Steroid Information

Side-Effects of Steroids

Whether you’re thinking about performance enhancement or have supplemented before one constant remains; the side-effects of steroids are very real but they are often highly overstated. You’ve heard the horror stories, generally they come second or third hand but the truth remains; the side-effects of steroids are really no worse than many other medications, in-fact many over the counter (OTC) medications carry with them far worse potential side-effects. It’s important to remember when it comes to the side-effects of most any medication they are possible and not necessarily probable. This simply means the potential for an adverse reaction exists, it does not mean it will exist and the extent of the probability generally varies with each medication. The same can be said of the side-effects of steroids; each anabolic steroid carries with it potential adverse effects, they are by no means guaranteed and the probability varies with each one and largely on an individual basis.

We know there are possible steroid side-effects; we know the side-effects of steroids are largely individually based; we know most steroid side-effects are preventable or reversible but how does this apply to women? Are women just as susceptible to the side-effects of steroids as men? Let’s be clear, there are certain possible side-effects no matter the sex such as, bloating, increased blood pressure, liver and cholesterol issues and so on but there are negative effects that can occur in a much more pronounced manner in women.

The Side-Effects of Steroids & Women:

Both men and women produce testosterone naturally, however, women produce this hormone in trace amounts as compared to men; excess testosterone is a large part of what makes a man. Anabolic steroids largely derive from testosterone, thereby when we take in anabolic steroids, in this case females, some of the characteristics of masculinity may indeed rear their head. This is not to say a woman cannot use anabolic steroids and remain feminine, however, she must understand the risk of steroid side-effects in-terms of a masculine effect are very real and she must know what she is doing.

Common Female Steroid Side-Effects:

As we discussed early on, there are side-effects of steroids that may occur in either sex but there is a list of possible steroid side-effects unique to females, including but not limited to:

  • Increased Body Hair Growth
  • Deepening of the Vocal Chords
  • Growth of the Clitoris
  • Reducing or Halting the Menstrual Cycle

These are the four major steroid side-effects unique to the female anabolic steroid user and depending on how a woman chooses to use anabolic steroids these steroid side-effects can become permanent. Most side-effects of steroids are reversible once use is discontinued and this applies to women as well but if you let it go too far you may find yourself at the point of no return. The absolute best thing any female anabolic steroid user can do is if one of the above steroid side-effects start to show themselves is to immediately discontinue use. Many females will push the envelope and once the side-effects of steroids of the nature in the list above set it there’s no turning back. For example, if your voice begins to sound “scratchy” stop use immediately and you should be able to recover. It should be noted, clitoral enlargement is by in large irreversible in most women but generally only prevalent in women who use to heavy for too long.

Avoiding Steroid Side-Effects:

While there are hundreds of anabolic steroids to choose from, in order for a female to avoid the side-effects of steroids unique to her, the choices are going to be somewhat limited. To begin, direct exogenous testosterone use is not recommended, in-fact, it is strongly discouraged. If it is testosterone that promotes male characteristics then exogenous use of pure testosterone is going to greatly increase your risk of steroid side-effects. Without question the safest anabolic steroid for any woman to use is that of Anavar (oxandrolone) many refer to Anavar as the “Girl Steroid.” Anavar is one of the mildest anabolic steroids available, very mild and for most women it will provide them with all they need. In conjunction with other medications such as Clenbuterol and Nolvadex, most any woman can build a physique others will be envious of. Other anabolic steroids that can be used safely include Primobolan, Stanozolol and Equipoise, although it’s important to note, the risk of steroid side-effects is far larger with these three anabolics than in comparison to Anavar but it is responsible use, regardless of the steroid that will be your best friend.

The Best Thing You Can Do:

When it comes to the side-effects of steroids and prevention for the female athlete, the best thing you can do is to pay attention to your body. If you start showing signs of steroid side-effects don’t ignore them and “hope” they go away. If these side-effects show up you have a problem then it needs to be addressed. It could lie within a particular anabolic you’re using; if so, figure out which one and discontinue. It could be you need a break; generally it is recommended women use anabolic steroids for very short durations. Pay attention to what your body is telling you; if you do this and use responsibly you’ll meet your goals and avoid side-effects no woman wants. 

Individual Response

In many ways it can seem unfair, some will supplement with anabolic steroids and experience nothing but positive results while others will use the same anabolic steroids at the same dose and fall prey to unwanted side-effects. Our own genetic makeup and overall existing state of health can play a large role; in-fact, our overall health as it stands prior to use will often reduce the risk of potential negative side-effects. For example, one of the side-effects of steroids can be increased blood pressure; those who have a healthy blood pressure will often be in the clear; however, those who have preexisting blood pressure issue or who are susceptible will find the onset of this negative side-effect to have a greater level of probability.


As mentioned the potential for adverse effects in many OTC medications can be quite severe, even in some of the most commonly used medications many use every single day. While the side-effects of steroids do in-fact exist when we compare them to some of the more common OTC medications they often pale in comparison.  For example, while each particular anabolic androgenic steroid will carry its own level of probability regarding an adverse reaction the side-effects of steroids can in most cases be compiled into a very simple list:

Potential Anabolic Steroid Side-Effects:

  • Gynecomastia
  • Water Retention/Bloat
  • Acne
  • Hair-Loss
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol Issues
  • Liver Damage
  • Testicular Shrinkage

While these are the most common side-effects of steroids it’s important to note, not only are they generally temporary they are often very easily avoidable; let’s take a look at some of the potential side-effects of one very popular OTC medication to give you an idea of severity in comparison:

Potential Ibuprofen Side-Effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Rash
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Bloody Stools
  • Irregular Heart Beat

That’s a pretty serious list; however, one would not say these side-effects of Ibuprofen are guaranteed, not at all, in-fact most will be fine but such side-effects do exist.

The Side-Effects of Steroids – Reality

You’ve heard the reports in the news and by the many congressional experts regarding the side-effects of steroids and there is often a key component to good reporting and responsibility that is missing; we like to call it “Facts.” More often than not such reporting lacks credibility and for whatever reason it is one of the few topics that allow such continual behavior. One of the most common reported side-effects of steroids is death yet there has never been one recorded incident of death directly linked to anabolic steroid use; is that a simple oversight, if it is it’s a pretty big one. Time and time again it has been shown with true and factual data that healthy adult men can supplement with anabolic steroids safely and effectively. It has been shown time and time again that healthy adult men who supplement with anabolic steroids, while some may fall prey to the side-effects of steroids most will not and those who do will normally only do so to a slight degree when responsible use is implored.