Transgender hormones

Many trans + people and genderqueer, nonbinary + people take hormones as part of a gender transition. You do not need to take hormones, though. It is your choice.

People who plan to take hormones must think about reproductive options before they start. Hormones can change their bodies so they can’t ever make children.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your goals with hormones. You can start and stop hormones if you want to try them for a while. Some people try them for a few weeks or a few months to see how they feel. You can stop and restart anytime, but it’s a good idea to do it under a doctor’s care.

My opinions on hormones

For trans women and transfeminine people who transition after puberty:

  1. Hormones are not magic. They will not make others accept you by themselves.
  2. Changes from hormones often take a while and may not be easy to see at first.
  3. Hormones will not reduce facial hair much, but androgen blockers can reduce the speed of growth and texture of facial hair.
  4. Hormones will not change your voice.
  5. Hormones will have an effect on body hair over time (especially androgen blockers).
  6. Androgen blockers can help lower how much hormones you need.
  7. Androgen blockers help stop scalp hair loss.
  8. Hormones will change your skin and where your fat is.
  9. Injectable hormones seemed to work better for me than pills did.
  10. Hormone blockers calmed me down and lowered my sex drive.
  11. You can hide changes from hormones from others for as long as you want in almost every situation. Those who say they can’t seem to want people to notice.
  12. Hormones have health risks and potential side effects.
  13. Herbal drugs and over the counter products don’t work. You should take hormones prescribed by a doctor.
  14. Getting a prescription is often cheaper, safer, and more effective than black market hormones.

For trans men and transmasculine people who transition after puberty:

  1. Hormones are not magic. They will not make others accept you by themselves.
  2. Changes from hormones often take a while and may not be easy to see at first.
  3. Do not depend on them alone to make you accepted by others, because they will not.
  4. Hormones will increase facial hair and body hair significantly.
  5. Hormones will change your voice.
  6. Hormones will change your skin and where your fat is. You may get more acne and oil and sweat.
  7. Hormones may make you lose scalp hair. You can take other drugs to stop hair loss.
  8. Hormones may increase your sex drive.
  9. Hormones may change your mood, like more depression, anger, anxiety, and aggression.
  10. Hormones are potentially dangerous.
  11. Herbal drugs and over the counter products don’t work. You should take hormones prescribed by a doctor.
  12. Getting a prescription is often cheaper, safer, and more effective than black market hormones.

For genderqueer and nonbinary + people who transition after puberty:

  1. Consider starting with hormone blockers before taking hormones.
  2. Some people opt for not blocking hormones and adding to the ones their bodies make.
  3. You can start and stop at any time, but you should tell your doctor of your plans.
  4. It can be hard to find a doctor who will let you mix and match or experiment.
  5. See the lists above for more on the direction you are interested in moving.

See also

For trans women and transfeminine people

For trans men and transmasculine people

For genderqueer and nonbinary + people

Hormone blockers

For minors


Resources

Trans Care BC (phsa.ca/transcarebc)

  • They published the helpful 2015 guide Endocrine Therapy for Transgender Adults in British Columbia: Suggested Guidelines (PDF)

TS Do-It-Yourself Hormones (groups.yahoo.com/group/TsDoItYourselfHormones)

  • This Yahoo group was very active and is a good archive of first-hand reports.