Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for transgender women, also known as male-to-female (MtF) hormone therapy, typically involves two main types of medications: estrogen and anti-androgens.
- Estrogen: This is the primary female sex hormone. Supplementing estrogen helps develop female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, a more rounded body shape, and less body hair. It can also help with mood and emotional well-being. It is typically given as a pill, patch, gel, or injection. The specific type and dose will be determined by your healthcare provider.
- Anti-Androgens: These are medications that block the effects of testosterone in the body, which can help to decrease male secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair, deep voice, and body hair. Common anti-androgens include spironolactone and finasteride. Some healthcare providers may also use a medication called a GnRH agonist to reduce the production of testosterone.
The specific regimen and doses of HRT can vary greatly depending on the individual, their goals for physical changes, their overall health, and the potential side effects. All medications have risks and benefits, and HRT is no different. Some risks include blood clots, increased potassium levels, gallstones, elevated liver enzymes, and others. It’s important to discuss these risks with a knowledgeable healthcare provider.
Monitoring is a crucial part of HRT. Your healthcare provider will likely perform regular blood tests to check hormone levels and to monitor for any potential side effects. They will also monitor the physical changes and make adjustments to the HRT regimen as necessary.
Lastly, it’s crucial to remember that everyone’s journey with gender identity is unique and personal, and hormone therapy is a choice, not a requirement. Not all transgender people choose to, or can afford to, undergo hormone therapy, and their identities are valid regardless.
This information is accurate as of my last training data up until September 2021, and the procedures and guidelines might have been updated or changed since then. Always consult with healthcare professionals to get the most recent and relevant information.