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Undergoing an FTM procedure is typically the first consideration when deciding how to align your body with the gender you identify with. But it’s not the only option available to you.
Hormone therapy is an additional step that allows your body to develop masculine characteristics. The following will help you understand what you can expect from hormone therapy.
How Hormone Therapy Works
Hormones are chemical messengers that influence the development of your body on a cellular level. Hormone therapy increases the level of testosterone in your system while decreasing estrogen levels. Hormones are typically administered by injection, skin patch, or gel. You should talk to your doctor to determine which method of delivery is right for you.
Physical Changes With Hormone Therapy
The effects of hormone therapy will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors, including age, dosage, hormone receptors in the body, and other factors. The following are just some of the physical changes that commonly occur:
- Lowering of the voice
- Redistribution of body fat
- Increased muscle mass
- Hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, arms, and legs
- Cessation of menstruation after one to six months
How Fast Do These Changes Occur?
The different physical effects develop at various rates. The first changes that usually occur are the lowering of the voice, an increased sex drive, and a noticeable enlargement of the clitoris.These changes often start developing within the first several months of hormone therapy. After receiving treatment for six to 12 months, you’ll likely notice more physical changes. By this time, you’ll have an increase in body hair and your physique will appear to be more masculine. The changes caused by testosterone build up over time. For example, you’ll likely start developing facial hair within a few months of treatment, but it could take years before you can grow a full beard.
Hormone Therapy Considerations
You should consult with your doctor prior to any FTM procedure to take the steps needed to protect your health while undergoing hormone therapy. The best way to reduce the risk of liver issues during hormone therapy is to routinely monitor liver health through blood tests.
How Hormone Therapy Can Benefit You
Undergoing hormone therapy is a vital step in developing masculine features. It provides you with a more masculine appearance and offers psychological benefits, such as easing gender dysphoria and decreasing anxiety. Knowing what you can expect from hormone therapy ensures that you get the best results from your treatments while having the peace of mind you need as you move forward in your FTM procedure.