For many, hormone treatment is one of the first steps in the transition. If the patient is a trans-gender woman, she is given female hormones while at the same time reducing the production of male hormones. For trans-gender men, it is exactly the opposite. It is possible to start with hormone treatment via 2pass Clinic.
Hormone treatment is a major therapy. Before the endocrinologist (hormone specialist) prescribes hormones, it is first determined whether genetic dysfunction actually occurs. In addition, you have to answer some questions about your health and you may have to undergo a short medical examination.
Hormone treatment is not recommended for transgender women with untreated high blood pressure, who have a thrombosis (blood clot) or cerebral hemorrhage, or who are known to be at risk of thrombosis, and transgender women with severe liver disease.
In addition, you must be at least 16 years old. People below 16 years of age cannot get puberty inhibitors. These inhibit the development of gender characteristics. There are conditions attached to this.
Unfortunately, in Belgium, it is still common practice that a transwoman is asked for an “approval” by a psychologist of psychiatrist that she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria before she can start with hormone treatment. Here you can read more about counseling for transgender patients.
Are you considering gender-change surgery (sexual reassignment surgery)? During the operation, the testicles are removed. This eliminates the source of testosterone production. After surgery, only estrogens are necessary.
For hormone treatment of transgender women, two types are used:
The main difference between these species is that synthetic hormones are much stronger. They give faster results, but also have more side effects.
It is possible to buy hormone preparations for trans women via the Internet. We do not recommend that. Self-medication increases the risk of health damage, side effects and other unwanted effects. In addition, the quality of products sold through the Internet is not guaranteed.
Hormone treatment inhibits the production of the male hormone testosterone in transgender women. This is achieved with anti-androgens such as cyproterone acetate. To this is added estrogens, which are provided both in tablet form and in patches. A number of male gender characteristics gradually disappear into the background.
People respond differently to hormone treatment. In some people, the effects are more pronounced or may present quicker than in others. This is normal.
Treatment with hormones ensures that you feminize sooner. However, there are cases where hormones have little or no effect.
Hormones affect your fertility. If you are treated with hormones for a long time, there is a strong possibility you will not be able to produce any more children. Do you nevertheless want a child in the future? Trans-gender women can freeze seed cells before hormone treatment. The endocrinologist can tell you more about this.
In the first year there are quarterly controls by the endocrinologist; in the second year of hormone treatment, semi-annually. After gender-adjusting operations, follow-ups are often done annually.
In most cases, your health insurance will reimburse you for hormone preparations. This usually happens after approval by the physician and after submitting a statement from the psychologist and endocrinologist.
If you want to know more about the statement from a psychologist, you can take a look at counseling for transgender patients.
You still have another question? Feel free to ask! We will answer your question and if generally applicable add it to the FAQ of this page.