Mez Guide to Virilisation

By /u/MezDez

It is a well known fact that oral steroids, SARMs, and androgens in general are a negative regulator of SHBG. SHBG is what causes the discrepancy between Free and Total levels of sex hormone (DHT, Testosterone, Estrogen).

In women, Estrogen is dominate. Estrogen is a positive regulator of SHBG. Meaning that it increases SHBG significantly to the point where there is almost negligible amounts of free levels of DHT and Testosterone.

In cases of hyperinsulinemia and PCOS, we have issues related to low SHBG. Insulin is also a negative regulator of SHBG. In cases of insulin resistance, we can see virilisation forming in females. This is also applicable to PCOS.

If the said androgen has low androgenic activity, it doesn't make it safe for women persay. In Fact, it is related to how potently it lowers SHBG, rather than its activity on the androgen receptor, however androgenic profile of a steroid is also important to observe.

For example, Anadrol is considered strong anabolic androgen. But, it can be used in females and has less propensity for the development of virilisation than Anavar. Why? this topic is not studied anywhere, but it could be related to how Anadrol increases estrogen levels by the virtue of liver enzyme inhibition. Anadrol was given to females in doses of 100mg-150mg without any virilisation [1]. It appears SHBG plays a big role here as Anadrol does not occupy SHBG [2].

Also, some steroids at face value appear very beneficial for women, for example Nandrolone. Because Nandrolone has DHN as an active metabolite which actually acts as an partial agonist of androgen receptors in localised androgenic tissue, meaning it blocks the effect of DHT. If by this mechanism alone, Nandrolone would be the best steroid for women. But, Nandrolone is also an inhibitor of 21-hydroxylase, which mimics a disorder called congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency which results in excess androgen levels (females born with this enzyme defect have ambiguous genitalia and masculine features due to excess androgen signalling).

We have to look at the entire mechanism of a steroid before we can safely advise it to be used for females. Steroids in general, due to their steroidal backbone, appear to affect multiple systems rather than the one sort after (androgen agonist).

DHT has no role in females. Females born with a defect in 5-alpha reductase do not exhibit any difference to normal females. Except they have less body hair.

When we lower SHBG by the virtue of using a SARM (very potent SHBG inhibitor), or other oral steroids, what we cause is an increase levels of free levels of testosterone, which will then become subjected to 5-AR in androgenic tissues causing excess DHT. both free and total levels.

DHT is also a Estrogen antagonist. It acts to block the effects of estrogen in androgenic tissues. like breast, brain, skin, sex organs..

SARMs also significantly lower estrogen levels in females. Similar to how it lowers testosterone in males (inverse relationship) [3].

So, we have issues now. Low SHBG = High free circulating DHT and Testosterone. DHT can metabolise further to more androgens. Estrogen is lowered already, and with DHT in the picture we have an environment of androgen dominance. This will ensure virilisation effect, independent of the compound being an androgen agonist.

So what can we do here?

  1. Take birth control pills to increase SHBG and counter the SHBG inhibition of steroids. This will also increase estrogen receptor activation. It is prefered to use actual estradiol rather than Birth Control combined with progesterones, because synthetic progesterones are evil and has more side effects than anything, same with synthetic estrogens.
  2. take 2.5mg Finasteride split AM/PM everyday. This will inhibit a good portion of potential testosterone -> DHT.
  3. Take supplements that effectively lower androgen levels, such as Spearmint.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8785183

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6539197

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3177038/table/Tab5/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171668/

^ this source will provide you an understanding of the role of sex hormones in men and women

[5] https://www.reddit.com/r/steroids/comments/5sd7sp/anadrol_for_women/