Of all anabolic steroids, Anavar is the only one that is actually more popular with women than it is with men. You might have heard it called the “female friendly” steroid.
But how friendly to females actually is Anavar? Certainly it is a significantly less harsh steroid than most other compounds – the majority of which are off limits to all but the most hardcore of female bodybuilders.
There’s no doubt that Anavar is the easiest steroid for women to use when it comes to managing side effects. It also delivers results that are highly desirable for any female from athletes, to bodybuilders, to physique competitors as well as regular women who just want to improve their body composition.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the use of illegal steroids (PEDs).
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Anavar is the original and most well known brand name of the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone. It has been around for over 60 years and during that time has remained one of the most popular steroids – not just among men, but also with females.
In fact, Anavar is considered THE best steroid for women to use for bodybuilding or physique competition. It is widely considered to be the one of the most well tolerated steroids for females, far ahead any other compound in that regard.
Anavar is based on DHT and is modified to be taken as an oral steroid. It has a short half life of under 10 hours and a much reduced anabolic rating compared with testosterone, which is certainly the main reason why this steroid is most suited for females.
Anavar was developed to promote muscle tissue growth in people suffering certain medical conditions. It’s this specific purpose that gives us insight into one of the main reasons Anavar is attractive for performance enhancement, but it also comes with some very desirable fat burning properties as well.
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Anavar truly is the one anabolic steroid that comes with more positives than negatives for females, and that’s something we certainly can’t say about other compounds. In general, most women will tolerate Anavar reasonably well to very well.
Benefits will outweigh the downsides for most female Anavar users, but keeping in mind that every single person is different, all potential female users of Anavar should be aware of both the possible benefits and the possible side effects that can come about while using Anavar. The main benefits of Anavar for women are:
Great for bulking and cutting
Men mostly use Anavar for cutting only, but females can gain some nice lean muscle on an Anavar cycle, as well as burning fat. This improves your body composition quickly and impressively, with excellent tone and definition very achievable when combined with a quality diet and workout program.
Anavar is not considered an effective muscle growth compound for men, but for women it’s a different story. Its excellent anabolic effects will allow women to grow lean muscle, without turning her into a masculine figure. Even a minor addition to muscle mass can make a major difference to the female physique. Off season mass gaining is a common female use of Anavar.
Anavar’s most powerful property is certainly it’s ability to help you retain muscle when in a diet and cutting phase. With Anavar you won’t be burning up muscle tissue as energy, ensuring only fat is lost. Both subcutaneous and visceral fat stores are targeted with Anavar, and fat will be burned much more efficiently thanks to the metabolic boost Anavar provides.
Better stamina and decreased muscle fatigue
Anavar will provide a noticeable improvement in your endurance, strength and stamina that you’ll find most obvious when you’re training. Anavar does this by increasing nitrogen retention and red blood cell count, so the muscles are getting a much better supply of oxygen and nutrients. Females, even at low doses, will be able to workout for longer and at higher intensity whether you’re doing cardio or weights training.
No water retention
When you’re using genuine pure Anavar, you should not experience any water retention (bloating) at all. It’s common to read about women who are seeing fluid retention on an Anavar cycle – the most likely explanation is that they’re in fact using counterfeit or very low quality Anavar (which is likely to contain substances other than Anavar itself). A proper Anavar cycle should leave you dry and lean, not bloated or puffy.
Possible Side Effects
It’s regularly said that women can use Anavar with zero side effects. Zilch, zero, nada. But how true is this? Can an anabolic steroid with androgenic properties really cause no adverse effects when females use it?
Well, the answer is “it depends”. In very general terms it depends on how much Anavar a female uses (and for that matter, for how long), and her individual reaction to the steroid.
We can say this about females using Anavar: the probability of experiencing negative side effect (and by that we mean virilization, which are the most dreaded adverse effects a woman wants to avoid) is low when females use low doses of this steroid. That probability rises significantly with higher doses, and women therefore would not want to buy Anavar and use it at doses which are suitable for men.
With that said, a minority of females may still be unlucky enough to notice the development of some unwanted side effects, even at low Anavar doses. If the adverse effects become too worrisome, the steroid should be stopped and those symptoms will disappear. If however you allow the virilization signs to continue advancing as you keep using Anavar, reversing them can become much greater a problem.
The possible Anavar side effects that could occur for females are the same which are almost guaranteed to develop with almost any other anabolic steroid. Most notably it is the development of masculine features which pose the greatest problem for female Anavar users. More specifically:
- Growth of facial and body hair
- Clitoral enlargement and menstrual changes
- A deepened voice (initially starting as a hoarse voice)
These negative symptoms are very likely to be avoided by the vast majority of females as long as Anavar is used within the recommended dosage range, and for short periods of time with suitable time off in between cycles.
More generally, Anavar can potentially impact cholesterol with an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a decrease in HDL (good) cholesterol levels in some people. Again, at low doses this side effect is more likely in people who already have cholesterol problems – in which case, use of Anavar should be avoided.
All oral steroids pose some risk to liver health, although Anavar is considered the mildest of all. It can potentially also place stress on the kidneys, and women with existing liver or kidney problems should seriously reconsider their use of Oxandrolone.
Overall, Oxandrolone is certainly the most well tolerated anabolic steroid for women to use and the likelihood of any negative side effects developing of a virilization nature is very low when you stick to the recommended dosage and especially when using Anavar in the 5-10mg daily range.
Females can consider starting at a very low dose of 2.5mg of Anavar daily, for those just starting their first cycle and who want to take then most conservative approach. Most women, regardless of your specific goals or purpose in using Anavar, can comfortably start at 5mg or even 10mg per day and have confidence that the risk of side effects is low.
Brand new Oxandrolone users can easily start the cycle at the lowest dosage to gauge response, then increase it by 5mg during the cycle.
Not many women will find themselves wanting to use more than 10mg daily of Anavar, as the results at this dosage will still be impressive. For those wanting to go further, and when you’re comfortable at 10mg day and seeing no adverse effects, the dosage can be increased to 15mg.
Keeping in mind that a maximum female dosage of 20mg is considered the absolute limit before your chances of developing virilizing side effects increases substantially. It’s almost guaranteed that at doses above 20mg, virilization will occur.
A cycle length of 4-6 weeks is recommended. If women use Anavar for longer than a 6 week cycle, the chances of virilizing side effects developing increases substantially.
While men will almost certainly be using Anavar stacked with at least one other steroid, female Anavar cycles make use of Anavar only, or sometimes more advanced female users will include another fat burning compound like Clenbuterol.
There are two critical points for females to plan for an Anavar cycle: the dosage, and the cycle length.
Females who are doing their very first Anavar cycle should consider starting at a 5mg daily dose. You can then evaluate your body’s response to the steroid after the first week or two. A 10mg daily dose is considered standard for women, and safe and effective for the majority of users.
Because of Anavar’s short half life, your total daily dosage is ideally split into two – take half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon or before a workout. This ensures your circulating levels of Anavar are maintained at the optimal level.
Females who are tolerating 10mg per day well, can increase the dose to 15mg and if more is desired, an absolute maximum of 20mg daily can be considered. At that point, you’ll need to be paying closer attention to any potential signs of virilization, and potentially adjusting the dosage back down if needed. Some women can safely use 20mg without any side effects, it simply comes down to your own response as an individual.
A cycle length of between 4 weeks and 6 weeks is widely recommended. Six weeks is the maximum length of time that females are advised to use Anavar, any longer than this and the risks of virilizing side effects will substantially increase. By the 6 week mark, virtually all female users will be displaying outstanding Anavar results whether you’re a physique competitor or any other goals.
A well prepared female Anavar cycle can give you extremely satisfying results with little to no adverse effects. While it may be tempting to extend the cycle longer than 6 weeks in some cases, this is strongly advised against. It is best to end the cycle at the 6 week point, then allow the body to recover for at least three to four weeks before beginning another cycle.
Whether you’re on a cutting, mass gaining, or contest prep phase, Anavar results will be impressive provided you’ve combined its use with a suitable diet and training regime.
It’s entirely possible to burn two or three pounds of pure fat each week on an Anavar cycle. The amount of muscle gained won’t be massive, but most women are not looking for huge gains. The amount of lean gains will entirely depend on whether you’re eating for mass gains or not, and if you’re lifting weights or purely doing cardio.
Women store most fat around the thighs, buttocks and mid-section, and noticeable improvements in the loss of fat in these areas should be seen by the end of your cycle. If you are already very lean, those last stubborn areas of fat will be considerably easier to burn off with Anavar, even at the lower doses.
Overall body composition will be improved substantially by the end of a 6 or 8 week Anavar cycle. With Anavar’s ability to draw water out, once you’ve reached the point of optimal leanness, the physique will be notably defined, harder, tighter and more vascular. For many women, this is the perfect result for physique competitors.
Performance improvements should not be overlooked when it comes to results. This will impact during your cycle, allowing your workouts to extend to a level that would not otherwise be possible.
Expect to see increased muscular endurance and stamina, with a noticeable difference in how much longer it takes for fatigue to set in during a hard workout. Your recovery should also be faster, allowing your workouts to be more frequent.
The other very popular cutting steroid is Winstrol (Stanozolol). Both will help you burn fat and build lean muscle and both are oral steroids (Winstrol also comes in injectable form). Both Anavar and Winstrol do not aromatize, so there’s no estrogen conversion and therefore no water retention with either.
Despite the similar benefits of both steroids, most women will still want to choose Anavar because it’s a somewhat less potent steroid than Winstrol when it comes to side effects.
Winstrol cycle is more likely to allow a woman to gain a more substantial amount of muscle compared to Anavar. Anavar can provide some nice lean gains, but Winstrol can take it to another level and really give a woman a considerably less feminine result. For some women, this might be desirable, but for others Anavar’s anabolic effects will be more than sufficient.
Winstrol is likely to cause virilization effects in women including voice hoarseness, acne, changes in menstrual periods, and growth of facial hair. Females would need to use very low doses of Winstrol to try and avoid these effects, in the 4mg to 10mg daily range.
Winstrol is much harsher on the liver compared to Anavar, even though they’re both oral steroids. For many women, this side effect alone will be enough to steer the choice to Anavar over Winstrol.
So even through Winstrol is excellent for fat loss, muscle retention and improving definition, it’s risk of side effects are that much greater than Anavar and this makes it a much less ideal option for females.
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What are the side effects of Anavar for women?
Some women can actually use Anavar without any side effects. The higher the dosage goes though, the more chance of women experiencing adverse effects from Anavar’s androgenic activity.
These androgenic effects are known as virilization, or the attainment of masculine features. This can include a noticeable deepening of the voice, and growth of body and facial hair.
If the steroid is stopped soon enough, these effects should reverse and go away on their own. But if Anavar continues to be used, it can be harder to reverse or treat virilization effects the more they’re allowed to develop.
Is 25mg of Anavar a day too much for a woman?
It is strongly inadvisable for women to use 25mg daily of Anavar. This is considered to be a very high dose for females and it most likely to result in virilization symptoms. 20mg daily is considered to be the maximum that women should take, but even this is a high dose.
Most female Anavar users will not require or wish to take dosages at such a high range, instead sticking to a range of 5mg to 15mg daily. For most women this will be more than enough to deliver exceptional fat burning and body composition improvements.
Is Anavar really the best steroid for women?
Anavar is well known as the only anabolic steroid women can use with little to no risk of side effects – as long as doses don’t exceed 20mg per day. No other steroid is as well tolerated by females as Anavar is, although some other compounds are also used by females including Winstrol and Primobolan, as well as the fat burning compound Clenbuterol.
The best steroid for women is an individual choice, however most women are likely to find that Anavar is the one that gives them the best balance of minimal side effects and exceptional results.
Is Anavar or Winstrol better for women?
Anavar is by far the most well tolerated steroid for females, including compared to Winstrol.
Winstrol oral is still considered a relatively mild steroid when compared to most others, but most women will find that Anavar is more well tolerated when it comes to side effect control.
For women who do wish to use Winstrol, the oral form only is recommended, and doses need to be kept very low to avoid virilization.
Can females stack Anavar?
Most women will use Anavar on its own in a cycle, but it is also sometimes stacked with a fat burning compound called Clenbuterol.
This isn’t an anabolic steroid, but it has powerful fat burning properties and adds an extra kick to a cutting or contest prep cycle for women without the concern of the side effects that a woman would experience with other steroids.
Another compound that women will stack Anavar with is Primobolan. It is also a non-aromatizing oral steroid that can promote fat loss and lean muscle gains.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
There’s no doubt that Anavar remains the best and most suitable steroid for females today. It is well tolerated by most women, but there are still many females who do experience downsides when using Anavar.
This can happen for any number of reasons, but simply comes down to the fact that Anavar is still an anabolic steroid, and all steroids are powerful. They are based on male hormones, and were never intended for females to use at anything about a very low medical dose.
For all its relative toleration by females, Anavar still comes with substantial risk – especially if you want to use it over and over again for many years. Additionally, it’s well known as a very expensive steroid to use. For many people, it just won’t be a viable option if you’re wanting to regularly cycle with Anavar.