Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for male-to-female (MTF) transgender individuals involves the use of feminizing hormones, primarily estrogen and anti-androgens, to promote the development of feminine secondary sexual characteristics.
Here are some common changes that individuals may experience before and after starting MTF HRT:
⦁ Masculine Features: Individuals assigned male at birth typically have masculine features, including facial hair, a deeper voice, a more muscular physique, and minimal breast development.
⦁ Male Pattern Baldness: Some individuals may experience male pattern baldness or thinning of the hair.
⦁ Body Fat Distribution: Fat tends to accumulate in a more masculine pattern, such as around the abdomen and chest.
⦁ Skin and Hair: Skin may be oilier and thicker, and body and facial hair may be coarser.
⦁ Breast Development: One of the significant changes brought about by MTF HRT is breast development. Estrogen promotes the growth of breast tissue, leading to breast enlargement.
⦁ Softer Skin: Estrogen helps to make the skin softer and more supple. The texture of the skin may become smoother and more feminine.
⦁ Body Fat Redistribution: Fat distribution begins to shift, with fat accumulating in a more feminine pattern, such as in the hips, thighs, and buttocks, while decreasing in the abdominal area.
⦁ Decreased Body Hair: Anti-androgens and estrogen can lead to a reduction in body and facial hair growth. Hair may become finer and lighter in color.
⦁ Decreased Muscle Mass: Testosterone promotes muscle development, so MTF HRT may result in a decrease in muscle mass and strength.
⦁ Changes in Body Odor: The scent produced by the body may change, becoming less musky or masculine.
⦁ Possible Changes in Libido and Sexual Function: Libido and sexual function can be affected by HRT. Some individuals may experience a decrease in libido, changes in sexual arousal, and decreased spontaneous erections.
It’s important to note that the effects of HRT can vary from person to person. The timeline and extent of changes also differ, with some changes occurring gradually over months or even years. Additionally, some changes may not be reversible if HRT is discontinued.