You’re not alone if you have ever wondered about the connection between penis size and steroid use. Steroid use started all the way back in the 1960s when Larry Scott, one of the earliest champion bodybuilders known to use anabolic steroids, built his incredible physique.
Later down the line, we had the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and many bodybuilders who took anabolic steroid use to new levels by combining them with insulin and human growth hormone to build superhuman strength and muscle.
As steroids grew in popularity, so did our knowledge of them and how they affected the body. Although both men and women can take anabolic steroids, the practice is more common amongst the former. Leading the majority of users to wonder, “Do steroids make your penis small?” We have the answer to that question and more in this article.
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What Exactly Are Steroids?
The word steroid is a broad term referring to chemicals or hormones naturally produced in the body. However, most people commonly use the word steroid to refer to synthetic drugs taken for recreational purposes, such as bodybuilding, or medical use, such as for the treatment of asthma.
The types of most common steroids are corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids and steroids are not the same drug and do not affect the body in the same way.
Corticosteroids are prescribed to treat numerous conditions, such as asthma, eczema, and rashes. You may have taken corticosteroids as a skin cream, pill, shot, or inhaler to control inflammation and swelling.
On the other hand, anabolic steroids are manufactured male hormones, testosterone. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body. Starting from puberty, the testicles will release a large amount of testosterone, causing the testes, penis, facial hair, and muscles to grow. Women also have small amounts of testosterone in combination with estrogen and progesterone, but their levels are generally much lower, except in rare cases.
Let’s discuss some common myths and facts about starting a steroid cycle.
Natural testosterone production dramatically impacts a man’s health. Low testosterone levels (male hypogonadism) can cause a reduction in sperm count, erectile dysfunction, low or no sex drive, and even impact your endurance, mood, and body fat percentage.
There’s also too much of a good thing. More testosterone can affect the body’s natural balance, increasing estrogen levels as the body tries to compensate for the excess testosterone. It also may increase your risk of health problems such as a heart attack, reduce the size of your testes, enlarge the prostate, and cause minor changes such as acne and weight gain.
Most steroid users are men aged 20-30 who are non-athlete weightlifters. In other words, everyday men that want to build muscles and get stronger at the gym.
Anabolic steroids, because they are a synthetic version of the male hormone testosterone, impact muscle size and can lead to muscle growth much faster than possible through pure exercise and diet.
Steroid use can cause slight or significant improvements in your ability to play certain sports, such as football. The improvement results from the increased muscle growth caused by steroid use. However, steroids have an insignificant impact on sports requiring endurance, agility, or flexibility.
This is a common myth that only bodybuilders and avid gymgoers use anabolic steroids for muscle growth. Doctors prescribe anabolic steroids to boys with delayed puberty, men with low testosterone levels, and even people who have lost muscle due to cancer or AIDS.
Will Steroids Make Your Penis Small?
Steroids do not affect the size of your penis, and it’s a common myth and concern amongst men who have been prescribed the drug or choose to take it to build muscles in the gym.
Although steroids aren’t going to turn your King Cobra into a garter snake, it does not mean that they won’t impact the family jewels.
Steroids will impact the testes, whose primary function is sperm and testosterone production. Steroids have been shown to reduce sperm production. It sounds counterintuitive because testosterone is needed to make sperm. However, too much of the hormone can cause a reduction in natural testosterone, causing a drop in sperm production and, thus, a decrease in fertility.
Steroids shrink the testes, not the penis. Over time, the excess hormone injected into the body can reduce the size of the testes.
The testes, or “the balls,” hang just below the penis. With the extra testosterone from the injections, they stop producing enough natural testosterone and thus shrink over time.
Sorry to deliver the bad news, but steroids are not some miracle penis enlargement drug that works by increasing blood supply to the area. Using steroids will not reduce your penis size, as mentioned already, or cause penis growth.
Are There Any Drugs that Make Your Penis Smaller?
With penis enlargement being a broad topic of discussion for many men, it’s natural to worry if the medicine you might be taking reduces the size of your favorite appendage.
Anabolic steroids won’t decrease the size of your penis, but a few drugs might.
Some sources say that Adderall, a drug prescribed for attention deficit, and some antidepressants, antipsychotics, and drugs that treat prostate conditions might impact penis size.
What Steroids Actually Do to Your Body
Although anabolic steroids won’t make your penis shrink, their use will alter your body negatively if you take steroids for an extended period.
Steroid use has been linked with several health risks, such as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, skin, and hormone production problems.
A better answer is — we don’t know for sure.
There are limited studies on the subject, and the small sample sizes and compounding factors such as personality traits and other drug abuse histories sometimes muddy results.
There does seem to be a link between aggressive behavior and anabolic steroids, but additional studies are needed. One study concluded that some, but not all, steroids cause increased aggression.
Steroids can impact your overall physical health. The excess testosterone does not exist in a vacuum, so the effects are far-reaching throughout the body.
Excess testosterone can cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, blood clots, liver damage, peliosis hepatis, acne, and oily skin and hair.
Steroid use has been linked with a psychological disorder called muscle dysmorphia. This disorder causes the person to believe they are abnormally small, weak, or inadequate due to their body size. Many men with this disorder have low self-esteem, low confidence, and depression.
Men who have started taking steroids cite the primary cause as dissatisfaction with their body and desire to change it.
Also, mania, hypomania, and major depression have been linked with steroid users.
Steroid use can cause severe damage to your mental and physical health over time. Aside from the changes to your sex life, such as decreased sperm production, smaller testicles, or erectile dysfunction, many users also report male-pattern baldness and breast development.
More importantly, steroids can increase your risk of testicular cancer, infections from non-sterile injection methods, and other serious diseases such as stroke or high blood pressure.
Because anabolic steroids artificially increase testosterone levels, the body compensates by decreasing its own testosterone production. The testicles may also shrink, reducing the body’s ability to produce the hormone.
Once you stop taking steroids, normal hormone production may take a long time to return to a normal level.
This may shock many men, but increased testosterone from the anabolic steroids can increase your risk of developing gynecomastia (breast growth). It’s a pretty common side effect.
It sounds counterintuitive that more male hormones will equal a feminine characteristic, but it has to do with overall changes in the body caused by drug use. As stated, anabolic steroids do not exist in a vacuum, solely increasing muscle mass. Instead, drug use will have far-reaching effects all over the body.
The increased testosterone causes an imbalance in the body, leading to increased estrogen production. Also, some anabolic steroids are converted into estrogen by the body.
Natural testosterone, combined with dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can lead to baldness in male patterns. The presence of the male hormone is the primary reason baldness is a trait associated with men and rarely with women. The excess testosterone from a steroid cycle can trigger the onset of irreversible male pattern baldness.
What Steroids Do to Your Sex Life
Testosterone is what makes men, well, men. Besides being the primary driver of puberty, resulting in dramatically different outcomes for girls, in the absence of high testosterone, and boys, testosterone is, in part, associated with men’s sex drive.
However, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. More testosterone can contribute to problems with androgen production and your reproductive and hormonal health.
The hormonal imbalance caused by steroid use can cause erectile dysfunction. Other causes are low testosterone, diet, diabetes, and obesity.
While taking steroids, the body slows down its own production of testosterone to try to balance the body. After stopping steroid use, many men report experiencing an inability to get an erection for sex and reduced sexual stamina.
Users who take steroids, especially over a prolonged period, have reported shrinkage of their testicles. A small testicle size and hormonal imbalance can both contribute to decreased sperm production.
Unfortunately, once you realize that steroids are negatively impacting your health and sex life and then cease taking them, it will take a while for the body to return to normal.
It is not clear exactly how long it will take for the testicles to return to normal sperm and testosterone production levels, but it might take a while.
The longer the person has taken the steroids and the higher the dose, the more suppression of the body’s natural production.
Can You Recover From Steroid Use?
About 32% of users will become dependent on the drug. Some men will develop steroid use disorder, a type of addiction, where they continue to use the drug despite the negative side effects.
There are a few reasons why men may become addicted to the drug. For one, the primary users are in their 20s and 30s and seek to improve their physical appearance. Some users in that demographic will ignore the negative side effects until they achieve their sought-after appearance. Others will try and stop but cannot because of the amount of time, money, and sacrifices made to benefit from the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms also affect some users. For example, some people reported cravings for the drug, depression, insomnia, fatigue, loss of sex drive, and loss of appetite, to name a few.
Anyone who takes and stops a steroid cycle can begin the recovery process; however, it won’t be easy.
You can recover from steroid use with enough time, assistance, and will. After stopping steroids, especially after prolonged use, it will take time to balance the body’s natural hormone levels and for your testicles to start producing their own hormones again. Expect psychological and physical changes that may be unpleasant.
However, many of the possible side effects and withdrawal symptoms will subside. Post cycle therapy may be an option to help your body return to pre-steroid cycle hormone levels.
Unfortunately, some long-term side effects of the drug may be irreversible. For example, male pattern baldness is irreversible. Stopping steroids will not grow back your hair. Any other conditions brought on by drug use may also be irreversible, such as cardiovascular problems. It’s important to speak honestly with your doctor about your steroid use, the length of time you’ve used steroids, and any side effects you’ve noticed since starting the drug. He or she can give you a better understanding of what the recovery process will look like for you, specifically.
In general, the longer you spend taking steroids, the longer the recovery process will take. If you tried steroids once, you shouldn’t expect a lengthy recovery, but for those who have used steroids for months or years, expect it to take a significant amount of time for testosterone production by the testicles to reach normal levels again, and for the side effects such as decreased sex drive, decreased sperm production, and erectile dysfunction to cease.
Whether you are currently using anabolic steroids and trying to stop them or thinking about taking them to reach performance or fitness goals, consider all the risks associated with steroids and how they might impact your physical and mental health. Secondarily, consider how it might impact your sex life and sexual stamina.
Assuming your partner will not mind your shrunken testicles, you can sleep well tonight knowing that steroids will not make your penis smaller. However, anabolic steroids could make it more difficult to enjoy sex due to changes in your reproductive and hormonal health.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but for the health of your swimmers and testicles, we say it’s better to pass on steroids.