Female-to-male (FTM) hormone therapy involves the use of masculinizing hormones to promote the development of male secondary sexual characteristics. The primary hormones used in FTM hormone therapy are testosterone (often referred to as “T”) and sometimes anti-estrogen medications. Here are some key points to know about FTM hormone therapy:
- Testosterone (T): Testosterone is the primary hormone used in FTM hormone therapy. It is typically administered through intramuscular injections, but other forms such as gels, patches, or subcutaneous pellets may also be used. Testosterone helps promote physical changes such as increased muscle mass, facial and body hair growth, voice deepening, and fat redistribution.
- Anti-Estrogen Medications: In some cases, FTM individuals may also be prescribed anti-estrogen medications, such as aromatase inhibitors, to suppress the effects of estrogen and promote masculinization. This helps prevent the development of feminine secondary sexual characteristics.
- Hormone Levels and Monitoring: Regular blood tests are performed to monitor hormone levels and ensure that appropriate levels of testosterone are maintained. This helps healthcare providers make necessary adjustments to the hormone dosage if needed.
- Effects and Timeline: The effects of FTM hormone therapy vary among individuals and can take several months or years to fully manifest. Physical changes such as increased body hair and voice deepening typically occur within the first few months, while other changes like facial changes and muscle development may take longer.
- Side Effects and Risks: FTM hormone therapy may have side effects, including acne, increased body odor, increased cholesterol levels, and changes in mood or libido. It’s important to work closely with healthcare professionals who can monitor these effects and make appropriate adjustments to the hormone regimen if necessary. Long-term risks, such as potential impacts on cardiovascular health or fertility, should also be discussed with healthcare providers.
FTM hormone therapy is typically prescribed and managed by qualified healthcare professionals experienced in transgender healthcare. It is important to seek medical guidance, undergo appropriate assessments, and follow the recommended protocols to ensure safe and effective hormone therapy. Individual experiences and results may vary, so it’s essential to work closely with healthcare professionals to address any questions or concerns throughout the hormone therapy process.