While anabolic-androgenic steroids are more commonly used by men, increasing numbers of women are also turning to such drugs for weight loss, leaner muscle to fat ratios, and stronger and bigger muscles.
This is especially true for competing female bodybuilders and athletes. Not all anabolic-androgenic steroids are recommended for use by females.
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Oxandrolone is a generic term for the brand-name anabolic steroid Anavar, generally available in tablet form.
Tablets of oxandrolone behave in a similar way as a number of other anabolic steroids, with their main function to act as androgen receptor agonists.
An agonist is defined as a substance that triggers a physical (chemical or molecular) activity or function when it attaches or combines with a specific type of cell receptor.
For example, oxandrolone for women can produce the same effect of the drug on men, triggering androgenic activities.
However, much lower dosages of Anavar are needed in women to result in muscle growth. Men may need to mega-dose this steroid to bulk up, but women can achieve the same transformations at safe and low doses.
Androgens are hormones that promote male sex characteristics by targeting androgen-specific receptor cells.
By basic definition, androgen receptors are receptors that have an impact on cellular differentiation and growth or proliferation. Bodybuilders focus on this aspect of oxandrolone for muscle cellular growth.
In such cases, oxandrolone for women may be beneficial, but if used in non-medical scenarios, especially in higher than recommended doses, can contribute to side effects.
Women should also note that oxandrolone is, in medical scenarios, used to enhance healing, weight gain, and growth for critical care situations.
Women seeking to trim fat may find that oxandrolone makes that more difficult due to side effects such as water retention and bloating.
Dosage recommendations depend on the situation. The half-life of oxandrolone for women is the same as for men, but its impact also depends on age, weight, and overall body composition.
The average half-life, depending on milligram strength of the oxandrolone tablets, averages about 10 hours.
When it comes to dosage, oxandrolone in medical scenarios was most commonly recommended at 2.5 mg to 20 mg daily depending on need, with an average falling somewhere in between.
Oxandrolone for women or men was not recommended for longer than two to four weeks.
Bodybuilders often take oxandrolone in dosages that average anywhere between 15 mg and 25 mg daily for up to eight weeks, often combined with other drugs to reduce the potential estrogenic and progestational side effects.
Oxandrolone, like other anabolic androgenic steroids, has the potential of interrupting normal lipid levels in the body, which focuses attention on cholesterol concentrations.
Oxandrolone may negatively affect levels of good or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels of cholesterol which are beneficial for heart health, but also increasing levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
This contributes to blocked or narrowed arteries that can increase the risk for heart attack or stroke.
A number of websites promote use of oxandrolone for women, claiming that it is perfectly “user friendly”, effective, and safe. However, because of its effect on hormones, women may be more sensitive to oxandrolone than man.
Oxandrolone is noted to produce virilization or masculinization in women that contributes to hirsutism, clitoromegaly, deepening of the voice, and acne.
It is essential that women using oxandrolone discontinue use of the drug at the earliest sign of such virilization.
Even so, irreversible virilization is possible even when the drug is quickly discontinued.
Other side effects that oxandrolone for women may cause that mitigate benefits include edema or water retention and swelling.
This is especially serious if a person has been diagnosed with any kind or severity of renal, liver, or cardiac disease.
Men and women using oxandrolone should also be aware that blood clotting functions may be interrupted, as the drug may cause increased prothrombin or blood clotting time in the event of an injury.
Oxandrolone for women is not recommended for any woman who is pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
Women who are nursing should also avoid oxandrolone and other anabolic steroids in any form, even at the lowest possible dosages.
The drug is contraindicated in the event of a pregnancy or planned pregnancy (it is designated under Pregnancy Category X, meaning that oxandrolone can cause defects in the developing fetus).
No studies have been engaged on the impact of anabolic steroids in breast milk, but due to potentially dangerous adverse reactions, doctors may recommend cessation of oxandrolone before, during, and after pregnancy.
Severity of potential side effects and adverse reactions increase as milligram strength of oxandrolone increases.
When it comes to oxandrolone for women, some of the most common side effects may include, in addition to the above-mentioned, menstrual irregularity and female pattern baldness.
Men and women may experience psychological impact as well affecting mood, behaviors, and levels of impatience, aggression, and attitude.