Transgender hormones

Many trans + people and gender diverse 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 may change your body so you can not make children. It is important to know the other possible risks and side effects before starting.

It is safer to take hormones under your doctor’s care. I hope you will get a prescription by visiting your health provider in person. Americans can also go to a local health service like Planned Parenthood in your US state. There are also online clinics that prescribe hormones legally in some parts of the world.

Some people choose to self-medicate and order hormones from online pharmacies. Importing prescription drugs without a prescription is less safe and may be against the law where you live. 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.

What are hormones?

Living creatures that have endocrine systems secrete chemicals from different glands in their bodies that do different things. These are called hormones, and there are three basic kinds:

Amines

  • norepinephrine
  • epinephrine
  • dopamine

Peptides

  • leptin
  • ghrelin
  • insulin

Steroid

  • glucocorticoids
  • mineralocorticoids
  • androgens
  • estrogens
  • progestogens

When people take androgens, they will become more masculine. If they take estrogens or progestogens (or both), they will become more feminine. Some cisgender people take these, too.

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 gender diverse 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.

Hormone options and dosing

Dosage for trans women and transfeminine people

Dosage for trans men and transmasculine people

Options for gender diverse people

Hormone blockers

How to order hormones online

How to get hormones as a minor


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.