A couple of hours away from the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka young girls are being pulled into a degrading life of prostitution, torture and forced ingestion of steroids.

In the small town of Tangail, 800 women including teenage girls have been trapped in prostitution for years.

Teenage brothels are an open secret in Bangladesh despite the inhuman treatment of the girls, including forced ingestion of a drug used to fatten up cows called Oradexon. The girls are forced to use the drug to stay "stronger and healthier".

"My sardarni forced me to take a tablet. She beat me up and stopped giving food," Hashi, a prostitute, who has a four-year-old son staying with relatives, told Reuters.

"She threatened me and reminded me about my loans.In this brothel, customers always look for healthy girls. I take Oradexon. I need customers so I can pay my bills and loans.

"If I don't get any customers one day, I cannot eat the next. I wish to save some money for my son," she said.

According to the BBC, a survey carried out by ActionAid in two brothels found Oradexon to be extremely addictive and harmful. It says the pills can have a detrimental affect on hormones, cause high blood pressure, skin rashes and liver damage.

Over time, the drug can damage a woman's immune system and three users are believed to have died. A campaign has been launched warning against its dangers.

Seventeen-year-old prostitute Hashi, embraces a Babu, her 'husband', inside her small room at Kandapara brothel in Tangail, northeastern Bangladesh
Seventeen-year-old prostitute Hashi, embraces a Babu, her 'husband', inside her small room at Kandapara brothel in Tangail, northeastern BangladeshReuters
Cow steroid Oradexon is used to fatten up the girls for clients
Cow steroid Oradexon is used to fatten up the girls for clientsReuters
Hashi waits for business
Hashi waits for businessReuters
Once forced into prostitution in Bangladesh, girls such as Hashi find it impossible to escape
Once forced into prostitution in Bangladesh, girls such as Hashi find it impossible to escapeReuters
There are hundreds of sex slaves in Tangail
There are hundreds of sex slaves in TangailReuters
A customer pretends to resist Hashi's advances
A customer pretends to resist Hashi's advancesReuters
Health and hygiene are not high on the agenda at the Bangladesh child brothels
Health and hygiene are not high on the agenda at the Bangladesh child brothelsReuters
Seventeen-year-old Hashi smokes a cigarette
Seventeen-year-old Hashi smokes a cigaretteReuters
Sixteen-year-old prostitute Maya waits for a customer
Sixteen-year-old prostitute Maya waits for a customerReuters