Gender-affirming hormone therapy (also known as hormone replacement therapy or HRT) is a common medical intervention used to support individuals in aligning their physical characteristics with their gender identity. The specific hormones prescribed for gender transition depend on whether someone is undergoing male-to-female (MTF) or female-to-male (FTM) transition.
For Male-to-Female (MTF) Transition:
- Estrogen: MTF individuals typically take estrogen, which promotes the development of feminine secondary sexual characteristics such as breast growth, redistribution of body fat, and changes in skin texture.
- Anti-androgens: Testosterone blockers or anti-androgens are often prescribed alongside estrogen to suppress the effects of male hormones and help feminize the body.
For Female-to-Male (FTM) Transition:
- Testosterone: FTM individuals typically take testosterone, which induces the development of masculine secondary sexual characteristics such as voice deepening, facial and body hair growth, increased muscle mass, and fat redistribution.
- Hormone blockers: In some cases, hormone blockers called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists) may be prescribed for a period before starting testosterone to pause or suppress estrogen-based development.
It’s crucial to note that hormone therapy for gender transition should be done under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in transgender healthcare. They can assess an individual’s specific needs, monitor their progress, and adjust the hormone regimen as necessary to achieve desired outcomes while managing potential risks and side effects.
Hormone therapy is typically a lifelong commitment, and individuals may need regular check-ups, blood tests, and dosage adjustments to ensure the therapy is safe and effective. It’s important to have open and ongoing communication with healthcare providers and follow their guidance throughout the process.
Please keep in mind that hormone therapy should only be pursued after thorough evaluation and discussion with qualified healthcare professionals. They can provide personalized advice based on individual health considerations, goals, and circumstances.