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Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson will describe the negative effects of anabolic steroids that are used for muscle building.

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Source: Anabolic Steroid Image; Public Domain:

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Welcome to this lesson today on anabolic steroids. We will be discussing what anabolic steroids are, how and why they're used, and the effects that they have on the people who use them.

So anabolic steroids are something that you may be familiar with. They've become quite popular in recent years on the news for athletes who have been using them to enhance their performance.

So because of that, they've become illegal. They're now illegal for anybody to use. And the sports industry has been regulating it more stringently because of that.

So anabolic steroids are something that athletes or people will use in order to enhance their physical performance or to build muscle. So the word anabolic refers to the ability to help build muscle. Anabolic steroids help a person build more muscle.

And basically they're just a synthetic substance that mimics testosterone. And testosterone is the male sex hormone. And people who take anabolic steroids will either take them orally, or they can inject themselves with the steroid, basically, as I said, to build muscle and enhance their physical performance.

So as I mentioned, this is something that's very popular, especially among athletes or bodybuilders because they really want to enhance that performance and build that muscle.

So anabolic steroids can have very negative effects on the body. So some general effects that they have is that they can include liver damage, jaundice, infertility, baldness, high blood pressure, liver and kidney tumors, aggressive behavior, mood swings, and depression.

So if you think about these, these are some pretty serious side effects. And some of these can be life-threatening and irreversible.

And it's not only males that take anabolic steroids. We most often, in the news, hear about male athletes and their problems with anabolic steroids. But females can also be known to take steroids as well.

So we're going to take a look at some male specific and female specific side effects. So aside from these effects that we had mentioned up here, some male specific effects are that it can cause the male to have reduced sperm count and increased risk of prostate cancers. Males can actually develop breasts, and their testicles will shrink because of the use of these steroids.

And with females, because they're injecting themselves with this male sex hormonal-- will have side effects such as growing facial hair, an abnormal menstrual cycle, a deepened voice, and baldness. So as I mentioned, these side effects can range from very, very serious ones to ones that are more on the surface but still not side effects that a person would want to deal with.

So this lesson has been an overview on the uses and side effects of anabolic steroids.

Terms to Know
Anabolic Steroids

A substance that mimics testosterone used to build muscle and enhance physical performance.


A disorder associated with liver function that can be caused by use of steroids.


An organ of the body often affected by the use of steroids.


The male sex hormone that is mimicked in many steroids.