We’ve got a few problematic drugs on our hands here. Along with the obesity epidemic, there’s also an opioid abuse epidemic in the U.S., points out Joseph Clark, M.D., associate professor of urology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. There are a lot of reasons to stay away from unnecessary painkillers, but here’s another to add to the list: Opioids suppress the release of luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland, which is needed to stimulate the testicles to make testosterone to then make sperm, he explains.
Same goes for taking testosterone when you don’t need it. Yes, some men certainly have low T, but if you aren’t clinically low and just want the performance perks, the payoff comes at a price: “Although most guys believe getting testosterone supplements will increase their sperm counts, the exact opposite happens because when the body has enough testosterone, the pituitary gland senses that and secretes less hormones needed to stimulate the testicles to make sperm,” Clark adds.
There’s also evidence to suggest that smoking a lot of marijuana—and over a long period of time—can lower your T levels, too, Clark adds.