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Transgender Hormone Replacement Therapy

Megan P.

HRT for trans and other gender-variant people is hormone therapy that involves the administration of sex hormones with the intention of getting individuals’ gender expression as close as possible to their gender identity.

During cross-sex hormone therapy, hormone prescription medication has so many proven benefits to help make the process of transitioning easier.

Not only that, but hormone therapy also provides easement to those who do not wish to undergo surgery or make a social gender role transition.

Gender dysphoria is such a prevalent occurrence and thanks to modern medical care, the gap between biology and identity can be bridged.


Treatments For Young People And Children

A child or young person will receive psychological treatment instead of medical treatment at first.

Puberty changes the chemistry of the body to a great extent, so this is more of a precautionary decision made by gender identity clinics to ensure positive psychological effects in each patient.

Firstly, the young person will be seen and evaluated by a team in the clinic that includes a child psychologist, psychotherapist, family therapist, social worker, and child psychiatrist.

These counseling sessions, which include counseling for parents, will take place over a span of several months.

Hereafter, the next options for the patients include parental counseling, child psychotherapy, family therapy, and frequent reviews on the development in gender identity of the young person.

A referral to a mental health doctor may be done in the case of more severe emotional issues.

Doctors may also contact hormone specialists to prescribe hormone blockers for young people who meet unyielding criteria.

Hormone blockers are combined with psychological support before puberty becomes evident.


Puberty Blockers

Puberty blockers put the physical changes associated with puberty on hold. Such changes may include the growth of facial hair and breast development.

The long terms side effects of changing hormone levels in children are not definitively clear.

The physical implications of altering sex hormones seem to be reversible, but the psychological effects are still vague.

The child may experience weakness, hot flushes, and mood alterations when they start hormone therapy.

Cross-sex hormones

After a period of at least a year, a teenager who has been receiving hormone blockers may start administering cross-sex hormones.

Cross-sex hormones will bring about more permanent changes in young people.

If patients take oestrogen, breast development might occur. In contrast, patients taking testosterone will experience a deeper voice.

Each individual will have a varied personal experience when going through hormone therapy, but research strongly suggests that infertility is a very valid consequence of cross-sex hormone therapy.


Adult Gender Identity Services

From the age of 17 and up, patients may be administered to adult gender identity clinics.

By this stage, most of the doubt concerning a patients’ gender dysphoria will have been either eradicated or confirmed and a diagnosis can be made more confidently.

A gender dysphoria clinic can offer a variety of means for support. This involves psychological support and cross-sex hormone therapy.

Voice therapy aids patients in learning how to speak and sound more like the gender they identify with.

Hormone Therapy For Adults

Hormone therapy is one of many treatments involved in the health and happiness of patients with gender dysphoria.

Hormone prescriptions need to be administered for the rest of the patient’s life, and the treatment does take a couple of months to really come into effect, so be patient.

The goal of hormone therapy is to alleviate complications and promote comfort and satisfaction in someone who wants to transition.

There are, however, certain traits that cannot be changed during this process. Anthropometric measurements such as height and broadness will remain constant.

Private prescriptions will consist of hormone enhancers as well as hormone suppressors to keep those less desirable hormones at bay.

It is crucial to do your research and retrieve further information on your private gender clinic as well as the risks involved in hormone-altering services and the treatment you will receive.  

Some of the risks of treatment may include but are not limited to:
  • Gallstones
  • Irregular lipid levels found in the blood tests
  • Weight gain
  • Blood clots
  • An increase in enzymes found in the liver
  • Balding

You are strongly advised to have a very transparent relationship with your private provider as many medical and genetic factors contribute to the success levels of your hormone prescription and treatment.

Prior to receiving hormone therapy, a series of blood tests will be done to accurately ensure good health will be maintained.

Blood tests will be done at the clinic itself and just gives the specialists a deeper insight into the chemical makeup of your body.

These blood tests will include prolactin, Oestradiol, Testosterone, fasting glucose, and liver function test among others.

Many transgender patients are concerned about the consequence of infertility. This is not something that should hinder you from pursuing your gender identity. Therefore, consider harvesting and storing your egg or sperm cells.

Expect these changes with trans-feminine hormone therapy:
  • Your skin will be softer and not as oily as usual.
  • Fat will be redistributed in your body to form a more feminine shape in your body.
  • You may experience a decrease in libido.
  • You will start developing breasts.
  • Your hair will grow slower.
  • You may feel more emotional but also calm.
Expect These Changes With Trans-masculine Hormone Therapy:
  • You will have a stronger appetite.
  • Your voice will deepen.
  • You will experience an increase in muscle mass.
  • Acne may occur as a consequence of a more oily skin.
  • Your libido will increase.
  • You will start growing hair on your body and face.

Surgical Procedures For Adults

Some trans people may wish to permanently alter not only their hormones but also their biological sex to align with their gender identity by undergoing surgery.

The doctors at your gender dysphoria clinic will make suggestions and referrals to expert surgeons who are competent in your particular field of interest.

Surgery For Trans Men

Subcutaneous Mastectomy procedures involve the removal of breasts and the repositioning of nipples to create a natural-looking male chest.

In addition to chest procedures, gender surgery further entails the construction of a penis as well as a scrotum. This genitalia is then surgically implanted into trans men.

The female womb, fallopian tubes, and ovaries can also be removed if the patient would prefer it.

Facial Masculinization

The general features associated with a male face will have to be recreated.

A surgical clinic will provide the service for implantation which will leave you with a more masculine appearance and feeling confident in your gender.


Surgery For Trans Women

For a woman to permanently change her body to fit her gender identity, a few things need to happen.

  1. The surgical removal of the testes, known as an orchidectomy.
  2. The removal of the penis, known as a penectomy.
  3. The construction of a vagina, known as a vaginoplasty.
  4. The construction of vulva, known as a vulvoplasty.
  5. The construction of a clitoris, known as a clitoroplasty.
Breast Augmentation

Although the patient’s hormones have changed immensely by this stage and breast tissue may have developed, the size will most likely remain very small.

If the patient is concerned about this, breast augmentation surgery is advised. This will improve the size as well as the shape of the breasts.

Facial feminization

These services are prioritized in trans healthcare and can be extremely helpful to support someone in looking and feeling like the gender they identify with.

These surgeries adjust facial features in size and shape to appear naturally feminine.

Surgery will include adjusting and reshaping some bones and soft tissue of the neck and the face. The hairline will be lowered and the forehead lifted to have a more womanly appeal. The brows will be contoured and the lips may be enlarged.

Cheek implants often lead to a more lifted and vibrant look. It goes without saying that Adam’s apple should be corrected. The nose and chin will be reshaped.

Hair removal by a laser will get rid of all that nosy facial hair to leave you looking smooth and graceful.


You Have Transitioned!

You did it. You received your gender recognition certificate, you got the treatment, and you finally express the gender you truly are inside.

Be proud. Be ecstatic. Own it!

The hard part is over, now you just have to maintain your health.

Here Are Some Pointers On How To Ensure Sustainability:

  • Frequently visit your personal doctor to monitor your hormone levels.
  • Be safe and still use contraception if you didn’t undergo gender surgery.
  • If you are a trans male, be sure to undergo frequent screening of your cervix and breast tissue.
  • Make sure your dentist and optician are aware that you are receiving hormone therapy as this may affect different aspects of your health as well.
  • Trans-feminine individuals are advised to go for routine breast screens from the age of 50 up to the age of 70.

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