(CNN)Men who use anabolic steroids to build muscle for that "perfect bod" may be harming their testicular function for years after they stop taking the drugs, according to a new study of nonathletic bodybuilders.
Bodybuilding steroids linked to long-term testicular damage, study finds
"It has been unclear whether illicit use of anabolic steroids caused a long-lasting or even persistent impairment of the testosterone production in the testicles," said study author Dr. Jon Rasmussen, a scientist at Rigshospitalet, a highly specialized hospital affiliated with the University of Copenhagen.
"These results suggest a long-lasting testicular dysfunction," Rasmussen said via email.
His message to men who are thinking of using them to enhance their body: "Don't even consider it. Use of anabolic steroids can cause persistent adverse effects on several organs in the body and could even be lethal."