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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, but 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.
The negative effects of 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) but 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 jaw line, 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). Hope that helps ….