The irreversible(?) changes of testosterone

The doctors usually have high reservations on prescribing testosterone to transmen. Female hormones do not cause as much irreversible changes as testosterone does.

I had a really hard time getting a prescription for testosterone because of this. Because I was not approved by the Norwegian gender clinic, I would not get testosterone from them either. I was ready to start hormone treatment when I went to the clinic the first time, fall 2006, but knew it would not happen.

Two years later I got turned down by the clinic, and after a week of intense research I was able to find a doctor who understood my need for testosterone. I started out on testogel, half the regular dose, in summer 2008. Of course I had regular blood samples drawn.

After two years on a low testogel dose, I finally moved on to injections of Nebido; the only injectable testosterone available in Norway, last fall. I now have shots every 3 months (adviced rate) and my physical changes happens faster.

These are my changes so far:

  • My voice has dropped. It has got a new vibration of brass in it. I think this is the testosterone infused change that has meant the most in my daily life. I now sound like the man I feel that I am.
  • My body is hairier, especially my stomack, where I used to apply the testogel, but also other parts of my body is slightly hairier.
  • Facial hair. I now look like a man who has not shaved for three days when I don’t shave for two weeks. And the hair grows more in some places than in others, so it looks funny.
  • I witness some reclining of the hairline on my forehead, but it is not obvious to others.
  • Some genital growth.

Although I am very pleased with the changes, I don’t think they would destroy my ability to pass as female if I wanted to. After two and a half year, I feel I am finally getting close to the point of no return.

I am still able to use my female voice if I want to. Body hair could be shaved waxed off. The growth of facial and bodily hair would probably slow down or stop if I stopped taking testosterone. My hailine is still within the limit of what can pass as female. And my genital growth is probably not recognizable to others, even if I undress. But of course I don’t want to. I am a man now.

My point is that I wish I could have started testosterone when I first decided that I wanted to, in 2006. The changes were quite small in the beginning. The greatest change was not any of the physical changes I’ve mentioned, but that of increased well being. I felt I got a new kind of peace inside, that I was more able to cope with everyday life.

That is why I think doctors should be less hesitant to prescribe testosterone for transmen. It could even be used with success in the evaluation of a person’s gender indentity. One of the things about my medical evaluation that I disagreed with, was the focus on my past. As I see it, transition is about your future. The evaluation should focus on what you want/need your body to look like and feel like and what gender role you would feel the least stressful.

I always knew that I wanted facial hair, lower voice and a penis. I initially saw my breasts as my only sexual asset, but as soon as I got confident in my male gender identity, I had no longer any attachement to them. I got rid of them last summer (2010) and I’m very pleased with the result. I am sorry I had to pay for it myself, instead of getting it covered by social security. The same goes for my hormones.

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