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Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy (HT), also called hormone replacement therapy (HRT), for transgender people involves taking estrogen and testosterone. Hormones are produced by the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that release chemical hormones into the bloodstream. Among other functions, hormones control sex characteristics, like breast development, facial hair, and reproductive systems. Both men and women produce these hormones, but biologically, women produce more estrogen while men produce more testosterone. 

Male to Female Changes 
Males transitioning to females (MTF) experience the following effects of estrogen: 

  • Breast development (full development takes several years) 
  • Loss of ejaculation but not orgasm
  • Loss of erection 
  • Shrinkage of testicles 
  • Sterility 

Temporary changes, which are reversible after HT is stopped, include the following:

  • Decrease in acne 
  • Decrease in facial and body hair 
  • Decrease in muscle mass and strength 
  • Skin becomes softer and smoother 
  • Slowing of balding pattern 
  • Redistribution of fat from abdominal area to hips and buttocks 

Risks associated with HT include the following:

  • Benign pituitary tumors 
  • Gallbladder disease 
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
  • ypothyroidism 
  • Liver disease 
  • Migraine headache 
  • Tendency for blood to clot, causing related conditions: 
    • Aneurysm 
    • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 
    • Pulmonary embolism (can be fatal) 
  • Weight gain 
  • Worsening of depression (if present); increased sensitivity to stress 

Female to Male Changes 
Females transitioning to males (FTM) may experience the following permanent effects of testosterone: 

  • Atrophy of the uterus and ovaries, resulting in sterility 
  • Baldness; hair loss, especially at temples and crown of head 
  • Beard and mustache growth 
  • Deepening of the voice 
  • Enlargement of the clitoris 
  • Increased growth of body hair 
  • Sterility 

Temporary changes, which are reversible after HT is stopped, include the following:

  • Behavioral developments associated with testosterone production during male puberty: 
    • Aggression 
    • Increased libido 
  • Development of acne, similar to male puberty 
  • Increased muscle mass and strength 
  • Increase in number of red blood cells 
  • Redistribution of fat from breasts, hips, and thighs to abdominal area 
  • Increased cholesterol/triglycerides

For Additional Information, Experiences, Photos, and Providers:

Hormones: A Guide For FTMs

Hormone Replacement Therapy Information (more technical information)




groups.yahoo.com (groups for ftm, mtf, general transgender groups, srs/gcs/grs)


Lynn's FFS

Lynn Conway's Vaginoplasty Information (with pictures and procedure description with sketches)

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