The study was conducted to analyze the histology of the ovaries of adults rats treated with steroids, and submitted or not to physical effort. The control group consisted of females submitted to physical effort and sedentary females, both of which received a physiological solution of 0.9% saline. Treated females, sedentary or not, received 6 mg/kg of body weight of nandrolone decanoate. The steroid and physiological solution were administered intraperitoneally, with a single injection per week for 4 consecutive weeks. The applied physical effort was swimming (20 minutes daily, 5 days/week, for the 4 weeks of treatment). Serial sections (5 mum) of ovaries were prepared for histological evaluation and follicular score. The weight of ovaries and hypophysis, the number of antral and atretic follicles, and the area of corpus luteum were all affected by the steroids. In the ovaries of the control groups, well-developed corpus luteum was observed. In the treated groups, the cortical stroma was occupied by ovarian interstitial tissue. The females treated with steroids presented estral acyclicity. The use of nandrolone decanoate, whether associated with physical effort or not, affected the morphological pattern of the ovaries.