5 Best Steroids for Women (That Won’t Turn You Into a Man)
Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and does not promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultation.
When someone mentions the word “steroids“, the average person pictures a 250-pound male bodybuilder, resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, this isn’t the typical profile of a steroid user today.
In fact, increasing numbers of women are taking steroids to build muscle and burn fat.
This doesn’t just apply to female bodybuilders either, with research showing that 1.4% of girls in high school are also taking anabolic steroids for cosmetic purposes (1).
- 1 Steroid Side Effects in Women
- 2 Best Steroids for Women
- 3 Anavar
- 4 Primobolan
- 5 Anadrol
- 6 Winstrol
- 7 Сlenbuterol
- 8 Worst Steroids for Women
- 9 Legal Steroids For Women
- 10 Do Women Need to Use a PCT?
- 11 Summary
Female steroid use is also rife in sports, with women looking to gain an edge over their rivals and being tempted by improved strength and endurance. Failed drug tests have haunted female athletes in sports such as boxing, swimming, CrossFit, and more.
Disclosure: We do not accept any form of advertising on Inside Bodybuilding. We monetize our practice via doctor consultations and carefully chosen supplement recommendations, which have given our patients excellent results.
Legal Anavar Alternative
Steroid Side Effects in Women
The best steroids for women are essentially the compounds that do not produce virilization effects.
Virilization is when masculine features start to form in a female. These typically are:
- Increase in body hair
- Enlargement of clitoris
- Deep voice
- Smaller breasts
We find some of these side effects reverse post-cycle when hormone levels return to normal. However, a deepened voice may take longer to normalize (2), possibly several years, due to modifications of the vocal cords and larynx.
These effects are the result of unnaturally high testosterone levels, which can slowly turn a woman into a man. Many elite female bodybuilders are willing to experience such side effects in order to win a competition; however, the general female population wants to avoid these at all costs.
We see masculinization occur in women when:
a) The wrong steroids are taken
b) High doses are utilized
c) Cycles are too long
In this article, we will discuss the best steroids for women and the ones they should avoid at all costs.
We do not endorse the use of anabolic steroids; however, we understand that many girls and women are using these substances and need correct guidance.
Note: The risk of women experiencing virilization symptoms is largely determined by an individual’s genetics. Some women can take the wrong steroids for long periods of time and be okay. Whereas other women may take small doses of mild compounds yet still have issues.
However, if a woman stops her steroid cycle as soon as virilization symptoms occur, they often quickly diminish and are reversed. Such symptoms happen slowly over a period of time; thus, it isn’t a case of waking up one morning and having grown a beard.
Best Steroids for Women
Anavar (Oxandrolone) is nicknamed the ‘girl steroid’ for a reason. Women at our clinic who have taken it are typically very happy with the results.
Anavar’s popularity is the result of its mild properties, making it tolerable among men and women.
In our experience, many females who take Anavar experience no virilization effects. However, there are exceptions to every rule, as some women abuse Anavar, taking high doses for excessive periods of time; which can certainly lead to masculinization.
With moderate doses, Anavar produces significant muscle gains while burning noticeable amounts of fat.
A 5-week Anavar cycle is likely to result in muscle gains of around 5kg and fat loss of around 5kg.
Women can successfully take 5–10 mg of Anavar daily for 4-6 weeks. Anything above 10 mg per day will greatly increase the risk of virilization. High doses (above 10 mg) are unnecessary, as some women have even reported good results from taking tiny doses of 2.5 mg per day (3).
This is a suitable cutting cycle for women who have never taken Anavar before. Future cycles may start at 10mg and extend to 6 weeks (maximum) if a woman responds well to oxandrolone.
Women may notice a subtle decrease in natural testosterone from taking Anavar, plus some negative shifts in cholesterol; however, such effects are only likely to be subtle.
This woman took 10mg of Anavar per day for 5 weeks. She did not notice much in regard to side effects, other than more oily skin and a delayed menstrual cycle. These results are typical of a standard Anavar cycle, resulting in a leaner midsection and more muscle tone.
Primobolan is the mildest steroid on this list when considering the dose used by women: mg for mg.
It is favorable among women due to its low androgenic rating (44-57), thus causing a low risk of virilization.
Primobolan comes in oral or injectable form (Primobolan depot) and significantly enhances fat loss due to its strong binding affinity to the androgen receptors, causing increased lipolysis (fat loss).
Women will also experience noticeable lean muscle gains due to its positive effect on nitrogen retention and protein synthesis.
In men, Primobolan is generally used as a cutting steroid; however, women can also use it as a bulking compound, due to muscle gains being more pronounced in females.
A standard dose for women is 50–75 mg per day, taken for 6–8 weeks. We find this produces slow and steady muscle gains while simultaneously stripping away fat.
Despite Primobolan being an oral steroid, like Anavar, it does not cause considerable hepatic strain in our LFTs. Thus, liver values that mark stress do not typically rise significantly.
One benefit of injecting Primobolan is that it may have a less negative impact on cholesterol levels. Blood pressure is very unlikely to skyrocket on Primobolan, although women should constantly monitor it during a cycle.
If Primobolan is tolerated well during the first 4 weeks, doses of 75mg per day may be utilized for the following 2 weeks. Furthermore, in future cycles, 75mg may be taken, with cycles lasting 8 weeks instead of 6.
Anadrol (Oxymetholone) is an oral steroid and one of the best bulking steroids we have seen. There is a general consensus that Anadrol is not suitable for women because it produces harsh side effects in men (some of which are androgenic).
However, research and our experience suggest that Anadrol does not produce the same androgenic effects in women.
In fact, it remains one of the only steroids in studies where women can take megadoses of it and still not experience virilization. In one study, females were given up to 150mg per day for 30 weeks, and none of them demonstrated any masculinization (4).
To put this 150 mg dose into perspective, it is 6x the recommended dose of 25mg per day. It is also 3x the dose of a male bodybuilder, who can experience significant results on 50mg per day.
It’s also worth noting that the only side effects reported by the women on 150mg per day were decreased libido and increased fatigue, undoubtedly the result of lower endogenous testosterone production.
One theory of why Anadrol is so well-tolerated by women is that although it produces large increases in testosterone, it also raises estrogen levels significantly. This testosterone-to-estrogen balance is seemingly important for avoiding a masculine appearance.
Furthermore, SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) is a detrimental hormone to women when elevated, due to it freeing up more active testosterone. Anadrol, however, does not bind effectively to SHBG receptors, and thus levels do not rise significantly.
Bill Roberts (Ph.D.) also shares his experience:
“5 mg of Anavar is roughly the equivalent of 25mg of Anadrol for risk of virilization”.
Bill’s expertise and experience (plus our anecdotal findings) suggest that Anadrol may actually be one of the best steroids for women, as 5mg of Anavar is a very small dose.
The misconception that Anadrol cycles are ‘unsuitable for women’, can be attributed to bodybuilding’s lack of practical knowledge regarding steroids’ effects on females. This is due to steroids being less commonly used among women, resulting in less retelling of personal experience in the fitness community.
However, we have found it to be safe when taken in very low doses.
Winstrol is a powerful steroid for building muscle in women, so small doses are still effective.
We have found 5 mg per day to be a safe dose for avoiding virilization. 10 mg per day is pushing the limits, and anything over 10mg per day causes our female patients problems.
If women do use Winstrol, it is recommended to take 2 tablets a day instead of 1. We see this decrease the risk of side effects, as users won’t be getting a sudden surge of exogenous testosterone in one go, keeping more stabilized levels.
By splitting up the doses, users will receive a steady dose that will remain constantly peaked in their bloodstream. Thus, a dose of 2 x 2.5 mg per day is a cautious yet effective protocol, in our experience.
On Winstrol, we see women get considerably leaner due to its fat-burning properties while increasing lean muscle mass. This won’t be a huge increase in size but instead will produce a lean and strong look.
The above cycle has a prolonged duration of 8 weeks, which is acceptable given the low dose of Winstrol.
Clenbuterol technically isn’t a steroid; however, it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a cutting steroid because of its powerful fat-burning effects.
It is actually a bronchodilator, used as a medication to treat those suffering from acute asthma, enabling improved oxygen flow throughout the body.
Clenbuterol is not exogenous testosterone and thus is unlikely to cause any significant muscle or strength gains in women. Equally, it won’t shut down women’s natural testosterone production, so users won’t suffer a decrease in libido.
However, there is evidence to suggest that clenbuterol has some anabolic properties, with its ability to increase skeletal muscle in animals (5). We have had women claim that Clenbuterol does help them build muscle and increase strength, whereas others notice little (if any) improvement.
Clen has a potent effect on the metabolism due to stimulation of the central nervous system, shifting the body into a state of thermogenesis. This is when the body’s temperature rises, consequently causing the body to cool itself down via increased sweating. Just like with exercise, the heart rate speeds up significantly, and a woman’s basal metabolic rate increases. This ‘heating up’ of the body has been shown to be a very effective way to burn fat.
However, Clenbuterol should not be abused, with some users having been hospitalized after taking very high doses. One man’s heart rate rose to 254 beats per minute (6), after an accidental 10-fold overdose.
The average heart rate for an adult is 60–100 beats per minute (7), thus, an excessive heart rate from high doses of Clenbuterol may lead to increased cardiac complications.
Clenbuterol can be taken in oral or syrup form. During a cycle, women will typically start taking 20–40 mcg of Clenbuterol a day. Then, every 3–4 days, users increase their dose by 10–20 mcg, for a cycle length of 4-6 weeks. This incremental increase in dosage is done until fat loss peaks and side effects remain comfortable or tolerable.
Dosages can increase up to 120–160 mcg per day; however, women should monitor how they feel and regularly check their blood pressure and heart rate to ensure it doesn’t become excessively elevated.
Clenbuterol’s stimulating effects may not be well tolerated by women sensitive to stimulants. We have found that such users can become increasingly nervous, anxious, or experience insomnia (8).
Clenbuterol is often stacked with cutting steroids for accelerated fat loss.
We see the above cutting cycle utilized by female bikini models or bodybuilders wanting to burn fat.
Some women gradually lower the dose towards the end of a cycle and taper off; however, this isn’t necessary. It will be more beneficial for the heart to come off as soon as possible than taking lower doses. The only potential benefit of lowering the dose would be to avoid a crash in energy; however, this isn’t commonly reported among Clen users.
Note: Doses should only continue rising if users are comfortable with the current dose.
Worst Steroids for Women
The worst steroids for women are the majority of anabolic steroids. We find women are very limited in regards to which steroids they can use (if they want to continue looking like women). This is because most steroids are not mild and exhibit strong androgenic effects (9).
Therefore, popular compounds such as Testosterone, Dianabol, Trenbolone, etc. are all undesirable steroids for women. They might not produce long-term damaging effects to a woman health-wise, but they are likely to cause virilization, potentially affecting her long-term psychological well-being.
Legal Steroids For Women
Legal steroids are compounds designed to mimic the effects of anabolic steroids but are safe to take and FDA-approved. We have found legal steroids, or steroid alternatives, to be safe for women and pose no risk of virilization side effects.
Crazy Bulk is the leading retailer of legal steroids for women.
Here are their 3 best-selling products:
- Anvarol (Anavar)
- Clenbutrol (Clenbuterol)
- Winsol (Winstrol)
You can also stack all three of these together for maximum fat loss and muscle gains.
Crazy Bulk offers generous deals, enabling women to save money in comparison to buying expensive steroids like Primobolan and Anavar on the black market (which can cost hundreds of dollars per cycle).
Anvarol Before and After
Anvarol is the legal steroid alternative for Anavar.
Do Women Need to Use a PCT?
If women experience low levels of libido or are suffering from low well-being, a PCT can be implemented.
Some believe that a PCT only applies to men because they have higher testosterone levels; however, testosterone still remains a crucial hormone for women’s sexual and psychological function.
When women are cycling mild steroids such as Primobolan or Anavar, they may not experience any negative side effects. In this case, they may skip running a PCT.
However, if women are taking more powerful compounds, such as Winstrol (especially in high doses), we prescribe 25–50 mg of DHEA per day to recover their endogenous testosterone. We see a 4-week cycle of DHEA being sufficient to recover testosterone levels in most cases. However, DHEA cycles can be safely extended beyond this point, with them being used for several months in clinical research (10).
A PCT is not needed when taking legal steroids or steroid alternatives, as they will not shut down women’s natural testosterone production.
Anavar and Primobolan are the most common steroids used by women wanting to avoid virilization. We have found them to be mild yet still produce significant results.
The only downside to these two steroids is that they are very expensive on the black market.
Anadrol, in our experience and according to research, is seemingly very safe for women to take, even when taken in high doses (11). Anadrol is also considerably cheaper than Primobolan and Anavar.
Clenbuterol is possibly the best drug for women, who are more concerned with burning fat than building muscle.
Note: Even when taking mild steroids, masculine side effects are possible in sensitive women; thus, we recommend women try legal steroid alternatives first, which are safer compounds.