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Reasonable expectations when starting HRT in your 50s

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I started feminizing HRT about 6-7 weeks ago. I began with what I called the beginner's patch. I immediately found myself wanting to level up to the next dose and did that this week (yay!). So far, I am enjoying the ride.


I've read everything I can find on this topic. For the HRT vets on here, what is reasonable to expect in terms of physical changes for someone starting in their 50s? I know "your mileage may vary." I guess I am curious if I stay on my current trajectory for six months, a year, multiple years, how pronounced will the physical changes be? Will I reach a point where it is totally obvious or will I land in a "middle zone" somewhere in which I could pass either way?


Thanks! Like I said I am enjoying the ride so far and always curious to know others' experiences. Not sure anyone else in my life will be excited about these moves I am making, but I have been over that in many places on here already so need to rehash... Love and blessings to all!



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In my case, at almost 9 months, most changes have been very subtle. I was 60 when I started, and overweight. Also, I am not very observant when it comes to changes. In the last 3 months I have been on T blockers and breast growth have definitely started having suffered irregular "ouchies", but at the same time I have been slowly losing fat, so Bust measurements have not changed. What has changed in the density, I can feel a difference. Face wise the skin feels softer, and my lashes seem to be more visible. Head hair regrowth is a maybe- maybe not situation. 

I do have to select men's clothing carefully to camouflage the change in breast shape. I guess I'm still at the not passable as a female stage especially with no makeup. I'm also over 6 foot and well over 100kgs which I guess is problematic to start with!


Hope this helps somewhat




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Everything that @MaybeRob said above is spot on with me too. The changes are much more subtle the older you start. I started HRT at 56 and of the feminine physical changes I experienced from HRT, 80% of all my changes happened by my 3 year mark. The other 20% of the changes are continuing still.


The feminine results I still see change happening in include: reduced and thinning arm, leg, and body hair, body fat redistribution to my hips and butt. There may be still some minor facial fat redistribution but at this point it’s getting harder to tell. The facial fat redistribution started after year 1. Also, I’m still on Progesterone which was added into my HRT regimen after year 1. I believe that is responsible for increasing the size and darkening the color of my nipples to a much more feminine look. I was happy about those changes because my BA procedure alone did nothing to improve that aspect of my breasts. I will be getting off Progesterone at the end of this year now that it has done its job. I will be 6 years on HRT this September. I’m guessing I may have a year or two left before all the expected changes will have occurred.


Hope that helps a little,

Susan R🌷

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I feel like it took a while to land in the 'middle zone', but it did happen. But obviously all those decades of testosterone poisoining take their toll, the middle zone is still preferable to the old life. 

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Thank you all for the helpful responses... I realize some of HRT is for mental health -- like I said above I really am enjoying the ride so far in that regard!


Guess there is a part of me that wants to have my cake and eat it too. I want to have a nice feminine shape within reason for my age (fat distribution - you can kick in whenever you want!!). Yet, I am still not out to family, so I want it to be subtle enough as I go along that I can cover tracks when necessary ... Not the ideal situation but it is what it is ... maybe when family realizes that this is not making me into a monster, they will come around to some of it. I can hope, right?


More and more, I just want to look in the mirror and see a female body staring back at me ... I want female clothing that I put on to look like it fits me to a T... (and by T, I don't mean testosterone, lol)... 





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  • 2 weeks later...

The source of estrogen can matter. I started HRT at age 50. My avatar was the result. I started on pills, and moved to estradiol valerate injectables. However, there was a shortage, and I had to use a compounding pharmacy. The estradiol would evaporate in the vial, and couldn't get 5 doses out of it. I eventually move to the patch. 


Over time I realized the patch wasn't working properly. And, the last time I visited my doctor he told me my estrogen levels were low. He asked me if I wanted to change to estradiol valerate. I jumped for joy. So I started my script for estradiol valerate. My prescription was ready, but I didn't receive my script for needles for a couple of weeks. So I bought my own (legal). I started with intramuscular injections. This requires a longer needle, and the estrogen is released into the muscles. It has a powerful effect right away but isn't stable. So by the time I took my next injection 2 weeks later, the estradiol in my bloodstream was almost gone. When I finally received my script for my needles, the needle was shorter. So the injection was subcutaneous. What is different with this type of injection as that the estrogen released is more even over 2 weeks (before the next injection). Interesting the syringe/needles my doctor prescribed are so much higher in quality. I am going to follow his path. My breasts are now perky again. And I will let my doctor guide me. 


I wish you success on your journey. Let us know how things are proceeding. I am happy for you.



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I started estrogen (oral) a little before age 50 and not the maximum dose either and also no blockers. It almost immediately accentuated the feminine features I already had, and expanded my already soft areas of skin, widened my hips and distributed more fat to my thighs and increased my breast size. There seem to be some subtle changes to my face too though I doubt I am any more passable than I was a decade ago, it’s just nice to not use breast forms anymore. I haven’t switched to injections as planned and there really hasn’t been much change after the first 6 months and my body fights back; my E levels dropped and T increased even on the same dose so it has not really done much for me. It sounds like injections are the far better way to go, plus progesterone after a while if the doctor will prescribe that. 

As is often said, everyone is unique and one’s mileage may vary, and what works for one person may not for another. 

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1 hour ago, Desert Fox said:

It almost immediately accentuated the feminine features I already had

I can relate to that, I started my oral estrogen back in 2017.. less than 6 months I was wearing jeans size 40, then afterward my hips started to curve so I can fit a jeans size 12 or 14.. my treating doctors suggested for me to take before and after pictures and show it to them during my next doctor's appointment. 

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On 5/4/2024 at 1:09 AM, MirandaB said:

the middle zone is still preferable to the old life


Totally!  I started HRT 21 months ago.  I'm 53yo now.  I mostly did not want the feminine genes of my family to take me over.  I told my doctor I wanted athletic breasts.  She has kept me on fairly low doses and I'm avoiding progesterone so far.


It's mostly mental for me.  Taking the pressure off from not having erections is soothing and changes my thinking.  I just want that stuff gone.  I had fun with it, but I'm over it.


I'm extremely happy with what has happened with my breasts.  Perhaps it took more than a year, but they have a feminine, athletic appearance now.  I don't notice changes in the rest of my body.  I've always enjoyed being thin and straight and have no desire for curves.  I can dig that butch with a feminine touch look.  I was upset at cutting my hair, but I'm liking it now.


It's fun to see all these young transwomen in my environment.  Everyone has their own style and the younger generation has a style of their own compared to us older people.


OK, back to baking a pie and doing some knitting....

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