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How will estrogen hormone therapy affect the body?

Male-to-female (MTF) hormone therapy, or estrogen hormone therapy, can cause a person to experience physical, emotional, sexual, and reproductive changes.

Some transgender people transition with the help of medical procedures, such as estrogen hormone therapy. This can help the body develop “feminine” physical characteristics. It can also help to suppress “masculine” physical traits.

This article will replace the term MTF hormones with estrogen hormone therapy. This is because MTF terminology is binary and exclusionary. Not everyone who uses estrogen-based hormone therapy may identify as male or have the goal of becoming female.

This article looks at what changes a person can expect and how long these changes take when undergoing estrogen hormone therapy.

What is it?

Estrogen hormone therapy involves an individual assigned male at birth taking the hormone estrogen to develop certain “feminine” characteristics.

Estrogen stops the pituitary gland from forming gonadotropin, which reducesTrusted Source androgen production. Androgens are a group of hormones that help with reproductive development, among other things.

Reducing the number of androgens in the body helps a person transition by encouraging changes in fat distribution, breast development, and male pattern hair growth.

Doctors may also prescribe other anti-androgen drugs to help the transitioning process.

How long until changes occur?

A person may not notice significant changes when starting estrogen hormone therapy. The timeline varies, and some people may see more significant changes than others.

People may notice more changes if they use anti-androgen therapy alongside estrogen therapy.

Physical changes

Estrogen hormone therapy can cause physical changes.

Changes to the skin

The University of California (UCSF) note that estrogen hormone therapy can cause:

  • the skin to become dry or thin
  • the pores to become smaller
  • less oil production

Additionally, a person may become more prone to cuts or bruising and perceive temperature and pain differently.

Breast development

A person undergoing estrogen hormone therapy might notice small buds developing underneath the nipples. This can be painful but will typically resolve over several months.

Breast development will vary between people. The breasts can vary in size and shape and may be uneven. However, most people can expect to develop an “A” cup or perhaps a small “B” cup. …….. Continue Reading…….

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