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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » What exactly will T do to me?

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Author Topic: What exactly will T do to me?
Burdened with glorious booty
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So, I'm actually pretty comfortable identifying as genderqueer (I know I used the label "girlfag," but I do find it kind of awkward to use, so I don't), and I'm starting to think more about what I could possibly do in terms of transition. I know I don't want to have surgery, and I'm not going to do anything for definite until after I start doing way more pole than I was doing last year (also, the walk to uni will be longer, so yeah, I have the potential to get quite wiry/muscley), but if that doesn't work the way I want it to, I've been wondering if taking small amounts of testosterone would make a difference.

But then, all I really know about T is that it "makes you masculine." That's about it. I don't know how much is a small amount, or whether that'll make its effects more subtle or not. I've heard that it would deepen my voice, which might be nice, but what else? Also, am I right in thinking that I wouldn't be able to use the pill as contraception (because the pill is full of feminine hormones, so I'm guessing it would clash)? Because that'd be a definite problem for me.

I guess I'd like to know more about this, while I'm thinking it over and any possible choices are far in the future. Again, I'd like to see where I can go with exercise and binding/packing first, but I'm not sure where I can go for information regarding T. Any advice?

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Molias
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Hi Derpy Hooves,

Here's a good overview: http://www.ftmguide.org/ttherapybasics.html

Everyone reacts to various doses differently; I knew folks who started at the same or a lower dose than I did and had more visible results in four months than I did after three years. Many people start at a low dose to see how it feels for them or to experiment with just minor changes; many doctors will work with you on that. I don't know as much about the process in the UK as I do in the US, but any doctor who would prescribe T would be able to go in depth about dosing with you.

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Heather
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Derpy: here's a good place to start for some basic information on taking testosterone: http://transhealth.vch.ca/resources/library/tcpdocs/consumer/hormones-FTM.pdf

Usually people transitioning to a masculine gender/self via hormones are simply not going to want to be taking estrogen, because that's what they're trying to counter and diminish by using T. But I'm not sure this is really a "can't," so much as a "it doesn't really make sense to be taking one hormone while kind of undoing it with the other." However, this is not my area of expertise; I'd say an in-person trans health specialist is the person to ask about that.

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Burdened with glorious booty
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Thanks for the resources! I admit that right now, it sounds a little bit scary, but it helps to keep it in mind as an option, I suppose. I'm wondering, though, is it scary because I'm not sure if it's what I want (or would want in the future), or because so many of the changes seem to be permanent and I don't know what exactly would happen?

I ask about the pill because I'm taking that to help with my periods - I don't necessarily hate them, but they used to be really heavy and gross, and it really would lower my confidence and make me anxious (because oh my god what if I leak everywhere?!), so the pill helped reduce that to a manageable rate. So until T would stop my periods (which I'm not sure I like the idea of - see above point about it being scary), they might go back to being the way they were, and I can't deal with that. Plus, while I would insist to any penis-having partners that they wear a condom, I'm wondering which kinds of birth control would work for me, seeing as a lot of the ones that I'd probably get on with seem to be hormonal in nature.

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Molias
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At what dose and at what point T stops periods seems to vary, but I agree with Heather that it seems pretty unlikely that a doctor would suggest staying on the pill when you start it. I was at the tail end of a period the day I gave myself my first shot and never got another one, but I've known folks who have had light periods for a few months.

I think there's only so far you can prepare yourself for semi-unknown changes (I certainly felt only partially-prepared when I started T); what was helpful for me was weighing what I knew I wanted from hormone therapy against things I either saw as negative side effects or things I felt neutral about. And eventually the benefits won out! But it was a process of mulling it over for quite a while, and talking with other guys about how they felt about being on T and the changes they'd noticed.

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Heather
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Also, BC-wise, one thing I know per choices with FTM birth control -- for those who don't have hysterectomies, and do engage in sex that presents pregnancy risks for them -- is that the IUD (either one, as the Mirena is progestin, not estrogen, and it's only localized anyway) is one popular option. But cervical barriers would be another option that's non-hormonal, too.

I only say that so you know if you DO decide T is the right way for you to go, that doesn't mean you'll have no BC options but condoms if that's not something you feel safe about.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Burdened with glorious booty
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Thought so - I guess I never liked the idea of an IUD because I was always told that it would cause more painful/bloody periods, which certainly isn't something I need in my life.

I guess it's something I need to consider more, especially since I'm not really out to anyone. I know for a fact that if I said to my parents that I wanted to go on T, they wouldn't understand why, even if I explained it to them. My dad had a rant recently about how he wouldn't mistreat a trans person, and he understand the concept, but he hates the idea of people having surgery for it because "Surely there's a better way - why would you do that to yourself? If it's a hormone deficiency, give them hormones to correct it!". He probably wouldn't think I need them. So I'm still considering what the pros and cons would be. Hopefully, T would give me the sort of look I want anyway, seeing as dad was quite skinny as a young adult, but yeah, I can't leap into that.

I'm assuming that I would have to go to a specified clinic to legally take it, right? Because I'm not entirely sure if there are any local ones. I do, however, see a tutor at my university because of my aspergers - would it maybe help if I mentioned all of this to her?

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oneboikyle
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Sorry to butt in here, I can't answer all those questions (I'll leave that to the people who are awesome on here) but your question about going to a specific clinic - I noticed you're in the UK, and this is what I understand of the procedure over here. The impression I got, although I can't 100% guarantee it is completely accurate, is that you have to see a gender clinic to start with, and go for regular check ups there, if you're on hormones, but that most of the day to day stuff can be done at a local GP's office or similar. Also, whilst the biggest and most well known clinic in the UK is in London, there are a lot dotted around the place. I don't know where in the UK you are, but here is a list of all of the NHS ones. There might be other, private ones, but I don't know about those [Smile]

Hope that helps some?

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Burdened with glorious booty
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Sorry I didn't respond for ages, been busy and without internet.

I checked that list, and the two nearest ones are still pretty far away, regardless of whether I'm based at home or at uni. Plus, am I right in thinking that I'd need to go to a GP to be referred? Because wouldn't that mean having to come out to my parents?

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Heather
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You don't need to tell your parents about seeing a GP, nor do they have to tell your parents you went there.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Burdened with glorious booty
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I guess. Still, one thing I get with my university is a tutor who I meet up with weekly, and while she's meant to be helping me with my studies (because of my aspergers diagnosis, and the things relating to that), I know part of it is to help me with my well-being (she mentioned, not naming any names, that many of the students who see her often have things like depression or other mood disorders). On the one hand, I know she likely isn't trained to help with any gender issues. On the other, I've been keeping this from her, and it has been on my mind a lot - airing it out to her might make me feel better/more confident about it? So I've been wondering if it would be beneficial to mention it to her, or if I should keep staying quiet to her about it and talk to someone else? (as it is, there ARE things I've been keeping from her, like my possible past with depression and anxiety - basically, the darker side of my mental issues, so I know I have to tell her about that at some point. it's just whether I tell her these things at the same time, to get it all out the way).

[ 09-17-2013, 06:54 PM: Message edited by: Derpy Hooves ]

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Ta-da!

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