Changes – What can I expect?

Hormone Therapy

Testosterone administration under medical supervision produces gradual changes over a period of time similar to natural male puberty. This is lifelong treatment to maintain skin, bone and mental health.

Masculinising effects of testosterone usually include:

  • A permanent deepening of the voice.
  • Cessation of menstruation.
  • Increased strength and energy, lower sleep demands, increased alertness and a slightly higher body temperature.
  • Oil and sweat glands become more active which may result in acne (treatable by conventional methods).
  • Slightly altered body odours.
  • Increase in weight and redistribution of excess body fat (away from hips, buttocks and upper thighs(female pattern) to the waist and torso (male pattern)).
  • Growth of facial and coarser body hair, similar to other male members of the family
  • Male pattern baldness is a possibility depending on the family’s tendency to baldness.
  • Testosterone will not alter height, size of hands or feet, or bone structure.

Some people report mood swings or heightened feelings of aggression. On the other hand many report the opposite – that the relief experienced through hormone therapy and other rehabilitative steps, results in a calmer, happier, more sociable demeanour.

An Overview of Surgeries

Surgery for men is not just “a surgery” but a series of surgeries. There are a number of options, and a growing number of techniques being performed around the world.

Chest reconstructive surgery
This is the surgery most often and perhaps most urgently, required by men. In this procedure the incisions and reconstruction are carried out with the intended result of a contoured, male-looking chest.

Surgery to reproductive organs
Many men undergo complete hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix) as well as oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries). Competent gynaecologists routinely perform these operations, though men undergoing such procedures may feel more comfortable accessing the services of a doctor who has treated other men who have transitioned.

Genital reconstructive surgery
Some men undergo surgery to reshape genitalia, such as procedures to lengthen the urethra or create a phallus. Currently all options for lower surgery are expensive and carry a high risk of infection and other complications. None of the current methods can produce a totally realistic or fully functioning penis.


page updated 3 January 2011

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