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Brr... and other things you may want to know


So, there is a lot of information out there about HRT, but most of it is quite clinical and deals with subjects like dosage amounts, expected effects, and rough timelines... then there is what you didn't really know and wished someone told you.

Let me preface that this is from the perspective of a trans woman, I can't speak to the effects of HRT on trans men. Maybe someone will do a similar article for our awesome brothers. Also should be noted that these are my experiences, so your mileage may vary somewhat.

You will never be warm again! Seriously!

Now, to be fair, I was warned and it did not prepare me for the reality of it. Worse, I was already someone that got cold easily, and now it's easier! Conversely, what I used to fine comfortably warm, I now find scorching hot. All in all, I am way more sensitive to temperature variation.

Growing breast are hyper-sensitive and can get sore.

So the guidelines from Sherbourne Health suggested that expected onset of breast growth was around three months. I'm not even a month a half in and I can tell you, some stuff is happening. Aside from perpetually pokey nipples announcing to the world they're here, I find the general area sensitive and I can feel the hard knot of buds. It's very exciting, but I had no idea how sore they can get at the same time! I used to sort of half-side/half-stomach sleep with a pillow propping me and I can't do it, way too uncomfortable now. 

Your taste buds will have been replaced by aliens.

So, prior to HRT, I did eat a lot of different foods, but a pretty constant staple in most meals was some form of meat dish and beef was very common, as in multiple times a week. It was also assured that meat was present at least once a day, if not twice. Not so much now. The most common is tuna on my lunch salad, maybe chicken here or there in another dish, and maybe a steak every few weeks or so. I'm just simply finding that it's often not something that appeals to me when I planning my meals. I can assure you, for those that know me well, this is entirely massive change of diet affairs.

Your bladder will shrink.

Okay, most people are aware that spironolactone can have this effect and so you need to be careful with it to keep your liquids and salts up. However, I'm not on spiro, I'm on cypro, and while I don't pee constantly, I definitely go more than before. Just prepare to give up an iron bladder if you had one.

Body hair definitely changes.

Again, one of those things that most of us are kind of aware of, but we also know that it doesn't do in facial hair. It does, however, thin and soften it bit. So that's something. However, elsewhere, like legs and under arms, big difference for me already with way slower regrowth. I'm also super lucky that I never actually had chest hair and my arm hair was already very light, so HRT is just making that situation better.

You will smell different.

Yep, just a fact, I do not even remotely smell the same as I used to. To the positive, I might add, though not a personal challenge previously. Body chemistry is obviously changing, so it really shouldn't surprise, but I noticed it. Now, I've been using women's anti-antiperspirant for years because I hated the smell of men's options and it was gentler on shaved skin. It's definitely way more effective now.

You will get clumsy.

As a kid, I played hockey, I was a goalie, and I could pluck a 90 mph puck out of the air without thinking about it. Today, I'd be lucky not to take my eye out with the catching glove. I'm definitely finding that, as things shift, my sense of depth and body position has changed. I will get used to it, as things settle out and my muscle memory adjusts to the changes, but I do feel clumsy these days! 

So that's just some observations about a month and half in or so. I may do another of these as I encounter new things that kind of surprise me. I do want to say, however, that I wouldn't not trade these away if it meant giving up everything that I am gaining. These are small prices to pay, truly, but now you won't need to wish someone had told you.


Comments

  1. Great post and blog! I just discovered you through "T-Central" and have added a link on my Cyrsti's Transgender Condo blog. The only thing I would add to your post was how my emotions changed on HRT.
    Keep up the good work :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I did note the emotional changes in an earlier post, but I felt that was one of those changes that we all kind of know about. However, I supposed some do not. :)

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  2. Nice post. The two I was not aware of was temperature sensitivity, which I have notice no effect, and the clumsiness, which is hard to tell because I have been slightly clumsy for years, so it is hard to tell. I was definitely aware of the sensitivity and soreness with breast development, and I definitely have that, but it was no surprise.

    I might mention that I am a week shy of 5 months Estradiol and Spiro

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