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Male fertility before and after androgen abuse

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PURPOSE: Previous research has found that male users of androgens are diagnosed approximately twice as often with infertility. We therefore set out to investigate the fertility in men using androgens.

METHODS: The study included 545 males who tested positive for androgens in an anti-doping test program in Danish fitness centers during the period from January 3, 2006, to March 1, 2018. The confirmed androgen users were matched by birth year with 5450 male controls. We followed this cohort from 10 years prior to testing positive until the end of follow-up in May 2018.

RESULTS: During the 10-year period prior to testing positive, the group of androgen users experienced a 26% lower fertility rate than the controls (rate ratio [RR] 0.74; 95% CI, 0.60-0.90; P = 0.0028). However, in the years following the doping sanction, they made a significant catch-up, and at completed follow-up the total fertility rate was only 7% lower than expected (RR 0.93, 95% CI, 0.84-1.03). The prevalence of assisted reproduction was 5.69% in the group of androgen users and 5.28% in the control group (P = 0.69).

CONCLUSION: Androgen use was associated with a temporary decline in fertility and most androgen users achieved parenthood without any help from the health care system. Overall, the fertility rate and the prevalence of assisted reproduction among androgen users were close to those in the background population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Volume106
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
ISSN0021-972X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • anabolic steroids, androgenic anabolic steroids, assisted reproduction, fertility, infertility

ID: 61309798