What does transgender hormone therapy do?
Transgender hormone therapy can help transgender individuals achieve physical changes that are more congruent with their gender identity. The therapy involves the administration of hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone, to promote the development of secondary sex characteristics of the preferred gender.
Cross-sex hormone therapy has been shown to have positive physical and psychological effects on the transitioning individual and is considered a mainstay treatment for many patients .
For example, transgender women may be prescribed estrogen to promote breast development, reduce body hair growth, and create a more feminine appearance. On the other hand, transgender men may be prescribed testosterone to promote the growth of facial and body hair, deepen their voice, and create a more masculine appearance.
Transgender hormone therapy can also have mental health benefits by alleviating feelings of gender dysphoria, anxiety, and depression related to a mismatch between gender identity and physical appearance. The therapy can also help individuals feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies and improve their overall quality of life.
What are the different types of hormones used in transgender hormone therapy?
The specific hormones used in transgender hormone therapy depend on the individual’s gender identity and their desired physical changes. The most commonly used sex hormones in transgender hormone therapy are estrogen and testosterone.
Transgender women, who are assigned male at birth but identify as female, may be prescribed estrogen to promote the development of feminine secondary sex characteristics. This may include breast development, a decrease in body hair growth, and a redistribution of body fat to create a more feminine figure.
Transgender men who are born female but identify as male may be prescribed testosterone to promote the development of male secondary sex characteristics. This can include the growth of facial and body hair, a deepening of the voice, and an increase in muscle mass.
Other hormones, such as progesterone or anti-androgens, may also be used in transgender hormone therapy to help achieve the desired physical changes. The specific hormones used, as well as the dosage and duration of treatment, will vary depending on individual needs and medical considerations.
What are the side effects of hormone therapy for transgender?
Hormone therapy for transgender individuals can have a range of physical and emotional side effects, which can vary depending on the individual and the specific hormones being used. Here are some potential side effects:
For transgender women (Male-to-female):
- Breast growth
- Decreased body hair growth
- Decreased muscle mass
- Softening of the skin
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased sperm production and fertility
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Increased risk of breast cancer
Compared to cisgender men, transgender women have a higher risk of breast cancer, and transgender women > 50 years old have a higher risk of fractures .
For transgender men (Female-to-male):
- Deepening of the voice
- Increased body hair growth
- Facial hair
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased sex drive
- Clitoral enlargement (if taking testosterone without undergoing genital surgery)
- Oily skin
- Increased risk of baldness
Transgender men have a higher risk of myocardial infarction than cisgender women . In addition to these physical side effects, hormone therapy can also have emotional side effects. Transgender individuals may experience mood swings, anxiety, depression, or changes in their sense of self as they undergo hormone therapy.
It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to manage these potential side effects and ensure that hormone therapy is safe and effective.
How much does transgender hormone therapy cost?
On average, gender-affirming hormone therapy can cost anywhere from $30-$100 a month for individuals without health insurance.
Testosterone HRT Medicine Cost
- Gel Pump: 88g of 1.62% gel for 30-days costs between $127.55 – $130.55
- Topical Solution: 30 mg/1.5 mL in a 90 mL bottle for 30 days costs $149.40
- Testosterone Cypionate Injection: 4 vials, 200mg/mL, 1 mL for 8 weeks costs $24.32
- Testosterone Enanthate: 1 vial, 200 mg/mL, 5 mL for 10 weeks costs $32.28
Estrogen HRT Medicine Costs
- Estradiol Tablets: 90 tablets, 1 mg each, for 22-30 days costs $19.95
- Estradiol Valerate Injection: 20 mg/mL (1 5mL vial) for 25-50 days costs $46.75 – $49.75
- Estradiol Cypionate: 1 5mL vial (5mg/mL) for 2 weeks costs $143.09 – $146.09
Is transgender hormone therapy reversible?
Transgender HRT has long-term effects. Many aspects of transgender hormone therapy patients can be reversed when the hormones are no longer administered, though some aspects are irreversible. However, the extent to which a person might experience such effects is largely based on how long they have been taking the hormones, genetics, and other factors.
The impact of certain physical attributes that are characteristic of trans women‘s hormone therapy can be diminished or reversed following discontinuation. Some examples include:
- Skin texture
- Increased acne
- Distribution of fat
- Less muscle mass
How do healthcare providers determine the dosage of hormones for a transgender person?
Endocrinologists must carefully consider many factors when determining the appropriate dosage of hormones for a transgender person. The most important factor to consider is the individual’s unique needs and goals.
Doctors of endocrinology must take into account the person’s age, weight, and any existing health conditions when assessing the right dosage. It is also important to consider the individual’s past history with hormone therapy.
Additionally, healthcare providers must be aware of potential side effects and contraindications of hormone therapy. Depending on the individual’s specific needs and goals, healthcare providers may opt to prescribe different types of hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, or progestin.
Healthcare providers also need to consider the route of administration (e.g., pills, patches, injections, or creams) and frequency of dose in order to avoid any potential risks associated with hormone therapy.
How does hormone therapy affect fertility in transgender individuals?
Hormone therapy can be an effective way to align the body with gender identity, but it can also affect fertility depending on the type of hormone therapy and the individual’s goals. Estrogen and testosterone are the primary hormones used in gender-affirming hormone therapy. Estrogen, in particular, can have a significant effect on fertility.
Estrogen-based therapies have been found to reduce sperm production and motility, which can make it difficult for some individuals to conceive without medical intervention. Additionally, testosterone-based therapies can lead to a decrease in ovarian function, leading to infertility.
For some individuals interested in preserving their fertility, there are options available such as egg or sperm freezing which can be done before beginning hormone therapy. Ultimately, it is important to understand how hormone therapy affects fertility when considering medical transition and making decisions based on individual needs and goals.
Is transgender hormone therapy effective and safe?
Transgender hormone therapy can be a powerful and life-changing tool for those who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming people. Treatment with sex hormones is effective; it induces the desired physical characteristics and improves self-image .
Transgender hormone therapy near me
Hormone Replacement Therapy Los Angeles offers the best transgender hormone treatment near me in Beverly Hills but can also come to your home or office throughout the Los Angeles area. We serve patients near Beverly Hills, Bel Air, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Culver City, Hollywood, Venice, Marina del Rey, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Downtown Los Angeles, Encino, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Topanga, Canoga Park, Reseda, Valley Glen, Chatsworth, West Hills, Winnetka, Universal City, Silverlake, Echo Park, and many more.
1. Unger CA. Hormone therapy for transgender patients. Transl Androl Urol. 2016;5(6):877-884. doi:10.21037/tau.2016.09.04
2. Unger CA. Hormone therapy for transgender patients. Transl Androl Urol. 2016;5(6):877-884. doi:10.21037/tau.2016.09.04
3. de Blok CJM, Wiepjes CM, Nota NM, den Heijer M. Hormoonbehandeling bij transgenderpersonen [Hormone treatment of transgender people: Long-term health effects and safety]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2020;164:D4481. Published 2020 Jul 23.
4. de Blok CJM, Wiepjes CM, Nota NM, den Heijer M. Hormoonbehandeling bij transgenderpersonen [Hormone treatment of transgender people: Long-term health effects and safety]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2020;164:D4481. Published 2020 Jul 23.
5. de Blok CJM, Wiepjes CM, Nota NM, den Heijer M. Hormoonbehandeling bij transgenderpersonen [Hormone treatment of transgender people: Long-term health effects and safety]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2020;164:D4481. Published 2020 Jul 23.