Womens Health


What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic Steroids, a banned substance in the US, are a form of testosterone, the male sex hormone.  Since steroids are not a naturally occurring in women, when they are introduced into a woman's body the effect can go from a mild physique enhancement all the way to cervical cancer - and a wide range of effects in between.

With the shift over the years toward a strong physique in women, and with the recent acceptance of women body builders competing for world titles, more and more women and teenage girls are turning to steroids as an enhancement tool.  The Centers for Disease Control in the US has indicated that 7% of high school girls have tried steroids, and while boys are the greater consumers, girls are finding steroids a way to help them deal with inferiority and self-consciousness as they gain stronger, more muscular bodies.

Steroids are a drug and have been used for many years therapeutically to treat certain medical conditions, from asthma to some cancers.  As a recreational drug, athletes have used steroids to enhance performance, and for body builders, to gain muscle size, strength and definition.  Since testosterone is common to man, the ravages of the drug are less apparent in men then than in women.  Perhaps the most commonly known negative side affect in men is a condition called, "roid rage", when the person exhibits extreme violent behavior associated with over-reaction and anger.

Physiological Effects and Dangers

In women, however, the negative physiological effects can be dangerous and even devastating.  Below are some of the effects associated with steroid use (abuse) in women:

Loss of womanly curves and softness in favor of a more masculine physique , loss of breast tissue, oversized trapezius muscles, facial hair, deepening of the voice and even male-pattern baldness.  Water retention - a woman's worst nightmare - is standard with use.

A woman will often cease menses and become more vulnerable to cervical and endometrial cancers, infertility and a change in reproductive organs Then there's the damage to the liver, raised cholesterol levels, potential for cardiovascular problems and heart attacks.  A weakened immune system can leave a woman open to all kinds of problems.

Choose wisely

While most women aren't interested in building huge muscles, or competing on stage for a title, the temptation for younger women and teens to build self-confidence and project a strong, confident presence can be very alluring.  Think first. Is it worth the price?  Unfortunately, some do say yes.

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