January 7, 2013 at 21:00 #1238
I was wondering if any one can give me some information on Hormone replacement therapy, particularly in regards to a male-to-female transsexual.
I’ve had a look on Wiki and what have you, but it is a lot to digest.
What I’d really like to know is, what is the most common form of HRT in the UK for a male-to-female transsexual? And is this usually prescribed through a doctor? Or is it more commonly self-administered?
Any other info on this subject would be great. Thanks!
January 9, 2013 at 22:00 #1239
Typically a male-to-female would take oestrogen – the patches are currently considered the safest – and an antiandrogen. The latter blocks the male hormones and makes the oestrogen more effective.
Basically, if all goes well:
* Your GP arranges an appointment with a shrink
* If the shrink is convinced you are transgender and need HRT, they’ll sign off on it
* Your GP will then prescribe the pills/patches for you, assuming you are physically healthy enough (drinking, smoking etc can cause complications and reduce your chances of getting HRT)
Hope that helps.
January 9, 2013 at 22:04 #1247
Hormones are of course a minefield and drive all of us as well as impacting on our development be it trans or not.
As far as scriptwriting is concerned it is important to keep it simple so I wont go into the plethora of hormone names.
Few things gets the trans community more fired up and into opposing camps than hormones and the differing regimes people have around them.
Hormone treatment fall into two types; oestrogens and anti-androgens. The oestrogens being a female hormone are the dominant sex hormone in women and in men it’s testosterone. An anti-androgen will suppress testosterone. So a combination of oestrogen and anti-androgen is common in a m2f transsexual.
A trans person just starting out on a hormone regime may often be given very large amounts in order to force the body to change. This will affect body mass distribution and breast development as well as chemically castrating the male genitalia. A post operative person would generally be reduced to a smaller amount of oestrogen (usually around 100 times smaller) and they would stop taking anti-androgens.
One interesting fact is that the oestrogen people take is normally a standard female contraceptive pill. Oestrogen is often continued to be taken for the rest of the persons life as the body will no longer be producing it’s own. This is because the body needs hormones to regulate body functions, the one often cited is bone health where the lack of hormones can bring on osteoporosis.
Of course the visual physicalities that one can see from someone on hormones are what fascinates people most often. However the one that has the most impact is the fact that they often take people on a massive roller-coaster of emotions; happy, sad, depression, the whole gamut and a good approximation is the feelings women get during their menstrual cycle. It should be noted that the hormone regime seldom produces dramatic physical changes most commonly modest breast development, softer skin, reduced muscle mass and loss of male function. Hormones do not stop beard development or change your voice.
As for who prescribes them, this is often prescribed by a gender psych in the first instance and often continued by a GP as a maintenance regime.
Sometimes hormones are prescribed by a gender psych as a diagnostic tool to establish that a patient really is trans. This is because many other psychological conditions can present as gender dysphoria. The hormone will start changing the body right away and if it is not for the person they will desist in taking them.
There are a small amount of people that obtain hormones illegally and self prescribe for various reasons. This is not recommended as you need to be monitored while you are on hormones and complications like blood clots for instance can be minimised.
As always I should point out that I am no expert and some of what I write here is from personal experience as well as knowledge gathered over many years.
I deliberately do not give specific details here as I wanted to give an overview that would inform without boring, also one should be careful of making absolute medical statements which may be relied upon by other trans people seeking help as this is not a dedicated trans forum.
Thanks for your question
February 2, 2013 at 09:43 #1579
Thanks for responding to this question by the way. I’ve been so busy writing I forgot to reply!
I haven’t gone in to great detail about HRT in my script, I don’t think a sitcom calls for that, but it gets a couple of mentions and your response helped. So thanks.