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HRT - One Year Later


Liz-Liz

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This is something I've been meaning to do for a while now. I distinctly recall all the research I did before beginning HRT. I read many personal stories, saw the pictures, studied the timelines, and still I could hardly imagine what it would be like to experience it for myself. Every experience is different. Here I would like to list the changes I've noticed over the course of the past year. I didn't keep very good track of dates or milestones, so this is a broad overview.

 

---------------------------------------------

 

Context:

*Began at age 30 with normal hormone levels

*1 Year on Estradiol.

*About 6 months taking spironolactone and 6 months on bicalutamide. Orchiectomy after 1 yr mark.

*Progesterone added after 6 months.

 

 

Physical changes:

*Rounder, fuller face. Gentler features. Several people have mentioned that my nose shape seems different. I can't verify that.

*Slight reversal of hair loss. No more balding!

*Significantly clearer skin. Softer skin. Less oily.

*Reduced body hair in the chest area. Leg, arm, and face hair remains unchanged. The hair on my hands and feet are still present but are now so light it's basically invisible.

*Less belly/gut fat/slimmer waist. Bigger bum. Jigglier thighs. 36-A bra size. Clothes, especially jeans, fit way different. As they should.

*Shoulders and hips are relatively unchanged, as expected. Overall weight has remained fairly constant.

*I don't know what's up with my feet. My shoes fit different. They didn't necessarily shrink, but I've gone down a half a shoe size.

*Noticeable drop in upper body strength. May have more to do with the MS than the hormones.

*Looking at pictures of myself from a year ago is like seeing an old friend. The person in the mirror is not the same one in the picture, despite the similarities. Side note, occasionally I catch my reflection or see a recent picture and realize how much I'm starting to look like my sister! Suppose that's to be expected.

 

 

Psychological changes are difficult to measure. There are so many factors to consider. I DO NOT claim these to be a direct result of hormone therapy!!! But, if I were to list the most significant changes regardless:

 

*A wider range of emotion. In short, not everything gets sorted through the anger filter. This took some getting used to.

*Interests have shifted somewhat. I'm relearning what I do and don't like. It's a slow process as it always has been, but now the direction it's drifting has been altered.

*My dreams are vastly different. I'm still stunned by this one. Corny as it sounds, it's like switching genres from action/adventure to drama/rom-com.

*I'm happier. I feel *right* as if finally cast in the proper role.

*I want to dance. I've never been a dancer before. Now I catch myself thoughtlessly moving to the music. In public! Weird.

*Libido is, um, different? Hard to explain without going into detail. Contrapoints summarizes it well. "Physical attraction may spark an interest, but it doesn't ignite an inferno like it used to." (paraphrased).

 

 

Now for the hard part:

Lest we forget, puberty is puberty. Self-induced or natural. Socially, emotionally, and physically, it's been a process. I won't go into depth, as a textbook could easily be written on this subject alone. Suffice to say, there are growing pains.

As a literal example, I was afraid to give hugs for several months once breast development began. Ouch!

Socially, I did lose some friends. Some family members wrote me off. Society at large can have strong opinions on all sides.

Emotionally, well... It's been a ride, and it isn't over yet. Net positive, but not without incident.

 

---------------------------------------------

 

This is not a comprehensive list of every noticeable change. Many are subjective or unverifiable, or I'm obvious to them entirely. Even big changes happen slowly.

There are several significant (let's say "intimate") details excluded as I'd rather not mention them to the whole world.

 

One year seemed to take forever, yet it went by so fast. I'm thrilled with the progress and optimistic for the future. 

This has been my personal experience. Individual results will vary. 

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I'm looking forward to the year mark. I still have about five and a half months left. I have already experienced some of them. I can't wait till my chest hair is gone along with belly hair. My arm hair hasn't changed much but then again it wasn't really a problem. I'm looking forward to having hips and hopefully a butt. My chest size is 42D which it used to be 42C so I'm glad that it's growing. 

 

Are you going to go through any surgeries?

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  • Admin

Thank you for your perspectives, @Liz-Liz.  The changes seem pretty typical, and I could not be happier for you.  Your list will help others here who haven't started yet, and give pleasant reminders to those of us who have started, whether recently or long ago.

 

Carolyn Marie

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@Liz-Liz Thank you for sharing this info! Congratulations on your HRT anniversary!

 

I have not yet hit the 1 year mark, but have also noticed changes similar to yours. I love my softer skin, softer face, more feminine fat distribution, better mental health, etc. Colors seem more vibrant. I also suspect I have gone down a little in shoe size, but I am not sure. One of the best things I've noticed is that there is life in my eyes and face now!

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8 hours ago, Ashley0616 said:

Are you going to go through any surgeries?

Yes. I've recently had an orchiectomy and I'm on a waiting list for a full bottom surgery.  I expect that's still around 2 years out. After that I may consider FFS or top surgery. 

 

Also... My chest/belly hair is lighter and thinner but it isn't gone completely. I still feel the need to shave it before I wear low-cut or crop top shirts. I could use some lasers in my life. *Sigh*

 

1 hour ago, emeraldmountain said:

@Liz-Liz Thank you for sharing this info! Congratulations on your HRT anniversary!

 

...Colors seem more vibrant.

Thank you!

 

And that reminded me of something I forgot to list. Things feel different. Emotionally, yes, but also nearly every sensation. Soft textures are softer, sweet things are sweeter, my sense of smell is stronger, pain is more painful. The only way I know to describe it is "I feel more" in every way. 

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1 hour ago, Liz-Liz said:

Things feel different. Emotionally, yes, but also nearly every sensation. Soft textures are softer, sweet things are sweeter, my sense of smell is stronger, pain is more painful. The only way I know to describe it is "I feel more" in every way. 

Yes! I have also noticed that my sense of touch is more sensitive and sense of smell is heightened.

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  • Forum Moderator
14 hours ago, Liz-Liz said:

One year seemed to take forever, yet it went by so fast. I'm thrilled with the progress and optimistic for the future.

As well you should @Liz-Liz. You have so many more wonderful experiences in your future to look forward to. The changes will keep coming and the new freedoms and joy they bring will come right along with them.

 

Congratulations on your 1 Year HRT milestone. Now hold on to your seat!

 

*Hugs*,

Susan R🌷

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@Liz-Liz I am at about 3 months on HRT and I feel I am on a similar path as your own observations.  Looking forward to the 1-year mark.

Thank you for sharing!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for posting this. Creates a lot of yearning for me as I read ... the physical changes, yes, but also the "feeling more" aspect that you describe: the more vivid colors, etc. I've always liked about myself that I "feel" - that movies and music and stories touch me in my soul in a deep way. Would love to plunge that depth even more... 

 

Best wishes on your journey...

 

E

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