Female Steroid Cycles: The Ultimate Guide

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.


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 mega doses of dangerous compounds.

This article details steroid cycles that are not only tailored for women but most importantly are 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 well as gynecomastia (man boobs). 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 body, but 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, thus relevant to most females who want to retain their femininity.

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 few cases of virilization.

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.

Anavar also increases T3 (triiodothyronine) levels (1), whilst 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: Virilization effects can still occur in women if taking high dosages of Anavar (>10mg/day) or prolonged cycles (>5 weeks).

Anavar Cycle Before and After

female anavar cycle results

These results are typical of a first Anavar cycle in females, causing significant fat loss and moderate increases in muscle mass (that is reflected in the user’s 2kg weight gain, despite lowering her body fat percentage).

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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, demonstrated via the elevation of AST and ALT liver enzymes.

However, Anavar’s liver toxicity is relatively mild compared to other oral steroids, such as Anadrol, Dianabol or Superdrol.

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

This vital organ also displays impressive self-healing properties, when hepatotoxic medications or steroids are withdrawn.

Thus, females are often not put off by 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.

Anavar causes reductions in HDL cholesterol, potentially causing hypertension (high blood pressure) and increasing the risk of arteriosclerosis. However, Anavar produces relatively 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. Supplementing with fish oil may also help to reduce such strain, by lowering triglycerides. Dosages of 4g/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: lower energy levels, decreased fertility, diminished libido and less overall well-being post-cycle.

Such side effects may prolong 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/satisfaction.

Anadrol Cycle (For Females)

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

However, now Anadrol is classed 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, Anadrol is surprisingly well-tolerated by women; with research suggesting it is safer than Anavar for inhibiting masculinization (3).

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

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

One reason why Anadrol produces few cases of masculinization may be attributed to it not binding to SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) receptors.

High levels of SHBG are 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:

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

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

anadrol cycle for women

Anadrol will add significantly more lean muscle tissue than Anavar (Oxandrolone); however, Anadrol’s fat-burning effects may not be as pronounced; due to Anavar’s positive effects on insulin sensitivity and T3 (triiodothyronine).

Anadrol Side Effects

Hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart) are concerns when taking Anadrol.

Anadrol’s cardiovascular toxicity may be attributed to high dosages of the compound administered to produce exceptional anabolism (being 50-1oomg/day).

High dosages of any oral steroid will cause substantial fluctuations in HDL/LDL cholesterol, via the stimulation of hepatic lipase; an enzyme that has a detrimental effect on cholesterol.

Furthermore, Anadrol is a DHT-derivative, thus it does not aromatize. However, it is highly estrogenic, directly stimulating the estrogen receptors. This can 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/restricted blood flow.

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

Some Anadrol users have reported suffering 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 develop 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.

Winstrol Cycle (For Females)

Winstrol (stanozolol) was developed by Winthrop Labs in 1962 to treat weak and debilitated patients, in chronic catabolic states, 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 in the production of new red blood cells; thus acting as an erythrocytosis agent.

It has also been used to treat venous insufficiency, displaying potent rejuvenating properties, 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, it is regarded as a stronger drug; thus results and side effects can be more pronounced.

Winstrol is not generally recommended for females, as they can be prone to virilization effects on this drug. However, in small and cautious dosages, females can 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

Dosages above 5mg 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.

Users may take TUDCA to minimize 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/HDL cholesterol levels will also shift in the wrong direction, 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.

Endogenous testosterone levels will decline substantially, causing a mental and physiological crash post-cycle. Women susceptible to low energy levels and decreased mood post-cycle may benefit from administering a PCT after Winstrol.

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).


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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).

Primobolan (Methenolone) is one of the best steroid cycles for females due to its mild nature, producing few side effects; yet 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 the intramuscular injection.

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

It is not as potent as Anadrol or Winstrol, yet it remains an FDA-approved drug in medicine; which indicates its 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 on 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.

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/LDL cholesterol levels will occur on Primobolan, likely to fall in a similar range 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.

FAQs

Can Women Take Clenbuterol?

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

Thus, women can take Clenbuterol without worrying about virilization effects occurring. However, Clenbuterol does have toxic cardiac effects, capable of causing hypertension (high blood pressure) or chronic atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

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

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 commonly prescribed to women suffering from hypoandrogenism (low testosterone).

25mg/50mg of DHEA, taken every day for 4 weeks is likely to accelerate 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, testosterone suppression, liver strain and blood pressure are likely issues.

What Are the Best Muscle-Building Steroids for Women?

Anadrol and Winstrol are the most potent anabolic (muscle building) compounds for women, 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.