The good-bad and ugly of steroid usage-effects on a woman's body - Ganna Magazine Blog

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The good-bad and ugly of steroid usage-effects on a woman's body

Androgenic Anabolic Steroids (AAS) have a growing mainstream usage in today’s world. These are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone, testosterone, which are both available in oral and injectable forms. Although steroids in their approved forms are unlikely to cause any serious harm when taken in the right proportions as prescribed by medical practitioners, the abuse of illegal steroids can cause consequential side effects. The majority of effects of steroids are usually temporary in men; however, they can produce long-lasting effects in their female counterparts. This article will delve upon the commonly observed effects of steroids in women.

Mental Abnormalities
Steroids can seriously affect a woman’s emotions and change the way how she perceives herself and her surroundings. Mental abnormalities can include a plethora of emotional effects like mania, anxiousness, depression, mood swings, irritability, agitation, hallucinations, insomnia and hostility. Aggression, also referred as ‘roid rage, is also a common side effect of steroid abuse. These substances can also create a fallacious sense of invincibility and develop superiority complex amongst its users. Females may even experience a worsened emotional imbalance during menstruation.

Menstrual Irregularities and Infertility
In a woman’s body, testosterone is stored in ovaries and other tissues of the reproductive system. The additional dose of testosterone through steroids can trigger hormonal imbalance causing menstrual abnormalities. These can occur in any form-fewer periods, change in amount of flow, irregular cycles, or unusual premenstrual symptoms.

Amenorrhea is a condition in which a woman stops menstruating before it’s time for menopause. According to the United States Department of Justice, Amenorrhea is another potential side effect of steroid abuse which leads to infertility in women.

Development of Masculine Features

Steroids not only produce anabolic effects, which help in muscle and strength building, but also are androgenic in nature, that is, they affect sexual characteristics. Since, testosterone is a male hormone and steroids are meant to replicate it, they generally are used to make men, manlier. This is the sole reason why steroids cause harm in women to greater extents than what they do to males.

Therefore, women may experience effects which are similar to ones boys experience while going through puberty. The  commonly observed effects in women may range from deepening of voice to increased body and facial hair. In some cases, permanent effects like unusual clitoral growth, baldness, and reduction in breast size have also been found.

Other Physical Effects
Apart from changes in appearance and menstrual irregularities, steroids may cause acne problems, decreased appetite, sexual disorders, malfunctioning of other organs, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and bloating. Other commonly observed effects of steroids in women also include cardiac problems, tumors in the liver, blood borne diseases if taken through injectable forms, and can increase the risk of strokes.

In addition to the above mentioned ill-effects, prolonged steroid abuse can cause dependency (a state where a person starts to feel that he cannot live without the substance) and withdrawal symptoms like weakness, fatigue, weight loss, etc. amongst its users.
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