Page E23 - The virilizing hormones
Page F25a - Les hormones virilisantes 2
Association Transgenre Wallonie
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Virilizing hormone treatment

Being yourself allows you to respect yourself and therefore also to respect others.

Hormones are chemical messengers, secreted by the glands, which circulate in the blood and which turn on or off functions of the body. For example, some hormones tell our heart to beat faster during a fright, while others control fat storage. Hundreds of hormones are in our body, carrying different messages.

Hormone therapy in FtM transgender people raises testosterone levels and lowers the amount of estrogen to an amount close to what every man has; which causes internal and visible changes in the body. However, do not believe in miracles. Although male hormones are more effective than female hormones, the results will be what your body accepts.

For transgender men, taking hormones becomes part of their daily routine and it remains necessary for them to take hormones every day and for the rest of their lives in order to maintain the masculinization of their bodies.

It should be noted that some of the effects of long-term hormone use are irreversible, at least without surgery. Hormones are therefore not something that can be taken lightly or just to try.

Hormones also have side effects on life and social relationships. The person must realize this. These changes include the impact in relationships with family members, friends and employers. The use of hormones can be an important factor in discrimination in employment, loss of one's job, divorce in the couple, restriction or loss of visitation rights for children.

Medical approach

Before considering the prescription of hormone treatment, it is imperative to take a complete history of the health of the transgender person. This means tracing the medical history and the history of the complaint, the patient's current pain, as well as the results of the various investigations already made and the treatments undertaken.

The hereditary history as well as the personal history of the person will be analyzed as well as the state of his current health. Particular attention will also be paid to his psychological situation, i.e. the importance of dysphoria and its psychological, clinical and behavioral consequences.

As a reminder, gender dysphoria is characterized by a strong and permanent identification with the other gender associated with anxiety, depression, irritability and, often, a desire to live as a gender different from the assigned sex at birth.

All this will require not only a complete somatic examination in order to avoid a thromboembolic risk (an examination of the venous system) as well as a complete biological assessment of his metabolism and his cisgender endocrine system.

The calculation of the body mass index (known as Qu├ętelet) will be necessary because it is common, in transgender people, for chronic suffering due to dysphoria to cause a significant nutritional disorder.

A medical assessment of the person's mental health will also be necessary to determine the importance of the relationship between the intensity of the dysphoria and the severity of the behavioral disorders and psychological disorders. These disorders are characterized by depression (poor self-esteem), self-mutilation, suicidal impulses, addictions (drugs, alcohol, etc.), dietary imbalances (impulses).

There are three ways to take testosterone :

First way :

By intramuscular injection in the buttocks or thighs with a frequency that can vary from one to four times a month. It is the least expensive way and the effects can appear faster than with the other ways.

On the other hand, the level of testosterone in the body is less stable due to the injection cycle. This can cause fatigue and/or irritability.

Each injection requires a new syringe !

Second way :

Available in gel or patches, this method is an effective way to receive a stable and consistent amount of testosterone. On the other hand, there is a risk that testosterone will not be absorbed effectively and that it will be passed on to other people such as children and intimate partners. This method is one of the most expensive.

Third way :

Orally (by mouth).

Soluble tablets are rarely prescribed because they are not reliable in stopping the menstrual cycle.

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