Two years ago today I decided to let the world know that I’m transgender and have been struggling with gender dysphoria. When I decided to start medically transitioning I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect because everyone is different. I had researched the changes and the risks associated with taking hormones and was aware of what my body was about to go through.
In December 2017, I finally got to see an endocrinologist in Moncton, New Brunswick that went over what to expect. The first thing the doctor told me I could expect is to lose my sex drive and that there was nothing that could be done about it. Testosterone is the main hormone responsible for sex drive so blocking it would obviously have that effect.
The next thing the doctor told me to expect is that I would see a difference in my skin. Acne would be less frequent because testosterone was also a big driver for that. As for my hair, my endocrinologist advised that it should slow if not stop hair loss, but regrowth was not promised. On top of taking spironolactone a blocker for testosterone, I was put on finasteride a DHT blocker to stop the production of any bad testosterone that would convert to DHT and cause hair loss.
As for estrogen, there are multiple ways one can take it. You can get it injected, take pills, use the patch, or gel. My endocrinologist went over the highest risks and lowest risks because being on estrogen increases the chances of blood clots and cardiovascular complications. Ultimately, the doctor recommended the patch because it gives a more controlled release over a period of seven days. So each week I would have to change it and I had to alternate where to put it.
Another effect would be the change in body fat disruption and my body mass would change, this could be noticed around 6 to 12 months according to the doctor. Breast growth was also obvious as estrogen was going to be increased and testosterone would be blocked. The doctor advised that I would see the maximum breast growth at around 2 to 3 years.
The blocker I was put is also a diuretic so I have to make sure to stay hydrated. It also lowers my blood pressure so I have to watch out for becoming light headed if it is causing too much the dosage could be decreased. On top of that it’s also potassium-sparing which mean it keeps as much potassium in my body, so eating things high in potassium is not wise considering high levels of potassium can cause my heart to stop.
None of that deterred me from wanting to go on hormones. I was waiting for this for years and I finally got to where I needed to be. My doctors have experience with transgender patients and my endocrinologist gave me blood work to do in two month periods to monitor where my levels are at. If anything needed to be decreased or increase the office would call.
What I noticed so far…
My first day of hormones was Wednesday, December 27th, 2017. The only thing I noticed on the first day of hormones was I felt light-headed just as the doctor told me the blocker would do because it was lowering my blood pressure.
During the first week, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me emotionally. Like the beginning of the end was near, especially with the fact that at this time next year I would be able to have sex reassignment surgery if I wanted. Every day I wake up I feel happier than the next knowing my body has changed even more. I still have dysphoria when I look at myself sometimes. It tells me I’m not good enough, not worthy of being treated equal, never going to get there. I try to ignore those feelings and focus on positivity.
I have also noticed that at certain times I will get pretty tired. I assume it’s because my body has been adjusting to the changes. Aside from those things some more major changes I’ve noticed is my skin has become more clear and softer. I used to have acne and had to do skincare routine almost every day to keep my skin clear, however, I now don’t need to do as much.
Breast growth has started. It first felt like my nipples were itchy and then they became tender, sore, very sensitive, and still are. I assume they will be most of the time because they will continue to grow until I’ve reached the maximum growth. It started with my nipples getting very hard and it felt like there were marbles under them. I guess this is the beginning stage of breast grows called “budding”. Once the budding begins, my breasts will go through growth spurts.
The entire process is like going through a second puberty. Although effects are greater if you begin hormones before actual puberty but most can still be accomplished afterward.
People always ask me if my moods have changed. I have not had any drastic mood changes except for once. Most of the time I feel calmer, softer, and more relaxed. I’m occasionally more emotional and tend to feel happy and sad more intense than before.
In the first month, my sex drive was exactly like the doctor had told me. Non-existent, but I didn’t really care because you don’t miss the things you don’t want. However, in the second month, my sex drive most defiantly picked up. The most drastic change in my mood that happened was in February. I was so used to never wanting sex that one night my testosterone must have shot up because I went from hating sex to literally wanting to be gangbanged. I was up for hours and could not concentrate, my hormones were all out of whack. After I took my blocker the next day it took a few hours to go back to normal. Now in my third month, my sexual desires have changed. I no longer want the same things as before and my entire body feels everything more intense in the bedroom.
The last major effect I noticed was the fact that I went sterile. I didn’t think that would happen as fast as it did, but after the first month, it was complete. I was already warned that would happen and was asked if I wanted to freeze sperm to one day have children with but I decided children were not going to be apart of my life, at least not children that would be biologically mine.
I’m now almost on my fourth month of hormones and I have already taken the steps to legally change my gender marker and next I will be changing my legal name. I’ve been waiting since 2016 for the New Brunswick government to finalize the gender marker legislation. Before you needed to have surgery, now the government will recognize me as the gender I identify with without needing to have surgery, but the option will be there if I decide I want surgery.
“Everyone has a story. Everyone’s story counts!”- xo Kylie Stewart