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When you think about steroid use you will likely think about a muscle-bound man rather than a woman, but let me tell you that steroid use in women is also prevalent.
Why do women feel the need to use steroids, and what benefits will it offer them? In the following article, we will look more closely at the potential benefits and side effects of female steroids before concluding whether we believe there is a place for them in bodybuilding.
- 1 Origin of Anabolic Steroids
- 2 Drug Use in Female Fitness
- 3 Why Do Women Use Steroids?
- 4 Potential Benefits of Steroids
- 5 Side Effects Associated with Steroid Abuse
- 6 Popular Steroids for Women
- 7 How To Tell If a Woman Is On Steroids?
- 8 What About Prohormones?
- 9 Popular Prohormones for Women
- 10 FAQs for Female Steroid Usage:
- 11 In Conclusion – Should Women Use Steroids?
- 12 Legal Alternatives to Female Steroids
Origin of Anabolic Steroids
The first instances of anabolic steroids being developed were in the 1930s. Using testosterone as a medical hormone was conceived by Adolf Butenandt, and his version was synthesized by Leopold Ruzicka.
They had discovered that chemical extracts from the testicles had powerful and potent properties. By isolating the necessary chemical, they applied it orally or via injection to subjects in order to see the full extent of its usage.
Their experiments were a success, and they won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this achievement.
Drug Use in Female Fitness
The 1990s are responsible for the stereotypical view of the female steroid taker. Women such as Denise Rutkowski who took massive doses of performance enhancers until they were unrecognizable from their pre-steroid physiques.
This image did a lot of harm to female fitness, and the industry is only now recovering.
Unfortunately, it also led to the belief that steroid use would be obvious as all women would end up looking like men. But steroid use is used by competitors throughout the fitness world. Yes, even Instagram fitness personalities, bikini competitors, and fitness models.
That's not to say that all women in the industry are taking prohormones or steroids. But it certainly isn't as rare an occurrence as the public believe.
Whilst the dangers of steroid abuse have been overplayed by the media and the uninformed man on the street. It is definitely the case that it is underplayed by the many people who do use them. There are benefits to taking them, but the risks and potential side effects are very real.
Why Do Women Use Steroids?
Nowadays many women are looking to build muscle rather than just burn fat. So instead of spending hour upon hour on the treadmill, they are now venturing into the free-weights area.
Unlike men, women tend to struggle to build muscle. Due to a lack of testosterone, which is where steroids can help.
Steroids are all derived from testosterone. So using them can increase your own testosterone levels resulting in an increased ability to build muscle.
Those who use steroids will also experience improved performance, and an ability to burn fat much easier.
Potential Benefits of Steroids
Anabolic steroids were initially used to treat people with impotence, weight loss disease, and delayed puberty. It later on expanded to include hormonal imbalance and to induce muscle growth.
Modern-day anabolic steroids generally perform most of these functions. With a few of them being specialized in either bringing out certain qualities or enhancing them. They are used to give the body muscle a more toned look, cut down fat and increase lean body mass.
Anabolic steroids help people achieve their desired body image. Women who are unhappy with their physique which they label to be “skinny” or ”fat” use anabolic steroids to gain a defined and prominent shape.
Moreover, the input of testosterone fills the consumer with increased confidence and euphoria, as well as making them more energetic and even induces sexual arousal.
Below are some of the potential benefits you can gain from using steroids:
- Faster recovery times between workouts
- Enhanced muscle gains
- Lower body fat percentage
- Increased strength and endurance
- Better performance
Of course, steroids will not work unless you do. Therefore to experience the full benefit you need to ensure you are training at 100% intensity. You also need to ensure you are getting the right kinds of nutrients and getting plenty of rest between workouts.
Side Effects Associated with Steroid Abuse
One of the major side effects that affect women who use steroids is virilization. This is a condition where women will develop male characteristics.
Usually, this will occur due to a high level of androgens found in their body, due to steroid abuse.
Common signs of virilization include:
- Deepening of your voice
- Stronger more masculine jawline
- Change to your facial structure
- Enlarged clitoris
- Excessive hair growth
Many women won't encounter virilization, but to avoid this from occurring it is best to use low dosages or to avoid steroids that are overly androgenic in the first place.
Virilization is just one potential side effect of steroid abuse. There are plenty of other side effects  you need to be aware of too, including:
- Higher blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Greater risk of liver disease
- High risk of injury
- Increased aggression (roid rage)
- Acne on the face, back and chest
It is possible to reverse some of these side effects, but some may be permanent.
Popular Steroids for Women
The steroids that are popular amongst women are those that have lower androgenic effects, but higher anabolic benefits. These include steroids like Winstrol, Anavar, Primobolan and Clenbuterol:
Winstrol is one of the most popular steroids available for women.
It is often used by female athletes looking to cut fat and to boost endurance levels.
Often referred to as “the girl steroid”. Anavar is a good all-round steroid that is used for both bulking and cutting cycles.
It is considered one of the most gentle steroids available, so is one of the safest to use.
Primobolan is primarily used when women are looking to bulk, or gain muscle.
This is one of the least androgenic of all steroids so is most suitable for women looking to gain muscle slowly in a controlled manner.
The first thing I should mention is that Clenbuterol is not a steroid. It is, in fact, a stimulant, yet a highly effective one.
It works like a thermogenic so is suitable for those looking to strip away fat while maintaining muscle mass.
How To Tell If a Woman Is On Steroids?
Here’s the first thing that you need to understand about steroids. There is a vast difference between steroids being used and steroids being abused.
Just like having a bud light once every two weeks doesn’t mean that you’re an alcoholic. Taking steroids doesn’t mean that you are abusing them.
The majority of people who take steroids look like regular people because that’s what they are.
This means that it can be very hard, if not impossible to ascertain whether a woman is on steroids or not. However, there are some things to look out for.
Conversely, it is incredibly easy to tell if a woman is abusing steroids as steroids can have a much more extreme effect on the female body.
This is because steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone, which is responsible for male-specific characteristics (facial hair, strong jaw, deep voice etc).
Whilst a small increase in the amount of testosterone in the body is beneficial for women (particularly if it is produced naturally). Large doses of anabolic steroids are basically overkill.
In small amounts, testosterone can increase fat loss, increase muscle mass, and increase metabolism, so there are benefits to taking it.
How far a woman goes with it is dependent on the woman in question.
Steroid use is a bit like any drug. Two people could both take cocaine for the first time and one person would become addicted for life while the other will never touch it again.
Two women could both use steroids to improve their chances of winning a competition (be it sporting or bodybuilding/fitness modelling) and both have completely different experiences.
If one woman had a successful first attempt with a lower dose, then she might think that this is the perfect dose for her.
Whereas another woman might think that increasing the dosage will lead to even better results.
Other factors such as psychological battles with body dysmorphia, eating disorders, or other mental issues can have a huge bearing on steroid abuse.
One of the most well-known beliefs about steroid abuse in women is that it can affect mood. Leading to women acting aggressively or “masculine”.
The research behind this belief has produced mixed results. Some studies have shown that steroids increase irritability, whilst others have not found this to be the case.
This could mean that only some women are affected, or it could mean that only specific types of steroids produce this result, or possibly both!
Either way, an increase in irritability is difficult to notice. Unless you’re living with the person, in which case you’d probably find out a lot easier anyway!
There are other psychological changes that could possibly be influenced by steroid abuse (depression, anxiety, confusion etc). However, as with irritability or aggression, it would be very difficult to link to steroids.
The most obvious indications of heavy steroid abuse are all physiological. As we mentioned before; steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone and they will make both men and women become more masculine.
We’re talking deepening of vocal cords, facial hair, body hair, increasing jawline, and of course an increase in muscle size.
With small amounts of testosterone, the muscle gains would be barely noticeable. They would lead to a toned, athletic look – which is why they are gaining popularity with fitness models. But in large doses, it will become immediately apparent, as the muscles will grow to rival most men’s.
There can also be smaller more cosmetic changes such as bad skin, hair loss (from the head, not the brand new beard), and other such adverse effects.
While these are relatively minor compared to some of the more serious effects. They are easier for people to notice, meaning that they are an effective way to assess whether someone is on steroids or not.
The vast majority of women who are on steroids will look absolutely nothing like you expect them to.
Just like everyone who smoked marijuana doesn’t look like Snoop Dogg or everyone who takes cocaine doesn’t look like Scarface.
The truth is that most people who take steroids look average, which is why they start taking them in the first place.
And just like people who do Crossfit or people who powerlift, or just go to the gym regularly, the results will differ.
Some people won’t utilise the drugs correctly and will get minor results. Whereas some will get amazing results. These ones are the people who you see on the cover of fitness magazines with the impossible bodies!
So in conclusion, here are the signs to look out for: Women who look incredible, women who look average, women who look bad, women who are incredibly strong and have a deeper voice than James Earl Jones.
All of these women could be on steroids, but only the last one is a definite (unless they have a genetic disorder).
What About Prohormones?
Prohormones are chemical compounds that help increase the effectiveness of hormones that are currently in the body.
They are produced naturally in the body, but can also be taken as a supplement.
Prohormones are not as effective as steroids. As instead of overloading the body with a hormone (most commonly testosterone) they are aimed at promoting more hormone release within the body.
It is for this reason that prohormones aren't as severely regulated. However, the authorities are cracking down on them.
Popular Prohormones for Women
Two of the most popular prohormones that are taken by women are Halodrol and Epistane. They are popular for being effective and for the most part safe.
It is important to note that no prohormone is completely safe – hence the government bans, but there are definitely products that are safer than others.
The benefits have been mentioned before. But these products are particularly effective at lowering body fat, increasing muscle, strength, and improving definition.
The side effects of taking prohormones are essentially the masculinisation of the taker. Their vocal cords can deepen, jawline can strengthen, hair loss, and the usual side effects of acne, increased LDL Cholesterol, and even the possibility of facial hair.
Women who are taking prohormones may also miss their periods as the drugs can interfere with the menstrual cycle.
For the majority of women, these side-effects will only occur if the drugs are abused or if they are on the more powerful end of the spectrum. But are prohormones worth the risk?
FAQs for Female Steroid Usage:
Below are some questions we have been asked by our readers:
Do Women Need PCT?
Typically women will not need to follow PCT following a cycle of steroids. This is because their hormone profile is different from that of a man.
Usually, men will run Post Cycle Therapy to avoid the aromatizing effects of steroids, which causes high oestrogen levels within their bodies.
Women tend to have much higher oestrogen levels to begin with, so this is less of an issue for them.
It may still be necessary for a woman to run PCT to re-balance their hormone levels. This will depend on the steroid they have chosen to use.
Typically they will use a supplement that will help balance oestrogen and testosterone levels rather than one that blocks the hormones (an anti-oestrogen).
Are Female Steroids Legal?
In many parts of the world, neither buying nor importing steroids are legal. Including the UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia.
Where can you Buy Female Steroids?
While they are illegal you won't struggle to buy female steroids if you really wanted to.
You will find numerous websites online selling popular steroids. Plus there is always someone you will know down the local gym that could “hook you up”.
The real question is whether you really want to risk your long-term health taking steroids.
In Conclusion – Should Women Use Steroids?
Despite the proven benefits of steroids , there are too many potential side effects for us to recommend their use.
There are alternatives that you can use that offer numerous benefits but without the side effects. These supplements are also legal to buy. I would recommend opting for one of those instead.
Legal Alternatives to Female Steroids
Crazy Bulk sell a variety of safe and legal steroid alternatives, including many steroids suitable for women.
These include the following products:
Winsol – Legal Winstrol Alternative
If you are looking for a safe and legal alternative to Winstrol then you need to look at Winsol.
This steroid alternative offers the following user benefits:
- Preserve muscle mass while cutting fat
- More definition
- Enhanced vascularity
- Improved strength and endurance
- More speed, power and agility
Winsol should be used by those looking to build muscle while burning fat. It is also an effective way to boost performance in the gym.
Anvarol – Legal Anavar Alternative
Anvarol is a safe and legal alternative to Anavar offering the following user benefits:
- Explosive power and strength
- Preserve muscle while incinerating fat
- Improved muscle hardness and density
- Increased vascularity
The ingredients found in Anvarol will help produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that will give your muscles they need to contract. The higher the amount of ATP in your body the more energy you will have for your workouts.
Anvarol is the perfect choice for those looking for cut fat while avoiding water retention. Giving you a dry and defined look.
Clenbutrol – Legal Clenbuterol Alternative
Clenbutrol is the perfect choice for those looking to burn fat, as its powerful thermogenic properties have been shown to incinerate fat without burning that hard-earned muscle.
Other benefits on offer include:
- Powerful fat burning
- Preserve lean muscle mass
- Improved performance
- More stamina and endurance
Clenbutrol should be used by those looking to burn fat while on a cutting cycle.
All Crazy Bulk supplements are proven to work, with many user testimonials available to back up their claims. There are also no needles or prescriptions needed.
Every order is available with FREE shipping to the USA and UK, with a Buy 2 Get 1 FREE Offer available too for big savings off the RRP.