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Oct 25

10 changes to expect from masculinizing hormone therapy and how to know if taking testosterone is right for yo – Business Insider India

Masculinizing hormone therapy is one way those who were assigned female at birth can achieve masculine body characteristics to help them feel more at ease in their skin. Here's what you need to know about this common aspect of transmasculine gender-affirming therapy.

Testosterone is the only hormone people use in masculinizing hormone therapy, says Amy Weimer, MD, a primary care physician with a clinical interest in transgender care at UCLA Health.

Depending on the dose, frequency, chosen method, and the person's genetics, you may start to see masculinizing changes within the first week or a few months. Here's a timeline showing some of the changes you can expect:

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2. Hair growth. Existing facial and body hair will thicken, darken, and grow at a faster rate. More hair will grow on the chest, back, arms, legs, and rest of the body. You'll start to grow a more pronounced mustache and beard too. Some may also experience male pattern baldness if it runs in the family.

5. Body fat redistribution. Taking testosterone decreases the body's fat mass, according to a 2018 study published in the European Society of Endocrinology. This is most noticeable in the hips, legs, arms, and face.

6. Muscular changes. Those who take testosterone will notice it's easier to build muscle when exercising, Weimer says. Muscles may also become more pronounced as body fat is redistributed.

8. Reduced possibility of getting pregnant. Testosterone reduces the likelihood of becoming pregnant, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility completely. Transmasculine individuals with ovaries and a uterus can still get pregnant, even if testosterone stops menstruation.

Use condoms (either external or internal) and dental dams every time you have sex to reduce the risk of STDs and pregnancy. Those who go off testosterone therapy may become pregnant again with the return of menses, but you should talk to your doctor before attempting to get pregnant.

10. Genital changes. The cells that make up the clitoris will try to grow into a penis. Unlike a penis, the urethra will remain separate. However, the clitoris may grow one to two inches, though it can grow larger depending on your genetics.

The vaginal walls will also become thinner and more prone to tearing after starting testosterone. Natural lubrication also decreases. Some trans men also report pelvic pain, as testosterone could affect the uterus and pelvic muscles.

Excess red blood cells could obstruct how well the body absorbs oxygen in the blood, says Safer. It could also lead to an increased risk of blood clots.

Some signs you're at risk for a blood clot includes:

Overall, masculinizing hormone therapy with testosterone can help patients feel more at home in their own bodies.

However, these physical changes will take time, and the exact process may be different depending on the individual and their metabolic and genetic makeup.

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10 changes to expect from masculinizing hormone therapy and how to know if taking testosterone is right for yo - Business Insider India

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