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Old 10th Jan 2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

I'm having second thoughts about taking hormones and I would like to stop for a while until I feel ready again. I already have some breast growth but at this point I want to know if I stop will the changes go away until im ready again? Im close to crying and I feel like I failed at being a person.
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

Unfortunately the effects are permanent. Were you perscribed hrt or are you taking them illegaly? If yiu think transition is not right for you then stop right away before more detrimental effects occur. Remember that hrt causes sterility.
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

One of the reasons that most gender identity programs have patients go through counseling is to discuss the side effects of hormone therapy and to ensure that hormones are the appropriate solution.

Some of the effects are reversible. Others are not easily reversed and may require surgery to undo. And if you're receiving hormones via a depot injection, it may be weeks or months before the hormones are out of your system.

Your best bet is to go back to the physician tht prescribed the meds and talk to him/her about discontinuing the meds.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

Wow some help this forum is, fuck this place
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

OK, first of all, You have NOT failed as a person. Many, many trans people go thru havng second thoughts after having started on hormones, so this is sort of a normal part of the process. While some changes may be permanent, it really all depends on how long you have been taking hormones. If it has only been within 3 months, then a lot of the changes are reversible. Since you mentioned some breast growth already, it sounds like you may have started HRT longer then 3 months ago tho. It also depends on what hormones you have been taking. Taking an anti-androgen without estrogen has relatively mild effects. The changes are caused by the medication blocking the effect of testosterone in your body. Most of the changes are reversible (ie if you stop taking the medication).

Typical changes from anti-androgens (vary from person to person)
Average timeline Effect of blocking testosterone
1–3 months after • decrease in sex drive
starting anti- • fewer instances of waking up with an erection or spontaneously
androgens having an erection; some MTFs also have difficulty getting an
erection even when they are sexually aroused
• decreased ability to make sperm and ejaculatory fluid
Gradual changes • slower growth of facial and body hair
(usually at least • slowed or stopped “male”-pattern balding
2 years) • slight breast growth (reversible in some cases, not in others)
Anti-androgens affect the entire body.
It’s not possible to pick some changes and not others.

Taking estrogen has stronger physical “feminizing” effects, caused by
the estrogen’s direct influence on cells of your body that have estrogen
receptors and also by an indirect suppression of testosterone production.
Typical changes from estrogen (vary from person to person)
Average timeline Effect of estrogen
1–3 months after • softening of skin
starting estrogen • decrease in muscle mass and increase in body fat
• redistribution of body fat to a more “feminine” pattern
• decrease in sex drive
• fewer instances of waking up with an erection or spontaneously
having an erection; some MTFs also find their erections are less
firm during sex, or can’t get erect at all
• decreased ability to make sperm and ejaculatory fluid
Gradual changes • nipple and breast growth
(maximum change • slower growth of facial and body hair
after 1–2 years • slowed or stopped “male”-pattern balding
on estrogen) • decrease in testicular size
Estrogen affects the entire body.
It’s not possible to pick some changes and not others.

Breast and nipple growth starts early but is usually gradual – it can take two years or more for breasts to reach their maximum size. As in non-trans women, there is great variation in how large breasts grow from estrogen. In many MTFs breasts do not grow beyond an A or B cup. If you are not happy with the size of your breasts after 18–24 months on estrogen,
you can consider surgical augmentation, although it sounds as if you shouldnt be concerned with breast augmentation surgery given how you are feeling now. The implants will look most natural if you wait to get as much growth as you can from hormones. So if you havent been on hormones for that long, you shouldnt have huge breasts or any reason to be concerned at this point that they will get too much larger. If you stop HRT, you at the very least, will not need to be concerned with them getting larger.

Most of the effects of hormones happen in the first two years, so if youe ust started recently, you shouldnt have had too many significant changes made yet. During this time, the doctor who prescribes your hormones will want to see you one month after starting or changing your dose, then 3–4 times in the next year, then every six months. This is why it is so important not to self-medicate, since it is the endo that keeps an eye on all aspects of transitioning with hormones & how they are affecting you!

With all of that said, I willl finally address your important concern, are these changes that have already happened to you going to permanent?

Most of the changes brought on by “feminizing” hormone therapy are not permanent. If you stop taking the medication, most of the changes will reverse themselves. There are two types of changes that may be permanent: breast growth and sterility. If you are taking anti-androgens without estrogen because you don’t want visible changes, you should be aware that you may have some breast growth (although it will happen slowly, so you can stop early on if you need to). Breast growth from anti-androgens is usually minor and reversible, but in some cases the breast tissue has remained even after anti-androgens were stopped. Estrogen causes permanent nipple development and breast growth. Even if you stop taking estrogen, breast tissue will not go away and your nipples will not shrink. Both anti-androgens and estrogen affect your production of sperm. The long-term effects on fertility are not fully understood and the ability to make sperm may or may not come back even if you stop taking the medication. We strongly recommend that you talk about options for sperm banking before starting hormone therapy. If you have already started hormones, you can work with your doctor to go off them, give sperm samples, and store them if they are viable (then go back on hormones).

While I myself am just about to start on hormones & not knowledgable about everything, Im hoping some of the above info is helpful for those who need it!

Again you are totally not a failure at anything. Many trans people take a step back & examine how things are going & what their goals are after starting on hormones to see if they want to continue all the way thru the process or if they either want to wait for a time off of the hormones to see how things are or even if they want to stop altogether, so this step of examining & wanting to stop isnt necessarily a bad thing at all. Use that opportunity to see where you are, where you want to be & how you want to proceed with everything. Remember, not every trans person transitions fully, which means not all of us take homones, not all of us have surgery & not all of us even dress full time sometime, but that doesnt make a person any less transgender. It is how you identify yourself that is important, so focus on that first & how you feel identifying the way you do, & then go from there! Again, big s to you!

[STAFF EDIT: All information above, bar first and last paragraphs, is taken from the following document: http://transhealth.vch.ca/resources/...rmones-MTF.pdf
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
Wow some help this forum is, fuck this place
Well, we're a forum, not a hospital.

Frankly, you're posting this as anonymous, and we don't know what hormones you took, nor how far along the changes are. That makes it basically impossible to give an accurate answer right off the bat.

And even with the necessary data, this really is more in the realm of professionals. So KB above is absolutely right: talk to the doctor you got your prescrition and dosage from. They have a far better view on the situation than we possibly can.

That said, Kiersten is absolutely right: this doesn't mean you're a failure in any way. Finding your identity is just hard, and it's only normal to have doubts and uncertainties. And taking stock of the situation every so often isn't necessarily a bad thing. So don't take this out on yourself! Times may be tough now, but I don't doubt you will find your comfort zone!
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

Quote:
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Wow some help this forum is, fuck this place
No offense, but you're the one posting here asking us for help. If you don't like us telling you the truth-- that taking hormones has PERMANENT AND LONG TERM AFFECTS-- then that is your problem. If you would have done research before illegally taking meds... and I have to assume it was illegal, because if you'd gotten them legally I would think you'd have KNOWN all this already... maybe this wouldn't have been a problem.

The safeguards are there for a reason.

I hope you find the answers you need, but we're not here to smile and go "oh everything will be fine, your boobs will magically dry up overnight and nothing bad will ever happen to you again!" We're here to tell you the truth.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 09:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

so i have a question then? so if you just want to take anti-androgens then the growth of breasts will be slower? and not as much noticeable?

also what other changes will occur on anti-androgens??

thanks
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

Ok here's something worth understanding and taking to heart.

You don't just start taking *any* hormones without really knowing exactly what you are doing. The endocrine system is extremely delicate and just getting hold of random hormones you bought off the Internet... And then getting hold of the agonist hormones when you don't like the results... Is EXTREMELY dangerous and ill advised. It's rather like taking a fine Swiss watch and hitting it with a sledgehammer.

So you really should not just take something in an ill-advised home brew attempt to reverse things. Please get real, knowledgeable help from a physician experiences specifically in hormone therapies. The so-it-yourself effects could be life threatening.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 11:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

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so i have a question then? so if you just want to take anti-androgens then the growth of breasts will be slower? and not as much noticeable?

also what other changes will occur on anti-androgens??

thanks
Here's a PDF on hormone therapy for trans women. On page 7, there's some information about the effects of anti-androgens taken without estrogen.

However, please go to a specialist rather than relying on the advice of an online forum.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 02:29 AM   #11
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

Also, the original post is from early 2012. I sincerely hope the OP has managed to find whatever professional help was needed by now.

New questions are best answered by making a new thread about them, as resurrecting old threads can be confusing.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

Quote:
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so i have a question then? so if you just want to take anti-androgens then the growth of breasts will be slower? and not as much noticeable?

also what other changes will occur on anti-androgens??

thanks
Take a look at the link that Maddy posted- it has some good information.

The important thing to know about "anti-androgen" medications is that the term is not correct.

Aldactone is a diuretic- a drug that makes you pee. Someone noticed that 10-30% of men on aldactone developed enlargement of the breasts and other side effects. Research on the side effects of the drug determined that is can interfere with male hormone production in some men. There's no guarantee that a man or MTF person taking the drug will have the side effect. It can cause problems with electrolyte balance because of the diuretic effect.

The other drug used is finasteride. Finasteride is prescribed for men who have an enlarged prostate or for men with male pattern baldness. This drug also has a terrible side effect profile and there's some research that indicates that some of the effects of the drug can result in permanent impairment in sexual function.

These drugs should only be taken under a physician's supervision. Neither drug is as effective as female hormones. And as you can tell from reading this thread, the choice for a biological male to take female hormones requires some work with a therapist to be sure that this is the best option. Many of the effects are not reversible- both in terms of the physical changes and in the risk of permanent sterility (the inability to have children).

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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Second thoughts on hormones, how to reverse?

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