Gynecomastia and Other Harmful Effects of Using Steroids

Talk of steroids has been in the news quite a bit lately, what with Barry Bonds dominating the sporting world with suspicion of his steroid usage and the recent discovery of pitcher Jason Grimsley having access to substances banned by Major League Baseball. It is hard to fathom why these players would tempt fate and the wrath of the league, but the temptation of performing better must far outweigh the consequences. Whether or not these players know the harmful effects of steroids are unknown, but there are many that affect both men and women.

People use steroids to gain muscle mass and become bigger. Coupled with the increased muscle mass is a rise in bone growth, and an increase in one’s appetite. There are many reasons as to why someone would choose to use steroids, but it would appear that anyone that uses steroids has learned of its harmful effects at some point in his/her life. Nonetheless, the apparent results allow users to take the chance, when the odds are not in their favor. Listed below are the harmful effects of steroid use in both men and women.

Men experience harmful effects that, essentially, strip them of their masculinity. The increase of estrogen allows the men who use steroids to obtain more female features.

• Men can receive abnormal breast growth, called Gynecomastia.
• Men’s testicles can shrink in size and also cease to function. This is called testicular atrophy.
• Prostate cancer is another potential side effect of steroid use.

Women, just like men, receive side effects that have resulted in an increase of testosterone.

• There is an increase in body hair…and that includes the face as well.
• The voice deepens, which is something not particularly attractive to males.
• Enlarged clitoris (clitoral hypertrophy)
• Temporary decrease in menstrual cycles – something most women would enjoy, but not at the expense of the other effects.

Adolescents choose to take steroids much of the time because the demand to be successful in high school sports is quite high in some places. One’s penis may grow, but there are effects that will damage one’s body for the rest of one’s life.
No high school sport is important enough to potentially ruin one’s body for life. The problem there is that pro sports now look at high school stars as potential stars on major league rosters. If a student has the ability to make millions of dollars, I would imagine that student would take any measures to ensure that future.

• Stunted growth
• Accelerated bone maturation
• Slight beard growth – although some young guys would be jumping at the chance to grow a beard to possibly impress the ladies, this is not the most ideal way to do so.
These last side effects affect anyone who chooses to use steroids. They are not favorable by any means, and should act as a great deterrent to using them.
• Higher blood pressure
• Cholesterol – Increased LDL, decreased HDL levels.
• Acne – it forms all over the body and is especially rampant on one’s back. A first-person account, and former teammate of Barry Bonds, told ESPN the Magazine in a past issue that Bonds’ back was completely covered by acne at one point.

• Potential infertility and reduced sexual function.
• Premature baldness (conversion to DHT, or Dihydrotestosterone) – on a side note to the men, women do not normally find bald men the most desirable, whether or not they have larger muscles.
• Increased aggression – can also lead to other psychiatric conditions that result in violence.
• Enlarged heart – this can lead to heart conditions later in one’s life, and with an enlarged heart, no heart problem is left out.
• Liver damage

This is the best one could do to deter anyone from using steroids. Hopefully these harmful and sometimes disgusting effects would help one struggling to decide if one should use steroids or not. If these do not stop anyone from using steroids, then I feel there is no hope for that person and he/she will have to learn the dangers of steroids on his/her own.