Two days ago, I went to my first doctor’s appointment in order to start the process for HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I first asked Jeeves about HRT when I was in perhaps 5th or 6th grade, and I have been reading about it ever since. I have long dreamed of the day I could run my body on female hormones, but I never dreamed that day would actually come. It was with some understandable excitement, therefore, that I went into that first consultation, even though I knew it would simply be the beginning of a very long bureaucratic–a process that would drag on for at least a couple of months before I dropped my first estrogen.
As is often the case, it turns out I knew very little. I should be on HRT in just two weeks.
What does this mean? How is it going to affect me? How quickly? WHAT ABOUT THE BOOBS?
I’ve been reading about the effects of medical transition for nearly two decades, and so for me, many of these questions are simply the product of my own anticipation, rather than outright lack of knowledge.
As it turns out, though, those who haven’t had any reason to spend a lifetime reading about this will have had no reason to have learned anything about it. Ugh, that’s a gross sentence, but it has nice parallelism. Anyway, as I tell people that I am soon to begin hormones, most meet me with excitement, but ultimately know little to nothing about what that actually means.
So, what can I expect when I start HRT? Well, the first thing you will see everyone say is that your mileage will vary, so take all of this speculation with a grain of salt. However, generally, the changes can be broken down into two categories: physical, and mental/emotional.
-Breast development (^.^)
-Fat redistribution (from gut to chest/hips/butt)
-Changes in body hair (becomes finer, lighter, thinner, some disappears altogether)
-Facial hair MAY thin, but is often the same as pre-HRT
-Reversal of male pattern baldness (not an issue for me, thank god)
-Facial changes (fat redistribution on face)
-Skeletal changes (likely very few if any for me at my age, hence my regret at not starting this 10 years ago)
-Eye color? (very rare, and I hope not going to happen to me!)
-Change in body odor
-Change in sense of smell
-Skin changes (skin becomes thinner, softer, drier, clearer)
-No change in voice (T.T)
-Relief or total elimination of dysphoria (No more gender-induced anxiety or depression–I literally cannot imagine. Boobs are nice, but this is definitely the thing I am looking forward to most, by far.)
-Mood swings (no idea what to expect here…)
-Change in sex drive (temporary increase, then a sharp decrease; eventually, returns as a “female” sex drive)
How will this affect me personally? Only time will tell. I am 28 years old, had a very mild puberty (physically), and am potentially some degree of intersex. These factors, and a multitude of others that I don’t know or am not cognizant of, will all affect how I experience this second puberty.
Oof, I don’t want to go through puberty again, now that I am in my late 20s. But I guess I’ll happily “suffer” through it, all the same 🙂