What To Know About Hormone Therapy For Transgender Patients
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In a fast-changing world where a lot of persons are becoming transgenders, changing their bodies to fit their perceived gender identity, information around transgender hormone therapy is important. 

Gender transitioning often occurs when individuals experience dissonance between their sensed gender identity and biological sex. For instance, a person born as a man has a self-identified gender of a woman and vice versa. 

To transition from the gender at birth to a self-identified one, secondary sexual features are medically put into the body of patients.

In simple terms, a transgender is an individual whose assigned gender at birth was changed to a gender they wish. For instance, a transgender man is a person born as a woman, but identifies as a man, while a transgender woman was a male at birth but changed identity to that of a woman. 

Transgender Hormone Therapy

Transgender hormone therapy is a treatment procedure for persons that desire to change their bodies to fit their sense of gender identity. Whether you are trying to achieve the masculine or feminine gender, there is the right treatment for you. 

Also called hormone replacement therapy, this form of treatment entails the administration of certain medications to individuals that are gender non-conforming. The purpose of this therapy is to align the secondary sexual features of individuals with the gender identity, without this type of alignment, things are likely to fall out of place. 

When people transition from one gender to another, their bone health and cardiovascular health are largely impacted. This is why hormone therapy is important to improve the overall health of cross-sex people and align their bodies with their secondary sexual features. 

There are two types of transgender hormone therapy, which are feminizing hormone therapy and masculinizing hormone therapy.

Knowing the distinction between these forms of therapy is important to guide candidates appropriately when opting for hormone therapy.

In transgender men, exogenous testosterone is used to virilize and submerge the feminine hormones, while for transgender women, exogenous estrogen is used to feminize patients to help them change from their male gender at birth to females. The masculine features and hormones are then suppressed with anti-androgens.

Several guidelines provide direction for the gender transitioning process, this includes hormone therapy for persons that have gone through the process. 

Masculinizing Hormone Therapy 

Transmasculine people or transgender men undergo this kind of therapy to introduce secondary sex features caused by the male hormones. It entails the use of androgens and testosterone to suppress the feminine features of the individuals, such as suppressing menstruation and reducing the level of estrogen that the ovaries produce.  

It is recommended that masculine hormone therapy is carried out before the puberty changes begin with the female. Early transition often aids a more seamless process and certain developments can be avoided. 

Before you alter your hormones to suit your self-identified gender, it is important to know that transgender is not an entirely sweet process as it comes with a certain risk. Also, masculinizing hormone therapy is not suitable for everyone, which is why it is important to seek a doctor’s counsel before undertaking it.

Meanwhile, the benefits of the masculinizing hormone therapy include the following; _

Feminizing Hormone Therapy

This type of therapy is strictly for transgender women, also called transfeminine individuals. It entails the use of antiandrogens and estrogens to induce physical changes in the body of a person that was a male at birth. 

During this therapy, secondary sex features are created to match the self-identified gender of a person to their body. Female sex characteristics are developed, thereby creating a transgender woman.

Just like the masculinizing hormone therapy, a feminizing therapy must be done before male puberty begins in the patient which causes the development of hair around the body, deeper voice pitch, and many others.

When undergoing this form of therapy, patients are given estrogen to reduce the production level of their testosterone, thereby creating feminine features. Other medications are also administered which could cause temporary or permanent changes. 

Before you undergo feminizing therapy, talk to a doctor to be sure it is something you can go for. Some of the benefits of this therapy include the reduction of psychological stress and emotional distress, making dysphoria less intense, and helping people adjust their bodies to new sexual organs. 

Generally, transgender hormone therapy improves the life span of transgender men and women and helps them achieve sex hormones of their desired gender. But it is important to have an evaluation before undergoing the therapy. You should also ask your doctor about the risks, benefits, and limitations of the therapy. 

Author(s): Veronica
Published at: 18 Oct 2021 09:43 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/pg/lds/view/244564/