Steroids that Cause Clitoromegaly: What Women Can Do to Prevent It
Clitoromegaly is a term used to describe an enlarged clitoris. Clitoromegaly can be congenital or caused by certain medical conditions, in this article, we will discuss the side effects that anabolic steroids can have on making the clitoris bigger.
Just like the size of women's breasts or a mans penis, the clitoris can also vary in size.
The size of a woman's clitoris is measured by something called the Prader Classification on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most severe form of clitoromegaly. This is when the clitoris looks more like a small penis than a normal clitoris.
What Causes Clitoromegaly?
Natural occurrences of clitoromegaly are rare but they can appear at birth or at a later stage in life. One of the common causes of clitoromegaly is from a hormonal imbalance. Other possible causes include:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Hyperthecosis (ovarian hyperthecosis) A condition where luteinized cells produce androgens
- Clitoral cysts
In some cases there are no obvious causes be it clinical or hormonal.
What is Considered a Big Clitoris?
Most women are probably a bit embarrassed talking about the size of their clitoris. So, what is considered big?
The Atlas of Sexual Anatomy written by Robert Latou Dickinson defines a typical clitoris size as being 3-5 mm in width (0.12-0.16in) and 3-6mm (0.16-0.30in) in length. Women suffering from Clitoromegaly would be considered a clitoris having a width and length greater than 35mm (0.05).
Clitoromegaly and Female Bodybuilding
A female bodybuilder will often suffer from symptoms of clitoromegaly which can be caused by steroid use.
Female bodybuilders and athletes will take certain anabolic or androgenic steroids to help gain muscle and improve athletic performance. Unfortunately, this comes at a price.
Many women will shrug off the side effects of anabolic steroids. There are many anabolic steroids that cause something called virilization, this is when a woman begins to take on man like traits. This includes deepening of the voice, acne, hair loss, and clitoral enlargement.
The biggest problem with physical transformations caused by anabolic steroids is they can creep up slowly.
Women who begin to notice symptoms of an enlarged clitoris may only feel a slight tingling sensation in the clitoris, others begin to experience extreme sensitivity, long-term steroid use can cause permanent enlargement of the clitoris and in some cases, it can remain that way for life.
We do not condone the use of steroids and feel that the best way for women to enhance their physique is through natural methods. This includes proper supplementation, diet, and a good training program.
However, we also feel that it is important that women know the possible risks from taking anabolic steroids. In this case, the ones that are most likely to cause extreme side effects.
Most of the information about anabolic steroids is focused on men, that is because steroids increase testosterone, which is the main male sex hormone.
Estrogen is the primary hormone in women, and yes, women do produce small amounts of testosterone but not enough to increase muscle like men.
Most anabolic steroids are testosterone based and if you take them for a long time you will begin to experience symptoms of masculinization which includes clitoral enlargement. Below is my list of steroids that are most likely to cause clitoromegaly.
Testosterone is the first steroid women should avoid, not only is it the primary sex hormone in men it is also one of the strongest steroids available. Other steroids are usually derivatives of testosterone in some way or another.
Testosterone helps increase muscle and can cause severe virilization effects, in fact, it is the primary steroid given to transgender men. Long-term testosterone use by women can cause excess body hair, severe acne, increased sex drive, and an enlarged clitoris. Testosterone is sold under anabolic steroid names that include:
- Testosterone Cypionate
- Testosterone Undecanoate
- Testosterone Propionate
- Testosterone Enanthate
Testosterone is clearly an anabolic steroid that women will want to avoid, that is unless you want to increase muscle mass and begin to transform into a man. Long-term testosterone use can cause irreversible side effects.
Deca Durabolin has been considered a side effect friendly steroid for men and some women have also used it but only in small or low therapeutic doses. Women who take Deca will encounter a variety of side effects.
Deca being an androgenic steroid can cause virilization effects in women, some of the more common symptoms include:
- Hair growth
- Deepening of the voice
- Oily skin
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Clitoral enlargement (Clitoromegaly)
What is considered a low dose?
A low dose of Deca Durabolin is usually nothing more than 50mg per week for no more than 4-6 weeks, even in low doses it may still cause virilization. Women who would even consider taking Deca would want to keep a close eye on possible side effects and suspend immediately should they begin to experience any.
Trenbolone is one of the most powerful anabolic steroids sold and is also considered one of the best steroids for gaining muscle and strength.
Trenbolone works well for increasing protein synthesis and boosting nitrogen retention in the muscles. This is important for men who want to quickly pack on muscle. In fact, Trenbolone is similar to Deca in that it is highly androgenic and a steroid that women will want to avoid at all costs.
It is most likely you will not hear women complain about the side effects of Trenbolone, this because it is a steroid that women will avoid. If its one steroid that is guaranteed to cause symptoms of masculinization Trenbolone is it. Even in low doses, this steroid will cause side effects and clitoral enlargement.
In spite of the claim that Dianabol is not highly androgenic, it can affect women and causes symptoms of clitoromegaly, even in low doses.
Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) is one steroid that is primarily used by male bodybuilders to increase muscle mass, in fact, men who take Dianabol can easily gain 20lbs of muscle in just a few weeks. So you can imagine the effect Dianabol can have on women.
Side effects of Dianabol are similar to those of other androgenic steroids along with risk factors that can increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and can also increase blood pressure making it a steroid women should not use.
Do Safe Steroids for Women Exist?
If you are asking yourself if safe anabolic steroids for women exist, the honest answer is no, not really. There are some steroids that are less androgenic than others but they will still have side effects.
Some steroids that are considered safe among female bodybuilders include Primobolan and Equipoise, the problem with those steroids is that they are mostly sold on the black market, so its hard to know if you are getting a legitimate substance.
I know that there are many women who have a burning desire to take steroids, this has to be an individual decision every woman makes for herself. Most of the benefits women try to achieve can be done with proper diet and exercise.
What many women do not realize is that there are natural steroid alternatives that can be just as effective without causing side effects.
Androgenic steroids like it or not were originally developed with men in mind, more testosterone means more muscle and better athletic performance.
Women, on the other hand, will see negative side effects from anabolic steroids. Even in low doses. If you are serious about wanting to transform your body with no side effects a legal steroid is the best alternative.
Angela is the owner and primary contributor to Crazybulkwomen.com I love writing about all things fitness and nutrition related. I studied nutrition at the University of Phoenix and currently am a full-time mom and blogger.