Steroid hormones modulate development, reproduction and communication in eukaryotes. The widespread occurrence and persistence of steroid hormones have attracted public attention due to their endocrine-disrupting effects on both wildlife and human beings. Bacteria are responsible for mineralizing steroids from the biosphere. Aerobic degradation of steroid hormones relies on O2 as a co-substrate of oxygenases to activate and to cleave the recalcitrant steroidal core ring. To date, two oxygen-dependent degradation pathways – the 9,10-seco pathway for androgens and the 4,5-seco pathways for oestrogens – have been characterized. Under anaerobic conditions, denitrifying bacteria adopt the 2,3-seco pathway to degrade different steroid structures. Recent meta-omics revealed that microorganisms able to degrade steroids are highly diverse and ubiquitous in different ecosystems. This review also summarizes culture-independent approaches using the characteristic metabolites and catabolic genes to monitor steroid biodegradation in various ecosystems.