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HRT Effects


Charleigh Dakota

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Hi, I am currently on HRT and while it has only been 5 weeks now, I feel like it is having absolutely no effect on me psychologically or physically. I really dont feel or look any different whatsoever and it is rather disheartening to be honest. I understand that it takes time, most says 3-6 months before signs are obvious but I thought I would at least be feeling something changing on the inside. Like, I dont feel any more like a girl than I always have, I dont see any changes at all on the outside and I just kinda feel like its a waste of effort because nothing is actually happening. I imagined that I, even if nobody else can yet, would be noticing some differences in personality, appearance, etc by now, but nothing seems different other than being on a heavy medicinal regime every morning and night. It honestly is leading me to feel a little hopeless and starting to make me question if I am just wasting my time...although I know I cant stop because I will be so much more miserable remaining a male than I ever was..Im just disheartened and looking for some support and advice to reassure me that I will see changes soon. (i.e.-Wider hips, thicker thighs, softer eyes, etc etc)

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Please don't lose hope about changes to come, @Charlie Dakota.  It is way too soon to give up on yourself or your body.  Psychological effects, like "feeling more feminine" or "feeling happier" are totally dependent on someone's personality and psychological makeup.  Not everyone has the same feelings as others, and shouldn't depend on feeling any particular way.  When people post about those early psych effects it can make others think they are missing out if they don't feel the same way.  That's what I think has happened to you, and it's unrealistic and can even be self-defeating.

 

When I started HRT I did not, and have never since, felt that I perceive colors differently than I did before, or suddenly started liking men, or felt any euphoria.  Those are all effects reported by some or many other trans women.

 

The physical effects are more predictable, and as you yourself mentioned, it takes months before effects are noticeable.  They will come, but no one can predict how strongly or how quickly they will develop.  Some folks never advance past size A breast development, and some never experience the cessation of body hair growth.  Your mileage will, indeed, vary.  It things don't turn out as good as you hoped, that doesn't mean you're a failure of any kind.  Good things will happen in their own time and in their own way.

 

Chin up, hon.  You'll get there!

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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Yes, what @Carolyn Mariesaid. I have also heard of reports from people who did not experience the psychological effects from HRT that other people feel. The physical changes are gradual. Keep your head up.

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Hugs @Carolyn Marie & @emeraldmountain2 ... Thank you for the support, I guess I am just feeling blue because after nearly 50 years of being someone I wasnt...I just want to FINALLY feel and look like myself...whatever that looks and feels like. Patience has never been my best virtue but its so hard to finally take this step and hope things grow and develop in the right places. Of course, I have always felt like a woman but conditioned as a man so while I was always "girlie" in body, heart and mind...meaning, I never had very much body hair at all (my cis female wife has more natural body hair then I ever did) and I have always been small in statue, but I have always been flat chested and straight (no curves) and I just want my body to match my heart and mind. Im stuck in the "transition" phase and have to work in a "modified" girl mode because of the nature of my job (safety being the utmost concern) and I just want to NOT BE A MAN!! (No offense guys!! Love ya!!)

 

It truly is harder to transition than it is to just stay a "man" but I know in my heart and without any doubt whatsoever that I want and need to transition my body to match my heart...so I can be truly happy. I know when that FINALLY happens, I will be beyond euphoric, but the pain and stress and agony of the process is sometimes overwhelming and I occasionally get down about it because I feel like "its not meant to be"...though I know it very much is...and an absolute necessity. I actually tried to go back to living as a male full time and I lasted about 10 hours and couldnt stand it...I had to rush home from work and "fix myself".... I know without doubt that if I ever had to live as a man again...I would never be able to. 

 

But...I just finished a relaxing hour long bubble bath and shave...so that was nice...but Im still frustrated and still unrealistically looking for the magic light switch or magic pill...which we all know doesnt exist...sadly 😞 Ugh... 

 

Thanks for the Love!! **Hugs** 

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You're welcome @Charlie Dakota.

 

40 minutes ago, Charlie Dakota said:

It truly is harder to transition than it is to just stay a "man" but I know in my heart and without any doubt whatsoever that I want and need to transition my body to match my heart...so I can be truly happy.

For me, the literal pain of hair removal, and I suspect surgeries I'm yet to have, is far less painful than the gender dysphoria I've felt for so long. I hope that the steps you're taking also help to alleviate the pain. Perhaps as you travel further along in your transition you will also feel less pain. It sounds like even now you're feeling less pain overall when you are able to be yourself.

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27 minutes ago, emeraldmountain2 said:

For me, the literal pain of hair removal, and I suspect surgeries I'm yet to have, is far less painful than the gender dysphoria I've felt for so long.

Agreed, I will take exorbitant amounts of short term physical pain in trade for the soothing of the decades of emotional pain

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Charlie, many of the reports you might read about people having significant psychological change soon after starting HRT has really nothing to do with the HRT other than they are doing something significantly affirming of their Gender Identity, and their dysphoria is reducing. The hormonal changes do take time, and they are different for everybody. It is also dependant on many factors, one being suppression of testosterone. Typically, doctors prescribe starting doses of an anti androgen and low dose oestrogen to see how you react, and periodically increase the dose from there. The aim is to reduce testosterone below male levels, and raise oestrogen to female levels, but this can take many months. 

 

Age is unfortunately also a factor, and as we get older, the desired changes are harder to achieve. The skill of the doctor is a big factor, as everybody's needs are different, and most doctors treat their trans patients the same. Learn as much as you can about  feminising hormone therapy so you will know if your doctor is maximising your development chances. Don't try to compare your results with other trans women as their situation is different. When you get your HRT right, the changes will happen, but how much and how long this takes is anybody's guess!

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

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Hi Charlie,

 

Don't get disheartened. I can't say what HRT is like because I've never done it. But maybe something that would be helpful, every time you are feeling particularly down about your body, emotional state, etc, do something girly. I like to watch makeup videos & browse for new clothes or jewellery. It just makes me feel better about myself for a little minute. I hope it does for you too!

 

🩷

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We are talking 2009 here when I first began my HRT, and a therapist showed me to one observation that was crucial to my Transition at the time;  the feelings I had when I first began HRT were relief that I was doing something, anything, that was not self destructive, and after years and years of "doing things for others" which was a vital part of where I had been I was doing something exclusively for me, that in reality were NOT harming the others in my life.  The pills for all intents and purposes at the time, were placebos enabling the mental healing I was doing.  Taking the meds each day was much more of an affirmation that was symbolic of the emotional achievements I was experiencing.  Even there I was going slowly -- yes, one day at a time but with each med, it was one more day.  All of us need to almost use the old 12 step meme of "JUST FOR TODAY" is what we are doing.  Strange but time has flown.  I will join in with the others and let you in on the fact that Trans folks do become great story tellers and really have to be careful to warn others that they will not have the same experiences that I (they) (we) did.  It is 3 to six years before the final outcome, but taking the meds at all is actually a full Transition from our prior life.  Also, like Cis Women, we come in more shapes and sizes than a small kid can make with Play-Doh and that means everywhere on our bodies.  Take the meds (or don't) as a promise to yourself that you are doing what is best for you in your own life, and that it will become your way of life that is fulfilling and authentic.

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14 hours ago, Charlie Dakota said:

truly is harder to transition than it is to just stay a "man" but I know in my heart and without any doubt whatsoever that I want and need to transition my body to match my heart...

Hold on to ^this^ Charlie.  This will be your path forward.


It really took me months on HRT to visually begin to see the changes.  Most of the emotional changes were based on my Self-Affirmation (well before HRT).  But, starting HRT was also a BIG emotional change for me mostly for being able to FINALLY take a step forward.  So it's complex and more than just biological.

The other thing is it took 3 or 4 months for my Dr to get my hormone levels right.  I think for most people it's a process and it can take a while.  I hope you can have an open conversation with your primary Dr and Endocrinologist (if you have one) about where you are at on the hormone spectrum and expectations for seeing and feeling the results.  But, I am confident you will. 

Please give us an update a couple of months from now if you could ... and as others on the Forum told me ... Enjoy The Ride!!

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14 hours ago, VickySGV said:

...  The pills for all intents and purposes at the time, were placebos enabling the mental healing I was doing.  Taking the meds each day was much more of an affirmation that was symbolic of the emotional achievements I was experiencing.  Even there I was going slowly -- yes, one day at a time but with each med, it was one more day.  ...

Vicky, your phrase that caught me was "placebos enabling the mental healing I was doing."

 

I'm about to step a bit away from the subject and I apologize for that and also thank you for bearing with me as I try to spill some words out. 

 

For various reasons, I'm very hesitant to consider HRT as a viable pathway for myself. I'm sure that will be explored further in the future. But the men in my family had strokes in their 80s and I work very hard to keep my health such that I don't have to take medications (statins are always looming on the horizon but I've kept them at bay). 

 

But now stepping away from the HRT subject, a couple months ago, actually when I started this long holiday trip to visit in-laws, I read something about flaxseed being a source of phytoestrogen. Now my rational mind knows that I would have to consume a metric boat load of the stuff to make no difference at all in my body, but did that stop me from getting some the first opportunity I got? No. A trip to the store to buy flaxseed supplements. (And lip moisturizer. And eye cream - what is that? Hmmm. Better get some of that. And dang that nail care kit looks so nice, might as well get that too.)

 

I can remember sitting in that parking lot swallowing that first flaxseed pill. It felt like a prayer. It felt like an affirmation of what I was achieving. If felt, to me, like what you were describing in your quote above.

 

And of course, it was all a placebo effect.

 

I still take one flaxseed pill a day in the morning as a little reminder and prayer.

 

-Timi 

Edited by Carolyn Marie
No escape from the naughty word filter allowed.
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16 hours ago, Charlie Dakota said:

.but Im still frustrated and still unrealistically looking for the magic light switch or magic pill...which we all know doesnt exist...sadly

As you have noted we never get that magic pill and your response to that "?ugh" certainly fits.

When i was approved for HRT some time ago i had great expectations.  I filled my prescription and took my first dose as a hurricane started to blow the trees around the farm.  I felt great as i knew i was starting but like you i yearned for finding peace with myself and my gender.  I have found it over time.  Have faith that you will find the same.  

I've come to understand that our transition is like puberty. It brings its changes slowly and that allows us time to adjust.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Hi @Charlie Dakota, as the others have said, these things take time. But also, it can take a while to find your correct dose. I have been on HRT for a little over 20 months now and I feel as if I -- with the help of my doctor -- have only just worked out the formula. That's not to say there weren't changes earlier, and I certainly felt different mentally and emotionally after a relatively short time, but I had to try various delivery methods, drugs and dosages before I overcame certain side effects and got to the stable optimal levels I have now.

 

You're on way though! You'll work it out. And, as Charlize says, the fact that it takes a while will give you time to adjust.

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@Timi

 

This is not medical advice, but please talk with your doctor before attempting to use any plant-based medicines/supplements for gender affirming purposes, even if you think it is harmless. This is especially the case with your family history of strokes since trans people using plant-based meds/supplements have reported getting blood clots from them. Be careful.

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41 minutes ago, emeraldmountain2 said:

@Timi

 

This is not medical advice, but please talk with your doctor before attempting to use any plant-based medicines/supplements for gender affirming purposes, even if you think it is harmless. This is especially the case with your family history of strokes since trans people using plant-based meds/supplements have reported getting blood clots from them. Be careful.

@emeraldmountain2 - As my Marine friend would say, copy that. Thank you!!!

 

-Tim

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21 minutes ago, emeraldmountain2 said:

@TimiYou're welcome!

You know, anywhere else in my life, I would walk away from this exchange feeling a bit ashamed at the silly way I’m dealing with my situation. But here - I feel like you (all of you) care about me and my well-being. It’s nice to feel cared for. So truly - thank you.  
 

-Timi

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@Timi

 You're not silly and there's no reason to be ashamed! To be honest, I also considered the herbal route, but when I read about the bad effects people had, I stayed away from them. It's very validating that you felt relief from taking the flax seed, but please do be careful. 

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38 minutes ago, Timi said:

You know, anywhere else in my life, I would walk away from this exchange feeling a bit ashamed at the silly way I’m dealing with my situation. But here - I feel like you (all of you) care about me and my well-being. It’s nice to feel cared for. So truly - thank you.  
 

-Timi

Isn't it an amazing feeling to know that people do genuinely care and are non-judgmental? This place has been my safe haven for over about a year now and I'm not sure where I'd be had I not found my way here.

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3 hours ago, Timi said:

But here - I feel like you (all of you) care about me and my well-being. It’s nice to feel cared for. So truly - thank you.  

I feel the same way every time I log in to Transgender Pulse Forum. I truly love that I can open up my heart and mind here. The positive acceptance is amazing when you are among like minded people, most of which we never met, but our shared experiences are so similar.

 

Best wishes, stay positive, and motivated,

 

Mindy🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋

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On 1/1/2024 at 1:46 PM, Carolyn Marie said:

Please don't lose hope about changes to come, @Charlie Dakota.  It is way too soon to give up on yourself or your body.  Psychological effects, like "feeling more feminine" or "feeling happier" are totally dependent on someone's personality and psychological makeup.  Not everyone has the same feelings as others, and shouldn't depend on feeling any particular way.  When people post about those early psych effects it can make others think they are missing out if they don't feel the same way.  That's what I think has happened to you, and it's unrealistic and can even be self-defeating.

 

When I started HRT I did not, and have never since, felt that I perceive colors differently than I did before, or suddenly started liking men, or felt any euphoria.  Those are all effects reported by some or many other trans women.

 

The physical effects are more predictable, and as you yourself mentioned, it takes months before effects are noticeable.  They will come, but no one can predict how strongly or how quickly they will develop.  Some folks never advance past size A breast development, and some never experience the cessation of body hair growth.  Your mileage will, indeed, vary.  It things don't turn out as good as you hoped, that doesn't mean you're a failure of any kind.  Good things will happen in their own time and in their own way.

 

Chin up, hon.  You'll get there!

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

I so agree. Everything is different according to your body type and your psychological makeup. I don't want to rush anything.  Enjoy the ride! This is something I've wanted for so long that I want to savor the changes. See where they bring me. And how each individual flavor tastes. That to me is everything.  And I'm going to love it as I love myself!

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@Charlie Dakota

 

I'm coming up to 5 months and I have had the same feelings - couldn't see the changes. But I suddenly find my male clothes 

are tight across the chest and my skin is softer. I think it is difficult to "see" changes in our selves when they are gradual and subtle. for me it was like gaining weight (not HRT related) - one day I realised I have become too fat since Covid lockdowns, it was not noticeable day to day, only after a long period of time. I have figured out that you can't compare your timeline to others 

on blogs, YouTube and forums etc. Often, I notice the subtle changes are visually amplified by increasing skill in makeup application and changes in hair - either wigs or growth.

I do wish it was possible to predict the degree of change you can expect from HRT - but it definitely isn't. 

 

Hugs

 

MaybeRob

 

 

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Yes, I started in March and the next November my wife stopped me from going outside with just a T Shirt on as she could see I had breasts. I hadn't noticed, but later that night in my nightie, I realised she was right!

 

Hughs,

 

Allie

IMG_3318.JPG

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OMG...So many wonderful replies!! Thank you to all of you for all the warm wishes, love, and support!! Id love to respond to each of you individually but Id be here all night!! My goodness!! 🙂 It is so wonderful to be a part of this family and I am excited to have the honor of not only sharing my growth with all of you as I transition my body into its natural state, but also to be able to share that same love and support to others as they transition into happiness as well!! ❤️ Much Love ❤️ 

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