Female Steroid Cycles: The Ultimate Guide

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: 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.

It is increasingly difficult to find accurate information online regarding anabolic-androgenic steroids, particularly for female use.

This lack of information is concerning, with it leading to women (unknowingly) taking megadoses of dangerous compounds.

This article details steroid cycles that are not only tailored for women but, most importantly, optimized for harm reduction.

Anabolic steroids have the power to compromise characteristics relating to a person’s gender. For men, testicular atrophy is possible, as is gynecomastia.

For women, virilization effects can occur, causing any of the following:

  • Breast atrophy (reduction)
  • Clitoral enlargement
  • Alopecia (hair loss on the scalp)
  • Hair growth (on the body)
  • Laryngeal prominence (Adam’s apple)

Thus, the ideal steroid cycle for females enhances their bodies without compromising their feminine characteristics.

Note: This article is not for competitive female bodybuilders, who may be happy to experience masculinization as a sacrifice for enhanced results. Instead, this is a guide to prevent virilization, relevant to most females who want to retain their femininity.

Disclosure: We do not accept any form of advertising on Inside Bodybuilding. We monetize our practice via doctor consultations and carefully chosen pharmaceutical recommendations, which have given our patients excellent results.

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Anavar is legal to purchase in some countries and not in others; thus, it is the responsibility of users to act within the confines of their native law.

Inside Bodybuilding does not condone the use of AAS via illegal means or for cosmetic use.

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Anavar Cycle (For Females)

female anavar only cycle
Anavar (Oxandrolone) was formulated for medicinal purposes, successfully treating chronic catabolic illnesses such as HIV, infection, burn injuries, and hepatitis.

It has also been prescribed to osteoporosis patients, helping to reduce pain by increasing bone density via the stimulation of bone formation.

Anavar is the most popular anabolic steroid among women, due to the few cases of virilization in our experience.

Consequently, Anavar has been nicknamed the ‘girl steroid’ by the bodybuilding community, albeit still remaining popular among male bodybuilders.

Anavar dramatically increases protein synthesis, nitrogen retention, and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) levels, causing significant improvements in muscle hypertrophy (size) and strength.

We have also found Anavar to increase T3 (triiodothyronine) levels (1), while improving insulin sensitivity, leading to a reduction in subcutaneous and visceral fat. Thus, females can take advantage of a simultaneous muscle-building and fat-burning effect.

Note: We have still seen virilization effects occur in women taking high dosages of Anavar (>10 mg/day) or prolonged cycles (>5 weeks).

Anavar Cycle Before and After

female anavar cycle results

In our experience, the above results are typical of the first Anavar cycle in females, causing significant fat loss and moderate increases in muscle mass. Improvements in muscle hypertrophy are reflected in the user’s 2 kg weight gain, despite lowering her body fat percentage.

Anavar Side Effects

Anavar is an oral c17 alpha-alkylated steroid, enabling maximum bioavailability upon administration. The liver and kidneys process oxandrolone before its entry into the bloodstream, causing some hepatic stress, as demonstrated by the elevation of AST and ALT liver enzymes.

However, based on our LFTs, Anavar’s liver toxicity is relatively mild compared to other oral steroids, such as:

The liver is a particularly resilient organ, typically able to manage high amounts of oxidative damage before failing.

We have also seen this vital organ display impressive self-healing properties when hepatotoxic medications or steroids are withdrawn.

Thus, females are often not put off by the hepatic side effects associated with Anavar, although some health-conscious users may take a liver support supplement such as TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) for maximum protection. We often see ALT and AST enzymes drop when TUDCA is utilized on-cycle.

Anavar causes reductions in HDL cholesterol, potentially causing hypertension (high blood pressure) and increasing the risk of arteriosclerosis. However, in our lipid profile testing, Anavar only causes mild cardiovascular strain compared to other anabolic steroids.

Users may also perform regular cardiovascular exercise, in combination with weight training, to keep blood pressure levels down. We have found that supplementing with fish oil also helps to reduce such strain by lowering triglycerides. Dosages of 4 g/day have successfully treated coronary artery disease and reduced incidents of sudden cardiac death (2).

Anavar will also cause a decline in endogenous (natural) testosterone levels, causing females to experience:

  1. Lower energy levels
  2. Decreased fertility
  3. Diminished libido
  4. Less overall well-being post-cycle

We typically see these side effects persist for several weeks or months until endogenous (natural) testosterone levels recover. Females typically only have 5–10% of testosterone compared to males; however, it remains an important hormone for confidence, energy, motivation, and sexual desire and satisfaction.

Anadrol Cycle (For Females)

Anadrol (Oxymetholone) was originally formulated to treat anemia, HIV, osteoporosis, and other catabolic conditions in medicine.

However, now Anadrol is classified as a bulking steroid and a powerful mass-builder when utilized in bodybuilding dosages.

Many people assume Anadrol will cause virilization in females because it produces strong androgenic effects in males.

However, in practice, we have found Anadrol to be surprisingly well-tolerated by women, with research also suggesting it is safer than Anavar for inhibiting masculinization (3).

In studies, women have taken megadoses of Anadrol (150 mg/day for 30 weeks) without experiencing any symptoms of virilization.

To put this dosage into perspective, advanced male steroid users typically take 50–100 mg/day for 8 weeks.

One reason why Anadrol produces few cases of masculinization may be attributed to its inability to bind to SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) receptors.

High levels of SHBG create an unfavorable hormonal environment for women, freeing up more active testosterone and increasing the chances of virilization occurring.

Bill Roberts, Ph.D., has further anecdotal evidence of Anadrol being female-friendly, saying:

“5 mg of anavar is roughly the equivalent of 25mg of anadrol for risk of virilization”.

Women often take 5–10 mg of Anavar with no issues; however, 25 mg of Anadrol is (surprisingly) considered an excessive dose for women, but in fact, it is safe for maintaining femininity.

anadrol cycle for women

We find that an Anadrol cycle adds significantly more lean muscle tissue than an Anavar cycle. However, Anadrol’s fat-burning effects are not as pronounced due to Anavar’s positive effects on insulin sensitivity and T3 (triiodothyronine).

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Anadrol Side Effects

Hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart) are common concerns for us when treating patients who have regularly cycled Anadrol.

Anadrol’s cardiovascular toxicity may be attributed to the high dosages (50–100 mg/day) often taken by bodybuilders to produce exceptional anabolism.

We find high dosages of any oral steroid cause notable fluctuations in HDL and LDL cholesterol via the stimulation of hepatic lipase, an enzyme that has a detrimental effect on cholesterol.

Furthermore, Anadrol is a DHT derivative, so it does not aromatize. However, it is highly estrogenic, directly stimulating the estrogen receptors. We have seen this cause vast amounts of water retention, especially when users’ diets contain adequate amounts of sodium.

This additional fluid increases blood viscosity, resulting in the heart having to pump harder, causing a rise in blood pressure and restricted blood flow.

Anadrol is one of the most hepatotoxic steroids in our testing, causing notable rises in ALT and AST enzymes (markers of liver stress).

We have had patients who previously used Anadrol suffer from peliosis hepatis, a vascular condition where blood-filled cavities randomly distribute within the liver parenchyma.

Dr. Thomas O’Connor has also observed several patients developing cirrhosis of the liver from long-term Anadrol use.

Significant testosterone suppression on Anadrol is certain, prompting some female users to implement a PCT containing DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) to help enhance low energy levels, confidence, and mental well-being post-cycle. We have found DHEA to be effective in such instances.

Winstrol Cycle (For Females)

Winstrol (stanozolol) was developed by Winthrop Labs in 1962 to treat weak and debilitated patients in chronic catabolic states who were losing weight at a rapid pace.

Winstrol was successful in its treatment due to its appetite-stimulating properties and high anabolism.

It was also used to treat aplastic anemia, a condition where the body stops producing red blood cells.

Winstrol, like other anabolic steroids, has a stimulating effect on the production of new red blood cells, thus acting as an erythrocytosis agent.

We have used it to treat venous insufficiency, displaying potent rejuvenating properties and significantly accelerating the healing of venous ulcers.

Winstrol is one of the most popular steroids in bodybuilding, behind Dianabol and Anavar, and is utilized as an anti-catabolic agent during cutting cycles, enhancing fat burning and increasing lean muscle tissue.

It is somewhat similar to Anavar in terms of its effects; however, we find it to be a slightly stronger drug, so the results and side effects are more pronounced.

Winstrol is not generally recommended for females, as they can be prone to virilization effects from this drug. However, in small and cautious dosages, we have seen females experience high-quality results with minimal adverse effects.

Winstrol, like Anavar, does not aromatize, making it a suitable steroid for females coveting a tight, dry, and vascular physique with minimal amounts of fluid retention. For this reason, the below steroid cycle is often utilized by females preparing for a competition in a bid to display maximum muscle definition.

winstrol cycle for women

Winstrol dosages above 5 mg are likely to cause complications for women looking to avoid masculine characteristics.

Winstrol Side Effects

Winstrol, like Anadrol, is a very hepatotoxic steroid, with the oral version being a popular form of administration.

We find TUDCA to be effective in minimizing hepatic stress and inflammation during a cycle. Alcohol should also be avoided to prevent AST and ALT enzymes from rising to excessively high levels.

Note: Females with compromised liver function should avoid Winstrol or any other toxic oral steroids.

LDL and HDL cholesterol levels will also shift in the wrong direction on Winstrol, increasing the risk of hypertension and heart disease. Estrogen can help to inhibit sharp rises in blood pressure by increasing HDL levels; however, Winstrol does not aromatize, causing high levels of cardiovascular strain.

We see endogenous testosterone levels decline substantially on Winstrol, causing a mental and physiological crash post-cycle. Thus, women susceptible to low energy levels and decreased mood post-cycle may benefit from administering a PCT following Winstrol use.

Winstrol generally should be avoided by women; however, if a female has already cycled Anavar and wants to take their physique to the next level, small dosages of Winstrol can facilitate new muscle tissue and additional lipolysis (fat loss).

Primobolan Cycle (For Females)

Primobolan (Methenolone) was first described in 1960 and was utilized in medicine to counteract the catabolic effects of long-term corticosteroid use.

Some adverse effects of corticosteroids are muscle loss, fatigue, and water retention (including moon face).

Primobolan helped these patients shift from a cachectic state into an anabolic one. It also eliminated water retention due to Primobolan not aromatizing into estrogen (being a dihydrotestosterone-based steroid).

In our experience, Primobolan (methenolone) is one of the best steroid cycles for females due to its mild nature. It typically produces few side effects but noteworthy changes in body composition.

Females can expect moderate increases in lean muscle tissue and a reduction in fat mass due to enhanced protein synthesis and nitrogen retention in the muscle cells.

Primobolan acetate is the oral version, and enanthate is the intramuscular injection.

(Primobolan Enanthate is also referred to as Primo Depot or Nibal Injection.)

We have not found Primobolan to be as potent as Anadrol or Winstrol, yet it remains an FDA-approved drug in medicine. This indicates safety among men, women, and children.

Dr. Thomas O’Connor states that Primobolan affects women differently, with some being very pleased with its effects (even when utilized in stacks alongside Anavar). However, other women may notice voice changes even at lower dosages.

primobolan cycle for women

Primobolan Side Effects

Primobolan is one of the safest steroids men or women can use; however, it is not free from side effects.

Injectable Primobolan (Enanthate) is not hepatotoxic. Oral Primobolan (Acetate) poses only mild hepatic effects and is considered low-risk to the liver, based on our testing.

However, death via liver cirrhosis is possible if Primobolan is taken in high dosages, for excessive periods, or given to debilitating people.

One 75-year-old man passed away after taking oral Primobolan (Acetate) to treat aplastic anemia (4). Doctors found marked elevations of transaminases, with the steroid believed to be the causative agent.

Mild adverse fluctuations in HDL and LDL cholesterol levels will occur on Primobolan. We see that such values typically alter in a similar way to Anavar.

Testosterone suppression will occur; however, post-cycle recovery is likely to be short, with this drug failing to completely shut down this male hormone.


Can Women Take Clenbuterol?

Women often take Clenbuterol when cutting to elevate their metabolism and enhance fat burning (5), through the process of thermogenesis. Clenbuterol is not a steroid but instead a bronchodilator (6), meaning it does not affect hormones in the same way as AAS.

Thus, we have never seen a woman solely take Clenbuterol and experience virilization. However, Clenbuterol does have toxic cardiac effects, capable of causing:

  1. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  2. Chronic atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)

Anxiety and depression are also possible side effects of Clenbuterol, due to its arousal of the CNS (central nervous system). Clenbuterol stimulates the adrenal gland, causing epinephrine (adrenaline) levels to surge and users to be more susceptible to anxiety, jitters, or shakes (7).

Clenbuterol will not replicate the same muscle-building effects of anabolic steroids, as it is not exogenous testosterone. However, there is evidence to suggest it has anti-catabolic effects in humans, therefore enabling women to retain muscular size and strength when in a caloric deficit.

Clenbuterol Cycle

clenbuterol cycle for women

What is an Effective PCT (Post Cycle Therapy for Women)?

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a medication we commonly prescribe to women suffering from hypoandrogenism (low testosterone).

We have found 25–50 mg of DHEA, taken every day for 4 weeks, aid in the recovery of low testosterone levels in females.

However, a PCT may not be essential if a woman is left untroubled by side effects following a cycle.

What is the Most Female-Friendly Stack?

Stacking multiple steroids together can enhance results, promoting further lean muscle and fat-burning.

However, stacking also increases the risk of side effects, particularly virilization.

Thus, the two mildest steroids would be the safest stack, i.e., Anavar and Primobolan.

Anadrol stacked with another steroid may leave a woman unscathed in regards to masculinization; however, we see testosterone suppression, liver strain, and blood pressure as likely issues.

What Are the Best Muscle-Building Steroids for Women?

Anadrol and Winstrol are the most potent anabolic (muscle-building) compounds for women, as mentioned in this article. Other anabolic steroids may also cause exceptional levels of muscle hypertrophy, such as Trenbolone or Testosterone; however, they are not suitable for women looking to maintain their womanhood.

Co Authors :

(1) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16135924/

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6181727/

(3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8785183/

(4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8334198/

(5) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25909379/

(6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28431781/

(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4840705/