Drug Rehabilitation Blog

How the Effects of Steroid Use Differ Among Men and Women

The use of anabolic steroids in men and women typically revolves around an individual wanting to get stronger and more muscular. As with any type of “miracle solution”, anabolic steroids come with a hefty price tag in the form of side effects. It is imperative to be properly educated on the subject before ever attempting to begin the use of steroids. Side effects in men and women vary, however, there is almost always some kind of side effect present in an individual who is using. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost .5 percent of the adult population has used anabolic steroids at one point or another in their lifetime.

Masculinization and Feminization

One side effect for women using steroids is masculinization. Masculinization is the result of increased testosterone being pumped through the woman’s body. Effects that come along with masculinization include: growth of facial hair, extra growth of body hair, irritability and extreme aggressiveness.

In males, the reverse can happen and a side effect can be feminization. Feminization in men happens when there is an overload of testosterone and it begins converting to estrogen, which is the female hormone. Feminization side effects in men include: growth of breast tissue, decreased sexual drive, shrinking of the testes, impotence and muscle mass that is much softer.

Cardiovascular Issues

Cardiovascular issues are included in the bad side effects of steroids that affect both men and women. The use of anabolic steroids increases the “bad cholesterol” levels in both men and women and can lead to high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease. This is a common issue because the use of steroids gives an individual a sudden spike in their body weight.

Growth Defects if Used by Younger Individuals

The use of steroids in both males and females at a young age can cause the growth plate to prematurely close. This will cause a young person’s growth to suddenly cease and result in stunted growth.

Acne Problems

Steroids cause both men and women’s pores to open up and grow large causing severe acne issues. These types of acne issues are not aided in the least by over the counter acne medicines, and to resolve the issue individual’s must most likely visit a doctor.

Severe Kidney Issues

Steroid use in both men and women can put an extreme strain on the body’s kidneys. The strain on the kidneys results in an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes and can result in extreme lower back pain, swelling in the individual’s lower body such as legs, ankles, and feet, and a high fever.

The use of anabolic steroids is growing in popularity, especially amongst the younger crowd. Steroid use can be particularly dangerous, however, the use of steroids in younger individuals is even more dangerous. Steroid side effects do not discriminate amongst individuals. Bad side effects can happen to both men and women. Although certain side effects are not guaranteed, the risk is always present.


  • John Inman

    While using a steroid based inhaler for asthma, I have gained 20 pounds.

  • Daniele de Gruttola

    It really is amazing how much steroid’s can affect women. You see a lot of women using steroid’s who start growing facial hair or even just looking more masculine. But they end up getting addicted to it and cant stop themselves from using it.

  • Didi Smith

    Wow, why would anyone want to use these steroids with these types of side effects. I was terrified after reading this article just thinking about what could happen to someone using these drugs. I guess a lot of times people don’t realize just how bad it could get and also they feel the need to do them in order to be better at what they are doing. It just doesn’t appear to be worth it in the end. Our bodies are what they are and will do what they do and using drugs to try and make the body do more than it’s built to do has got to have adverse effects. I know the temptation and the pressure is there to do these things but you have to resist.

  • carcol

    I can see this. Men and women are different so it’s obvious that steroids would effect each of them differently. Between body chemistry and physical make up things are very different. I have seen how steroids effect men and have witnessed the changes they go through and personality changes they experience along with violent mood swings. In women, I have witnessed the major changes these steroids can have on the physicality of women like facial hair, menastration problems, etc. I didn’t know about the changes to young people who take them but I’m not surprised. Their bodies are still developing and using substances like steroids can really have a negative effect on them. I don’t see any good use for these drugs for anyone.

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