A Transgender Woman's 10-Year Journey on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
YouTuber, Mathilda Hogberg is a trans woman who has been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for 10 years.
In this article, she covers everything related to what a transgender woman's 10-year journey on hormone replacement therapy involves, including the emotional changes, physical effects, timeline, risks and complications, and frequently asked questions about her experience.
Forms of Estrogen Intake
There are three main forms of estrogen intake:
- Oral pills that pass through the liver
- Gels or patches that go through the skin
- Injections injected into the skin typically once per week
Mathilda started with oral estrogen pills and a testosterone blocker pill. After a year, she switched to an estrogen gel called Divi Gel, which she has used for the past 9 years.
Hormone blockers do what their name suggests - they block the body's natural production of hormones.
For transgender women, they block testosterone to get rid of male features. However, hormone blockers can't undo what male puberty has already done.
Mathilda took hormone blockers for around a year before having gender reassignment surgery. After surgery, the body produces less testosterone, so you may not need blockers anymore.
Timeline of Changes
Here's an overview of Mathilda's timeline of changes on HRT:
- First 3 months: Loss of muscle mass, body hair thinning, softer skin. Not much fat redistribution in the face yet.
- 3-6 months: Rounder, more feminine face. Breast growth starts as breast buds form. Aches in the chest area. Hips and waist growing.
- 6-12 months: Significant breast growth. Prominent hips and curves. Thinned and lightened body hair.
- 1+ years: Ongoing feminization of face and body. Mood stabilizes after initial fluctuations.
Mathilda's facial hair didn't change much, since HRT can't undo male puberty changes. She had laser hair removal for that.
One of the biggest effects of HRT on Mathilda was on her emotions. Her emotional range expanded - she cries more easily now and feels emotions more strongly. This was a positive change for her. However, be prepared for mood swings, especially in the first year.
Risks and Complications
While extremely worthwhile for Mathilda, transitioning with HRT does come with some risks:
- Sterilization - you may become infertile.
- Physical aches during breast and hip growth.
- Heightened emotions and mood swings.
- Increased risk of blood clots.
- Weaker bones and nails.
- Decreased libido.
Coping with Changes
To cope with hot flashes, Mathilda takes hot showers and wears warm sweaters. For mood swings, focusing on the positives of transitioning helped her mentally. Weak nails can be frustrating, but using strengthening polishes and being gentle helps.
What Doesn't Change on HRT
A few things HRT can't change:
- Bone structure
- Facial and body hair
- Hair thickness or hairline
Mathilda's 10-year journey on hormone replacement therapy has been life-changing. While the process has not been easy, the rewards have far outweighed the challenges. She has been able to fully transition into living as her true authentic self.
For Mathilda, the physical changes from HRT have been invaluable in aligning her outer appearance with her inner identity. Just as importantly, HRT has enabled emotional and mental changes that have allowed her to embrace her womanhood.
While HRT results will vary for each individual, Mathilda's experience demonstrates the profound impact it can have. Her story shows that with time and perseverance, transgender individuals can realize their dreams and live as their true selves. Mathilda hopes her story will inspire others to remain strong and resilient on their own transition journey.