06 May, 2008

holy vitamin T aka testosterone

in light of me beginning hormones soon (hopefully), i thought i would post something about the effects of testosterone and other imperative information.

changes T therapy will bring:
-thickening of vocal chords and deepening of the voice
-facial hair growth
-increased body hair growth (notably on arms, legs, chest, belly and back)
-increased body masculature
-enlargement of the clitoris
-cessation of periods
-potential hair loss at the temples and crown of head, resulting in a more masculine hairline; possibly male-pattern baldness
-migration of body fat to a more masculine pattern (fat moving from hips, thighs, butt to the abdomen area)
-increased activity of the skin's oil glands (i.e. skin becomes oily which results in acne)
-increase in red blood cells
-change in cholesterol levels ma occur - the "good" cholesterol (HDL) may go down and the "bad" cholesterol (LDL) may go up
-change in scent of body odors and urine 
-skin may become rougher in feeling and/or appearance
-increase in sex drive

other changes reported by transmen:
-the face may become more angular in appearance, with a squarer jaw
-increase in size of feet and/or width/thickness of hands
-increase in energy level
-increase in appetite
-slight decrease in density of fatty breast tissue
-emotional changes: some report shortness of temper or feeling lethargic/down at different stages in their T cycle, others report feeling more even-tempered and calm

other facts:
-most transmen remain on a maintenance level of T for their whole lives, even after they have gone through significant masculinization - these reasons are both health and emotionally related. if your ovaries are still present and functional, the cessation of T may cause the return of certain feminine body characteristics . if your ovaries have been removed or are no longer functional, a body will not be able to produce a "normal" amount of either estrogen or testosterone by itself. also transmen feel more emotionally balanced and at home in their bodies with a maintenance level of T.

-permanent effects of T (if T therapy is stopped): voice (will stay at the pitch level that is has reached at the point T therapy is stopped), facial/body hair (large quantities of facial hair will not grow, growth will continue though. hair may change in texture and growth rate depending on whether or not ovaries are active), clitoris growth (stay at length/thickness it has grown), muscle/fat changes (will revert back to more female patterns if the ovaries are still present and active, but if the person is thin a return to female patterns won't be dramatic), hair loss (varies on the individual),  menstrual cycle (if ovaries are still working, periods will return), skin oils and acne (may lessen), body scent (may change), sex drive (may decrease), red blood cell count and cholesterol levels (may revert to levels that are closer to the prior T levels, also depends on present/functioning ovaries).

-potential side effects of T: increased red blood cell count (may indicate congenital heart disease, polycythemia, or kidney disease), increased hemoglobin (may indicate congenital heart disease, polycythemia or increased red blood cell formation), increased hematocrit (may indicate dehydration, erythrocytosis, or polycythemia), elevated liver levels and potential liver conditions, suppression of clotting factors, elevated lipid profile/high cholesterol, high blood pressure, edema (abnormal buildup of fluid in ankles, feet and legs), acne, seborrhea (skin condition), other miscellaneous side effects include: nausea, headache, anxiety, depression and paresthesia (abnormal burning or prickling sensation generally felt in hands, arms, legs or feet). 

myths and misconceptions about testosterone:
1: taking testosterone will make trans men uncontrollably angry and volatile, or cause "roid rage": this is the most common myth about ftms (female to males) who take testosterone, however there is no compelling evidence to support such a generalization. while some transmen report feeling shorter tempered or irritable, others report that they feel calmer and more even-tempered. 

2: taking testosterone will give you cancer: there is no solid proof one way or another as to the increased risk of cancer in ftm transsexuals taking T. ftm transsexuals as a population have not been studies in a large enough sample size and over enough time to determine the long-term risks of cancer associated with testosterone  use.

3: taking testosterone will make you grow taller: unless you begin T while still in your pubescent years, it will not make you grow significantly taller. bone growth stops near the end of puberty.

4: taking testosterone will make your breasts shrink away completely: T will cause a redistribution of body fat and a decrease in fatty tissue around the breast area, though unless he is small-chested to begin with, this decrease will not be significant enough to make his chest appear male. 

5: if you stop taking testosterone after chest surgery, your breasts will grow back: when a surgeon removes tissue in an ftm chest reconstruction surgery, the surgeon removes glandular/fibrous tissues as well as excess fatty tissue. once a glandular/ductal tissue has been surgically removed from the body, it is gone and cannot grow back. 

6: taking testosterone will make you gay: some transmen find that their sexual feelings and attractions shift after taking testosterone, while others may not. there is no specific correlation between taking testosterone and becoming gay.

7: if someone takes huge doses of testosterone, he will transition faster than at an "average" dose: during the first months of T therapy, transmen may feel impatient waiting for masculinizing changes to happen. dramatically increasing your dose might have the effect of slowing your changes. excess T in your body can be converted into estrogen. 

8: taking testosterone will make you fat: in short no. 

information brought to you by: http://www.ftmguide.org
so hopefully this information is helpful. questions? let me know!



Anonymous said...



maggie.danhakl@healthline.com said...


Healthline just designed a virtual guide explaining how testosterone affects the body. You can see the infographic here: http://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/effects-on-body

This is valuable med-reviewed information that can help a man understand how affects multiple parts of their bodies and the side effects that occur from having low testosterone. I thought this would be of interest to your audience, and I’m writing to see if you would include this as a resource on your page: http://lucastheman.blogspot.com/2008/05/holy-vitamin-t-aka-testosterone.html

If you do not believe this would be a good fit for a resource on your site, even sharing this on your social communities would be a great alternative to help get the word out.

Thanks so much for taking the time to review. Please let me know your thoughts and if I can answer any questions for you.

All the best,
Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
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