Types of Steroids for Women
Considerations for Female Anabolic Steroid Use
Before investigating which types of steroids for women are ideal and which are not, it should be understood that female anabolic steroid use is somewhat of a dramatically different process for women as it is. The female physiology as it responds to anabolic steroid therapies are quite different and have considerably greater impacts and intensities of effect as compared to males, and this should be taken into account before any decisions are made. In fact, it is these considerations which should assist any female athletes in making the decision to use anabolic steroids first before anything else.
Although Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone, women possess and manufacture very minute amounts of Testosterone, and this has indeed been observed where the average male manufactures approximately 2.5 – 11mg of endogenous Testosterone per day[i]. Women, on the other hand, manufacture approximately 0.25mg of Testosterone per day, (approximately 90% less, or 1/10th of the amount that males do). It therefore stands to reason that the effect of any androgenic anabolic agents on the female physique would generate a much greater degree of changes and dramatic effects than in males, whom androgen levels already remain at relatively high levels in comparison. There is, however, a small benefit to this phenomenon. The benefit lies in the fact that females should not require anywhere near the magnitude of steroid dosages that men would require to generate favorable effects and gains. The trade-off in this sense, however, is that females must exercise greater diligence in their anabolic steroid use by virtue of the fact that dramatic physique and performance changes can also be accompanied with the same magnitude and swiftness of effect in terms of negative and undesirable side effects (namely, virilization effects). This will be covered further in the side effects and concerns portion of this article.
The general idea of anabolic steroid use in females is that women are exogenously administering derivatives of the male androgen Testosterone into their bodies, thus generating an unnatural state in the female body. Any female that understands this concept should realize that the potential for developing male secondary sex characteristics, and this is where the need to compile and explain the best anabolic steroids for women is of paramount importance. The definition of “the best anabolic steroids for women” basically implies that these anabolic steroids are of the lowest risk:benefit ratio, meaning these ideal anabolic steroids present a low chance and low risk of virilization and other negative side effects provided they are utilized properly and diligently.
But what of the stronger, more androgenic compounds such as Testosterone, Trenbolone, and so on and so forth? This is ultimately up to the female individual herself that must discern whether or not the risk is worth the benefit, and there are several types and tiers of female athletes that might prefer to utilize the higher-risk compounds, and there are those female athletes that will not elect to “push the envelope” by utilizing these, instead sticking to those compounds deemed “female-friendly”. The general ‘rules’ where anabolic steroid use is concerned changes greatly when we shift from the concept of male anabolic steroid use to female anabolic steroid use as well.
For example, while the use of Testosterone is absolutely necessary for any cycle a male is engaging in, this is not so for females. The use of Testosterone as a necessity for males is due to the fact that the suppression/shutdown of endogenous male Testosterone levels will result in an undesirable state of endocrine balance in the male body. This is not the case for females, whom Testosterone levels above an extremely minimal amount are unnecessary. The same is true for the necessity of a PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) protocol post-cycle for males, which is largely unnecessary for females for generally the same reason, though this is one debated aspect and will be covered later. Furthermore, cycle lengths must be kept extremely short for females (within the range of approximately 4 weeks), whereas males can engage in longer cycles as the issue of virilization here does not apply, but it is a risk for females.
The Best (and Worst) Anabolic Steroids for Women
Anabolic steroids that are female-friendly include those that are associated with a very low androgenic:anabolic ratio, which are those compounds that are frequently labelled as “mild” compounds. Females should still be well aware of the fact that no anabolic steroids exhibit zero androgenic effects, and that these compounds are merely engineered so as to reduce the propensity and intensity of their effects in terms of androgenicity in relation to their anabolic (muscle building) effects. There is no complete dissociation of the androgenic and anabolic capabilities of any anabolic steroid, and so all of them still carry with them the risks of virilization, no matter how ‘mild’ any one compound is said to be.
Additionally, long-estered anabolic steroids, which all exhibit longer half-lives in the body should be avoided as much as possible. This is simply due to the fact that blood plasma levels remain elevated for extended periods of weeks rather than days, and therefore the amount of time necessary for a particular long-estered anabolic steroid to completely clear from the body is much longer. This would be inconvenient for females, as the cessation of use of a long-estered compound if side effects are becoming significant would result in the hormone continually being active in the body for around two weeks following the last administration, during which time virilization or other side effects can worsen. Long-estered anabolic steroids include those that are affixed with the Enanthate, Cypionate, Decanoate, and Undecylenate esters.
The absolute worst anabolic steroids for women would be those that express a very high androgenic rating, including (but not limited to) compounds such as Dianabol (Methandrostenolone), Anadrol (Oxymetholone), and Trenbolone. Furthermore, any of these compounds affixed with long esters would contribute an even greater deal of problems and inconvenience for reasons previously described. Once again, some female athletes might elect to use these compounds at their own discretion due to their particular individual athletic goals (for example, female bodybuilding competitions), most females who are engaging in less competitive or less intense athletic goals (for example, female figure or fitness competitions) would do well to stay clear of these compounds. Females who are not competitive athletes and are merely utilizing anabolic steroids for personal recreational physique and fitness purposes would also do well to stay clear of the stronger, more androgenic compounds previously listed.
The following list in order of the most appropriate choice of compounds to the most inappropriate (top to bottom of the list):
[i] Role of androgens in growth and development of the fetus, child, and adolescent. Rosenfield R.L. Adv Pediatr. 19 (1972) 172-213.