While the process of transitioning generally references any social, mental, physical, or emotional changes that one makes, the first big step is often hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. HRT can be administered in several ways, including:
You will also be prescribed androgen blockers in order to halt your body’s natural production of testosterone or estrogen. This is an exciting time in your life as your physical body begins to align with your gender identity, and we know you will have a lot of questions along the way. Dr. Alexander Sinclair is dedicated to being a supportive part of your transition, and is able to keep you informed and confident in your understanding of the changes you’ll go through while on HRT. As always, he wishes to ensure that your transition is as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible.
How HRT affects your body is determined by many factors, whether you are trans-feminine or trans-masculine.
If you are FTM, you will notice a change in your voice as your vocal cords begin to thicken, effectively lowering the voice permanently into a masculine range. Often, body hair production will increase, and you may develop a receding hairline or lose your hair altogether depending on your particular hereditary profile. Menstruation will cease, your face will become more angular, body and urine odor will change, and your skin will become thicker and possibly oilier. Depending on how you engage in sexual intercourse, you can still become pregnant while on HRT, so it may be necessary to continue birth control during the initial phases of your transition.
For MTF individuals, you will notice a redistribution of body fat, providing your body with a moderately curvier and more feminine shape. Thinning of body hair, a loss of muscle mass, softening of your facial features, breast development and increase of nipple size and sensitivity are common effects of feminizing HRT. Androgen blockers can slow or prevent male hair loss, and typically diminish the ability to produce erections. It is important to note it is still possible to impregnate a sexual partner while on HRT. Further, if the HRT process is started early enough, a MTF person may avoid the deepening of the voice, growing masculine body and facial hair, or the production of secondary male sex characteristics altogether.
Please keep in mind that HRT is a marathon, not a sprint! The ultimate effects of HRT will take years to develop and your body will continue to go through changes throughout your life.
No. Whether you were assigned male or female at birth, you do not need hormones to “make you a man or a woman”. You already are who you are. HRT simply serves the purpose of aligning your physical body with your gender, should you choose to do it. It is important to note that to undergo Gender Confirmation Surgery (SRS, GRS) or FTM Top Surgery, a medical record of continuous hormone replacement therapy is required. Additionally, insurance providers also typically require a person to have documented proof of hormone replacement therapy and a clinical diagnosis in order to acquire coverage for any transgender surgeries.
While HRT is an important part of the transitioning process for many, there are some risks involved of which you should be aware. Being on long-term HRT could lead to liver damage, so it is important to have routine blood tests in order to monitor the health of your liver. HRT may also affect your heart health and that of your bones. If you decide to discontinue HRT, you will need to have your doctor routinely monitor you to be sure you are not at risk for osteoporosis or heart disease. It is also important to remember that the effects of HRT will produce permanent changes in the body, so the choice to begin or cease HRT is not one that should be taken lightly.
To put it simply, Dr. Sinclair is an expert in gender transition. When you seek medical care and counsel, you want to be sure that you will be met with deep understanding, personal compassion, and expert medical experience. Dr. Alexander Sinclair is a board certified plastic surgeon and MD, and has dedicated his practice to assisting transgender men and women with their gender transition. Dr. Sinclair is proud to use his experience and abilities to create life-transforming results for his patients. He would be honored to do the same for you.
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