As a transgender woman, tracking progress of our medical transition seems to be an implied obligation. So last weekend marked three months since I first started Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It’s kind of interesting because for the first two months, things were very subtle, so much so that I couldn’t even detect them. Well this month that all changed. But before I get ahead of myself.
When I started HRT back at the end of March, my doctor put me on low-does Spironolactone and an extremely low dose of Estradiol. The dosage for the Being on low-dose to start with is pretty common. Doctors usually want to make sure you don’t suffer any ill effects from the medications and that seems like a responsible approach. I was shocked however to find out that the dosing I received for Estradiol was lower than what the clincal guides I was reading specified as the starting point for low-dose HRT. So that realization along with a lack of descernible physical changes caused me a lot of anxiety. My doctor had explained her reasoning but it just didn’t help.
Thankfully at my two month appointment, she doubled my dosage of both. That brought my Spiro up to what the guides said was full dosage and the Estradiol was now at that low-end for low dosage. Well the increases seemed to have helped. At about the 2 and a half month mark, it was like someone flipped a switch. Suddenly I was seeing changes, and feeling changes, and that has been very exciting. So what has changed??
Very early on, the one change I did notice shortly after starting HRT was that my sweat lost almost all odor. For someone who typically works out a lot and would get so sweaty I couldn’t even stand to be around myself, this was a welcome change. I also noticed a decided drop in libido which I also didn’t mind. Both of those happened early on that was all I saw in terms of changes for a while.
Sitting here at a little over 3 months, there’s a lot more to see. At that 2.5 month mark, my nipples got very sore and were very firm. That firmness has continued to spread and now covers the entire nipple area. My areolas are starting to grow a bit as well. And just this last week, I noticed that I probably should stop going around shirtless in the house. That’s right, I’m actually starting to see some growth in these girls!! That’s been super exciting.
I’m also noticing a definite change in my skin. It’s becoming softer and also a little more fragile. For instance, I had an ingrown hair that I was trying to pick out. After a few seconds, my skin was blood red and looked awful. Ok lesson learned, we don’t do that anymore 🙂 With the skin softening, the features of my face are also starting to soften. Some of the finer lines and wrinkles are slowly disappearing and there’s a subtle change in my face that I can’t put my finger on but makes it look a little more feminine. Thanks to these changes and the laser hair removal that is in progress on my face, I no longer need concealer to cover my beard and mustache areas. Some light foundation and powder is all it takes now. I’ve even started wearing a foundation and powder (along with a little eyeliner) when I got out presenting as male. On at least one occasion while doing this, I was called ma’am by a kid behind the counter at Culver’s. So I guess that’s a good sign.
This past week I had another follow-up with my doctor and she again doubled the Estradiol dosage. So as I look forward now, I’m hoping to start seeing a little more significant change. One thing in particular that would be grate would be the shift in body fat that everyone talks about. I’d like to start seeing my hips plump out a bit. I’m also hoping that my body hair will slow down and that my head hair will start to thicken. These are things other trans women have told me they’ve experienced, so I’m looking forward to both of those. In three months I go in for more blood work and my doctor has assured me if things look good, she’ll bump up my E dosage one more time.
So things seem to be well on their way. Maybe when I get to that 6 month mark I’ll post a progress comparison picture with before HRT and at 6 months. We’ll see folks 🙂