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  #121  
Old 02-19-2011, 05:42 AM
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Good Question here...


Quote:
It seems like information about appropriate steroid use is readily available for men (online), but not so much for women. How do most women get informed about steroid use? Internet research? Forums? Trainers? Other competitors?


There's more information available for men because there are orders of magnitude more men out there using, they are able to use w/o the heavy taboo aspect of it for women (thus more likely to talk about it at least sorta more openly), there is actually my research published out there, but the information you read, even for men, still has a decent about of 'brotelligence' and regurgitated BS out there.

At the end of the day, even for men I'd say this because you're talking about self-medicating w/ hormones that blow your natural hormone profile out of the water - you can read the steroid profiles to understand the nature of each compound, you can search the internet for 'recommended dosing' and read whatever you can find that other people have written or spoken about, but at the end of the day, it is always your own personal experiment. What works for one person may have a completely different effect on another based on their individual body chemistries. So you can go in w/ a decent amount of 'macro level knowledge', but then you need to make the decision to do the experiment yourself to find out what will actually happen. And to make that decision, you need to be prepared to both know how to back out if you need to, and own (i.e. be responsible for) both the results & the sides.

If you were in interested in any one thing or someone you are working with / prepping with suggests something, I'd always do the following:

1) read the compound profiles online - most of these say about the same as they tend to come from most of the same sources, but read them anyway. That gives you the nature of the compound.

2) Then google whatever your compound of interest and "women", e.g. "anavar, women" and read everything you can find on that. Don't look to each individual account as the absolute truth, but rather look for the commonalities and not anything not common as it is more a spectrum of degrees of result / side vs an absolute list.

3) If someone starts quoting you dosages - do a quick check against men's dosing for similar - if you see dosages that are for men that sound like what someone recommended for you, be skeptical - men & women use orders of magnitude different amounts. Also if there is a "stack" recommended or some complex schedule of including and dropping things over short periods of time, be skeptical - many people only are familiar w/ men's dosing and stacking schedules and assume they translate exactly the same way for women. WRONG. General guidance for women is keep it simple. Low doses (e.g. in the 10-20 mg/ day range for orals, 50-150 mg/week for injectibles) for longer runs (e.g. more than 6 weeks, easily to 12 weeks - you'll rarely find men doing long runs like this because of testosterone shut-off when an external test source is introduced - not an issue for women.) Also no need for all sorts of fancy ancillaries like aromatase inhibitors, HCG, clomid, etc.

4) Then keep doing more research. Ask people you trust - word of mounth questions over the internet - ask here, shoot me a PM or something. But keep asking questions. Its not rocket science but you are still fucking around w/ your basic hormone profile and you can't just "stop" and all your sides go away. You have to wait for the compound to clear your system.

5) Some terms you will come across in researching:
- aromatization - the act of testosterone converting to estrogen - basically when a steroid will make you hold water
- half-life - the time it takes for a compound to reduce its presence by half
- detection-time - how long the compound is detectable in your system - this will give you an idea of the outside length of time you can experience results / sides from a given cycle, AFTER you stop injecting / ingesting.





.... ugh .. ok basically it is not easy to sum up "steroids 101" for women (or for men) in one post. You'll never find a one-stop shop for information because there isn't one, and anything you find online is a mix of myth, medicine, anecdote, brotelligence, and bullshit.

Basic ruless:
1)First thing to always remember is look to your diet & training for results first. If these aren't already producing something, then any other supplement OTC or otherwise, is not going to make up the difference, and will more than likely fuck you up before helping you if you expect it to do the heavy lifting that your diet & training aren't already doing.

2) Don't stack things you've never used individually.

3) If someone tells you "use this - it will lean you out & tone you up".. see Basic Rule 1 and then tell them to go take a flying leap.

4) If you don't know what something is or don't understand what someone is telling you to take - ASK THEM MORE QUESTIONS. If they can't give you a clear answer that you can understand, chances are they don't know either and are just regurgitating something someone told them. And then go do more research.

5) Time off = Time on - general rule of thumb. Don't make it about trying this and that and the other and how quickly you get results. Your body can only move at the pace your body can move, all adjusted by the quality and consistency of your already existing diet & training.

6) If you don't have at LEAST a solid 1-2 years of serious diet & training under your belt, you've got no business playing w/ the chemicals. You haven't touched the surface of understanding how your body responds to basic nutrition and training or developed the consistency and discipline to produce specific and maintainable results. Ain't no shortcuts.

7) Dosing for women - best rule - always Low and Slow (low dosing - more isn't better) and longer cycles (we don't have the testosterone issue mentioned above that drives the short duration of most men's cycles).

I'll see if I can dig up a 'basic cycles' thread I wrote thats up in a couple different places.
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  #122  
Old 02-19-2011, 06:44 AM
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People are always looking for a cookbook approach to cycles... here's some basics:

CAVEAT: Any of this stuff is still only a supplement to an already tight, consistent & functioning diet & training program geared towards the specific goal. This also assumes you've got at least a couple years of diet & training under your belt. Less than that tells me you probably don't have the discipline to stick to the diet & training and also that you haven't even scraped the surface of learning how your body responds to good training & diet.

For newb / figure / "don't want to get too big":
on-season: 10 mg var ED 12-16 weeks, last 4 weeks 20 mg proviron + 20 mg nolvadex - split all 1/2 am , 1/2 pm, you can stop the proviron & var cold after your show, drop the nolva in 1/2 in 2 day intervals
-expected results: good muscle retention (note w/ the diet, ability to gain is limited), good recovery, at low bodyfat, promotes leaning out
-expected sides: interrupted period, acne

off-season: 10 mg var ED 12-16 weeks, make sure your diet is also geared towards bulking. If you are > 12% bf expect to gain mass but also appear more "thick" than lean & cut up.
- expected gains: diet will drive this, var provides some quality muscle gain but not "hyuge", no water retention, good gains retention, supports recovery, very low & predictable sides.
- expected sides: interrupted period, acne

Secondary option is 10 mg oral winstrol ED .. can be more aggressive w/ the sides, depends on the person. No water retention, possible joint pain due to dryness promoted by winstrol, acne, possible voice cracking, possible hairloss

Other option might be oral turinabol - similar to anavar, slower but still quality gains.

More aggressive / experienced / BB-oriented:
on season: 50-100 mg inject primo E5D + 10 mg var ED - 12 -16 weeks. 20 mg nolva + 25 mg proviron ED (1/2 am , 1/2 pm) last 4-8 weeks.
- expected results: limited size gain due to diet, but good muscle retention, no water retention, supports recovery. Proviron & nolva help address estrogenic fat. Note proviron can be androgenic but Anabolics 200x has recommended this combination for women for years. Recommend slow ramp down on the nolva while estrogen kicks back in.
- expected sides: interrupted period, some hairloss, some voice cracking, acne/bacne,m possible increase in blood pressure

off season: 50-100 mg EQ - 10-12 weeks, assumes diet is designed for bulking.
- expected gains: needs about 5 weeks to "show" itself, slow gain, decent gains maintenance, no water retention, some report increase in appetite
- expected sides: interrrupted period, acne/bacne, possible voice cracking / deepening, some hairloss, possible increase in blood pressure

Secondary options / more aggressive: NPP + Test Prop (off season --- this cycle does promote some water retention so not the best choice for competition)
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  #123  
Old 02-19-2011, 06:53 AM
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EQ question:


Quote:
Is it good in contest prep and if so what is the recommended dosage for women?
Need more context for "contest prep" - which category and what sort of muscle base are you starting with?

Do I think it's necessary for bikini. No. Figure... maybe.

Its good for competition in that it doesn't aromatize and produces a good muscle base, but this comes w/ time - if you're thinking of using a longer acting compound like EQ for competition prep, I'd spend the time using it in the off-season to build the muscle I assume you're looking to build. Building should happen in your off-season, not during the prep. For early prep phase muscle 'building'/ maintaining, again, works nice because doesn't aromatize, but its slow to get sarted so plan way ahead - takes a good 5 weeks to show itself and also stays in the system longer.

In the big picture, I'd say either use it in your off-season or further out in your prep cycle but then switch over to the shorter acting cutters closer to the show. Eq has been shown to help build connective tissue, so another reason its good in the off-season.
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  #124  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for all the good information, Sassy!!
Here is another question:

Quote:
Is Anavar or any of the usuals like Winny, Primo, etc going to show up somehow in a Pap Smear?
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  #125  
Old 02-19-2011, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Is Anavar or any of the usuals like Winny, Primo, etc going to show up somehow in a Pap Smear?

They won't show up if you're thinking like a drug test. But there are plenty of indicators at a medical level that would point to "something" to a doc who is remotely aware of what is going on.

Here's what a Pap Smear is: The Pap smear is a screening technique. It is used to detect cervical cancer or cervical abnormalities that might become cancer in women who don't have any symptoms of these conditions.

The Pap smear cannot prove that a woman doesn't have cervical cancer, but it can detect 95 percent of all cervical cancers and precancerous abnormalities. It is not a diagnostic test used to identify the illness or condition responsible for symptoms.


A pap is looking for "abnormal cells" and I've never heard of any compounds somehow producing "abnormal cells" or affecting the health of the lining of the uterus. (I'm not a doc, don't quote me on the full range of everything going on down there.)

They won't show up if you're thinking like a drug test. But there are plenty of indicators at a medical level that would point to "something" to a doc who is remotely aware of what is going on.

Other "indicators" are, of course, an enlarged or sensitivie clitoris (one of the most common sides), raised blood pressure, cholesterol or if you communicate that its been a while since your last period.

Its one thing to work "around" a doctor to get your annual visit done while running a cycle. A sad truth is many docs are so unaware of basic health/nutrition in general, I had one OBGYN who asked w/ my heart was racing at an early morning appt. I said I had taken a thermo for morning cardio earlier that morning. Its one thing to watch the look on people's faces when you talk about doing an hour of cardio before 8 am, but when a medical person has no idea what an OTC thermogenic "like *any of the 3 or 4 popular OTC thermos you can get or see advertised in any women's magazine* ", I was sort of amazed. She kept trying to get me to see a specialist for blood pressure.... Um. Yea.

But the bigger point is that if you want to get into the dark side, you should start first by getting baseline blood work done and then regular blood work thereafter.
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  #126  
Old 02-19-2011, 04:57 PM
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Here's a great article on the subject of AAS & Women's Health:

Steroid Use and Womenís Health
An interview with selected medical practitioners (Part 1)
Author: DIv Ha' DI bah
( http://www.mesomorphosis.com/article...#ixzz1EQa9fXGp)

The prevalent use of pharmaceuticals as enhancers of performance or appearance in the athletic arena is well-known. However, the legal and moral issues surrounding their use prevent users from access to credible and reliable medical information on health issues associated with their use. Medical practitioners cannot legally or ethically prescribe them for use by athletes and the doctors themselves are often inadequately informed about the physiology of the drugs. This is especially true when you consider the various dosing schemes and polypharmacology that is often employed by athletes, especially bodybuilders. Even the published scientific information available to them is not free from bias. Although newly published studies are reporting more objective conclusions regarding increases in muscle mass and strength, the health risks associated with the supraphysiological doses and durations used by many athletes remain unknown.

Regardless, these drawbacks have not deterred many male athletes and bodybuilders from experimenting with illicit drugs to enhance their performance or appearances. Before anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) were legally classified as Schedule III controlled substances in 1990, the occasional athlete could obtain AAS for Ďinjuriesí by a few practicing MDs, but they were never freely dosed like antibiotics. In these cases, the physicians could monitor the usersí physical status. However, even then most AAS were illicitly obtained outside of medical approval and supervision. Obviously, the reclassification of AAS drove their use by athletes even more underground than before.

Not only do AAS increase muscle mass, they reduce the muscle breakdown that often results from overtraining and extreme dieting by enhancing recovery, and they are useful for recovering from injuries. Both men and women in sports have proved their efficacy by decades of use. However, the legal ramifications of their use have relegated that users experiment without medical supervision and monitoring.

Self-prescribed dosages and stacking regimens based on anecdotal testimony and amateur science are easily accessible by males in the athletic world. This prevails especially in bodybuilding where the use of AAS is more commonplace than in other sports-related activities. Couched chatter in the locker room, internet/usenet forums, affordable steroid handbooks, magazine articles; there are sources of information on steroid use everywhere. However, that information is typically male-dominated: use of drugs for men and accumulated by men.

The Amazonian female bodybuilders of several years ago attained their muscularity with the use of AAS to augment their training and diets. The heyday of the female extreme muscularity has now faded to smaller muscled women bodybuilders and fitness competitions. The Bev Francis and Vicki Gates physiques have been replaced with big-breasted women who perform dazzling acts of gymnastics or show how well they can diet. Despite the smaller female physiques of today, the use of drugs continues. The top competitors are the cream of the crop. In order to gain that competitive edge, they still resort to the aid of drugs, including AAS.

Information on the use of AAS for women is less reliable and credible than that for men. Women have been coached on their use by their boyfriends or other men in their immediate circles of gym partners. Chatter amongst women relating experiences can be found in some usenet groups, but the issues are still vague. Much of the disseminated information is based on the use of AS by men without consideration and knowledge of the differences in physiology: the hormonal milieu of women is very different from that of men. Nevertheless, women using or considering using AAS are not likely to approach their family practitioner for advice or medical supervision. The stigma associated with AAS use is stronger for women than men and the medical aspects associated with them are also less known.

To provide women with credible knowledge about the health issues associated with using AAS, the author interviewed four physicians and academic authorities specifically addressing female concerns. The interviewees are from North America and Europe representing a cross-section of international experience with women athletes. The names of the interviewees are withheld and replaced with a letter designated by the author. Each offers their response to a series of questions that were based on concerns voiced by women or known medical concerns.

Question: Given the sensitive nature of not only anabolic steroid (AS) use but especially use by a female, how can a woman approach a physician for monitoring her health during AS use?

Dr. A: This is very hard. You must make sure that the physician is knowledgeable and also not judging. It is very hard to find a physician that is open for this type of monitoring, unless you explain to the physician why you are doing it and that you are also willing to work and listen to him, and make the necessary changes with him.

Dr. B: Difficult to do as there is still a medical stigma associated with having anything at all to do with anyone using anabolic steroids. At present there are a few doctors that I know of that are facing discipline as a result of involvement with anabolic steroid using athletes. If you do manage to see a doctor with liberal views on the subject, these doctors would be much less likely to monitor their use in females, given the androgenic nature of these compounds.

Dr. C: First, a female athlete considering the use of AS should try to find a physician with a distinct background in the sport of bodybuilding or power lifting. These will be the ones who are most open minded when it comes to use of performance enhancing drugs. She should tell the physician about her intentions for using AS and should show him that she has accumulated quite a bit of knowledge about risks and side effects of these substances on the female body. Then the MD will see that she has decided to do so not because of spontaneous thoughts but based on a longer lasting decision process. She should clearly state that she doesnít want any AS prescribed (which is illegal in most states) but just monitoring her health for safety reasons.

Even with these cautions women should be aware of the fact that most physicians wonít follow her arguments and will deny any cooperation. So she probably has to speak with several of them until she will find one who is open minded enough for health monitoring of a female athlete taking AS.

Question: Any steroid use could potentially have wide-ranging effects on various biological systems, including metabolic (e.g. insulin sensitivity), endocrine, and cardiovascular. What type of tests/assays should be recommended during and after use? How important are baseline (before use of AS) tests?

Dr A: First you should always have baseline labs, they are the must important labs, because it will let the physician know how good, bad or ok you are doing, you should monitor them depending in your dosages, changes of drugs or cycles and if you are sexually active. Tests to be run are:1-Liver Profile, CBC, Lipid screen, TSH, T4, T3, free and total testosterone, PSA [prostate-specific antigen] if a male, estrogen, LH and FSH, physical exam including pap smear if not done before. I include CRP and homocysteine, and Hgb 1 AC , and finally depending if the patient is using prohormones I will check those and, believe it or not an EKG for baseline heart and a good blood pressure reading.

Dr. B: Baseline tests are useful, as theyíll give you the normal lay of the land before you interfere with the landscape. I usually recommend a complete blood count, LH, FSH, free or bioavailable, and total testosterone, SHBG, TSH, T3, T4, liver and kidney function tests, total, HDL, LDL cholesterol, glycosylated Hb, lipoprotein(a), C-reactive protein, homocysteine

Dr. C: Baseline tests are of utmost importance to be aware of any pre-existing health problems. If there are any problems, AS use should be discussed with the female athlete again or the changes in the parameters have to be reevaluated very carefully every few weeks while on cycle.

Important tests are liver markers (gamma-GT, GOT, GPT, Cholinesterase, GlDH), parameters for kidney function (creatinine, BUN), blood cell count (erythrocytes, leucocytes, platelets, hematocrit), blood sugar after overnight fasting as well as an oral glucose tolerance test, creatine kinase (CK), blood lipids (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a), hormone concentrations (estrone, estradiol, testosterone (all total, bound and free), SHBG, LH, FSH).

Question: Considering that most users of AS typically Ďstackí compounds by using more than one AS simultaneously, one author suggests assaying for total, bound and free testosterone concentrations during any type of AS use . The reasoning for this is that regardless of the AS used the endpoint (i.e. the increase in the three chemistry measures) is still the same. Do you agree with this?

Dr. A: Yes I do because you will have a baseline of where you were before and where you should be. Also there is a balance between these values and I will know what that ratio is.

Dr. B: This guy must be on drugs. How can you get increases in testosterone with the use of anabolic steroids? They depress the HPTA and lower testosterone levels. The only time youíre going to get an increase in serum testosterones is if you use injectable/oral/topical testosterone.

Dr. C: No, I donít. In my experience most assays can discern between testosterone and synthetic analogues, meaning that while on a cycle of synthetic AS the testosterone concentrations will decrease markedly because of the negative feedback, while the concentration of the synthetic analogue will be high (if specifically measured). When using testosterone as the only steroid (will be the exception with women) measuring the testosterone concentrations would be sufficient. Evaluating the SHBG is sometimes useful as well, as AS decrease the binding protein markedly (esp. stanozolol). A lowered SHBG is a quite good marker if someone is taking AS (SHBG is below the reference range even after a few days of even low doses of AS).

Question: In light of #3, would use of the non-aromatizing AS change your response to the question? If so, what other markers would be informative?

Dr. A: No, you must also protect yourself as a physician.

Dr. C: The use of a non-aromatizing AS will lower the natural testosterone production as well, but not that markedly, because estradiol is a quite strong suppressor of LH/FSH release in the hypophysis, at least in men. Measuring the estradiol concentration will give a good picture of the aromatase activity in the body in men. Therefore, while on a cycle of non-aromatizing steroids, estradiol will be low (below normal because of lowered natural release). While on a cycle of aromatizing AS, estradiol will often be above the norm, depending on the aromatase activity in the body. In women estradiol also stems from the ovaries. If estradiol is increased in a female athlete one can also assume a high aromatization activity in the body, because the natural estradiol production in the ovaries is lowered while on AS.

Question: Prohormone use is typically considered benign in the weightlifting circles and their efficacy in men is debatable. Prohormone supplementation may result in greater increases in testosterone (or nortestosterone) in women because their baseline level of androgens is much lower than that of malesí and they exhibit preferential conversion of androstenedione to testosterone. What cautions would you specifically recommend for women who use prohormone supplementation?

Dr. A: Must have a baseline. Also some side effects are equal to the steroids, and believe it or not, keep a check on their moods. Also make sure you canít get pregnant. They are not benign they are active compounds that we still donít know enough about them.

Dr. B: The same as using anabolic steroids. Be careful of the virilizing effects. If you donít want your voice to deepen, more facial hair, less hair on top, and a bigger clitoris, then be very careful in using either the prohormones or AS.

Dr. C: I would advise a female athlete to start with a nor-testosterone prohormone, using low dosages in the first 2-3 weeks and watching herself carefully for signs of virilization (lowering of the voice, acne, increased body hair growth etc.). Keeping cycles short (4-6 weeks) with sufficient breaks should help to avoid such side effects. But every physician has to keep in mind that the onset of virilization symptoms can differ tremendously between women, depending on genetic factors and others.

Question: Reproduction function is a health concern for both men and women who use AAS. The most prevalent side effect of AS use by women is changes in menstrual cycles. Many women bodybuilders experience menstrual irregularities or amenorrhea (absence of menstrual cycle for six months or more). Are there differential effects based on the type of AS used, or is it primarily a dose and duration issue?

Dr. A: Actually both; what type how much and even route has a different effect

Dr. B: Dose and duration overshadow anything else.

Dr. C: In my experience the main factor is the individual responsiveness that determines the severity of symptoms. Besides that the androgenic index of a particular AS is very important to anticipate the magnitude of side effects. With testosterone esters or trenbolone side effects will occur the earliest and the most severe. But even with more anabolic steroids with a less androgenic index side effects will occur with a higher dose and longer duration of use. From empirical evidence the lowering of the voice is one of the earliest signs female athletes will encounter.

Question: What type of monitoring would be best for menstruation status?

Dr. A: A baseline here is important, and also you should know when you get those measurements so you are not measuring two different levels at different times.

Dr. B: Monitoring for menstrual status is useless while using anabolic steroids since any testing is meaningless. Attaining pre-steroid status should be the main concern regardless of the dosages used and duration of use.

Dr. C: Besides the reports of the female athletes, hormone concentrations of estradiol, progesterone, LH and FSH are important markers for menstruation status.

Question: Given the high propensity and prevalence of menstrual dysfunction occurring with AS use, what approaches can be used to normalize menstruation after cycles of AAS use? Which approach has the highest success?

Dr. A: It depends on the above and what your goals are after and how long. Sometimes you might not be able to fix somebody, and to normalize them you are forced to use hormones again, including HCG, estrogen, DHEA, test and progesterone and sometimes thyroid and herbs.

Dr. C: In my experience with female athletes there is no real pharmaceutical solution. In many cases just ceasing AS use and waiting for normalization of menstrual function is the most practical way.

Question: Loss of bone mineral density is highly associated with amenorrhea. Can any precautions be taken against loss of BMD?

Dr. A: No fucking way you are losing BMD during steroids, they are the best to increase BMD.

Dr. B: BMD is associated with levels of both estrogen and androgens Ė in both men and women.

Dr. C: I would advise the female athlete to pay attention to the acid balance of the body (use of buffering agents, e.g. potassium citrate) and to keep the intake of green veggies with a high calcium content high. On the other hand AS have high calcium retaining properties and females involved in strength sports have stronger bones, therefore I donít see a real concern about bone mineral density with females using AS.



Read more from this MESO-Rx article at: http://www.mesomorphosis.com/article...#ixzz1EQduH92a
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  #127  
Old 02-19-2011, 04:57 PM
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Steroid Use and Womenís Health
An interview with selected medical practitioners (Part 2)
Author: DIv Ha' DI bah



Question: How does AS cycle length correlate with symptom development of endocrine dysfunction (see above)? How does the duration of use compare with cycles commonly used by male athletes?

Dr. A: The duration is usually less and the amount less depending on the sport. The longer [the duration] the worse the side effects if you are going to have any, and also how much.

Dr. B: The more you take and the longer you take it , the more symptoms youíll have and the tougher it will be getting your system back to normal.

Dr. C: The cycle length is a very important factor for development of endocrine dysfunction. I would advise females to keep cycle length below 6 weeks for avoiding such side effects. In my opinion women should use AS for shorter periods than men with longer breaks, as my experience shows that hormonal imbalances are more severe with females.

Question: Virilization is partly dependent upon the androgenic properties of the AS used. However, the undesirable side effects also depend on dose and duration as well. It is suggested that some virilization is reversible and others irreversible. How can virilization such as hair growth and voice changes be minimized?

Dr. A: With lower dosages and shorter cycles, or using different type of AAS with lower androgenecity like anavar primo and winstrol. Remember though that side effects are dependant on genetic predisposition

Dr. B: First of all I find that there isnít much difference in the various anabolic steroid preparations if what youíre looking at is the anabolic response youíre getting. You need to take more of the less androgenic compounds to get the same anabolic effects as the more androgenic compounds. And when you take more of the less androgenic compounds you also get significant and comparable androgenic effects.

Dr. C: The most important point is to keep dosages low, cycle length short and breaks between cycles at least as long as the duration of the intake. The genetic susceptibility is probably the main factor for developing virilization symptoms. After onset of lowering of the voice or increased body hair growth AS use should be stopped immediately. In these cases the side effects are reversible nearly every time.

Question: Liver function and toxicity are a concern for any person using AS. The oral C-17 alkylated AS are more associated with liver toxicity than the injectable non-alkylated AS. What liver function (LF) markers should be monitored?

Dr. A: All, GGT, AST, Alt, alkaline phosphate, cholesterol, and even sometimes pancreatic enzymes .You can also monitor IGF-1 if you want to.

Dr. B: I usually recommend a liver function screen including several of the enzymes.

Dr. C: Important liver markers are GOT, GPT, GlDH, Cholinesterase, gamma-GT. Besides that a sonography of the abdomen twice a year helps to discover morphological changes (e.g. peliosis hepatis) of the liver early enough.

Question: Some LF markers are elevated in response to exercise. How does the clinician differentiate elevations in LF markers due to exercise and AS use?

Dr. A: That is why the baseline is so important; exercise, diet meds, sleeping and stress affect liver enzymes.

Dr. C: The muscle enzyme creatine kinase in the blood is important for differentiation between liver pathologies and elevated transaminases because of heavy training. A high creatine kinase coupled with moderately elevated GOT and GPT usually is just a sign of muscle cell damage and not of liver problems.

Question: Use of AS can lead to unfavorable changes in serum lipid profiles. Changes documented include increased LDL and decreased HDL; however, there is no consensus regarding detrimental changes in trigylceride and cholesterol levels. What lipid markers should be monitored?

Dr. A: All of the above and sometimes homocysteine and CRP. Cholesterol levels are affected though, depending how long and how much, usually come down. The total, that is. LDL does not truly increase but the ratio. Some people require little lipoprotein a.

Dr. B: The main ones are the LDL and HDL. If theyíre out of whack then measures should be taken to bring them in line. Total cholesterol and triglycerides levels are more affected by genetic predispositon and diet.

Dr. C: The triglyceride values are often increased with AS use as well, probably because of the decreased insulin sensitivity. A high intake of fish oil (10-15 g / day with 3-5 g of EPA + DHA) can counteract that effect in most cases. Usually the total cholesterol shows no change because the lowering of the HDL cholesterol fraction is of about the same magnitude as the increase of the LDL cholesterol fraction. Lipoprotein (a) (one of the detrimental blood lipids) often decreases while using AS and should be monitored as well.

Besides these lipid parameters, homocysteine and c-reactive protein should be monitored as well because of the importance of these markers for beginning arteriosclerosis.

Question: Apparently, there is some debate on the effect of AS on cardiac hypertrophy. Some case studies have reported hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy. However, studies also demonstrate that resistance training itself can induce cardiac hypertrophy independent of AS use. As well as in men, cardiac remodeling has been documented in female weight lifters. At what point should the clinician be concerned with cardiac remodeling? What type of test can be performed to track morphological changes?

Dr. A: You must have a baseline EKG, and if you have symptoms, then I will be concerned and I will order an echo or what I think is necessary depending on the symptoms.

Dr. B: Although several reports over the years have suggested that anabolic steroids have detrimental cardiac effects, Iím not convinced since studies in humans donít account for the many variables that can affect cardiac muscle, including the type of steroid used, stacking of steroids, genetic predisposition, etc. In fact itís quite possible that the cardiac remodeling that occurs secondary to steroid use may be protective since MI in males up to the age of 75 is associated with a more favorable outcome.

Dr. C: There should be a careful monitoring of heart morphology by sonography. Wall thicknesses (septum and posterior wall) as well as inner diameter of the left ventricle are important parameters. The ratio of the sum of septum as well as posterior wall thickness and inner diameter of the left ventricle (called hypertrophy index) is important for disclosing concentric heart enlargement. Besides that diastolic function as a marker of stiffness of the heart should be monitored.

Question: A meta-analysis of studies suggests that the type of resistance training program can influence the type of cardiac remodeling, demonstrated by changes in left ventricle (LV) geometry . Although nearly 40% of all resistance-trained athletes had normal LV geometry, eccentric hypertrophy was more associated with bodybuilders, whereas concentric hypertrophy was found more often in Olympic lifters. Powerlifting was associated with normal geometry. However, regardless of the type of resistance training, AS use tended to cause marked concentric hypertrophy. Is there any way to differentiate between cardiac hypertrophy induced by resistance training and by AS use?

Dr. A: No, only you have been working out for a while and you have baseline echos. In addition, that is why you must have a baseline before AAS.

Dr. C: In my experience the hypertrophy index of the heart (see above) in male athletes seldom reaches values above 42 % when examining strength athletes training without AS. AS use is often coupled with values between 42 % and 50 %.

Question: Are there any special implications of the above that pertain to women?

Dr. A: No, they are the same as men.

Dr. C: I donít have enough data about female athletes, but I suspect that the hypertrophy index is a useful diagnostic tool here as well. Values above 40 % with females would make me suspecting AS use.

Question: The belief that AS use increases risk or even causes cardiovascular heart disease prevails through the lay and medical communities. This is based on evidence suggesting that AS stimulates platelet aggregation, increased coagulation enzyme activity and coronary artery vasospasm. Another association reported by AS users is elevation in blood pressure. Are these symptoms and changes a concern for female as well as male users of AS?

Dr. A: Yes, it is, but because the dosages are smaller you see less side effects. But if you have any cardiac history in the family, then you must be very careful especially if a member like the father mother or siblings died at early age.

Dr. C: There is no reason to suspect that females shouldnít be concerned with these changes.

Question: Does polypharmacy, in other words, the use of other drugs along with AS, exacerbate the effects of AS on the heart?

Dr. A: Most definitely; the more drugs the more side effects.

Dr. C: The concomitant use of growth hormone, clenbuterol and high-dose thyroid hormones will probably exacerbate the side effects on the heart in male and female users of AS.

Question: How can persistent effects on the heart be ascertained after discontinuation of AS use?

Dr. A: Baseline EKGs, homocysteine, CRP, and stress test if necessary.

Dr. C: The probably best method for evaluating persistent effects on the heart is ultra sonography coupled with duplex sonography. With these methods wall-thickness and diastolic function should be measured. These are the most often detrimental changed parameters even after longer discontinuation of AAS use.

Question: AS use has been linked with some types of cancer in men. Tumors or carcinomas have been reported in the livers and prostates of men who were long-term AS users. A few cases of hepatic tumors were also reported in females prescribed androgens for therapeutic purposes. In vitro studies associate androgen levels with increased proliferation and decreased cell death. Epidemiological studies show a correlation between high androgen levels and increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer disease . Do you feel that increased cancer risk is a concern for female AS users?

Dr. A: No, unless using IGF-1, GH or insulin combination, or if you have a cancer history that is dependent on hormonal properties like breast cancer.

Dr. C: In my opinion there is not enough data for women up to now to draw definite conclusions and there wonít be in the next years because of the lack of long-term studies. But the possibility for an increased cancer risk certainly exists in female users.

Question: As with the use of any injection, there is a concern about diseases associated with injectable AS agents. Hepatitis C, B and HIV have been associated with people who inject AS (hepatitis more prevalent) . Would you recommend testing for these diseases?

Dr. A: Unless you are a fucking moron, I donít see why. The only one I will worry about is infection at the site.

Dr. B: You donít have to test for them if youíre not stupid. Donít share bottles or needles! On the other hand in the past few years there have been at least two reports of septic shock and a gluteal mass in bodybuilders using AS. Also keep in mind that any injection results in a local inflammatory response and scarring, with the degree of both depending on response to both the drug injected and the medium the drug is dissolved/suspended in.

Dr. C: In my experience needle sharing between female athletes is very seldom. Iíd ask the athlete if she was sharing needles in the past and if not, I wonít test for these diseases.

Question: The lay opinion is that AS use induces mood changes and aggressive behavior. Psychiatric symptoms reported range from mania to hypomania and depression to addiction. The debate in the literature centers on objectivity in studies. It cannot be discounted that individuals with a positive psychiatric history may be more susceptible to changes in mood and aggression. Additionally, tendency of use and/or abuse of AS may be higher in individuals with pre-existing psychiatric disorders. Dr. Robert Sapolsky at Stanford University once commented on the issue of testosteroneís effects on mood and behavior: "Itís like turning up the volume of the noise on the radio." What can the clinician be aware of or watchful for that may indicate negative psychological effects or addiction?

Dr. A: This is the must common side effect that I see in any AS user, not physical but emotional: depression, lack of sleep and more aggressiveness. Is this due to the type of person that uses AAS? I donít think so because I see this with prohormones also.

Dr. B: Iíve been careful to downplay the psychological and addictive effects of steroids since itís so overplayed in the media and in articles. Itís true that the use of anabolic steroids may accentuate aggressive and other tendencies, but part of this is a result of the "expectation" that steroids will do this. Also the increase in confidence coupled with changes brought about by intense exercise will also contribute to the changes that people feel in their confidence and ability to handle things.

Dr. C: This kind of effect is very difficult to determine. I think that talking to the relatives of the athlete gives the best impression. In many cases AS using women donít recognize their mood changing themselves. Therefore, asking persons who are in a close contact with the female athlete about behavior changes is the best way to go. Unfortunately it is often very difficult to get in contact with friends or relatives of the patient.

Dr. D: There are numerous self-report measures that have been used to pick up on changes in affect, cognition, or self-reported behavior. Note, however, that to use these on a continuous basis assumes close and ongoing monitoring of psychological health in the same manner that one would want to monitor physical health during cycles in the most optimal circumstance. Several different measures that involve self-ratings of positive and negative affect and reports of cognition and behavior might show the onset of changes in psychological function. However, the correlations between these measures and behavior, for instance, the relationship among measures of hostility or aggression and actual aggressive behavior, is not that high. Studies that have shown changes in measures of psychological function, including aggression, have not found concomitant increases in observations of aggressive behavior by clinicians or others close to the proband. Nonetheless, optimal close monitoring might also involve others in the individualís social network that can provide more objective reports of behavior changes.

Regarding addiction, given that AS are not addictive in the sense that they have strong psychoactive effects nor do they seem to create a physiological dependence, indicators of addiction are likely to be more behavioral in nature. Psychological addiction to AS is likely to manifest itself in the inability to maintain scheduled dosage and on/off cycles due to disruptions in body image and other self-evaluations during off cycles and subsequent emotional disturbances associated with these changes. The best means for monitoring this possibility will, as above, involve long term monitoring of the psychological health of the user and their ability to maintain any prescribed regimen. In this case, clinicians might also best monitor ongoing reports of body image disturbance, as well as track dosing patterns in relation to preplanned regimens. Any deviations from dosing plan, or planned off periods, changes in body perception, might signal the beginning of a psychological reliance on AS.

The author thanks the interviewees for their candid responses. Hopefully this article will partially fill the gap in providing women with credible information on the use of AS and associated health concerns. However, this does not replace personal and individualized monitoring and counseling by a practicing medical caretaker. Nevertheless, any individual, male or female, should educate themselves before deciding to experiment with AS.

Footnotes:

Aitken, C., C. Delalande, et al. (2002). "Pumping iron, risking infection? Exposure to hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV among anabolic-androgenic steroid injectors in Victoria, Australia." Drug Alcohol Depend 65(3): 303-8.

Edmondson, R. J., J. M. Monaghan, et al. (2002). "The human ovarian surface epithelium is an androgen responsive tissue." Br J Cancer 86(6): 879-85.

Haykowsky, M. J., R. Dressendorfer, et al. (2002). "Resistance training and cardiac hypertrophy: unravelling the training effect." Sports Med 32(13): 837-49.

Kutscher, E. C., B. C. Lund, et al. (2002). "Anabolic steroids: a review for the clinician." Sports Med 32(5): 285-96.



Read more from this MESO-Rx article at: http://www.mesomorphosis.com/article...#ixzz1EQeAioQq
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  #128  
Old 02-20-2011, 04:52 AM
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GREAT information... thank you




Quote:
Once you reach a level of muscularity you're satisfied with (using steroids), how do you maintain that level? Can you use the drugs less frequently than you did during the "building up" stage? Or does it mostly depend on which specific drugs you're using, since the "keepable gains" associated with each seem to be different?

Also, I've read that people feel way stronger and more vigorous etc. on steroids than off... does it feel really bad (psychologically) to cycle off them every time? Do you feel smaller when you're not actively taking anything?
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:34 AM
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Thank you Jill for sharing your knowledge and expertise.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:30 AM
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X2! Thank you!
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  #131  
Old 02-20-2011, 11:23 AM
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Thanks Jill !
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  #132  
Old 02-21-2011, 01:30 PM
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"Once you reach a level of muscularity you're satisfied with (using steroids), how do you maintain that level? Can you use the drugs less frequently than you did during the "building up" stage? Or does it mostly depend on which specific drugs you're using, since the "keepable gains" associated with each seem to be different?

Also, I've read that people feel way stronger and more vigorous etc. on steroids than off... does it feel really bad (psychologically) to cycle off them every time? Do you feel smaller when you're not actively taking anything? "


Anon Answer:

Quote:
I can only speak for me people have different abilities for building and holding muscle.

Yes, you can hold it all. I have only done 2 mild off season cycles when I was taking time off from competing, both 8 weeks. One was 10 mg var, 100 primo every 6 and the other was 20 mg var 100 primo every 5 or 6 (I can't remember precisely). Then I did one 6 week turanibol - I didn't like the rebound of estrogen that I got when I came off also didn't feel got as much out of it as the var/primo. Now I only use in contest and for a few weeks after as I slowly taper off everything.

Yes, you do feel better while on, just like men and women who get testosterone therapy as they age. When coming off nothing drastic like depression or losing a bunch of size happened to me. You will not look as hard, may lose some strength (depending on compound). I have lost no size and continue to make progress.

I do feel stronger on, but not significantly - this likely depends on compound and dosage - but I don't lose much strength once off.

I know someone else who has been off for 2 years and has lost no size because she continues to train and eat the same.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:20 PM
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Question for Anonymous Responders:

Quote:
Would it be possible for people to mention what they compete in (Fitness, Figure, FBB, etc)? It would be helpful (to at least me) to see what gals are doing in their field that they compete, when I read these I'm always wondering except for a few that idenify themselves. That would be so helpful! Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:41 PM
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Thx guys - fwiw - these are many of the same questions that have been posted on muscle boards for the last 10+ years.

Last edited by sassy69 : 02-21-2011 at 06:28 PM.
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  #135  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Once you reach a level of muscularity you're satisfied with (using steroids), how do you maintain that level? Can you use the drugs less frequently than you did during the "building up" stage? Or does it mostly depend on which specific drugs you're using, since the "keepable gains" associated with each seem to be different?

Also, I've read that people feel way stronger and more vigorous etc. on steroids than off... does it feel really bad (psychologically) to cycle off them every time? Do you feel smaller when you're not actively taking anything? "
You run cycles for a purpose. Steroids are not 'addicting' but because you are playing w/ your hormone levels they produce a sense of well-being, confidence, ability to recover faster, some actually act to rebuild e.g. connective tissue, and some people who have a natural imbalance of estro / test or progest may find that running a cycle "fixes" that imbalance. The problem w/ all of these is that they are NOT a maintenance state of being. You may want it to be, but the reality is that jacked up hormone profiles are only good for a period of time - over time the sides can start to become an issue - you're never in homeostasis w/ an exogenous hormone source coming into play and the effects over time ... always remember ain't nuttin for free. At some point the blood pressure, the impact on your liver, possibly the suppression of estrogen, whatever it is that makes you love being on cycle, will eventually hit a point where the sides outweight the results.

That said, repeating, you run cycles for a purpose. If you're going to bother self-medicating w/ male hormones, you should both support your body for the stress it will go thru (i.e. don't drink, diet clean, etc.) and also work it for everything its worth while running the cycle. AAS generally allows improved recovery so you can get away w/ more. Some people see AAS is the 'magic bullet' and will get lazy and sloppy in their diet & training, expecting the AAS to do all the heavy lifting. Instead, AAS is only a supplement to an already solid & consistent diet & training program. I.e.if you get sloppy in your diet, you may find yourself just getting 'thicker' instead of the leaner you were looking for.

Coming off cycle you also have to give consideration to your body - you won't be able to recover as quickly as you were used to, the AAS may have 'masked' some of the wear & tear that comes from a sudden increase in heavier weightlifting or stresses on the weaker links - your joints, tendons & ligaments. Certain AAS support growth of connective tissue - so when you come off, that effect may not be in place so you'd want to adjust your lifting in response to what your body can handle w/o the support of the AAS. You may also not have that sense of well-being. If you used an AI / SERM, you may need to wait for your estrogen cycle to find balance again. Basically it takes some time for your body / hormone profile to adjust back to homeostasis. Just as going "on" is your own personal experiment, coming "off" is also your own personal experiment. One thing you should do going into a cycle is mentally step back and just "observe" the changes in your body. Some are subtle - they can be emotional, physical, mood changing, sleep affecting, etc. Just like on low-carb day or TOTM, its important to become aware of changes due to your cycle, and then learn to manage it all. This is another dimension of YOU being responsible for your cycle. Your body, your moods, your view of yourself, your results, your sides.

In terms of maintaining results - for women, because of the tendency to stay away from highly aromatizing compounds and short cycles, that leaves more time for the body to accommodate the changes produced - basically your body will maintain the results that it has adjusted itself to support. For example, if you decide you want to follow an extreme starvation diet to "lose weight by next week" - expect to rebound at equal to or greater than where you started. You've not given your body enough time to respond to the change in diet and also adjust metabolism in response to it based on what it perceives as its "typical" amount of fuel (food) and energy demands (consistent exercise). Same way you see guys bulk up 30 lb in a month on something that also retains water to create that environement for muscle building, and then come off and deflate by 20 lb.

Once you come off, you won't have the anabolic or androgenic support you used this or that compound for - so you can't expect to maintain exactly as you were on. But you can keep the amount of results not immediately supported by the presence of the higher androgen level w/ diet & training. It is sort of a balance of eating for your goals and managing the amount of bodyfat resulting once you come off.

Just like competition prep- this is an ongoing cycle - you never really reach "the destination". If you keep giving your body an environment to respond to (i.e. diet & training for your goals), it will continue to respond. Over time, your body will adjust to repeating the same diet / training approach - i.e. you may not get the same results every time because your body is always changing. Over time, if you are consistent, you get the added effect of muscle maturity, and over years, you trade youth for muscle maturity. Over time your natural hormone profile also changes, so even that is always in flux. There are constant changes, refinement, improvement, down time, recovery time, up time, etc. Just like going into vs coming out of a competition prep - you have to deal w/ the changes and come to terms with them. You choose to run cycles to achieve an end goal, just like you choose to train or follow a diet for an end goal. Not how you feel DURING. If you're cycling because you "like the feel of it", then you're taking the wrong approach to cycling. If you're cycling because you "feel small", then you're taking the wrong approach to cycling. Part of the cycle is to come off and let your body recover. The art of cycling is balancing the results you want w/ the impact to your body - frankly same as dieting. Its the journey, not the destination.
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  #136  
Old 02-23-2011, 04:40 PM
fitchick10 fitchick10 is offline
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Default anavar

can you guys tell me if you liked the anavar? side effects? would you take anavar or winstrol w/ clen during prep?
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  #137  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitchick10 View Post
can you guys tell me if you liked the anavar? side effects? would you take anavar or winstrol w/ clen during prep?
Prep for? bbing? fit? fig?

Side affects have been gone over and vary person to person and with doseage and length of time used

In general for prep
clen slight fat burning affect, slightly anti catabolic so will help retain muscle

Anavar - retain muscle, fuller rounder muscles, better recovery

Winstrol - retain muscle, dryer and harder look probably way too much for figure, more chance of sides some women love it others hate it

If it is first time only one substance should be used so you know how body reacts

Also I am a firm believer in not using anything until one has trained and eating the right way for a long time - years and done their research
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  #138  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:01 AM
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^^ everything Suzanne said.

You can read up on any compound, google <compound name>, steroid profile. You can usualy find these things at steroid.com or something. Read them. The profiles are written mostly w/ men in mind, but they will usually give a few lines for women - but pay attention to the side effects - ANY of them are possible, so you need to be aware of what can happen and be prepared to deal w/ it. If you dont' like the acne or the voice change or whatever, tough shit. Even if you stopped immediately, it will take at least a good month before the sides start subsiding while the compound clears your system. Anavar is generally much more predictable. Winstrol can be about the same as var, but it also has the potential to be much more androgenic, depending upon how you individually, react to it. Also note that winstrol tends to dry your joints. Pretty much all AAS will interrupt your period for a while.
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  #139  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:12 AM
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keep in mind w winny that you will see different effects from oral to injectable. IMO ..say NO to oral. much harsher for liver and HDL/LDL. i have seen more skin issues...cystic acne etc.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:45 AM
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QUESTION

Does anyone know what drug testing is conducted at Team U for figure competitors? Which competitors do they test and what do they test for?
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