Steroid use amongst female athletes and bodybuilders is debated pretty intensely. Since steroids often leave women looking masculine, there’s a lot of controversy when it comes to women using these and they’re often discouraged from using it altogether. Despite these problems, steroid use in body-building and sports is equally as common between both male and female divisions. So let’s have a closer look at female steroid use and the best steroids for women.
What are anabolic steroids?
Anabolism is a natural response that includes a wide range of formative processes in the human body. It’s responsible for the formation of new muscle, cells, wound healing and the body itself regulates it. Whenever you hear the words anabolic or anabolism, you should know that it’s something to do with the creation of something new in the body.
So, Anabolic Steroids help in the development of muscle mass in the body. At the very least, this is what most athletes and bodybuilders use them for. As they build their muscle mass, they can improve their performance in their respective sports. The use of steroids is common in all sports, but the use by females is hardly ever spoken of mostly because no one wants to look at a “manly” woman and there’s too much for women to lose when they use them.
To understand what anabolic steroids are, we need to first know how natural anabolic hormones work. Doctors call them “Endogenous Androgens” and these are usually found in males. These are responsible for enhancing sexual characteristics in males and kick in around the time of puberty. So the development of facial hair, increase in muscle mass and the other signs of puberty are actually a response to the increased production of endogenous androgen. Examples of endogenous androgens include testosterone and its derivatives; dihydrotestosterone and estradiol.
An anabolic steroid is an artificially produced chemical that has the same effects on the body as these endogenous androgens. When used as part of a performance-enhancement technique, these are illegal and are only approved for use in certain medical treatments.
People who take anabolic steroids are likely to experience increased muscle mass development, increased training intensity, joint pain relief, and increased appetite. If you’re thinking of taking anabolic steroids to help yourself, remember that these are a DEA class III drug and strictly prohibited outside of medical use. In addition to this, the use of steroids is strictly prohibited in all sporting activities and could be the cause of disqualification or indictment.
The history and cases of female athletes that were caught using steroids
The history of sport is littered with cases of athletes who’ve been caught using steroids to succeed in their fields. There are fewer female athletes than male athletes, which also gives rise to the misconception that women don’t actually use steroids.
However, figures state that 30% of all college and professional athletes use steroids to enhance their performance. This number is even higher in professional bodybuilding at an astounding number of 80% in the US. These numbers include both male and female athletes, so it’s safe to say that even a large portion of female athletes also use steroids.
Some notable cases of female athletes using performance-enhancing drugs include:
Marion Jones was America’s sweetheart. She’d brought gold back home from the Olympics thrice as a track and field star. She was involved in one of the most widely documented steroid cases in US history.
Called in multiple times to testify against BALCO, the company was alleged to be providing performance-enhancing steroids to professional athletes; she denied all allegation of steroid use. For a large part of her career, beginning in 2004, she’d repeatedly been subjected to drug tests and passed them each time however was always under suspicion.
In 2007, she pleaded guilty to charges of using performance-enhancing drugs and steroids which led to her retirement from the sport forever.
Although Maria Sharapova’s case is one of the least controversial cases, it still sent ripples throughout the tennis world. At the time she had been a four-time Grand Slam champion and widely considered one the best player to ever take the tennis court.
She’d been taking a banned substance for about 10 years until it was banned by the International Tennis Federation and World Anti-Doping Agency. She tested positive for the substance before the 2015 Australian open and was banned for a full year before she could resume playing.
Back during the 2012 Olympics, two-time gold medalist goalkeeper Hope Solo failed a urine test for performance-enhancing drugs and steroids. She was let off with a warning when she told the authorities the drug was actually a medication for her medical conditions.
Carina Damm is a very well known mixed martial arts fighter. Back in 2012, during a major bust on MMA fighters for their testosterone and hormone replacement therapies, her name came out as one of the violators.
She was banned for a full year for using the anabolic steroid Nandrolone.
Justino was also one of the people who was caught using steroids with Carina Damm. She was fined $2500 and also received a ban for a full year.
What are the benefits of steroids for women
As a body-builder, there are a lot of short term benefits of using steroids. The only problem is that these are short-lived and actually point towards long term medical complications. Using steroids can have the following effects:
- 1 – Increase in muscle size
In 2007, research directed towards the effects of testosterone enanthate pointed out that there are apparent differences on muscle mass and strength training performances when the steroid is administered. Measuring the performance of the participants in various strength training exercises, the study concluded that the body mass after 6 weeks of the study was significantly higher.
In addition to this, the research study reported that the participants of the study injected with the steroid performed far better at exercises like cycling and bench presses than those who didn’t. So there is a reason to say that steroids can help with improving muscle mass.
- 2 – Increase in performance and body mass
Another study conducted in 2009 observing the effects of testosterone enanthate, pointed out that people who used the steroid would perform better at strength related exercise. In addition to these effects, the steroid was also linked to an increase in body mass and muscle size across the body.
- 3 – Better healing rates
Many athletes use steroids to help them come back from injuries faster. Many steroids, although not associated with improving performance as such, have been known to improve muscle healing rates. Research directed at the effects of synthetic testosterone showed that these can significantly improve muscle recovery.
Side effects of steroids for women
Considering how anabolic steroids are found to naturally occur in males, there are some very intense side-effects of steroid use for women. These are often accompanied with the side-effects that occur for men.
The results can be devastating as women begin to feel like they look more masculine than before and there are definite biological/psychological changes. This is also accompanied by an increased risk of developing long term medical illnesses which could very well be fatal.
There are both psychological and physiological side-effects of anabolic steroids for women. These include:
The physiological side-effects
The physiological side-effects of extended steroid use in women include:
- Deeper voices
- Decreased Breast Size
- Enlargement of the Clitoris
- Variation in the Menstrual Cycle
- Male Pattern Hair growth
- Male Pattern Baldness
- Dysfunctional Libido
In addition to these side-effects, female steroid users are also much more likely to develop the following medical conditions:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Adrenal Gland Dysfunction
- Cushing’s Syndrome
The psychological side-effects
The psychological side-effects of prolonged steroid use include:
- Mania and Depression
- Aggression and Violence
- Suicidal tendencies
- Steroid Dependence
- Body Dysmorphic disorders
- Substance abuse
5 Steroids that are the best for women
Assuming that you’re already well aware of the risks associated with steroid use and still want to try them out, then you might as well use steroids that are better for the use of female athletes. This does not in any way eliminate the risks and the side-effects of anabolic steroids, however, it’s better to use these considering how risky the whole business is.
The steroids that we list down have been widely used by female athletes, without too much psychological or physiological damage. For purposes of the reader, we’ll also specify the recommended doses, benefits and side-effects of each. These include:
The appropriate dosage of Anavar for women is one that consistently increases across cycles. In specific, the dosage is as follows:
- 2.5 mg in the 1st and 2nd weeks
- 5.0 mg in the 3rd and 4th weeks
- 10 mg in the 5th week
- 15 mg in the 6th week
- 5mg and 10 mg in the 7th and 8th weeks respectively.
Anavar works great if you’re trying to cut weight. The benefits of the steroid are as follows:
- It’s one of the best weight loss steroids for women in the market.
- It increases strength for longer and more intense workouts
- It increases endurance so that you can work out for longer periods of time.
The side-effects of Anavar include:
- The steroid can make you feel lethargic and tired.
- Might mess with your libido.
- It can make the skin very oily.
- It can cause high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Mood swings.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Potentially irreversible balding.
For more information about the side effects of Anavar, check our Anavar side effects post!
The recommended dosage for Winstrol is a small dose of 10mg per day. Some female athletes can even go up to 20mg if they engage in physically intense sports. Sometimes the steroid is stacked with Anavar to help achieve the optimal effects.
- The steroid doesn’t cause water retention and resultant swellings like other steroids do.
- It builds strength as well as muscle mass.
- It increases speed, agility, and endurance to help you work out longer and harder.
- Long-term use of the steroid may cause liver failure.
- It might enhance the development of male characteristics, particularly apparent in women.
- It may cause high cholesterol and blood pressure.
- It might cause a decrease in libido.
- The steroid might also cause hair loss and skin problems.
For more information about the side effects of Winstrol, check our Winstrol side effects post!
Female athletes take up to 50-100mg of Primobolan a week, with 5-10mg of the steroid daily.
- It’s great for shedding weight and used in cutting cycles.
- Helps preserve muscle mass.
- It’s usually very well tolerated by female athletes.
- The steroid has been known to cause acne.
- It may cause enhancement in permanent male characteristics.
- It might also increase the propensity for aggression and violence.
- The steroid might also cause insomnia.
- Users also report hair loss.
- Some female users also complain of variations in menstrual cycles.
The prescribed dose is 1-5 mg/kg of body weight per day. So if your weight is around 60kgm then you should take between 60-300mg of Anadrol per day.
- It’s one of the best weight gain steroids in the market.
- It improves body strength and endurance.
- It increases the delivery of oxygen to the muscles.
The side-effects of Anadrol include:
- It may cause restlessness.
- It may also cause insomnia
- Mood Swings
- Water retention causes swelling in the ankles and feet.
- Reduced libido.
For more information about the side effects of Anadrol, check our Anadrol side effects post!
Nandrolone (Deca Durabolin)
Nandrolone is administered directly into the muscles to help promote muscle growth. The recommended dose for female athletes is 50mg a week, for a total of 4-6 weeks. Prolonged use can cause the development of virilization (Enhancement of male sex characteristics).
- Promotes muscle growth.
- Increases strength and reduces the impact of workouts on the joints.
- Improves healing rates and increases red blood cell count for greater oxygenation.
- Improves endurance for longer workouts.
- Water retention may cause swelling.
- Increased hair growth, the deepening of your voice and the development of other potentially permanent male characteristics.
- Increased libido.
- Liver dysfunction
- Enlargement of the clitoris
For more information about the side effects of Deca Durabolin, check our Deca Durabolin side effects post!
Safer and legal alternatives
Depending on your bodybuilding goals, there are other alternatives that you can try out that don’t have the side-effects that steroids usually have. You may have to compromise on the efficacy of your workouts, yet in the long run that is a cost that anyone can afford to pay.
The alternatives we will mention can be used to put on or reduce weight. Most of these are actual substitutes for the steroids we’ve mentioned above:
Steroids for building muscle and increasing strength:
- Decaduro (substitute for nandrolone)
- Anadrole (substitute for Anadrol)
Steroids for cutting mass:
- Winsol (substitute for Winstrol)
- Anvarol (substitute for Anavar)
If you’re not interested in these bodybuilding supplements, you might want to try out the selection of natural bodybuilding supplements for women. Each item in their inventory has been tailor-made to help you meet your bodybuilding goals, with inconsequential side-effects.
In conclusion, trying out steroids in general is considered a health risk and should be avoided. Girls on steroids stand to lose a lot if they begin to use them to improve their physiques during their workouts. The effects of steroids on women are often far more disastrous than for men.
Whether you’re a competitive bodybuilder or an enthusiast, your pursuit for the ideal body should never overcome your personal well-being. After all, you work out to become your best self, but what is there to work out for if you can’t enjoy the great body you’ve worked on.
In case you still feel like you want to use these, you can use the steroids we’ve mentioned in the blog. These are some of the best female steroids in the market, each for weight loss or weight gain. Just make sure that you take care of yourself and visit your doctors immediately if you experience side-effects from female steroids.