Gender transition refers to the change of your sexual characteristics and gender to the gender identity you associate yourself with. It usually occurs due to gender dysphoria. When you have gender dysphoria, you identify with a gender that is different from the gender assigned at birth. Gender dysphoria can cause you a lot of distress. It is associated with the following:
- Poor social and psychological functioning.
- Emotional and psychological distress.
- Poor quality of life due to factors such as depression and social isolation.
- Lack of sexual satisfaction.
It is due to the above reasons that people seek for gender transitioning. Gender transitioning improves self-confidence and the quality of life of the individual.
What does gender transitioning involve?
Gender transitioning can involve hormonal therapy and surgical intervention, such as orchiectomy. This is a procedure involving the surgical removal of sexual organs assigned at birth that contribute to gender dysphoria. Before orchiectomy is done, hormonal therapy is first recommended by your doctor. Transgender hormonal therapy is of two types; feminizing hormone therapy and masculinizing hormone therapy.
Feminizing hormone therapy gives you female sexual characteristics while masculinizing therapy, male sexual characteristics. They both involve altering your hormone levels by the use of medications or directly through hormones. Feminizing hormonal therapy consists of the use of estrogen and medicines that reduce testosterone levels, the hormone responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. Contrarily, masculinizing hormone therapy uses testosterone hormone and medications that reduce estrogen and progesterone production. Transgender hormonal therapy is recommended for teenagers who have gender dysphoria. The recommended age for when to start transgender hormone therapy is 16 years.
Transgender hormonal therapy is best done at teenagehood before all sexual characteristics have developed. The therapy prevents the development of all sexual characteristics, whether male or female, depending on your assigned gender at birth. If your assigned gender at birth is male, the therapy should take place before you break your voice, or have enlargement of sexual organs.
For those with a female-assigned gender at birth, you should start hormonal therapy before you develop breast enlargement or have your menstrual periods. Doctors have put these conditions for transgender hormonal therapy because therapy at a later stage, when you have already developed all assigned gender sexual characteristics, can fail to cause full gender transitioning.
Not everyone is eligible for transgender hormonal therapy because it can have some risks. If you have a history of significant mental illness, your doctor will not recommend the therapy. Similarly, therapy is contradicted in people with a history of breast cancer or prostate cancer.
Do you have to undergo regular hormonal testing when gender transitioning?
After understanding what transgender hormonal therapy is and what it involves, you are probably asking yourself if your hormone levels need to be regularly tested during the transition. The answer is yes; you need regular hormonal testing when gender transitioning. This is because a slight drop in the hormones you are receiving during therapy can hinder the gender transitioning process.
Keep in mind that transgender hormonal therapy takes place before orchiectomy. You will, therefore, still have the assigned gender sexual organs responsible for the production of hormones. If you are male at birth, the testicles will still be producing small amounts of testosterone. Similarly, the ovaries will still be producing estrogen if your assigned gender at birth is female. As such, the levels of estrogen and testosterone can rise to make hormone therapy ineffective.
When you start transgender hormonal therapy, you will begin to notice a change in your physical appearance within several weeks or months. The period will depend on the extent of the development of your assigned gender at birth sexual characteristics. You will need to have hormonal testing done every three months as soon as you initiate therapy. The testing is aimed at ensuring that your hormonal levels are within the levels needed to cause the transition. Levels that are too low will fail to cause the transition.
Regular hormonal testing also ensures that the hormones you are given are not high enough to cause other adverse effects in your body. Some of the unwanted effects that can develop from transgender hormonal therapy include changes in your bone density, blood count, electrolyte levels, levels of body lipids, and fasting blood sugar.
At Revive Therapy and Wellness, we are dedicated to ensuring that your transgender hormonal therapy results in your desired outcome. We combine hormonal therapy with nutritional therapy for safety and effectiveness. Dietary therapy is aimed at ensuring that your hormonal therapy does not result in adverse effects. We are located in Hoover, Alabama, and tend to patients from Birmingham and Alabama areas but also welcome patients from other regions. Schedule your appointment by calling us today on (205) 352-9141 for a safe and effective transgender hormonal therapy.