Will using steroids improve your athletic performance?
The short answer is that it depends on your sport but probably. Performance enhancing drugs can give you an advantage provided you put in the work to improve your skills. These products will allow you to train harder, more often and recover better than you would if you didn’t use them. In sports that have weight classes, PEDs can potentially make it easier to make a lower weight class while maintaining muscle mass and strength.
Will using steroids expose you to permanent and potentially lethal side effects?
The short answer again yes. The longer answer is yes but no one can tell you exactly what the chances are for you. Data on long-term use of anabolic steroids is very limited and most information is anecdotal in nature.
Specific side effects vary based on the chemical entity used, genetic predisposition, dose, length of time “on” and many of patient specific factors. Potential side effects include: DVTs, changes in mood, dermatological changes, hair loss, gynocomastia, changes in libido, changes in the ability to naturally produce testosterone, and others. The FDA considers testosterone products to be generally regarded as safe and effective (GRASE) when used in a manner consistent with their labeling.
There are also concerns independent of the steroid. For injectables, are you using clean needles and aseptic technique? Are you really getting what the label says? Pharmacies in Mexico, Canada and around the world all have the potential to dispense counterfeit products (it happens in the USA but very infrequently). Ordering online is a crap shoot. Do you trust whomever you’re buying from enough to ingest what they’re selling you?
Disclaimer: The information provided is of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional that is familiar with you and your circumstances (for instance your primary care physican).