Unexpected Changes from Hormone Replacement Therapy
For those considering transitioning genders, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) results in many anticipated physical and emotional changes. However, there are often surprises as well. HRT impacts individuals differently, so being aware of the range of possible effects allows for better preparation.
This article will explore some of the most common unexpected changes from Hormone Replacement Therapy trans people experience. While the specifics may vary, these are important considerations when embarking on the transition journey.
The High Cost of a New Wardrobe and Makeup
One of the most unexpected things about transitioning for many people is the high cost of buying a whole new wardrobe and makeup. After years of accumulating clothes, many find they have to get rid of most or all of their old clothes and start fresh.
Building a whole new wardrobe from scratch and buying quality makeup products can be shockingly expensive. For some, just a couple of essential makeup products like foundation and lipstick can cost over $40.
While the costs can be daunting, focus on slowly building up versatile pieces that fit well and make you feel confident. Check thrift and consignment stores to save money.
Heightened Emotional Range
Many people find that hormone replacement therapy makes them experience emotions more deeply. Their highs feel higher, and their lows feel lower. Mood swings are also common when first starting hormone therapy as the body adjusts.
However, for many, this evens out over time into a broader emotional range. This heightened emotional state can take some getting used to, but is often viewed as a positive change that allows deeper self-expression.
Keeping a journal, meditating, and talking with others are helpful ways to process new emotions.
Changes in Body Odor and Sweating
An unexpected change that often comes with hormone replacement therapy is shifts in body odor and sweating. The different hormone levels change the smell and amount of sweat the body produces.
Many find they sweat less and have a milder scent than before transitioning. These changes are natural results of the hormones. Using antiperspirants and wearing breathable fabrics can help manage sweating. Overall, this change is something people adjust to over time.
You Won't Be a Completely New Person
While hormone therapy certainly brings physical changes, people are often still surprised by how much they remain fundamentally the same person. Though facial features, fat distribution, and other traits change, the core identity typically stays consistent.
It's important to have realistic expectations so that transitioning can be a positive experience. Focus on self-acceptance and embracing your uniqueness throughout the process. Remember that beauty comes in all forms.
Consider How It Affects Those Around You
Finally, transitioning affects not just the individual but also their loved ones. It's a major life change for everyone close to the transitioning person. Though the focus understandably tends to be on the individual transitioning, it helps to also consider how friends and family are affected.
Listen to their concerns, but also make your needs clear. With open communication and empathy on both sides, families can support each other through transition challenges. Most importantly, be true to yourself.
Hormone replacement therapy brings many expected and unexpected changes. Being prepared for all the possibilities allows people to transition with realistic expectations and the support needed to fully embrace their identity. It's a journey of self-discovery that affects all aspects of life.