Female bodybuilding side effects and steroid use
There is no mistaking the physical traits of women, these include, breasts, shapely hips, and a curvy body. And yes, some women are curvier than others. But every woman shines and has certain features that make them unique.
Most women who lift weights do it for health and to transform their body. Other women take things to extremes and often go too far, many of them begin taking steroids. In this article, I will discuss female bodybuilding side effects.
There are many benefits to female bodybuilding, that is if you take a “natural approach”. Some of those benefits include the following:
- Increase strength
- Increase toned muscle
- Burn Fat
- Increase energy
- Boost your self-confidence
- Burn more calories
- Prevent the onset of osteoporosis
- Improve balance and coordination
There are still many women who believe that lifting weights will make them bulky and masculine looking, but this is not true. Strength training is one of the best ways for women to transform their body and strengthen the skeletal system including bones, joints, and muscles.
There are a lot of women who like lifting weights, it can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but there are some women that want to exceed the female bodies natural capabilities.
When this happens women begin to slowly take on masculine traits. Men and women are physiologically much different, men are stronger and produce the hormone testosterone, this makes it easy for men to gain muscle.
Women produce estrogen and only small amounts of testosterone. That is why women are unable to gain muscle like men. Some women try to push the limits of their physique and end up doing other things to their body to increase muscle.
A woman no matter how hard she trains will still maintain her feminity, lifting weights can help women burn more calories and maintain firm and toned muscle.
Some women go further and want to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. Some women become so obsessed with building muscle they will do anything to achieve their goals which goes far beyond lifting heavy weight. This is where female bodybuilders begin to experience side effects.
Female bodybuilding side effects and steroids
One of the obvious changes you will see with female bodybuilders is when they start taking anabolic steroids. Steroids have a much harsher effect on a woman's body than they do with men. In simple terms, when women take testosterone-based steroids their physical appearance begins to change.
Anabolic steroids are testosterone based chemicals that when taken orally or injected promote the growth of skeletal muscle and increase hemoglobin.
Women that take steroids will begin to see many physiological changes that will affect their appearance and sexual characteristics.
These changes are due to something called “virilization” which is responsible for secondary changes in a woman's body. Most virilization effects are the results of androgens.
Women who take steroids will experience different side effects, some of the side effects are temporary while others can become permanent even after they stop taking steroids.
Some of the side effects of anabolic steroids may include:
- Increased body hair (including dark facial hair)
- Deepening of voice
- Hair loss (balding)
- Oily skin and acne
- Facial pore enlargement
- Enlarged clitoris
- A decrease in breast size
- More pronounced jawline
- Increase in LDL (Bad Cholesterol)
- Behavioral changes (mood swings and aggressiveness)
Other side effects caused by long-term use include possible liver and kidney damage or even failure. Long-term steroid use can the heart to enlarge due to increased body mass which requires the heart to work harder.
Obviously, the above side effects depend on a woman's steroid cycle and how long she uses steroids. The unfortunate thing about female bodybuilding is that once women see the transformations they have achieved with steroids they don't want to stop taking them.
Besides the risk above there have been other important studies on female bodybuilders who have taken anabolic steroids for prolonged periods. This has in some cases led to extreme dissatisfaction with their body and cause voluntary gender role changes.
Female bodybuilding is a healthy sport when done naturally
Female bodybuilding does not have to have side effects, women who lift weights and eat a balanced diet will not suffer any sort of side effects, on the contrary, female bodybuilding is a healthy and challenging sport, there are only side effects when women become obsessed and begin to try and exceed their bodies natural capabilities.
Consider supplements before steroids
We realize that female bodybuilding is not an easy sport, and in certain situations, women would like some help with their bodybuilding efforts and obviously, anabolic steroids should be avoided at all costs. However, there are safe alternatives. Some women find that taking a legal steroid can be just as effective as anabolic steroids, the difference is there are no side effects.
Most health professionals will encourage women to lift weights and perform some kind of strength training. Female bodybuilding is a great way to maintain a strong and healthy body. The important thing is not to go overboard. Women who train within their limits will never have to worry about female bodybuilding side effects.
Samantha Collins is a contributing author and is an ISSA certified personal trainer that has helped hundreds of men and women get in shape and helped them reach their fitness and weight loss goals.