hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 12

It’s been three months since I started. No, really! I think this little guy’s reaction says it all.

Yep. Me too, my little furry friend. Me, too.

Rather that report on whatever changes I’ve seen since last week (because there haven’t been that many, to be honest), I want to send out a profound and heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who’s supported me thus far. This includes you, dear reader.

I’d also like to share a graph that seems to make the rounds on Reddit, showing the average rate of specific changes in transgender women who undergo HRT:

Of course my mileage will vary, but it’s fascinating and a little exciting to see when I can start to look for specific things to happen. It’s even more interesting to see how my changes differ from this chart. A few of the effects have already started with me, others have yet to begin.

Until next time, friends!

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 8

Alrighty, then. After doing some backtracking, I figured out that I’ve finished week #8 of my hormone therapy. Ok, it actually just took going back and seeing that I had finished my second 30-day supply of spironolactone. To that, I say…

Derp, indeed.

Ok, onto the matter at hand. This week, I didn’t notice a whole lot going on other than:

  • Increased skin sensitivity: my face cuts way more easily now when I’m shaving, and my laser hair removal treatments hurt like crazy, as opposed to when I first started them (I hadn’t yet started HRT at that point).

Aside from that, I’ve been on a good streak with emotional progress. I’ve come out to quite a few more people (one is a very good friend I’ve known for a better part of a decade…if she’s reading this, hi!!!) and I managed to get myself out to a couple more public places with little-to-no incident. In fact, some guy asked one of my friends I was with that night “So, what’s up with your single friend?”

Granted, I have no intention of dating anyone right now…but I’ll take that as a compliment.

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Weeks 5-7

Hi all! Been a little while, hasn’t it?

Wow, I’ve been caught up in all kinds of life events. I moved to my own place, caught up with old friends, working like a mad-woman, and have been performing like crazy lately. I’m not entirely sure how I keep balance of it all but I suppose the occasional cocktail helps. 😉

All that said, I’m here to give you an update on how my hormone replacement therapy is going. Here are the big things I’ve noticed:

  • Breast tissue growth: My chest has been more sore than usual, so I naturally assumed I was about to drop dead on the stop. Ok, kidding. One day, my arm grazed my chest and I could tell something was different. I felt around a bit (mind out of the gutter, you!) and noticed something that wasn’t there – a small “bud” underneath. OMG, they’re actually starting to grow!
  • Continued mood swings: The smallest things seem to get to me, even more so than before. I had my first instance where a small comment almost made me break down into tears. It’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens and I go into a full-on Peter Parker-style cry-fest.

    A straight-up ugly cry.
  • Facial structure changing: I’m noticing that my face is thinning out a bit & features are getting just a bit softer. I’ll take it.

I’m coming up on two whole months of HRT next week (wow, who’d have guessed I’d have made it this far), and wondering if and when my doctor wants to schedule some follow-up blood work & assess my current dosages. He seems to be harder to get a hold of than the President, so I must be patient.

Until next time!

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 4

Wow, it’s been a month already?!? Time flies when your emotions are all over the place.

Basically.

Joking aside, though, the major changes I’ve seen are:

  • Mood Swings: Oh, they are starting. So far, I haven’t gone from zero-to-cryfest yet, but I am definitely feeling less and less in-control of my feelings.
  • Increased Appetite: I am ready to eat anything and everything in sight. Thankfully my low-carb eating habits help keep that somewhat at bay, but I’m finding it harder to stay away from my local Chipotle…or WingStop…or Starbucks…or [insert restaurant here].

As an aside, I’ve noticed that I have seen some more muscle definition in my lower body (thighs specifically), but I think the weeks’ worth of elliptical & stair master time in the gym have helped there.

My doctor is keeping on the same dosage I started out with for now, and I’m to have a follow-up in the next month to look at my hormone levels & check for any irregularities & if then is a good time to start raising my dosages.

Cheers!

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 3

Hi friends!

It’s taken me quite a bit of thinking to come up with what to write for this week’s HRT report…mostly because, from week to week, things change gradually. It’s only after a few weeks that you see the culmination of weeks’ worth of changes & growth. That said, here are the things I’ve noticed over the past week:

  • Facial Hair Growth*: I’ve seen that my facial hair is starting to grow in less and less. When it does, it feels thinner. It’s really nice not looking like I just walked out of the wilderness, 2 days after shaving.


    Increased Emotional Sensitivity: I’ve picked up on my emotions being more attuned than usual (even in comparison to my last report). I’ve always considered myself an empathetic person, and the estrogen seems to be increasing that. Reading news stories will definitely affect my mood. Perusing through stories about trans discrimination put me in a fairly blue mood, and it took a visit to the gym to feel even halfway better.

Also worthy of note this week is that I’m down to a week’s worth of medication. I’m not sure if my general practitioner will have me do blood work soon, or if he’ll keep me on the same dosages of Spiro & Estradiol. Stay tuned!

* Disclamer: I’ve also started laser hair removal on my face, so my facial hair is also growing out unevenly. 

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 2

Well, I’m halfway through my spiro & Estradiol prescription for the month. This week almost flew by, between work, gym, the drag shows I’ve been involved in lately, and just keeping up with life. So far, here are a couple of new things I’ve noticed on HRT:

  • The THIRST: Spironolactone is a diuretic, traditionally used to treat heart failure and hypertension. Since it forces you to urinate more than usual, I’ve been waking up in the mornings feeling something like this:
    The thirst is real, everyone.
    The thirst is real, everyone.

    So, I’ve been drinking water like it’s going out of style.

  • Intensifying Emotions: I don’t think mood swings have quite kicked in for me yet. I have, though, experienced that day-to-day things that would normally be given a second’s thought now affect my mood in more pronounced ways. I’ve never been one to hide my feelings well anyhow, but it’s even more apparent if I’m in a surly or bubbly mood. A colleague commented that I left work one day looking pretty bummed out. My friend likens this to an “expanding range of emotion”, which I’m apt to agree with. For now, though, please keep the ice cream away. 🙂
  • Weight Loss: I’m not sure if this is due to my increased activity level, but I noticed a few LBs come off, the past week or so. Either way, I’ll take it.

I’m sure things will get more interesting as the weeks come off the calendar, and I start to notice more noticeable changes. Until then, stay tuned.

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 1

As I lie in bed on my trusty laptop, I gloss over the fact that I’ve officially been on hormone replacement therapy for exactly a week. My, time flies when you’ve chilled out (more on that later).

Now, before I talk about any changes, it’s worth mentioning that I am starting out with a dose that most transwomen are prescribed at the start of their HRT:

  • Spironolactone: 2 x 50mg pills, every day
  • Estradiol: 2 x 0.1mg patches, twice a week

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s talk changes. Be honest, that’s really why you’re here.

Overall, I feel a sense of calm settling into my mood. I’m able to focus more. I don’t get wound up over stuff like I used to. My impulses are under better control (right now, that just means I can resist Jack In The Box after a night at the bar). I haven’t noticed any immediate physical changes, but that’s because I’ve also been actively going to the gym and having laser hair removal done on my face. So, it’s hard to tell whether any soreness I feel or softer beard hair is due to the hormones or something else.

Oh, two things worth mentioning:

  1. It’s true what other transwomen have said: your sex drive plunges pretty dramatically, and immediately. I haven’t had a single urge to be intimate with anyone, or even “take matters into my own hands”, if you will.
  2. My abdominal area has become increasingly sensitive. I assume this is due to my, er, “marbles” shrinking as an effect of the spironolactone. In any case, just sitting wrong can make the entire day uncomfortable.

Well, that’s it for now. Keep watching this space for future updates.