What is testosterone hormone therapy?

Testosterone Hormone Therapy

What are the risks of testosterone hormone therapy for gender affirmation?

Testosterone therapy is safe for most people. But there are some risks. It can cause your body to make too many red blood cells, which may cause blood clots and other problems. It may also cause infertility. But it's not an effective form of birth control. Talk with your doctor about your reproductive goals.

What is testosterone hormone therapy for gender affirmation?

With testosterone therapy, you take the hormone testosterone to develop more masculine physical traits. It also suppresses feminine traits. It may be a part of gender affirmation for some people. Hormone therapy can help you change your body to better reflect your gender identity.

What changes can you expect with testosterone hormone therapy for gender affirmation?

Hormone therapy can trigger physical, emotional, and sexual changes. It can be like going through puberty. The changes you experience and how soon they happen can vary.

Physical changes may include:

  • Acne.
  • Changes in where fat is stored.
  • Stopped menstruation (usually within 6 months).
  • Growth of the clitoris.
  • More hair on the body and face.
  • Male pattern hair loss.
  • More muscle mass.
  • Thinning of the skin in the vagina.
  • Voice changes.

Some of these changes will go away if you stop treatment. Others (like growth of the clitoris, hair loss or gain, and voice changes) are permanent.

Emotional changes are also common. You may find that you feel some emotions differently than you did before taking testosterone. Or you might find that your tastes and interests change.

Many people have an increase in sex drive after starting testosterone. Some people have changes in sexual desire or who they're attracted to.

How is testosterone hormone therapy for gender affirmation done?

Testosterone is given through a shot or through a patch or a gel placed on your skin. For people who need higher testosterone levels to meet their physical goals, the shot may work best.

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