these former steroid users was lower than that in the control group, too.
Researchers were somewhat surprised to learn that the overall concentration levels of LH and FSH (hormones responsible for stimulating testicles to produce testosterone) was identical in those that had used steroids previously but stopped and those that had never touched the stuff in the first place.
This led researchers to believe that the permanent damage caused by steroid use occurs in the testes (primary hypogonadism) as opposed to in the brain (secondary hypogonadism). Researchers found that the longer users and former users cycled steroids the smaller their testicles became (testicular dysfunction), certainly indicating that permanent damage to the testicles is caused directly by exposure to these chemical compounds.
Issues of depression, a significantly decreased libido, and overall erectile dysfunction problems are a lot more commonplace in the individuals that had given up steroids after between two and three years of using them compared to those that had never touched steroids at all.
While the research is obviously not complete or comprehensive, the individuals out of the Copenhagen University are definitely operating under the impression that steroids not only negatively impact your overall health and wellness while using them but they also screw up your hormones on a long-term basis – regardless of whether or not you give them up or go through a post cycle therapy protocol, either.