Testosterone Use Amongst Trans Masculine & Non-Binary Folx
This week on The Slut Show Ellen Moore is joined by Slut Show regular transman and multi talented content creator Deen (he/him). They discuss how his life has been impacted in the past several months since he began his transition, the effects he experienced when starting the use of testosterone and his transitional process up until now. This week’s Slutty Science explains the pro’s, the cons and the consequences of the use of testosterone.
This week's Slutty Science builds on the Slutty Science of episode 2, 5 and 6 of season 2.
Please note: this article contains information about mental health struggles & suicide, which may be triggering for some readers.
The last time we had trans man Deen in the studio, he had just gotten added to a waiting list to begin transitioning to his desired body. The first medical step he wanted to take, following up the endless conversations with therapists, was using testosterone. Today, let us take a closer look at the use of testosterone in the transitional process of transgender folks. But first, what is testosterone?
Testosterone, also referred to as T, is a hormone found in humans, as well as other animals. The testicles of cis-gender men are the main production factories of the hormone. Cis-gender women also have testosterone in their bodies, however, in much smaller amounts. Testosterone in women is made in their ovaries.
In the bodies of cis-gender men, testosterone levels begin to increase significantly during puberty. The hormone is most often associated with sex drive, as it plays a vital role in sperm production, but testosterone does way more than just that. It also affects bone and muscle mass, red blood cell production and the way people store fat in the body.
No matter if it’s because somebody is on their period or a trans person just started testosterone, hormone fluctuation affects one’s mood. Abnormally low or high levels - of any hormone, testosterone included - can directly affect both mental and physical health.
Testosterone therapy is an important part of the medical treatment of transmasculine and non-binary individuals, who choose to undergo it. The goal of T-therapy is usually to achieve testosterone concentrations in the male reference range.
Testosterone has several potential undesired and unknown effects. Risks include acne, alopecia, reduced HDL cholesterol, increased triglycerides and a possible increase in systolic blood pressure. The presence and severity of acne may increase during the first year of T-therapy and usually peaks at 6 months. Long-term acne is rare.
However, testosterone also has a lot of desired effects. Among those are increased facial and body hair, increased lean mass and strength, decreased fat mass, deepening of the voice, increased sexual desire, no longer menstruating, clitoral enlargement - also known as bottom growth and it has even been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. These physical effects result in a variety of mental health benefits like reduced gender dysphoria, stress, anxiety and even depression. All of these mental health improvements have been shown to be a direct cause of testosterone therapy.
With the extremely high suicide rates amongst transgender folks, which we discussed extensively in episode 5 of season 2, there is an urgent need for less waiting lists and more constructive help.
The effects of hormone replacement therapy amongst transgender folks are completely reversible and therefore we would argue that starting hormone replacement therapy sooner in the transitional proces of transgender folks could directly lead to a decrease in (attempted) suicides.
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Lots of love,
‘The Slut Show With Ellen Moore’: A place to speak openly about shit you and I have to deal with on a daily basis. About feminism, insecurities, feeling like a bomb ass bitch and obviously about loads of sex. Raw, real and uncensored, Ellen Moore brings you your weekly dose of empowerment.
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