The Self-Made Woman 💉: Trans DIY 101 | MTF Transgender LGBTQIA+
Transitioning can be a long process full of very personal choices. Finding the right hormone therapy is crucial but can also be challenging.
Injectable estrogen is a popular option, but not always accessible. That's why some trans women look into do-it-yourself (DIY) alternatives.
In this article, transgender YouTuber Ashley Adamson shares her Trans DIY 101 journey and injectable estrogen experience. She provides perspective for others considering DIY, but always recommends speaking to a doctor first.
Deciding to Go the DIY Route
Ashley Adamson is four years into her transition. She decided to go the DIY route and shared her perspective in hopes it may help others think about their own experiences and options.
She calls out upfront that there is no medical advice in her story - it's just her personal experience. Don't do anything she did without careful thought and talking to a doctor. That's the best advice.
When Ashley first started her transition, she worked directly with a doctor and did informed consent. She then started taking hormone blockers and estrogen in tablet form.
The Annoyance of Daily Medication
Once Ashley discovered she didn't need to take estrogen tablets every day, she switched to estradiol valerate injections. Using the pharmaceutical system, insurance covers one bottle to an extent. But extra bottles cost about $110 out of pocket.
Sometimes, when traveling, Ashley needed extra bottles and paid that cost. It was annoying to refill the prescription every 5 weeks.
Do you like doing something medical to yourself every day? Ashley finds taking medication every day really annoying.
Turning to DIY When Injectables Weren't Available
When Ashley moved to Germany, she couldn't even get injectables. She had to do some searching - why couldn't she access them in Berlin?
That's when she learned about an underground network. A chemist in Ukraine was making estradiol and could send it anywhere. Ashley got into trans DIY because Germany didn't support injectables.
There was no way Ashley would go back to pills or patches.
Finding More Options Through DIY
Ashley switched to estradiol enanthate once it arrived from Ukraine. She's been on it ever since and is very grateful to the provider.
Looking at the curve of estradiol through the body - valerate has a sharper peak and tapers off sooner. Cypionate peaks slightly later and is more even. Enanthate has an even more steady hormone distribution curve.
But you can't access enanthate through the pharmaceutical system, even in the US, where injectables are available. So Ashley has stuck with enanthate from DIY. It's only $100 for a full year's supply.
Ashley bought several years' worth, so she has a stockpile that won't expire for 5 years. In case of a shortage, she'll be set. The even tone throughout her body is also really nice.
Assessing Safety and Security with DIY
There are some safety concerns to consider with DIY. You can't be 100% sure of all ingredients without regulation. Ashley plans to look into this more and even test her estradiol to ensure it's okay.
But it's been great knowing she has a secure estradiol supply, without relying on the pharmaceutical industry. Instead of going to the pharmacy annually, her shipment comes straight to her.
Travel is easy with the same bottle lasting 6 months. Ashley doesn't have to worry about running out of hormones suddenly when traveling, which makes her feel less anxious.
Benefits of Longer Injection Cycles
Ashley also likes that she can inject every 7 days, whereas valerate is recommended every 5 days before it drops off. Cypionate is similar to enanthate in its longer stability.
Ashley wants to share an injectable estradiol simulator to show the different curves. Check out these links for valuable resources:
Let Ashley's story be a starting point to think about your options and what will work best for your transition journey.