A transgender endocrinologist is a vital member of the treatment team for any transman or transwoman. These specialists are the most qualified professionals to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT), making a physical transition possible.
For transwomen, HRT includes combined treatment with estrogen and an anti-androgen medication. Anti-androgens block the effects of testosterone in the body, allowing the estrogen to have its greatest effect. Transwomen who take HRT can expect to experience breast development, decreased facial and body hair, a change in body shape, and shrinking of the sexual organs.
For transmen, HRT entails treatment with testosterone, which is typically prescribed as an injection. Transmen who take HRT can expect to experience cessation of the menstrual periods, increased muscle mass, deepening of the voice, facial hair growth, and enlargement of the sexual organs.
While HRT treatment for both transmen and transwomen can have side effects, an experienced endocrinologist will work with you to manage these side effects and minimize their impact. Side effects of estrogen can include bone loss and increased risk for heart disease and certain cancers, while side effects of testosterone can include weight gain, insulin sensitivity, and psychological changes.
Depending on their age, transgender adolescents may be eligible to begin HRT. Younger adolescents are usually prescribed a “puberty blocker”, which temporarily halts the physical effects of puberty. Transgender endocrinologists are typically comfortable prescribing HRT to adolescents around the age of 16.
Two professional organizations, the Endocrine Society and WPATH, have established guidelines for HRT treatment in patients that identify as transgender. Endocrinologists at the Trans Center follow these guidelines when prescribing HRT. Generally, this means that patients will begin their transition with supportive counseling, then receive a referral for endocrinology treatment.
At the International Center for Transgender Care, we look forward to assisting you in achieving the very best possible results from your HRT. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (972) 543-2477. We can provide you with a referral to an experienced, board-certified transgender endocrinologist.