I took my first HRT tablet on 10 April. This is what has happened along the way, and leading up to it.
I will add, before I begin, not all transwomen take HRT treatment. Many are happy to become the inner woman without hormone treatment.
It is a special moment as the tablet hits your tongue…this is it, i thought, the journey for me has finally begun. It was a sunny Saturday morning, about noon…a moment I will never forget.
I had been trying none prescription phytoestrogens previous to that. The research on herbal oestogens is rather inconclusive…where you can find any…but that is not to say they are worthless in my view.
I was embarking on a transgender path. It is a life changing decision and one I wanted to be sure of. Rushing to the doctor wasn’t an option, in my region a doctors appointment is a minimum 1 month wait anyway.
What phytoestrogens offer is a beginning, call it a blue pill red pill moment if you like. These tablets were unlikely to get me very far…but they would make a start, however slight that was. I took them for 3 months.
What it did do is test my resolve, began my transition…even if it was largely psychological. Is becoming a transwomen what I really want? I now had to confide in friends and family. This is a crucial stage and deciding period. I had to be sure of what I was getting into.
My intention was to be able to say, I was ‘out’ and in transition with those few I had decided to confide in. I could look them in the eye and not be lying.
Again I repeat no-one has to take HRT or oestrogen to be in transition.
Looking back it was a strange time, I wanted the physical changes to happen as soon as possible but not at the expense of my lifestyle and everything I knew. If there were going to be big problems I wanted to be able to address them early on…rather than later when it may not be possible.
The first few weeks
One thing stands out, the lack of reliable information about gender changing supplements and hormones. Be prepared to troll the internet for information and don’t take just one opinion. Much is contradictory and you have to accept not everyone out their supports gender transformation…start to grow a thicker skin from day one. I have found 99% of people to be supportive, from make-up shops to health food stores. Even my local supermarket assistant has commented on my nails. But…always be prepared, slightly on your guard.
The first few weeks are when you can discover what will lie in store. It wasn’t going to change anything, for me, I was going to do it whatever the reaction however, I knew I could make the journey more pleasant if I avoided as many ‘conflicts’ as I could.
Going to the local shop, where I go everyday wearing red lipstick was certainly going to be viewed as ‘coming out’ but perhaps that was far too drastic…and risky for the early days. My motto: don’t rush it.
At its basic level, getting used to taking tablets everyday is a good discipline. It is going to be like that for the rest of my life. One thing I found vital was a pill dispenser…it may sound trivial but without it I was lost…I still would be I admit.
The first few weeks are when I knew I had to improve my general health. I had to be honest, get on the scales and count up those units of alcohol. Neither were in the zone I wanted. Then blood pressure…not where I wanted it either. I don’t smoke, which is a big plus.
Going to the doctor for HRT was going to require I have made all effort to be in the best health I can be. It is also much easier to make sacrifices, and cut back if you feel you are already on the journey. Perhaps that is just me…it did make it easier to achieve though. As a benchmark target: BMI 23, blood pressure 130/80, alcohol >12units a week. That’s the target, and it was easier to achieve some than others.
Losing weight takes time, I needed to lose some 10kgs( 22lbs) Ouch…that’s a lot…believe me…it’s a lot of work. I knew I had to be realistic…you can’t lose that much in a month, more like 7 months…that’s just the way it is. Patience is a virtue I have to embrace.
Getting my blood pressure into the green only took a few weeks. Taking photos of my blood pressure meter (about £14 on Amazon) shows I’m not cheating. I figured my doctor would be more impressed too.
A&D blood pressure meters are accurate. In the early days I liked the thought I was being professional in my approach. You could use your Smartwatch of course.
Where is all my body weight?
Once the other side of 40 years, it’s round your trunk, the ‘apple’ shape of a male torso.
If you are under 30 or have a gym trained body you can skip this part.
it’s a barrel of fat, well seasoned and unwilling to move. Some 20yrs in the making, expecting to stay right where it is until my dying day. That’s what men’s bodies are like…partly genetic but mainly eating too much…time to change that.
Already on my little program of herbal supplements I was encouraged to make everyday count. I started by recording my blood pressure in a notebook once a week and keeping a note of my bodyweight.
Then the alcohol consumption, I had been told don’t just stop drinking, cut it back. So I went for my 12 units a week…really! Not much sleep in the first few nights.
I hope reading this you can see the value of herbal supplements? In my case, Pueraria Mirifica may or may not change my gender characteristics…but it will change my mindset and focus. It may also actually work? I can’t say it won’t. Psychologically I will change at least as much as physically. At the point I am now I would say more so…by a lot.
What you chose to try is entirely your decision, there are other supplements/food stuffs you can add that have some known benefits. For now I would just say, Soy products have not been found to be of any hormonal value in recent research. Again your choice, I’m just saying.
…more soon feb 2022