Anavar (oxandrolone) is often referred to as the ‘girl steroid’, with it being very popular among women using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Anavar’s high demand is due to females having a limited selection of steroids to choose from (if they want to keep their femininity intact). This is because many anabolic steroids are androgenic, causing virilization symptoms in women.
A simple definition of virilization is when women start to look and sound more like a man.
In specific terms, this can mean her voice becoming deeper, clitoris becoming enlarged, hair growth (on the body), smaller breasts, and a more masculine face.
However, Anavar has a low risk of producing virilization symptoms, if moderate doses are used. Nevertheless, the risk is still present.
In this article, we will discuss what Anavar is exactly, why is it referred to as the best steroid for women, and what are the risks it hides.
What Is Anavar?
Anavar (oxandrolone) was first produced in 1962, to help patients recover from muscle-wasting diseases, by increasing their lean muscle mass.
The goal was to produce a steroid that men, women, and children could safely take for various medical conditions.
2 years later G.D Searle & Co brought it to market, later under the brand name of ‘Anavar’, with it successfully healing patients, by reversing their muscle-wasting conditions. The FDA was pleased with its safety, approving it for human use, which remains the case today.
However, Anavar is only currently used for medicinal purposes and is banned for bodybuilding-use. However, many gym-goers all around the world still take Anavar, buying it on the black market.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws.
How Does Anavar Work?
Just like other Steroids, Anavar will bind to the Androgen Receptors, which then bind to the DNA, which then impose a physiological change on the targeted area such as muscles and bones.
Anavar is a DHT derivative, meaning that it will not be converted by 5α-reductase (5 Alpha Reductase) nor will it convert into Estrogen via Aromatase. This is actually one of the few drawbacks with the drug, if you plan to run it alone compared to poly hormone protocol, and you run it alone for too long, you’ll start seeing too low levels of Estrogen; which isn’t great.
Anvarol by Crazy Bulk
Commonly reported benefits by illegal steroid users report:
- Fat burning
- Enhances strength
- Female friendly
- Increased clitoris sensitivity
Anavar is anabolic, and thus women will gain muscle (1). However, Anavar doesn’t have the power to turn a woman into a real-life She-Hulk.
Muscle gains will be moderate, helping to subtly increase muscularity, without looking bulky. This also helps to improve muscle tone and prevent sagging when dieting.
Anavar is primarily used as a cutting steroid, so if a woman’s goal is to build huge amounts of muscle, other steroids would be more beneficial (such as Anadrol). However, other compounds are also more likely to cause virilization.
Women may not notice a huge increase in size when measuring their muscles, due to a significant reduction in fat loss. However, women will typically see an increase in body weight on the scales, despite burning an exceptional amount of fat (indicating muscle gain).
Thus, weighing yourself to track fat loss on Anavar is of little use, due to its simultaneous muscle-building properties.
Anavar burns fat in 2 main ways. It has anti-glucocorticoid and insulin-regulating effects.
By anti-glucocorticoid, this means that it reduces cortisol levels significantly. You probably already know about cortisol, but for those that don’t…cortisol is a catabolic hormone and one of its roles in the body is to cause fat storage.
…in stubborn places.
So if your cortisol levels are high – you’re going to add body fat in the places where you really struggle to lose it. For men this is usually at the bottom of the abdomen; for women, it’s generally in the hips/legs/bum areas.
On the flip side, if your cortisol levels drop significantly, you can expect enhanced fat burning…and that’s exactly what Anavar does.
Insulin is another hormone in the body and like cortisol, can cause the body to store fat. Anavar regulates insulin levels so they don’t rise beyond a certain level; accelerating fat loss.
Anavar is also a powerful fat burner due to its ability to increase T3 levels.
T3 is a thyroid hormone, that is an extremely powerful fat-burning hormone. This is why Anavar, despite being a form of exogenous testosterone (like all other steroids), is superior at burning fat.
Not only does Anavar burn subcutaneous fat, but also visceral fat (2).
Subcutaneous fat is the type of fat you can see on the surface, whereas visceral fat is what collects around your internal organs.
Many anabolic steroids will reduce subcutaneous fat, but increase visceral fat (3). Consequently, steroid-users can often be seen looking bloated or fat (despite being very lean). This is very obvious in professional bodybuilders who often have a protruding steroid gut.
However, because Anavar burns visceral and subcutaneous fat stores, a woman’s waist will become increasingly small.
Women can typically expect to burn roughly 2-2.5lbs of fat per week, in combination with going to the gym and dieting. Anavar’s effect on body composition is powerful enough to produce a good fat loss in someone who doesn’t even exercise, however for maximum results, lifting weights and cardio regularly is certainly recommended.
It is said, “strong is the new sexy”.
Anavar, despite not causing mega amounts of weight gain, causes a very noticeable increase in strength. This can be quite fun for women who like lifting heavy and want to beat their PR’s on big lifts.
Anavar increases strength by increasing testosterone levels, but more specifically due to being a DHT derivative. DHT is reported to be 5x more androgenic than testosterone. DHT derived steroids are thus very effective at increasing muscular strength, with Anadrol and Proviron being two other examples of this.
Anavar will also increase glycogen storage and ATP inside a woman’s muscles. This will give her additional muscle fullness, whilst increasing endurance and strength. This essentially is the same function as creatine, although Anavar does not cause extracellular water retention, where creatine does (4).
Thus, Anavar has the ATP benefits of more powerful creatine, but without the bloating. The bloat instead goes directly inside the muscles, instead of spilling outside. This creates a big and tight look rather than a big, bloated mess look.
In research, results show that Anavar does have the possibility to cause masculinization in girls and women, however, the dose would need to be high and taken for an excessive period of time.
Therefore if you take a moderate dose, for a short cycle, the chances of virilization are extremely low. It’s also important to note that virilization does not happen overnight, but instead is a gradual effect.
In which case, if women did start to notice decreased breast size (for example), they could decrease their dose to prevent further virilization.
Furthermore, virilization effects in women are only temporary. Even if a woman did experience such symptoms, they would be reversed after they came off Anavar. However, this does not apply to the voice; which is a permanent effect (5).
However, deepening of the voice is not the first stage of virilization, this is a severe/rare side effect that may occur in the latter stages of the virilization cycle; with the woman already having experienced some virilization side effects for a lengthy period of time.
For example, in one study, a group of girls (average age: 9 years old) experienced virilization, including deepened voice and clitoral enlargement. However, such effects only developed after taking Anavar for an extremely long time – being 1 year (6).
Therefore, to avoid chances of any virilization side effects occurring, it is important for women to keep their cycles short (4-6 weeks).
Anavar Side Effects (In Women)
So many women use Anavar today, which is why one of its nicknames is – the ‘girl steroid’. This is because no other steroid produces such mild side effects in females.
Many women who are thinking of taking steroids are afraid of their bodies changing, eventually looking like a man. This is known as virilization – when a woman starts to develop manly features.
Anavar is one of the “best steroids” to take if you’re determined to burn fat, build muscle, and keep your feminine beauty.
It’s important to note that virilization side effects are rare in women (who use moderate doses of Anavar). And even if they did occur, they aren’t permanent so as soon as you stop taking Anavar; your hormones will balance out and these male characteristics are likely to disappear.
Note: To further reduce the risk of virilization, women are recommended to cycle anavar for only 4-6 weeks.
Increased Clitoris Sensitivity
Anavar when used sensibly will not increase clitoral size, however, it can increase clitoral sensitivity.
This could be negative for women with a lower sex drive, however, for those actively engaging in sex, this can lead to more regular and intense orgasms.
Thus, Anavar may decrease the time it takes for a woman to climax.
Due to an increase in exogenous testosterone, women can become hornier on Anavar, with an increased desire for sex.
Higher testosterone levels increase sex drive in women, which is why black women naturally have higher libidos than white women on average (7), with blacks females having higher testosterone production.
This increase in libido generally isn’t enough to be a drawback, unless a woman is trying to stay celibate.
- Lower natural testosterone
- Commonly faked
- Higher cholesterol
- Small liver strain
Low Natural Testosterone
Anavar will cause endogenous testosterone levels to decrease in women. This may not sound like a problem, however, women can report significantly less well-being and a lower libido post-cycle.
Although women naturally only produce small amounts of testosterone via their ovaries, it’s still a vital hormone for hormone functioning and well-being.
Generally, this crash isn’t deemed to be excessive and thus women can do nothing and still recover within several weeks to a few months.
However, women may also take DHEA as post cycle therapy to speed up the recovery of their endogenous testosterone production. Nolvadex is also believed to be effective.
Anavar is commonly faked on the black market, thus women should order a testing kit before they take anavar, or any similar substances.
A test can determine if Anavar is actually present in the compound or not. There are also purity tests that can measure the dose of Anavar, thus telling you whether it’s true to the label or undercut.
However, you can usually gauge the dose, based on your results.
A tactic some dealers do is to sell Dianabol packaged as Anavar. This is problematic for women because Dianabol greatly increases the chances of virilization. Thus, tests are recommended and can be bought for a cheap price online.
A women’s cholesterol levels can take a shift when on Anavar, with the good type of cholesterol (HDL) decreasing, and the bad (LDL) sometimes spiking (8)
However, cholesterol levels do not typically rise to excessive levels in women, due to their natural testosterone production initially being lower than that of a man.
However, it would be wise for women to monitor their cholesterol levels, so their blood pressure doesn’t rise too high. Any cholesterol changes will regulate back to normal post-cycle.
Regular cardio or high-intensity interval training can be performed, which will help to lower blood pressure, whilst assisting in burning more fat.
Small liver strain
With Anavar being a c17-alpha alkylated oral steroid, it requires the liver to partly process the compound. However, such liver strain with Anavar is very mild compared to other steroids. Also, the liver is very tough and resilient, often taking a lot of abuse until it fails. Note: this is no license to abuse it.
So, if liver enzymes do become elevated during a cycle, they will restore back to normal once a woman comes off Anavar, due to the organ’s self-healing properties.
However, if a woman has suffered from liver damage before or consumes large amounts of alcohol, then Anavar (and other steroids) should be avoided.
Don’t Try To Reduce Price/Increase Absorption With Grapefruit Juice
One commonly used trick to effectively reduce the price of Anavar is to take it with 200ml of grapefruit juice instead of water. There is an enzyme in the intestines and liver, known as CYP3A4, which plays a role in breaking down foreign molecules in the body.
Thus, when you take any medication (or steroid), the true dose is greatly decreased as a result of CYP3A4. Grapefruit juice inhibits CYP3A4, enabling more of a substance to enter the bloodstream.
Studies have shown that 200ml of grapefruit juice increases the absorption of drugs dramatically, with some research showing it to increase potency by as much as 5x (9).
Thus, if women are to try and reduce the cost of their Anavar cycle by drinking grapefruit juice, they start taking 2.5mg per day, consuming 200ml of grapefruit juice every 12 hours to keep CYP3A4 deactivated. This effectively could give them a much higher dose (possibly the same effects as 10mg per day). However, this may increase the risk of virilization and liver toxicity.
Anavar Female Before and After Results
Female Anavar Review
Why Do Women Take Winstrol Too?
Some women who’ve taken Anavar want to experience further fat loss and muscle gains, so they take compounds such as Winstrol.
For most women this can be a big mistake, as Winstrol is highly androgenic and thus is very likely to cause virilization. Also Winstrol is a more powerful drug, so side effects are going to be a lot more harsh.
Furthermore, in terms of benefits, Winstrol will offer some benefits compared to Anavar. It has a greater drying effect, probably due to the fact that winstrol lowers Progesterone which can lower water retention.
Pro female bodybuilders can be the exception to this rule, who are happy to take more powerful steroids than anavar, because they’re competing against the best bodybuilders in the world and need to pack on incredible amounts of size. However, such women are aware of the risks and happy to look like a man in order to win. This is not the same as the average woman who takes anavar.
Can Anavar Stop Your Period?
Periods can become late on Anavar (even on low doses), as the steroid interferes with the natural production of estrogen/progesterone.
The reverse can also happen, with steroids being capable of causing early menstruation in women (9).
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Anavar has a half-life of 9-10 hours, thus it kicks in fast.
Therefore, women can expect to see noticeable changes in their body composition in the first couple of weeks, becoming increasingly leaner and seeing more muscle tone. Results will continue until the 6th week mark, where gains tend to plateau.
It is important to eat in a calorie deficit (consuming mostly clean foods); whilst regularly exercising and lifting weights. Doing so will enhance anavar’s effects, causing users to notice faster results.
SARM Alternative to Anavar: Cardarine (GW501516)
SARMs are known as Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, and unlike Steroids that bind to all the Androgen receptors in the body, SARMs only bind to the receptors in the muscles and bones. This dramatically lowers the side effects associated with PEDs.
With Cardarine you can expect to see a decent increase in muscle, as well as a decrease in body fat. You will not experience some of the side effects associated with Anavar such as Testosterone Suppression for men, or virilization for women.