What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy For Trans Men?

When transsexuals seek to physically change their bodies, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is utilized. This article will give a brief overview of the HRT process and its effects on the body for trans men.

Definition of Trans Men

First of all to clarify, "trans man" or "transman" refers to someone born with female genitalia who is transforming themselves physically into a man. Therefore, trans woman is someone born male transforming themselves into a woman. For the purposes of this article, we are only addressing trans men.

What is HRT used for?

Hormone replacement therapy is used in conjuction with sexual reassignment surgery for trans men. Sexual reassignment surgery is the actual surgery that physically changes the individual's reproductive organs from female to male. HRT is used to alter the "secondary" sexual characteristics of the person. Secondary sexual characteristics include, the outbound physical exercises that define a sex. For trans men, that includes the shrinking of the breasts, growth of body hair, and the deepening of the voice.

Testosterone

Both males and females produce testosterone naturally, but males produce higher levels and their masculine hits are reliant on it. So the major part of HRT for trans men is bringing the levels of testosterone in the individual up to the average amount for someone naturally born male. This creates body hair growth that is otherwise uncommon for females, and many trans men feel a surge in both their sexual drive and energy levels. When men take testosterone, as some male athletes do when taking steroids to enhance their abilities, it is associated with extremely high levels aggression. Trans men almost never experience such extremes since their bodies are not already producing the "normal" amount of testosterone designed for an adult male.

Testosterone will also serve to stop the trans man's menstrual cycle, which usually stops after five months of hormone therapy. Clitoromegaly occurs in response to the testosterone as well. This is when the female clitoris enlarges and protrudes outward. Usually it will be between 2-3 years before this process has peaked. Also, the trans man's voice will begin to deepen and muscle mass will increase.

Affects of Puberty

Having hormone replacement therapy will not reverse the effects of puberty. How the bones have grown and formed are permanent. For example, women have naturally wider pelvic bones than men to prepare them for child bearing. This will not change. And while the breasts often shrink or soften, usually surgery is still required to remove them entirely. However, by taking testosterone, the voice will deepen and hair growth will occur, giving the trans man his own "puberty."