A 30-year-old American bodybuilder has opened up about how years of steroid use has rendered him infertile.
Bradley Goldman told Time magazine how he began taking muscle-building steroids when he was 18.
Anabolic steroids are manufactured drugs that mimic the effects of the male hormone testosterone. Long-term use can carry huge risks, such as a weakened heart, liver disease, kidney disease and infertility.
Now Goldman and his wife are trying to get pregnant, and though fitness and nutrition consultant in Los Angeles gave up steroids two years ago, the damage is done.
A semen analysis last March showed that his sperm count was at zero.
“It was earth-shattering,” he says.
“I feel like I’m your stereotypical masculine-looking man,” he added. “I’m tattooed. I have muscles. I work out. And I’m infertile. How many other guys out there that have this machismo, this mind-set about them, are in my shoes as well?”
Goldman, who has over 10,000 followers on Instagram, has never spoken about his infertility before.
In Ireland, the illegal use of anabolic steroids by athletes seeking to enhance performance, and men wanting a more muscular body, is believed to be at an all-time high.
Goldman’s account of how steroids have impacted his health will send warning signals to men worldwide.
He’s considering making a YouTube series about his experience.
“It doesn’t make you soft to talk about it,” he says. “It doesn’t make you less of a man.”
He added: "Putting my story out there and being vulnerable is totally worth it” if men in a similar position no longer feel alone.