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Thread: HRT, Potential Drawbacks

  1. #1
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    HRT, Potential Drawbacks

    Hi, Folks! I've been out for seven years now, as myself all the time. I've long had my name changed, and a law passed in 2015 here in Ireland has allowed me to become legally recognized as female and to get all of my documents updated.

    Up to now, for various reasons, I've held back from starting HRT or considering surgery. However, I'm beginning to consider those options now. So I was hoping perhaps someone could give me a list of the potential drawbacks (medical or otherwise) of HRT. It's not an area I've researched in any depth as yet, but it's certainly something I need to do now.

    If someone could give me a list of things I'd need to look into, and perhaps a hint as to where to look, I'd be grateful. I did look for such a thread on this forum--and there may well be one and I just couldn't find it. So if you know of such a thread and want to give me link to it, that would be very nice. Once I have an idea what I need to look into, I can take it from there.

    Many thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Hi,
    I remember I started on Wikepedia to get an good idea of all the options and followed links to drill deeper. From there, I went and read lots of research studies on PubMed website. I also found 2 good videos to watch and share with my spouse from UCSF. All links are below.
    In general, it is in your best interest to dive all in into the current research. This is a topic that is not heavily researched and new studies are coming all the time, albeit at a slower pace than what I wished.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transg...ormone_therapy

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/

    https://transcare.ucsf.edu/hormone-therapy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    To be honest, an online forum is not the best place to get the best advice for you. While there are some here who have been there, done that, and some who consider themselves experts on the subject, there are also some who post primarily for attention who have no experience or first hand knowledge.

    Your best starting place is with a qualified therapist and then an experienced doctor.

    Btw, I Googled the title of your thread and got lots of hits. You should try that.

  4. #4
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    Great advice so far. I am also a member at Susan's Place (susans.org) and read someone's new post today asking all those questions and more. The best though when you are getting close is to talk directly to your doctor or the doctor you are referred to whop has the appropriate transgender health care experience. Good luck. Also your results may vary greatly when compared to some. You do need to be able to answer this question, "What do want to get out of HRT?".

  5. #5
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    Thanks to all for your replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katya@ View Post
    Hi, I remember I started on Wikepedia . . .
    Thanks for this. I'll have a look at these links. Just something to get me started is basically what I need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeri Ann View Post
    To be honest, an online forum is not the best place to get the best advice for you.
    A useful reminder. We always need to consider the source of our information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeri Ann View Post
    Btw, I Googled the title of your thread and got lots of hits. You should try that.
    I did look. I'll look again.

  6. #6
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    I want to add to Jeri's comment about getting info from the doctor. Just because doctor has treated transgender patients, it doesn't mean you shouldn't do your own research. As I said, new studies come all the time. Medications and approaches do change. Not all doctors keep up with research all the time. I was blown away when my endocrinologist referred me to a brand new article on Progesterone the month it was published. Wasn't even available unless you had subscriptions to some databases. He shared it with me. Realize, we are still Guinea pigs in a way and are taking risk. All we can do, is mitigate the risk and it comes from knowledge (good peer reviewed studies, etc). Don't go to the doctor and say - what can you do for me. Be prepared. Ask for options you have. Take time to research your options when you go home. Ask your doctor questions.

  7. #7
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    if we each speak from personal experience, then at least the horse has spoken.
    My biggest regret - only regret - is that i did not keep up with an intensive gym routine, and now have a much tougher, more uphill battle to regain fitness and strength. The only downside really is the loss of power-strength-stamina that comes naturally from testosterone. one has to learn to adapt to this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
    I used to believe this, now I'm in the company of many tiggers. A tigger does not wonder why she is a tigger, she just is a tigger.

    thanks to krististeph: tigger = TG'er .. T-I-GG-er

  8. #8
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    The question is simply too broad. Jeri's answer is best, I think - the key words being QUALIFIED therapist and EXPERIENCED doctor. That specifically means having had significant, direct, trans patients experience. Not just training, not just gender confusion, not crossdressers ... but with patients having gone on to HRT, transition, and/or surgery. The wider and deeper the patient variety, the better by far.

    If you have more specific concerns or questions, this forum is not a bad place to bring them up. Just be mindful that even a seemingly narrow query can evoke a lot of perspectives.
    I am older than I once was,
    And younger than I'll be. ...
    After changes upon changes
    We are more or less the same;
    After changes we are more or less the same.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    From what I've read, most girls lose both height and strength. Both are issue for me as I'm already short and petite.

    HRT is going through puberty again. Which may mean years of uncertainty of how it will go.

    You may want to consider having your facial hair removed first, rather than last. It has to be grown out to be removed.
    Last edited by Maid_Marion; 09-05-2019 at 12:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Country Gal.... Megan G's Avatar
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    I’m going to have to say that loss of height is not a reasonable expectation of HRT... if someone truly experienced this i would be super concerned and would recommend going to your doctor ASAP for tests.

    Your bone structure will not change, your bones will not get shorter. There is a possibility that you could lose some thickness of cartilage but if that loss amounts to anything over an inch... again go see your doctor...

  11. #11
    Aspiring Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    An inch in significant when you are as short as I am.

  12. #12
    John JohannaH's Avatar
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    I am the odd person out. I have been on M2F HRT for about 8 years, and yet I still consider myself as a man. I was thinking of socially transitioning to be a woman and change my official name from John to Johanna. However I changed my mind and go by my birth name John.

    I have developed a feminine figure with a bra cup size of DD and always had wide hips from puberty. However my speaking and singing voice is a deep bass, and I have the deepest voice in my church choir.

    I will continue with the HRT since I am no longer suicidal and no longer drink too much alcohol. I am a lot happier, and for some strange reason as a womanly looking man I interact much better socially.

    My prescribing physician goes by the informed consent model, and no gender therapist was required for me to start the regimen.

    I lost about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in height but I have not experienced any great loss of physical strength.
    Last edited by JohannaH; 09-08-2019 at 04:10 PM.
    John - Please use my legal name John.

    Been on M2F HRT for over 8 years
    Don't mind if I am addressed as Sir or Ma'am as long as I am treated with respect.
    Just don't call me "Maggot".

  13. #13
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    Very wise advice it will make the transition so mutch easyer when you do not have the worry about shaving after transition .

  14. #14
    John JohannaH's Avatar
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    I still have to shave my face daily after 8 years of estrogen. You have to have electrolysis or laser treatment to eliminate facial hair.

    John
    Last edited by JohannaH; 09-10-2019 at 08:22 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JaytoJillian's Avatar
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    Think about the permanent medical trail that you'll be leaving. I am finding out the hard way about how difficult/complicated obtaining life insurance is now that I have a "trans profile" in my medical records.
    WARNING:Any institutions or individuals using this site or any of its associated sites for studies, projects, or any other purpose - YOU DO NOT HAVE MY PERMISSION To Use Any Of My Profile Or Pictures In Any Form Or Forum Both Current And Future.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaytojillian/

  16. #16
    Member Carolina's Avatar
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    Wow, why is that? Does HRT shorten life expectancy? Why? Just curious since I had my consultation with an endo who focuses exclusively on trans women and he didn’t mention it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Life insurance is based on actuarial calculations. I rather suspect that, for the TS population, there is not enough data, making us eager of unknown odds, rather than one of bad odds.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JaytoJillian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Kelly View Post
    Life insurance is based on actuarial calculations. I rather suspect that, for the TS population, there is not enough data, making us eager of unknown odds, rather than one of bad odds.
    Solid theory. I am soooo frustrated. I have never smoked, rarely drink and I work out for 2-3 hours EVERY day. My credit is awesome, I have real money put away and I have a couple of nice income streams.

    The major insurer with whom for nearly 30 years--I have had TWO homeowner's policies, an auto policy, investments and even a credit card, "postponed" my app for a year, telling me that they would reconsider AFTER I transitioned. Trouble is, who said that that is where I want to end up. At the moment I am very happy flying under the radar. I definitely do not want my insurance company dictating some underwriter-developed schedule for me to transition by. At any rate, the impact on consumer decisions has been my only negative.
    WARNING:Any institutions or individuals using this site or any of its associated sites for studies, projects, or any other purpose - YOU DO NOT HAVE MY PERMISSION To Use Any Of My Profile Or Pictures In Any Form Or Forum Both Current And Future.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaytojillian/

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    Thanks for mentioning it for us. Good to know

  20. #20
    John JohannaH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina View Post
    Wow, why is that? Does HRT shorten life expectancy? Why? Just curious since I had my consultation with an endo who focuses exclusively on trans women and he didn’t mention it.
    In my case I feel it is going to increase my life expectancy as I am no longer suicidal and depresses, and I no longer over consume alcoholic beverages.
    John - Please use my legal name John.

    Been on M2F HRT for over 8 years
    Don't mind if I am addressed as Sir or Ma'am as long as I am treated with respect.
    Just don't call me "Maggot".

  21. #21
    Junior Member DDtop's Avatar
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    The thing with HRT is the person using it! it isn't one size fits all everyones DNA/Genetics are different as just like a lock and keys.Different locks take different keys one key will fit perfectly others could turn but hard!

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