Are you or your child considering transitioning from male to female? It's a big decision that can have long-lasting consequences on your mental well-being, social relationships, and even your physical health.
There was a time when transitioning from male to female was virtually impossible. However, advances in medical treatment have made it easier than ever for those suffering from gender dysmorphia to transition from male to female. The process usually starts with hormonal treatment that includes estrogen and anti-androgens that block testosterone creation. There are some steps that you'll need to complete before beginning testosterone treatment, though. Below are a few things to consider as you prepare for your transition:
Manage your expectations
Hormonal therapy is a long process. Depending on your age and stage in life, it could take a year or more for you to feel like you have fully transitioned from male to female. Hormonal treatment is more effective for younger people who are just entering puberty as they haven't fully achieved masculine physical traits yet. The older you are, the less dramatic your transition may be. It's important to understand that your transition will take time and there is no way to predict how you will look when it's complete.
Spend time living as a female
While you can always stop hormonal treatments, it's possible that they could have long-lasting medical consequences if you decide not to go through with the transition. That's why it's critical that you spend time living as a female before starting hormone treatment. You can start by dressing as a female, wearing makeup, and going out in public with a feminine presence. In fact, many doctors prefer for their patients to have this experience for months before starting treatment. This experience will either affirm your desire to start treatment or it may deter you from going any further. You want to be sure about your decision before starting life-altering treatment.
Get physically healthy
Your hormone treatment will have a wide range of effects on your body. At times you could feel nauseous or dizzy. You may be tired. Your body's hormones are literally being changed, so many other aspects of your health can be affected. Doctors prefer for their patients to get as healthy as possible before starting treatment. This often means quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol. You may need to lose weight. You also may need to manage underlying conditions like high blood pressure or cholesterol. A physical can help you identify health areas for improvement.
Consult with a trans healthcare specialist today to learn more about hormone treatment. They can help you understand the process and decide how to get started.